Positioning Clients to Excel in Their Performance Reviews
By Lori Jazvac.
The performance review is a useful evaluation and planning tool. A good appraisal can direct an employee to negotiate a raise or work towards a promotion. A poor evaluation prompts an employee to either improve his or her performance or to search for another position. As a Career Practitioner, you can help your client see the performance review as a personal career planning tool. Together, you can co-identify your client’s competencies, skills-gaps, and training needed for future career success.
Performance reviews provide our clients with rare insight to an employer’s needs. In recent years, workforce analytics has become prominent in workplaces. Employers monitor employee performance through detailed productivity analyses. By asking questions and being open to critique, clients can learn what changes they need to make to enhance their performance.
Employers rely on results-driven appraisals to offer their employees constructive input in order to retain the best talent and enhance the bottom line. Consequently, reviews are occurring more often throughout the year, periodically creating higher expectations of employees. Performance reviews tend to be collaborative feedback sessions. For this reason, they are an extremely useful professional development tool for our clients. Clients can use the review as a forecasting tool to set personal goals, work more efficiently, and track their milestones.
As career practitioners, we need to creatively prepare our clients for their next career milestone. We need to help them demonstrate their unique value and stay updated with changing workforce trends. This all starts with thorough reflection and assessment, a brand marketing strategy, and a professional development plan.
Strategically Preparing Clients to Confidently Approach Performance Reviews
You can help your clients to spot themes in their performance reviews, for example, professional milestones, career patterns, skills gaps, and personal challenges. This information can help clients plan and achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
Here are 6 tips to prepare clients prior to their next performance review:
- Find out how the performance review process is typically handled. This will prepare your client to proactively and strategically approach the upcoming meeting.
- Review the most recent evaluation with your client. Consider your client’s goals and plans from their last review, assess progress and whether any priorities have changed. Identify areas that scored well along with areas flagged for improvement.
- Help your client compile a list of activities, projects, and quantifiable accomplishments since the last review. This is an opportunity to track successes and develop a business case for a potential raise or promotion.
- Work with your client to update his or her resume and self-marketing portfolio. Include visuals and graphs that your client can bring to the performance review meeting. This will help your client point out and articulate results.
- Support your client in completing an honest self-assessment of his or her performance. Suggest that your client conducts informational interviews with 360-degree feedback from other team members to get an objective work performance snapshot.
- Identify opportunities for improvement or development during the review period or over upcoming months. Develop S.M.A.R.T. goals to be targeted ensuring they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.
- Prepare, with your client, questions to ask in the performance review. Focus on continuous improvement and ways to secure the employer’s collaboration:
- How are you measuring my success in this role?
- What are your goals for the company and team this year?
- What aspects of my performance stand out?
- Which areas should I focus on to improve my performance?
- How can we ensure that I fully meet your expectations and the departmental goals?
If your client receives a weak evaluation:
- Encourage your client to stay positive and assess the information, express any concerns, and initiate a timely follow-up plan with the employer.
- Recommend that your client start preparing for the next performance review immediately by working on the steps outlined above.
- Motivate your client to leverage the performance review as a guide to assess monthly objectives and ensure he or she is on track; this will help meet expectations for the next review.
By helping our clients to understand their strengths and accomplishments and present themselves effectively in performance review meetings, you will position them for greater career success.