The Best Questions to Ask at Your Performance Review
You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t use this time to bring up a few specific points
The primary purpose of a performance review is exactly what it sounds like: It’s an opportunity for your employer to tell you how you’re doing. But while a quarterly or annual sit-down is certainly a good time to get feedback, you aren’t doing yourself any favors if feedback is all you hope to get out of it. It’s also a chance for you, the employee, to look forward, and to get some tips on how you can grow both in your specific role and in your career, overall.
“Think about it in three buckets,” says executive coach Meg Myers Morgan, an assistant professor of public administration at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Everything is Negotiable. “It’s about the work you do now, the work you’re striving to do later, and the relationship you’re having with your manager.” A good manager will give you the space to ask about all of those things. That way, you’ll leave your review not just informed of your past performance, but armed with the tools to improve upon it in the future, which can altogether help keep you more engaged and happier at work.
In order to achieve this, though, you need to come prepared. If your manager asks if you have any questions, don’t just stare at them blankly. For one thing, you want to show them that you take your job and career seriously. For another, this is a rare chance to ask for things that you want. And as a bonus, the more you prepare, the less jittery you’ll be in the actual review. “Everybody feels nervous going into a performance evaluation. It’s like being called into the principal’s office,” Morgan says. “I advise thinking through what you want to say before you go in there, so you don’t get nervous and forget your side of it.”
Jaime Klein, founder of Inspire Human Resources, suggests doing some self-assessment in advance of your review (if you’re not sure what that entails, there are lots of sample employee evaluations online). “I encourage employees to do a temperature check on how they think they’re doing,” Klein says. “What is it that the company really values, and how does my role fit in to what the company does? What are the core values of the people…