4 Tips for Employees for Successful Performance Appraisals


Preparation and Participation are key for an effective review meeting.

It’s hard to believe it’s already March, a month which signals to a lot of employees that performance reviews are just around the corner. This is not a practice which should be feared, the main reason for performance reviews are to help employees, provide feedback on job performance and discuss the company’s expectations in their roles.

Performance review meetings should not be taken as a one-way conversation and often determine pay rises or promotions so it is an excellent opportunity to communicate to your employer your hard work and receive recognition for your efforts. The key to a successful review is to be prepared. We have compiled a list of tips to make it sure you are adequately prepared for your performance appraisal and positioned to gain the most from your appraisal.

Gather Information

Firstly, it is essential to review your job description and any feedback and goals from your last performance appraisal. Collect any reports you have produced, performance highlights, and key successes achieved and this will give you an understanding of how you have developed and reached your goals throughout the year.

At this point, it is also worthwhile to investigate the current market rate for salaries in your sector to ensure you are being adequately compensated for your level of experience in the market. At this time of year, many recruitment companies release salary and employment surveys which give a real insight into the current market rates for each profession and the salaries commanded. To benchmark your salary, download the Lincoln Salary and Employment Insights Survey for 2017 which has recently been released. This is ideal information to have on hand if you are seeking a pay rise, as it gives you the opportunity to discuss your benefits and compensation package and how it compares to the market rate.


A valuable exercise to carry out is a self-evaluation with the primary aim to have a clear and concise view of your performance before you meet with your manager.

Once you have collected your background information, prepare a list of your achievements and relate them your goals and the organisations goals. Don’t forget to capture how you achieved these goals and not just a list of what you did. It’s likely your manager may not remember all you have achieved, in particular, the small things that may make a difference.

An easy way to structure a self-evaluation is to think of your performance in terms of a SWOT Analysis:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What opportunities do you see in regards to your performance?
  • What threats do you see with regard to your performance?

Remember to bring your self-evaluation to your review as it will provide an important reference and discussion point.

Prepare a list of goals

Following this, you should identify any areas you would like to improve on in your job for the coming year. For example, are there any new skills you would like to develop or any areas you are struggling with that you need more help with? It’s important to outline what you need to achieve your goals and help with your career progression. If you have time, do a bit of research on training courses that might help you further develop your skills and bring this information to your review.

Ask Questions

There is a strong correlation between the effort put into the review by the employee and their overall satisfaction with the outcome. So, to ensure you get the most from your performance review ask powerful questions such as the following which seek directness, depth and coverage in their replies

“What should I continue to do?”

“What should I stop doing?”

“What should I start to do?”

Reviews are not going to be all positive and there will always be elements of your performance that can be improved upon. In your review, it’s important you are open-minded and listen to your manager to make sure you take on board any constructive criticism or feedback. Managers will value employees who can accept professional guidance, so remain calm and think objectively if the feedback happens to be difficult to hear.

What next?

A performance review is your opportunity to get meaningful feedback for your work and contribution to a company that will help you to progress and grow in your career. The most important components of a review meeting are the goals that you and your manager agree on. Before the meeting draws to a close, ensure both you and your manager have established your goals, performance indicators and timelines for the next quarter ensuring you can continue to develop with the clear understanding of what you are working towards in your next review.

Donal Whelan avatar
Managing Director
+353 1 661 0444