6 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Performance Evaluation

Performance evaluations are often viewed as an unpleasant chore, but you can turn that around if you approach your evaluation as a step toward success. Keep these principles in mind to get the most out of the process.

1 – Your boss wants you to succeed. Consider the feedback, suggestions, and constructive criticism as just that—constructive. Try to quell your defense mechanisms and openly consider what your boss has to say.

2 – Get clarification. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand or agree with any of the feedback you receive as part of your evaluation. Incorrect assumptions could hinder your efforts later.

3 – Be your own cheerleader. Your manager can’t be expected to remember every team member’s accomplishments throughout the year, so be prepared with a list of your top achievements. Don’t be shy about providing the list to your boss ahead of time.

4 – Corporate limitations affect everyone. Some companies operate on a curve for promotions and merit increases (e.g., only a percentage of employees can be promoted in each group, or an entire group’s cumulative increase can’t exceed a set amount). Your manager may not have the ability to give you everything you want (or deserve).

5 – Negotiate. Didn’t get the promotion you were hoping for? Consider asking for an extra bump in your merit increase, flex hours, or a bigger office. You may run into obstacles here and there, but a little creativity could give you (and your employer) a solution that makes you both happy.

6 – Think about next year. Even when you score a promotion or a fat raise, it’s never too early to plan ahead. Work with your manager to identify opportunities for additional continuing education, the chance to demonstrate you can handle increased responsibility, or participation in a more complex project.

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