Module 04: On the Job Success

4.9 What to Expect from Your Performance Evaluation

A man and woman in business suits stand in the foreground on either end of the image. Behind them is a large slide with the following written on it “Performance Evaluation: Punctual, Exceeds Goals, Try to Communicate Better, Exceeds Expectations. Overall Jose is Super!”

After a few months of working at a new organization, your employer may sit you down with you for a performance evaluation (sometimes called a performance review or performance appraisal). A performance evaluation is a review and discussion of your performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. This is the time when your manager will bring up any concerns or problems that they have with your performance or behaviour in the workplace. This is also an excellent opportunity for you to address any challenges that you’ve been facing. Your manager will also likely help you develop a work plan for the next six months to a year.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your performance evaluation:

  • Make a list of your accomplishments and challenges: Your manager is going to want to see examples of your strengths and challenges. If you take the time to identify them ahead of time, you’ll be better able to communicate the value of your contribution.

A woman sits in front of a laptop in a kitchen. There is a thought bubble above her head in which the following words appear “Hmmm. What are my strengths?”

  • Be formal: Your manager may be treating the meeting casually, but it isn’t. Your performance evaluation becomes a part of your file in human resources and it’s reviewed whenever managers are considering promotions and pay raises. Treat your performance evaluation as you would any important meeting with your manager.

A man in a cardigan and pants and a woman in a business suit and holding a folder are shaking hands in an office.

  • Be open to feedback: Your manager is going to give you both positive and negative feedback on your performance. Although criticism can be difficult to hear, you need to hear it to get better. It’s important that you’re open to feedback and that you make an effort to learn from it.

A man is sitting behind his desk and a woman is sitting on the other side of the desk. There is a speech bubble above the man that reads “Jane, I’ve noticed that you have all these great ideas but you sometimes underestimate how long it will take to complete them. I’d like you to work on setting more realistic goals for what you can accomplish”

A man is sitting behind his desk and a woman is sitting on the other side of the desk. There is a speech bubble above the woman that reads: “Thanks you, Mr Chako. I get so excited about new projects that I don’t always think about how long it will actually take to complete. I will continue to think about how I can improve this but one thing I will do immediately is look at my list of things to do and break them down into smaller steps, looking at how long each step will take.”

  • Be proactive: Don’t just sit there quietly through your performance evaluation. Actively engage in the process. Tell them about your accomplishments and show your enthusiasm when setting your goals for the upcoming year. This is also an opportunity to ask questions and express your concerns.

A man is sitting behind his desk and a woman is sitting on the other side of the desk. There is a speech bubble above the woman that reads: “I’m excited about the goals we have set for the next year. I have a few questions about what you see as my priorities and what you see as actions I can take to further develop my career here at ABC Corp.”

  • Take action: Your performance evaluation doesn’t end when the meeting does. Take the feedback that you received and make an effort to improve upon any weaknesses that were identified. Going forward, make it a habit to ask your manager for feedback whenever appropriate. Also, keep a copy of your work plan handy and review it on a regular basis to make sure you stay on track.

A woman is sitting behind her desk in an office. There is an arrow from her computer screen that points to a box, representing what she is looking at on her screen. The screen has an image of a suitcase on it with the words “Work Plan” on it.

Your Performance Evaluation is also a good time to review your goals:

  • Which goals were met/exceeded/not met?
  • How does this relate to your future work goals?
  • What goals should be set for the next year or work period?

Many employees become nervous when they learn that they’ll be having a performance evaluation. However, if you’re properly prepared, it can be a positive experience that helps you grow professionally.


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Centennial College Career Success Guide Copyright © by Career Services and Cooperative Education, Centennial College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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