7 tips for your next appraisal

two people meeting

During your appraisal interview, you will look back at your performance during the past year and look ahead; to indicate your ambitions and to discuss how the organisation can help you grow as a professional. It is important to list in advance what your contribution to the organisation has been, what you can improve, personal development and remuneration. 

The first step in your preparation is to have an answer to the questions below:

  • What did you achieve in the past year? Try to make this concrete, if possible with figures.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are there weaknesses that you have improved? Think of examples that illustrate this. 
  • In what ways did you add value to the team or to the organisation? Name new ideas that you have implemented and ways in which you have worked.
  • Have you shown that you can take on more responsibility and ready to continue growing? 
  • Have you taken on extra tasks or gained new skills?

Once you have a clear picture of your performance and development, it is important to know how you can use this information to get the most out of your appraisal. Read our seven tips to help.

1. Look at what can be done better

You have listed your performance over the past year and have come up with concrete examples. The next step is to estimate your activities and to see how things can be improved. Come with proposals that will prevent problems you are currently running into. Show that the top has not yet been reached, and that you can take the team to a higher level.

2. Map your ambitions

Think about what you want to achieve in the coming years in your career and how your employer can help you. What possibilities are there to broaden your knowledge and develop your personal skills? Ask HR if a training budget is available. Then you can go in search of training that you can present to your manager during the appraisal. Make sure you can clearly explain why the training is interesting for you, and how the organisation will benefit from your new skills. 

3. Prepare for a compromise

Your employer cannot meet all your wishes. Make a list of the points that you are willing to negotiate and those that you are not. You may need to compromise on the term or way in which you can roll out new projects, promote them or receive a salary increase.

4. Know what you are worth

If you think don’t earn enough, it makes sense to prepare well, so that you can present your salary proposal in a convincing way to your manager. The Robert Walters Salary Survey is an excellent tool to compare your salary with that of other professionals in the same position. Realise that salary is not everything. Also use your appraisal interview to discuss the secondary employment conditions of your job. If a salary increase is not possible in the short term, try to negotiate a salary increase in the longer term and link clear objectives to this

5. Establish your goals

Use the time to jointly set your goals. Make sure your Manager has seen and approved your objectives, and keep track of how you put these into practice. This way you have a good negotiating position during the next meeting.

6. Stay professional

Remember that an appraisal is a functional and business-like conversation. Do not try to respond emotionally to negative feedback, even if it may come unexpectedly. Ask your Manager to give examples if the feedback is not clear to you. You can only change things when you know where things are going wrong. It is a good idea to take notes so that you do not forget anything, and you can review them over the coming months to decide whether you are on the right track.

7. In the meantime, ask for feedback

It is important that you regularly discuss what you have achieved, how you try to achieve your objectives and what your contribution is to the organisation with your Manager.


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