Whether you’re a manager or an employee, year-end reviews can be nerve wracking. As the employee, we know that our manager is about to go over our performance and development from the past 365 days, including the good and the bad.

Most likely, managers will also help you develop an “action plan” for your next year to work towards achieving your goals. This is helpful, but it will not determine how your next year will go. Do you know what will? Let’s talk about it…

clipboard_pencilBe Prepared
Before you go into your review, make sure you have taken the time to objectively review your performance and development yourself. Knowing what criticism to expect could save you from feeling hurt or shocked by something your manager brings up. It can also remind you how far you have come over the past year and give you confidence when heading into the review, which is a good thing.

Don’t Be Defensive, Be Open
Hearing criticism, and giving criticism, can be a hard thing to do. But you must keep in mind that your manager WANTS you to succeed, and is trying to give you the advice to grow and do so. Instead of deflecting what he or she has to say, try asking how you can improve or what they suggest would be a great first step in doing better.  Remember what the point of this review is – to reflect and be able to progress.

Create Clear and Attainable Goals
Most people focus on the portion of the review where the past year is being discussed and evaluated, but the other significant part is setting great goals for yourself! Whether it has to do with developing your weaker skills, or working towards a promotion, this is the time to talk about it and come up with a plan as to how you can achieve it. Your manager is there to help you grow and guide you in the right direction.

Your year-end review is your chance to talk with your manager about your past performance and your future goals. Stick to these three suggestions, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to how much you can get out of your annual review.

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