Written by Hiam Sakakini
Recently a good friend of mine, who is quite senior in her organisation, had a scheduled annual review. The type where feedback is expected, however awkward and forced the occasion is. She explained that the review had been postponed three times over three months. When it finally happened she was told by her manager (who was ironically the HR leader of the organisation) that she had done a great job that year…that was it…”you’ve done a great job, keep doing what you’re doing”.
She left scratching her head, what exactly was great? Was it her communication style? Was it the outcome of a few projects she had taken on? Was it a particular urgent situation that she had resolved? She had no idea, and left feeling somewhat deflated even with a generous annual increase and a new more senior title. There was still something missing.
This is a common situation and a massive missed opportunity for both parties.
If this resonates for you and you would like a better annual review experience here’s our
Top 5 Tips on Nailing your Annual Review
- Ensure your manager knows your career goals and aspirations. There’s no harm in this being open and linking your progression and performance reviews to those goals.
2. Before a performance review meeting or informal discussion take some time to think about the specific areas you’d like feedback on. Even go as far as preparing your manager be emailing them to let them know. This at the very least reminds them the review is in calendar and your prompt means they’re more likely to prepare and less likely to reschedule.
3. In line with the above why not seek feedback from other sources other than your manager. Often other people in the organisation whose opinion you value and who you don’t directly report to can give you excellent feedback from a completely different perspective.
4. Don’t leave feedback seeking to annual reviews. Seek feedback after key events, projects and milestones have been conquered. More often than not formal reviews don’t line up nicely with when the big events in your career have been completed and when the feedback would be most useful.
5. When it comes to offering feedback, first ask ‘how do you like to receive feedback?’ and adapt to their preferences. Demonstrating giving good feedback is the quickest way to create a culture of real-time feedback in your organisation.
“This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.”