For most people, January means time to cut carbs, pay off your credit card and write your annual review. Here are four tips to make the right impact.
The good news - the review you submit can have an impact on your overall bonus and compensation increase
The bad news - your review does not have as much of an impact on your managers decision as you may think it does
All year your manager has been evaluating your performance and gathering all of these little data points. So, 80% of your review score is likely already determined. But, there is hope! A strong review can often make the difference between an B+ and an A- and that translates into dollar in your pocket (hence the good part).
Here are my top annual review writing tips to make a big impact!
TIE IT BACK TO YOUR COMPANY GOALS
You need to prove your direct actions made an impact in moving the company closer to its goals for the year. This is what your manager really cares about and more importantly, this is what your manager's manager really cares about. Was the company focused on increasing sales, expanding its customer base, introducing new technology, or reducing costs? For example you could say "In 2015, my focus on building new relationships with customers was shown by attending three networking events per month for a total of 36 events. These events resulted in 55 sales introductions and 20 booked clients. This contributed to the company's focus on increasing brand recognition in the industry and exceeded the expectation of 10 new client bookings a year".
GROUP ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO MAKE A BIGGER IMPACT
While it is tempting to fill your review with every goal you accomplished in the year to produce a lengthy masterpiece, I hate to tell you that your manager will not read the entire thing. Instead, group accomplishments together to make a bigger impact. Avoid this "in March 2015 I planned the company picnic" and use this "in 2015 I expanded my role at the company to include the organization of many events to build a stronger community including the company picnic, back to school backpack drive and holiday toy drive".
EXPLAIN HOW YOU HELPED OTHERS
Succeeding in your own role needs to be your primary focus. But if you have already been performing well and have shared your tactics, tips and advice with others on your team make sure to mention this in your review. It shows you care about everyone on your team succeeding and that the company succeeds (and that you aren't just winning because you are slowing crushing your peers).
MENTION THE AREAS YOU NEED TO WORK ON
Evaluating the areas you need to personally improve shows great perspective, a continuous improvement mindset and explains to your manager where you need guidance. In my personal review this year I said something like "I'm 2016 I need to improve my ability to "Dive Deep" because in the past I often skip over the details of a project to focus on the larger impact. This means I will take the time to partner with more stakeholders before launching an initiative, use data to identify trends and provide more granular detail in my reports."
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are stuck and need to talk through something. I would love to help!
Best of luck writing your 2015 review and setting your 2016 goals.