Get the most out of your performance review

David O Flaherty 04.02.2018

Generally dreaded by employees and managers alike, what's the best way to prepare and maximise your annual review?

This time of year is tough; you're recovering from over-spending and over-indulging at Christmas; you've given up on your New Year's resolutions and on top of this your annual performance appraisal is looming!

Is there a way to turn what is often an awkward, strained conversation with your boss, weighted down with lengthy paperwork, into a meaningful exchange which serves as a tool to motivate and drive you for the year to come?

The answer is yes!

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Spend time reviewing your previous year; revert to last year’s review, particularly the section outlining goals. Explain to your manager in a clear, measurable fashion how you achieved those goals, what success you attained and what contribution you made to the business by achieving your target.

In the event that these goals were not achieved, don’t brush it under the carpet in the hope that it will slip your manager’s mind. Instead, confidently broach the subject and advise why these goals were not achieved:

  • Did the remit of your role change within the year therefore changing your focus?
  • Was there insufficient training to support their achievement?
  • Are these goals still a priority?
  • If so, how are you going to ensure they are reached this year?


Talk your boss’s language

How does your company measure success? Translate your performance over the previous 12 months into financial terms, and interpret your input into the business commercially. Furthermore, strengthen your case with third party endorsements; testimonials or customer feedback can speak volumes about your own performance.

Dedicate time and thought into what you want to achieve in the upcoming year. Where do you want to see yourself in 12 months time and beyond? How can the business support this growth? This is the time to communicate to your boss your worth and potential; so invest time into how you are going to convince them of their return on investment!

Your salary

When discussing salary review, refer to external sources to benchmark on similar salaries in the market place, presenting the annual Morgan McKinley Salary Guide is a good place to start!

Above all, communicate in a cool, calm and professional manner, now is not the time for emotional outbursts! Remember, any documents are recorded by HR and in the care of the company for the remainder of your career with them so venting on paper is not advised!