With falling temperatures, gloomy weather, increasing workloads and longer working hours as the financial year-end approaches, the winter months can be a stressful time for many people. For many, the winter months can also bring additional stress as it’s often a time when managers choose to hold a mid-year performance appraisal. 
Despite the apprehensions many people have about the process, performance reviews don’t necessarily need to leave you cold. While they may fray the nerves of some people, Kellie Rigg, HR Consulting Director of HR and recruitment specialist Randstad, says workers can avoid the sleepless nights and use the appraisal process to their advantage.

here are our top tips:


reflect & report on your achievements

Like any important meeting, you need to prepare well in advance. Take time to reflect on the highs and lows of the year and honestly assess what you have produced – where you struggled, where you excelled and come armed with facts, examples and feedback from third parties where possible.

Look ahead to your next review, keep a diary throughout the year and record memorable achievements, challenges and anything else you feel is noteworthy.

focus on what’s next

Although the performance review is designed to track your progress over the past year, it’s also about mapping the year to come. Think about what you want to achieve as your career progresses – and what you need to make it happen.

Do you need to upskill? What experiences can put you closer to your goals? Set goals, objectives and targets that are realistic and achievable.

A photo of a group of two women and a man in an office working as HR advisors
A photo of a group of two women and a man in an office working as HR advisors

don’t take it personally

Critique from your manager should be expected as a part of the process. Constructive criticism is important for your growth and development and should be welcomed rather than shunned. When confronted with a legitimate critique, take a solution focussed approach and identify how you plan to correct it moving forward.

if you feel you’re due for a promotion

You need to have gone above and beyond what was expected of you in your role. So be prepared to demonstrate how you have excelled or exceeded expectations. Develop a list of all accomplishments over the year, and be as detailed as possible in expressing targets met and new skills acquired. Demonstrate your commitment to ongoing learning, leadership, coaching or mentoring and further development as this will help make you stand out from your colleagues.

if you feel you’re due a pay rise

Once again, you need to have exceeded expectations since your last appraisal. Prepare a case for why you believe you deserve a pay rise, but also try to manage your expectations. If the business has not been performing well financially, your manager may not currently be in a position to offer you an immediate increase. This, however, may change when the company’s performance starts to improve. If that’s the case, consider other benefits you might like to receive, as a reward for your great efforts – e.g. external training, flexible working arrangements, parking, health insurance or even a gym membership.

It’s important to remember performance reviews will significantly help you prepare and plan for the coming six months both personally and professionally. If your manager makes this process a priority, then you’ll realise just how much your organisation values the work you do.

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