The onset of June for many employees sees their focus turn towards one thing: the mid-year performance review. For some, this may mean a salary increase or promotion may be just around the corner, for others this may provide great constructive feedback on personal development and for some, performance reviews just create stress.
Whatever review season means to you, it is a great time to reflect on your performance for the year so far and prepare some key points that may guide the conversation in your favour.
So how do you make the most out of the review period?
Catalogue your Successes
Make a note of all the projects, areas or tasks where you have had success since your last review. Maybe you’ve streamlined your work methods fostering efficiency, maybe you’ve helped colleagues, maybe you headlined new initiatives or have had stellar feedback from your clients.
Whatever you’ve done, bring your successes with you to your conversation with your supervisor. Obviously, you want to be careful not to brag, but if you stay factual and use examples you will look impressive.
Know your Value
An important part of angling for a salary increase specifically is a full understanding of what others at your responsibility level are earning. Do some research – use industry salary guides, speak to a recruiter, talk to your peers and review what the market seems to be offering.
You may find that your salary is high, on the money or you may find that you are underpaid. No matter what you find, you will be better informed to enter the conversation.
Prove why you Deserve a Promotion
It’s not enough to simply be in a job for a certain amount of time and expect to be promoted. Whilst this may occur, promotions generally need to be earned. Your supervisor will likely know if you’re ready to take a step up but if you’re not sure, it doesn’t hurt to do a little prep.
A great technique to prove you’re ready for the next step is to take the position description of the next level and show your supervisor what responsibilities you already handle using specific examples. This works as rather than a pie in the sky “I believe I can do it” statement, you are bringing evidence to the forefront to prove your case.
This is also a great technique if you believe your salary may be low compared to your current responsibilities.
Look at your Previous Review
A great way to showcase how much you’ve improved, listened and could be worthy for a promotion or increase is to go over the feedback you received at your last review and then show how you addressed or exceeded the advice.
If you didn’t quite hit your previous goals, this is a great opportunity to deconstruct what happened and ask for advice. This feedback could prove invaluable for your next review and your professional development in general.
Don’t be Afraid of Constructive Criticism
A successful review period is not always about getting a pay rise or a promotion. They can also be about the value they provide your career and professional development from the constructive criticism you receive.
Remember, that whilst constructive criticism can sometimes feel personal, it usually isn’t. It is designed to help you be better. If there is an area of your skills you would like to develop, don’t be afraid to ask where you may be going wrong or if they can help you.
Reviews are not just a chance to receive feedback but are also a great opportunity to provide feedback to your supervisor about the company and what support you feel you need to perform better.
Do you feel like communication is an issue, are company systems inefficient? Having feedback of your own could not just improve your own situation but those of your colleagues as well.
Understand Your Development Areas
Far from being a negative, having a full understanding of where you need to improve displays a level of self-awareness that most supervisors love. If you know specific skills you’d like to improve, don’t be afraid to talk about this with your supervisor and better yet, outline the specific courses, seminars and training programs you’d like to attend to help you.
Most companies are more than willing to pay for the development of their staff as individual professional development also benefits the firm.
Don’t be Afraid to Change Jobs BEFORE Your Review
Many people don’t want to change jobs right before review period as they don’t believe their new company will give them the benefits they may receive from their current upon a successful review. Statistically however, this is rarely the case.
If there are problems within your current role, company, salary etc that are apparent enough to you to be considering a move, these will not always be solved by a good review – particularly if the issues are systemic or cultural.
If you have established that the issue can’t be solved, don’t be afraid to hit the job market before your review has occurred. Many people hit the job boards after review period but jumping in before will see you beat the competition to the best roles on offer.