Facing a performance review at work successfully

| March 16, 2015

Performance reviews can be daunting for both employees and managers. Saurabh Tyagi has some tips on how to get through the process unscathed.

This is the season of performance appraisals and a reason good enough for many of us to have intense feelings of repulsions and fear. The time is despised by managers and employees alike, and although its effectiveness is debated many a times, one cannot downplay its importance in our career.

Performance reviews are opportunities for employees to show whatever achievements they have accomplished in the entire year and the ways in which they added value to the organisation.  In this competitive world, it is essential for you to make the most of this opportunity to make a significant impact on your pay and professional development.

Your performance review can very well be the most powerful tool to win a job promotion or a pay raise this year. However, it’s definitely not an easy task when you know that every single person in your team is looking at the same target. You have to build a strong case for yourself around some concrete achievements.

Larry Myler, the author of Indispensable Monday says, “The biggest problem with performance reviews is that they are too subjective. (…) So it’s incumbent upon employees to make their accomplishments objective,” she adds.

Here are some tips for the same:

Prove your worth

When you start preparing for the big day, i.e. when the review would be happening, don’t just think in terms of your day to day responsibilities and daily work that you did last year. Yes, a major part of your time at the office was spent in fulfilling the job description; however, you have to broaden your view in order to understand the effect of your contribution on the company’s profitability. Make a list of all your positive contributions in the same context and present them when needed. Make sure all your achievements help you find a way upwards and present you in a good light. Always insist on frequent performance feedbacks that will reinforce your case to get a raise or job promotion while removing the potential roadblocks.

Show interest in further training

If you think that the company currently lacks the necessary tools or training facilities to achieve a particular objective then it’s always good to ask for the same. Your employer, or your manager in this case, will be glad to know that you are interested in improving the quality of the work and want better professional growth. Further training will also help you become more valuable to the employee and set you up for the next step in the career.

In cases when the review doesn’t go as per your expectations, there is still hope. If in your opinion, it’s an unfair judgment of your abilities, respond to it and raise your concerns. But before that, it’s always important to remember to view the criticism in an objective light. If the criticism was really off the mark, then only make any further appointments with the reviewer. Present your counter arguments, which should be backed by solid examples and facts.

The important take away from the annual reviews is what else you can do to improve your performance. Instead of associating it with all the negative connotations, you should view it as a learning opportunity. Valid criticism which can help you grow constructively should always be welcome. If you want the most of out of your performance review, like a job promotion, prepare a strategic campaign well before the review process starts. If you think you are ready for the next level, don’t be afraid to let it be known.  Says Matuson, president of Human Resource Solution “If you don’t toot your own horn, no one will hear you in the sea of cubicles,”

Saurabh Tyagi

Saurabh Tyagi is an author with Naukri.com, a leading online recruitment site. His articles are mostly motivational pieces and insightful reads targeted at the millennial generation looking to either start their career or change it.


  1. Max Thomas

    Max Thomas

    March 23, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Performance reviews

    Thanks for your blog the Saurabh. I've retired but worked through many a performance review. I always found that a little humour does no harm. Some of the early reviews left a lot to be desired. They produced little more than competitive mediocrity. So much so that one time, in the 80's I think, I took a risk and quoted some of King Lear – the scene where the 'Fool' convinces the King by flattery that he, The King, would make a good Fool. I think that humour is something that employers should seek and value because it is so closely related to creativity and because it is so conducive to building teamwork. Best wishes.