Often, employees wait until year-end performance reviews to have conversations with managers about where you stand and where you need to improve, and it's one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Instead, you need to be proactive and ask for feedback throughout the year, because if you don't, you risk stunting your growth and development. If you don't know what your weakness are, you won't know what needs improvement.
Here are five other mistakes employees make when it comes to performance reviews.
Not asking the right questions
Come prepared with a list of questions you want to ask your manager, and that doesn't include, "Can I get a promotion?"
Instead, you should be asking specific questions like:
- What am I lacking?
- What is your perception of me, or, Here is what I view as my strengths and my weaknesses; do you agree or disagree?
- Here's how I think I can improve? Do you have other suggestions?
- How do you feel I am collaborating with my co-workers? Do you feel I am adding value?
- What do you feel has been something I excelled in, and what was something I struggled with or failed at? What could I have done better?
This may bring up constructive feedback, and that is okay! You need to want to hear the bad because that's what will help you grow.
The key is not to get defensive when receiving feedback, because that doesn't allow you to fully understand what you need to do to get better.
Not preparing goals correctly
You should share how your future goals will help to achieve the company's goals. For instance, if the company's goal is to reach $100 million in revenue by the end of next year, how is the work you are doing going to help achieve that?
Also, employees should discuss previous accomplishments and how those have contributed to the company goals. If you don't know your goals, ask!
Not giving managers feedback
You should be open and honest during reviews. If you're not getting something that could help you grow, like more one-on-one time with your manager or different resources, you should share that. If you don't like how your manager communicates with you, talk about it.
If you aren't happy, say so. A review should be a two-way conversation, so don't be afraid to give feedback. However, don't just bring up the topic, bring solutions, too.
Not role-playing beforehand
If you plan to bring up a topic that is hard to address, role-play that conversation beforehand, whether it's with family, friends, or a peer you trust. Practice responses from all angles. Being a pessimist isn't a bad thing in this case. No response, bad responses or good responses: Prepare for all possibilities.
Not following up
After the review, send your manager an email recapping the conversation and any next steps discussed. Also, if the manager suggests that you start doing something, whether it's getting to know other employees or reading a monthly industry report, get started. More times than not, it's something that will help you further grow and develop as opposed to just being busy work. Then share what you have been doing to show that you listened and understood.
Maureen Hoersten is the chief revenue officer at LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm, and a 10-time Inc. 5000 winner.