Nailing Your Appraisal!
Appraisals are often not something people look forward to. However, if you use our top tips on how to prepare, it will help you get the best out of the session and the art of nailing your appraisal to take charge of your career.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Often we see an appraisal as a necessary evil, a ‘box ticking’ exercise. To get the best out of the session, you need to change your mindset – look at it as your chance to take charge of your career.
CONSIDER YOUR OBJECTIVES FOR THE SESSION
What do you want to achieve from the session? Do you have any concerns over any aspects of your role? Are there any career opportunities you want to discuss? This is your chance to have those conversations.
GET EVIDENCE IF POSSIBLE
If you want to show how brilliantly you are performing, it is better to have evidence. This may be in the form of written feedback from someone you have worked with, or it may be just documentation you can produce showing what you have done.
None of us are perfect, and we all have areas we need to work on – think carefully about what yours are. Is there anything that can be done about them? Are there any training courses you could attend to improve? Is there someone you work with who has skills you would like to gain – could you shadow them, or ask them to coach you? The more proactive you are about any weaknesses, the better you will come across in your appraisal.
MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS
An appraisal meeting might not be top of your boss’s list of things to do. They can be meetings that get postponed a lot when more client critical work comes along. If you want one, you may need to push to make sure it happens.
If you think you may raise a topic that is a surprise for your boss, then consider warning them about it first. This may simply be sending them an agenda for the conversation so that they know what you want to cover.
During the appraisal, take notes so that you are clear what has been said. You may want to make a note of all agreed actions, both for you and your boss or the company.
During the meeting, be prepared to push for clear information about what you need to improve on and how to do it. Don’t be fobbed off with vague comments and try and gain agreement from your boss on your intended plans.
For example: “So if I can do X, Y and Z by 30 June, and get feedback from Joe Bloggs on my performance, you will be happy that I have demonstrated this particular competency?”
Finally, make sure you follow up on your meeting. You may want to send an email to confirm actions. Even if your appraisal is only annually, you may want to ask for an interim review to check your progress.
Overall, you need to be proactive in your approach to your appraisal. It is your opportunity to take charge of your career.