How should I prepare for my performance review meeting?

In essence, what you are doing in advance of this meeting is preparing a positive case for yourself, and why you deserve a performance reward. In the worst case you are building a case for your defence, finding solid reasons why things may not have gone so well. It's a two-way conversation that starts with you. 

A year earlier you should have agreed and been given a list of performance goals and targets as a framework for your activities in the last twelve months. Run through the list again now, and ask yourself objectively how well you think you have done against each of them:

  • Did you miss, meet or exceed each individual target?
  • What examples can you give to show this? (Testimonials from delighted customers or amazed colleagues could help.)
  • Did you demonstrate the competencies needed to achieve each target?
  • Where you missed a goal, can you put your finger on why that was?
  • What would help you do better next time?

The review isn’t usually just about evaluating how things have gone – it’s about looking ahead too:

  • What objective(s) do you want to focus on going forward?
  • Are you happy in your current role or do you want to develop your career in a different direction?
  • What support would you need to do that?
  • What are your personal aspirations and priorities?

Don’t leave it up to your manager to tell you unilaterally how you’ve done (or what you are going to be doing) – it’s your review after all.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.