The annual performance review presents an opportunity for employees to demonstrate their accomplishments and distinguish themselves and their value to the organisation.

In a challenging and competitive business world it is important to use this critical tool to its best advantage as it can have a significant impact on your pay, professional development and, possibly, job security. 

Here are 5 Tips to make the process work for you – and make it easier for your manager to write you a great performance review:

1. Know your role

Know your role for your performance review…

If you are uncertain about any aspect of your job, seek clarification. A great place to start is a detailed list of job duties or, if it is available, an official job description, from your manager or human resources department.

If no description exists, search for one or two jobs that are close matches to your job. You, along with your manager, can develop an appropriate description from there.

2. Be engaged

Be engaged in the review process…

Many employees miss out on important opportunities to maximise their earning potential by not devoting more effort to their performance review or ensuring that they get a clear explanation of their goals and objectives.

Be an active participant in establishing your goals from the start. Focus on key objectives and define a plan that makes sense for you and your employer.

3. Relevant and specific goals

Set goals that are relevant and specific…

When establishing your goals, make sure they are specific and meaningful. There should be added value associated with you completing a particular activity. Each goal must be relevant to the work you do each day and should be mutually agreed upon by you and your manager.

Follow the DESIRE model for setting your goals:


Move towards the positive; focus on what the business wants rather than on what it is trying to avoid.

End point:

Describe what success will look and feel like once the goal is achieved.


Make the goal a challenge… yet within your reach.


Shape the goal around the things that you can influence.


Specify the resources you need and those already possessed; consider both internal resources (e.g. your skills) and external resources (e.g. equipment or finance).


Weigh up the cost and benefit of achieving this goal – and the cost and benefit of doing nothing.

4. Keep your goals in focus

View your goals as a project plan…

Make your goals your mission for the year. Keep them current, track your progress and contributions. In the business world, things often change quickly – so ensure you regularly review and update your goals as appropriate with your manager to reflect any changes in your role or responsibilities.

Remember that although goals are set to achieve certain work-based objectives, they can also yield personal rewards in the form of professional and developmental growth and greater earnings potential.

5. Record your achievements

Document your achievements for your performance review…

No one pays closer attention to your work than you do. The annual performance review, and the promotion or salary increase that so often goes with it, can be enhanced significantly if you highlight your accomplishments clearly and make a case for yourself. Get the facts together to evidence your effort and performance.

Document your accomplishments along the way and let your manager know as you reach established milestones. If you reach a stumbling block along the way, promptly seek advice on how to best resolve the issue.

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