Annual Reviews – Be Prepared, Not Scared

Posted on July 2017 By Speller International
Annual Reviews – Be Prepared, Not Scared

​EOFY is not just an opportunity for brands to sell us new cars or office furniture – it’s also a good time to pause and take stock of a few things, before the new financial year gets into full swing.

In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity review the last six months, and consider what may be in store for the coming half-year. This is true not just for individuals but for companies also, making it a popular time for many organisations to conduct their annual reviews.

If you have an annual review penciled in, here are some pointers that may help in preparation.

1. Communicate clearly

Before your review, ask yourself the following questions: are you happy with your achievements? What are your drivers for the next six months? What areas would you like to see development in, both personally and professionally? What are your career goals?

This little bit of self-reflection will go a long way towards informing your responses, and will better enable you to clearly communicate your wishes and intentions through the process.

After all, you can’t expect the company to simply ‘drag’ you along – you need to have your own goals and plans for what you want to achieve, and be able to articulate them clearly.

The better you are at doing this, the more likely it is the company will help you realise your aspirations.

2. Be receptive to feedback

It may be that in your review the company wants to draw attention to something about your work. Perhaps something isn’t quite ‘clicking’, or you need to deliver a little something extra. Whatever the case, always be prepared to receive a bit of constructive criticism in the review process.

If and when it comes, try not to react in the moment. We’re all sometimes victims to our own pride, but the quicker we can put aside any hurt feelings, the easier it is to think clearly about such feedback and act on it – especially if you see the merit in it.

And don’t be afraid to book in a follow-up meeting. It’s the perfect opportunity to show the company you’re willing to discuss the points raised in further detail and make an action plan, whether to develop those skills that are lacking, or overcome any issues that are affecting your work or impacting the team.

3. Share your observations

An appraisal or review is also often a tie for you to give construction feedback to your manager or company. Be honest, but remember to take the emotion out of what you are saying. Be prepared with solid examples to back up your feedback, and offer solutions or suggestions on how what you’ve observed may be improved upon or rectified where possible.

Most importantly however, remember to deliver the feedback in a way that you yourself would be happy to receive it.

4. Be prepared to talk salary

If your review does include a salary appraisal, or if you want to ensure that it does, you will need to negotiate with your employer.

We’ve gone into some detail about salary negotiation and salary repackaging before, so make sure you spend some time brushing up on the points explored in those blogs. But basically, if you are a permanent employee hoping to negotiate a higher salary, you’ll be expected to justify why you deserve more.

Make sure you can give good reasons – perhaps you’ve taken on additional responsibilities, resulting in an extra workload or longer hours. Have some examples of your recent achievements ready. And whatever you do, don’t compare your salary with someone else’s – keep the focus on the work that you do.

Remember too that there are many ways you can feel valued, and get what you feel you deserve. Work/life balance is important. Make your case for a more flexible working arrangement, or further professional development. After all, it’s not always about the money.

If you don’t receive the pay increase you were hoping for, but are still happy with the company and the work you do, don’t be disgruntled! Put a plan in place with your manager with the KPI/SLA’s that will enable you to measure together how to achieve the money you want over the next 6-12 months.

Remember – annual reviews are performed to assess and appraise your work, and should be focused on career development, opportunities, and progression. They can be something to look forward to, especially if you think of them in terms of opportunities to learn and grow.

What are your thoughts on annual reviews? If you have any insights about how to get the most out of them, feel free to share below in the comments!