Annual Performance Review Improvement Tips

DSC_0058It’s that time of the year again! Supervisors are scheduling annual review sessions for each colleague in the office and everyone’s on their P’s and Q’s. Word is spread throughout the office that the maximum percentage increase is tapped at 4%. Being the diligent co-worker, you portray confidence and that you will receive the maximum percentage allowed.

Unfortunately, nothing has changed about your work habits since you’ve been with the company. Still, many associates respect and admire your hard work; after all you always lend a helping hand to peers in need and you’re even on the Employee Birthday Committee. Every year during annual review time you always receive the highest raise the company offers. Why should this year be any different?

Now it’s time to sit down with your supervisor and go over the performance review. During the session you’re told that your “performance (on a scale of 1-10) is rated as a 7 due to several attendance concerns and time management inconsistencies. For these reasons, you’re getting a 2% raise this year.” The supervisor asks if you have any questions or concerns and patiently waits for you to sign the form.

Surprised, angry, confused, or ready to walk out? Before getting carried away, take a second to contemplate what just happened and the best way to react. Poised to react in an aggressive manner, you think twice…

Now is not the moment to start whining or throw a hissy fit. Instead of adding risk to your employment status, it is recommended that you remain professional and follow the tips below to improve on your next performance:

  1. Ask the supervisor questions about how they came to their conclusion.
  2. Request specific documents from the supervisor regarding the occurrences given to you for poor performance. Make sure you are/were provided with documentation about these issues. You should ask for this information to refer back to it (if needed).
  3. Always document under the employee comments section of the review form any specific questions you may have about the evaluation.
  4. Go over the “Performance Improvement Plan” with the supervisor for areas that require improvement.
  5. Work on improving your performance over the specified timeframe documented on the review form.
  6. Reference back to the supervisor for the status of your improvement on a regular set schedule.

Following these tips enhance the chances during your next review to have the best annual performance grade and get that raise you deserve. One more thing, until the next review, work on your goals, document accomplishments (adding support for next review), keep a solid attitude, and bring more than the minimal expectation.

Good luck and let me know how next year’s evaluation goes!

Tammisha W.

Career FEAR

Fear image

I want you to look very carefully at the picture above. Read the big word, feel its effect on you. The thoughts and pictures that fill your mind when the element of fear is introduced; let them flow. Then look again. Read the small words. Play it against everything that ran through your mind at the thought of fear, and try to find one instance where it isn’t true.

I charge you to find one fear in your mind that does not meet the requirement above. One fear that is logical. One fear that has a rightful place between you and your destiny. One fear that is true evidence proving your failures, inadequacies, and flaws to be real without a shadow of a doubt.

You can’t. If you say you can, you are not being fully honest with yourself.

One thing we have all got to let go of is our fear. It’s one thing to recognize danger or an uncertain situation. It’s an entirely different thing to change your course of action because you fear what is in front of you. Especially if your goal is on the other side of that fear. This is when you are charged to move ahead, regardless of what may seem to be blocking your way.

How many people stay in jobs they hate because they fear the unknown?

How many people keep their head under the radar despite excellent qualifications for a better job due to a fear of failure? Shirking the responsibility because they’re scared they don’t deserve it… Is that you?

Career Reality: You don’t have time to be scared. You don’t even actually have a reason. Behind every worst case scenario, there is another option. Another challenge, another opportunity to learn just what it is you are truly made of.

When you have a daunting decision to make, anxiety or fear is only going to cloud your mind. This will only make it harder to make a good decision. Here are some ways to beat the fear and keep your head in the right place to decide what’s really best for you:

The “5” Perspective

Ask yourself how this is going to affect your life in the next 5 minutes. Let that sink in. Now ask what it will matter in 5 weeks. How much is this, right here and now, going to affect your life in the next 5 months? And finally, ask yourself how much this is going to matter in 5 years. Be honest with yourself during this, and listen to the reactions in your mind. If tension pops up, hear it out, rationalize it, and move on. If you start to relax, relax. Don’t fight it. Changing perspective is often enough to quell uneasiness.

Write it Out

Of course this is my favorite. Write out the worst thing that could happen, write out any reaction you may have to that scenario. Then, even if it’s fiction, write a new ending. Write how you would want to react, what you would want to see happen next, what you would want to gain from it. As we’ve discovered recently, the power of visualization is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, make use of it. Use it to counter your fears and create the courage you need to move on.

Talk it Out

Never underestimate the positive influence of an outside perspective. As sure as there are people in your life that you admire, they are sure to want to help you come to a better understanding of the dilemma you face. Truth is, your fears could be entirely fabricated, and it just might take the advice of a good friend or well-respected colleague to point that out to you. Listen to them. If you go to someone that will only want the best for you, then you need to take the next step and put as much trust in them as possible. Line it all up with your values, and go from there.

Just Go For It.

It’s the career of your dreams! Maybe you’ve been comfortable long enough, just working the job that pays the bills, regardless of the strain it puts on you and/or your family. If you’ve worked out everything you can, it might be time to simply take the leap. Find what gives you the deepest peace, regardless of surface-treading fear, set yourself free, and go for it. You’ll be so glad you did.

In no way am I suggesting you give into reckless spontaneity that will damage your current standing and promise you no future. This is about finding your destiny and removing fear to listen to the inner voice that guides you. Follow that, not just superficial desires that will lead you nowhere. Don’t compromise your future, and that goes both ways.

If you’d like to discuss more, I’m always here. Write me anytime at I’d love to hear from you!

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Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
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