No matter how happy you are with your job, we’re willing to bet that you have no love for your annual performance review. You know that rite of passage that often happens at the end of the calendar year, where you sit down with your manager and determine what you’ve contributed to the company, if your future goals align, whether you’ve exceeded expectations—and if a promotion and salary hike are in the cards.

  • Acknowledge that it’s necessary

Feedback is the best way of ascertaining whether we’re getting better at what we do, but don’t feel obliged to put up with out-of-date performance appraisal processes. Today, we’re used to getting regular feedback and communications online.

There is an increasing recognition that the old-style appraisals are antiquated and not fit for purpose, so employers are changing their approach. They are using more coaching skills and more multimedia in their communications. There has been an improvement in the quality of process but not necessarily in the speed of interaction and feedback.

  • Think about context

You need to think about how good your boss is at this type of process. How are performance appraisals conducted in your organisation? Is it a dull, routine activity that people shy away from or is it more vibrant? Even though the organisation may say that performance appraisals are important, how seriously does it really take them?

They are an opportunity for you to explore where you want to go, alongside understanding what the options may be. Gather evidence about your past performance and think about what you want in the future.

  • Assess your attitude towards your job

Don’t go through your appraisal just for the sake of it. Consider what the value of the process is to you. Is it something that you look forward to or is it the complete opposite? An appraisal gives you many opportunities to plan what you want to do next in your work, so grasp those opportunities with both hands. If you’re serious about this job, you need to go for it. If not, then it’s a good time to consider whether the role is right for you.

  • Make sure it happens

If you’re due your appraisal, but don’t get it, you may have to insist on having it. Speak face-to-face with your boss and explain why you feel it’s important and agree a time to have the discussion.

If you don’t get what you want, you can talk to your organisation’s HR team as it is responsible for appraisals or if you have a mentor in the company, you could also ask their advice. As a last resort, you can also go above your boss’ head to their manager. But if you do this, you should follow good protocol by informing both your boss and HR beforehand.

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