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Important Questions to Ask During Your Performance Review

By Alice Porter

September 26 2019 - If you have a performance review scheduled, then it's important to consider what you want to get out of it. Are you looking for a pay rise or promotion? Do you want to develop into new areas? Are you looking for a glowing review and reassurance that you're doing well?

These are all common goals for employees but in order to get your employers attention, it's always a good idea to dig a little bit deeper. It's not often that you are allowed the opportunity to sit down with your boss and discuss your thoughts, hopes for the future and anything that may be bothering you. Be sure to use your review to your full advantage.

If you would like to make the most out of your opportunity, be sure to discuss the following points:

Your growth areas

An all-round glowing review is often a really nice confidence booster, but it can also be really dangerous. It's common for employees to become overly-confident or complacent when they are made aware of all of their successes without any constructive feedback to follow.

Even if you've done nothing but do well at your job all year round, you're probably not at the absolute pinnacle of your career, so there's always room to improve. There will always be a "next step" for you, so before you go to the meeting it's important to envision which areas you would like to expand into. Lead the dialogue and explain to your boss the areas that you would like to grow into.

Whether this is more technical training, a step up into management or a more personal goal, for example speaking in front of groups of people confidently. Be sure to consider all of your options and how they apply to your working life. This is a great way to show your boss that you genuinely care about your role.

Good questions to ask: "Are there any areas that you would like to see me develop into?"

"What do you feel is the next step for my career growth?"

Your future goals

Following on from the point of personal growth areas, it's also important to think about your future goals. You may or may not already have a 5-year plan. Before you sit down with your employer, it's important to envision where you would like to be in your life in 1, 3 and 5 years time, as performance reviews can be the ideal stepping-stone to get there.

Not only that, but it's always a good idea to get a better understanding of what your employer's expectations are. Without knowing what your employer's expectations are, how can you be sure to meet them?

Good questions to ask: "I want to make sure I'm focused on my goals. How will you measure my success in the future?”

The timeline for a pay rise, bonuses and promotions

Unfortunately, a performance review isn't always an opportunity for a raise, however, it's always a good time to discuss the timelines, how much you should expect your wage to be raised by and the steps you need to take to get there.

Use your review as an opportunity to let your boss know that you are fully committed to the company and would like the opportunity to develop and grow there. Once you've talked about your goals and performance, then you can discuss the time frames and the steps it's going to take to get you there.

Good questions to ask: "I really enjoy my role at the company and plan on working here for a long time. What timeline are you thinking about in terms of a promotion, a pay rise and what steps do I need to take to get there?"

The timing of your next review

Every company is different when it comes to tracking your growth. Some companies will conduct monthly performance reviews, whereas others will reserve reviews for 6 and 12 month periods. Some companies are known to conduct both, so always good to get an understanding of how you are going to be assessed when you begin your role.

If your next review is over 6 months away, feel free to ask for more informal checks sooner than that. This will help you to keep on track of everything that's going on in your work life and will help to build rapport with your boss. You want to know how you're doing in your boss' perspective.

Good questions to ask: "What timeline did you have in mind for our next sit down?" or "6 months is quite a while from now, are we able to sit down for a more informal review sooner?"

Your performance review is an opportunity for your employer to discuss how well you’re doing and to highlight areas of improvement. But, this is also a great opportunity to pathe the way for future success. Be sure to build up a good rapport with your employer and clearly state your goals in the future. This will allow you to become a much better employee and can give you a better understanding on how to continuously improve.

About the author

Alice Porter is an avid business writer who works closely with IAS to provide insights for business decision-makers and employees alike.

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