How Your Performance Review Can Help Save Your Job

How Your Performance Review Can Help Save Your Job

Performance reviews and self-appraisals are used by companies to judge your performance, but they’re also an opportunity for you to get necessary feedback, heighten your profile, and learn whether you need to upgrade your skills. Stephanie R. Dawkins is senior vice president of People Performance & Workplace at AB Volvo in Greensboro, North Carolina. With 20 years of experience in human resources, Dawkins believes that these evaluation systems offer employees a strategic opportunity to competitively set themselves apart from others.

Stephanie Dawkins
Above all else, what should people understand about performance reviews and self-appraisals?

Employees should understand that performance reviews and self-appraisals are not necessarily merit reviews. They are instruments that allow an organization to recognize the talents, achievements, and development needs [of] an employee. These documents are just a few of the tools that assist an organization in developing leadership pipelines. Employees must know what is expected in his/her role and clearly articulate how they can contribute to the bottom line.

How should someone go about completing their self-appraisal form?

Be careful not to use too many soft terms when describing yourself or your competencies. For example, adjectives such as “great,” “good,” and “a lot” are very subjective. It is a good idea to use more measurable objectives such as “have demonstrated project management skill via coordinating X project” or “met all objectives before deadline.” Make sure that you have a record of personal accomplishments, projects led, objectives met, training sessions attended, and skills developed to draw from. There [may be] cases when you will have a different manager during your appraisal process and then another manager who may not be aware of your history.