According to SHRM and CEB, 58% of employees believe their current performance review system doesn't result in increased performance or engagement. So, does the problem lie with the concept of performance reviews?

No, it doesn't.

The issue lies in the execution of the same.

Most companies conduct performance reviews as nothing more than a mandatory HR activity. But if we put in the time and effort to conduct a proper performance review, it can only result in good things for the employees as well as the organization.

So what can employees do on their part to make sure that the performance review process is a success? Let us find out. 

Negotiating Performance Goals

Performance reviews might look like a one-way street where the manager lists areas of improvement for the employee, and the latter merely listens. But nothing can be farther from the truth.

For any performance review process to be successful, employees have to put in as much effort as the managers. They, too, have a say in whatever is happening. 

The last leg of a performance review is when the manager comes up with a development roadmap for the employee. Here, the manager lists the possible ways in which the employee can improve their performance.

Read more on this: Creating a near-perfect personal development plan

New performance goals are set, and the manager tracks the progress of the employee. In this last stage, employees can collaborate with the managers to come up with the right performance goal.

When the performance review reaches its end, the employee can provide their thoughts on the whole process. The manager can then ask the employee to collaborate with them to come up with a goal that works for both of them. This way, no one is left out and everyone reaches a consensus on the kind and type of goal that is to be achieved. 

Negotiating performance goals with employees can make the performance review process fruitful as it helps employees increase the efficiency of their performance. It also:

  • Increases employee morale and motivation
  • Provides clarity for the goals to be achieved
  • Aligns personal and professional goals
  • Creates an opportunity for continuous improvement

11 Effective Performance Review Tips for Employees

For an employee, performance reviews can be a time of anxiety and worry. But that need not always be the case.

Begin by understanding that performance reviews are conducted for the purpose of increasing employee performance by helping them find out their blind spots. It is not a blame game.

So, what can employees do to make performance reviews more efficient and calm? 

#1 Have a Clear Idea of Your Goals and Aspirations

Once your manager lets you know of a possible performance review that would come up, make it a priority to get your goals and aspirations straight. Do not wait for your manager to assign goals for you because they might not align with what you expect out of the job.

Take a long and clear look at the work you have done for the company and identify areas where you would like to build more or develop. These findings can then be converted into goals, which you can suggest to your manager during the performance review process. 

#2 Remember to Listen Actively

Most people remain passive throughout the performance review without making any contributions to the process. Make sure to not do this.

Performance reviews are conducted by organizations by investing their time and money into it. Your manager provides valuable information and feedback about yourself, which is an opportunity that presents itself rarely. So make use of the opportunity to it’s fullest by listening actively to everything your manager has to say.

You may even come across certain statements that you might want to jot down for future reference as well. Again, if there is something in the review that you do not agree with, active listening will help you with catching it at the right time. 

#3 Take Notes Throughout

This point is applicable not only during the process of a performance review but during an entire year of your work at the organization as well.

Do not wait for the announcement of a performance review to start assessing yourself. Whenever you come across any moment in your employment that you feel is noteworthy, write it down and explain it using clear words. This will help you once the actual performance review is about to happen.

It is impossible for us to remember everything that we did during the last one year or so of the employment, so keeping a notebook dedicated to the cause will make the process of evaluating yourself pretty easy. 

#4 Evaluate Yourself Thoroughly Before the Review Process

Do not wait for the manager to evaluate you and form an opinion of your performance.

As soon as you know of a performance review taking place, start evaluating your performance. This way, you form an independent opinion about how well you did your activities assigned by the company without being skewed by the review or feedback the manager provides.

If you feel like any feedback provided by the manager is not correct, earlier preparation will help you counter it with the right examples. 

Read more: 101 Self-Evaluation Examples for Nailing Your Performance Review

#5 Collect Evidence to Prove Your Effectiveness

Consider these two employees:

  • Employee A: I do not think my performance was poor last quarter.
  • Employee B: Last quarter, I was able to increase my customer satisfaction rating by 10%. I also made progress in completing the skill advancement course the company suggested. So, I believe my performance last quarter was good.

Which employee did a good job here?

Employee B provided valid examples to support their point that their performance this quarter was good.

So the manager, too, understands that you, as an employee, are not making claims for the sake of it.

Try to be like Employee B, who has done their homework, rather than Employee A, who is at a loss when they receive feedback that seems incorrect. 

#6 Always Check in With Your Manager

At any point in your employment, if you feel like you are stuck at any point and need a bit of a push in accomplishing your assigned goal, schedule an appointment with your manager and check in with them whenever needed.

This way, you can realign your goals accordingly and maintain good performance throughout. Otherwise, you will have to wait for a quarterly or even an annual performance review to clear this. 

#7 Is There Any Other Way to Make Contributions?

Performance reviews need not be viewed as something that the company does to bring employee morale down. Employees can view it as a golden opportunity to see if there is any additional way in which they can contribute to the company.

Think out of the box and look for areas within your employment where you can make extra input that can catapult your career in the right direction. 

#8 Be on the Same Page With Your Manager

If you do not listen to the performance review process or remain passive to it, you might miss out on important points that your manager makes.

Always make sure that you are on the same page with your manager. Make sure to clear any doubts then and there so that there is no confusion regarding what is expected from the you in the future. 

#9 Remain Flexible

In order for a performance review process to go smoothly, employees must remain flexible and open to suggestions made by the manager.

If an employee remains stubborn in their news and does not show the willingness to listen to what the manager has to say, the performance review process will be stifled. The best thing to do here is to remain flexible and have an open mind. 

#10 Participate in the Review Process

The most important tip for an employee to make the most of their performance review process is to make sure that they participate in it actively. As said before, performance review is not a one-way street. Managers and employees have to participate equally to make sure that both parties get the best possible deal out of it.

Actively participating in the performance review process shows the manager that the employee is interested in bettering their performance within the organization and that they do have a bright future with the firm. So, make sure to remain positive and active during the process. 

Mutual Collaboration For Increased Efficiency

Everything gets done efficiently and in half the time when everyone involved in the process cooperates in the right manner. The same goes for employee performance reviews.

If organizations prefer to gauge the emotions of the employees when conducting the review and analyzing the effectiveness of past reviews, they can choose ThriveSparrow to help them with it.

Customizable survey templates make it easy and convenient for companies to conduct both short and long employee surveys. The reports we provide do a thorough analysis of the survey responses to provide you with reliable and actionable results.