The Wage Shop

Love them or hate them, if they are a part of your company structure, there’s definitely something to be said for being well prepared for your performance review. Often companies that run reviews link them to increased benefits and pay rises, so it’s important to go along with the process to get the best possible results.

They can be annoying though. A place I used to work had a goal setting session in April, review in September, then annual review in March. Back to goal setting in April and the cycle restarts. This was on top of monthly supervision, so sometimes it can leave you wondering when you have time to do your actual job! As frustrating as these processes can be, if you can prepare well and continue this over the year, performance reviews can become much less time consuming but more importantly, more beneficial for you as an employee. Remember, your boss probably doesn’t enjoy the process either, and they have more to complete than you! Being prepared and engaged in the process will go a long way with your boss and we all know making the boss’s life easier is always a winner!

Know your goals
This might be simple but get this bit wrong and the work you do for the next year gathering your evidence is for nothing. You need to understand what your goal is and how you can best show you’ve achieved this.

Preparation is key
Depending on how your performance review is structured, you may have a chance to set your own goals in agreement with your boss, or it may be an overarching set of goals for the team and your own performance is measured against these. Whatever the structure, knowing your goals is key. Keeping a separate document for your review with your goals listed is a good way of keeping track of the achievements over the year. It’s often hard to sit at the end of a 12-month period and think back about the things you’ve achieved, but keeping an ongoing log of these things over the year means you are more than equipped for your review.

Think about targets you’ve hit, processes you’ve overseen or implemented, training you’ve done – add it to your list. It will take 2 minutes to add it now, rather than trying to trawl through your e-mails at a later stage trying to remember everything 10 minutes before your review.

Anything you need to prove – get the evidence. It’s worth keeping a separate folder on your desktop as well – keep copies of e-mail from customers saying what a great job you did for them, or praise from another team for your contribution to the project. Again, having everything to hand will help. You can just print everything off in one go and you have your evidence to show you’ve been doing a great job.

You might think it’s not a good idea to discuss your mistakes over the year in your performance review, but your boss more than likely already knows about any errors you’ve made. When you think about mistakes, think about what you learned from them. Did it encourage a process review? Did you get extra training because of something that went wrong? We all make mistakes, but how we handle them says more about us than we realise.

It’s also important to think about the negative things over the past year as your boss will invariably bring this up and want to know how things will be different over the coming 12 months. Also, you might not think that you’ve done anything wrong, but your boss may bring something up you’ve not considered. Hearing about mistakes isn’t always easy and you don’t want to get angry or upset at your review, so thinking about these things in advance will help to keep you calm and focussed during the discussion.

Set your goals for the next year
Don’t go into the performance review with no idea of what you want to achieve for the next 12 months. Your boss will have an idea of what they want to see, but you do have some negotiating power here. Think about how you want to expand your role – can you take on some additional work, additional training? What about getting involved with training new staff as they come on board? What weaknesses do you want to improve on? Have some good reasoning behind your goals and how they will benefit the company. Setting your own goals will make you much more engaged with the process and help you to stay focussed on them over the year.

If you’re prepared for your review, you’ll find it will go much more smoothly and you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate that pay rise or additional benefits you’re after.

How can The Wage Shop help?

Work life can be hard enough at times, so follow our tips and make the best of every opportunity to project the best image of yourself. The Wage Shop are on hand to make sure you’re paid correctly, on time and manage all your tax and national insurance requirements. So you can focus on working hard and hitting all your goals.

We also offer a Payment Advance service so you can access your money when you need it. Head over to the website for more details, or Contact Us to register.