Young Upstarts

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Getting Ready For Your Yearly Performance Appraisal


Unless you’re a business owner, you will very likely have to pass a performance review no matter the type of career and sector, private or public. Nowadays, even GPs  have to get revalidated regularly through a doctors appraisal process just like most workers in the public sector. This is often a rigorous process, which repeatedly led to criticism over the years.

However you shouldn’t worry excessively: assessing a worker’s performance is one of the most common practices in almost every organisation, and it’s also a necessary step to ensure progression.

While appraisals might differ one industry from the other, you can still actively prepare for them by following a few steps:

1. Do your homework.

The worst possible thing to do would be to try and wing a performance appraisal. You should be warned a fair amount of time in advance of the date of the meeting and get the chance to prepare adequately, aiming to be as precise as possible on D-Day. Most often, you will be asked to provide your employer with a self-assessment form that will typically contain the following elements:

  • a general review on this year’s performance
  • your main successes and difficulties
  • skills and personal development
  • areas that can be improved upon
  • any potential training
  • a summary of your short and long-term professional goals.

This form allows you and your employer to find out which areas need to be developed to help you achieve your goals so don’t hesitate to spend as much time as your need on it.

2. Positive attitude.

It might sound obvious but during the meeting, you should try and remain as positive and diplomatic as possible. Remain open to criticism and be ready to analyse your performance sincerely. If you manage to express yourself clearly and calmly, you will have much better chances to be heard and understood.

3. Problems equals solutions.

Don’t just blame others or a lack of means at a particular time if you have to find reasons for a task that didn’t go as planned. If you can take responsibility and offer alternative paths and solutions to the problems, you will be regarded in a much more positive manner. If you can show that you’re able to find solutions to any problem you might encounter, you will also be more likely to get promoted to a managerial position.

4. Following-up.

In most companies with well-structured appraisal processes, employers have to set up a follow-up meeting to provide guidance and make sure all the measures that were agreed upon are met during the chosen time scale. Depending on your industry and company, there might be a few extra steps to take before reaching your goal, but make sure to get involved in the follow-up process: if you’ve signed up for a few more responsibilities throughout the year, you will have to be be able to demonstrate your improvements during all follow-up and intermediary meetings.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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