Get the Most Out of Your Performance Review

  • Avoid a bad report card.The Find: With all the talk of recession you may be less than optimistic about the outcome of your 2008 performance review, but the gloom and doom is all the more reason to follow these ten tips to get the most out of the annual sit down with your supervisor.
  • The Source: The Escape from Corporate America blog.
The Takeaway: As 2008 comes to a close amid a flurry of dreadful economic news, you may be less than excited at the prospect of your upcoming performance review. But unless your company is one of the few listening to calls to drastically overhaul the whole review process, there's no avoiding a sit down with your boss. How can you use the opportunity to maximize your chances of getting a healthy raise in 2009? Escape from Corporate America challenges you to think of the review as a chance to document your value to the company and strengthen your internal brand and offers these tips:
  1. Understand how the system works -- Every company is different... You can't work the system until you know exactly who makes the decisions, when they're made, and what factors are considered most critical.
  2. Understand your manager's point of view -- Understand what's keeping him up at night then focus on demonstrating how you make his life easier.
  3. Do your homework -- If you haven't been keeping careful track of your accomplishments this year then now's the time to start digging up documentation.
  4. Think like a marketer -- Understand your customers and demonstrate how your products/services make their lives better.... frame all of your accomplishments to show the tangible benefits for your company and your manager.
  5. Use numbers and examples -- Don't rely on generalities.
  6. Tell a good story -- If you don't have hard numbers, come up with some compelling stories. Did you come up with a creative idea that wowed the CEO? Did you rework a process to save your boss hours every week?
  7. Don't be defensive --Accept criticism graciously and prepare professional counterpoints if appropriate.
  8. Deliver an "October surprise" -- Follow the example of wily politicians and announce a major score right before performance reviews.
  9. Show some attitude â€" Work shouldn't be a popularity contest, but never underestimate the value of being likable.
  10. Get creative -- If your manager loves you but can't show you the money, leverage her guilt and goodwill to ask for telecommuting privileges, flexible hours, or extra vacation days.
The Question: Are these tips on the money or is there anything you'd add or subtract?

(Image of bad report card guy by ethorson, CC 2.0)