How to Have Your Best Performance Review – According to 4 Career Coaches

Career

How to Have Your Best Performance Review – According to 4 Career Coaches

Career coaches advice for best annual performance review

We know performance reviews are important for career growth, promotions, visibility at work and all round career success. But how do you nail it and have an excellent performance review? If the thought of one makes your palm sweaty or gets your heart thumping loudly, you’re not alone! We asked four career coaches for their top tips and advice to have your best performance review.

1. Mary Adeyemi 

Founder, Vishebility 

My number one tip is to actually understand what success looks like for someone in that seat, role, level and location. You can’t score a goal if you don’t know where the goal post is. What do your bosses actually count as valuable? Too many people are busy doing things but not things that are worth anything to the very people they are trying to impress. So understand objectives all round; What are the firm’s objectives? Are you clear on the division’s objectives? How about your team’s and/or manager’s objectives? All of these should now triangulate into your job related strategic objectives for the year.

This is work that should be done 1st before the year even begins and refined through the year using feedback.

2. Tiffany Uman 

Career Strategy Coach – Tiffany Uman

To ace your performance review, you must communicate your accomplishments effectively. It is your golden opportunity to showcase everything you’ve got and the evolution you’ve had in the last months/year. You don’t want to minimise the value you’ve brought forward because of poor communication. In addition, ensure that you clearly identify next steps for your career progression. If you receive feedback that feels very surface level, you should ask for more concrete actionable feedback.

Note that your performance review is a key moment to discuss salary revisions and come with fact based accomplishments and appropriate industry benchmarks to support your ask for an increase if not proactively given.

3. Tomi Ibirogba

My Career Couch 

One of my top tips for acing your performance review – particularly as a new starter to a company, is to shoot for early wins.

Read your job description, speak with your team & have regular discussions with your Manager so you can understand what’s expected of you. Then make a list of small wins that you want to achieve within your first 100 days & set SMART goals around them.This will give you great opportunities to elevate your profile as a strategic thinker, problem solver & will come in handy during your very first performance review.

4. Vicki Kirk 

The Career Confidence Club 

My top advice would be to make sure you know what you are being measured against. Is it the goals you set earlier in the year, or a set of external benchmarks agreed by management (or a combination)? Then make sure you have all the evidence to hand. I would offer to provide it to the person carrying out doing the appraisal a few days before so they have time to look at it before the meeting,  and that way you can have a much more in-depth discussion than if they are coming to everything cold. 

If you had any times in the year where you feel your performance wasn’t as great as it could have been, or any feedback that gives development points, you should be ready to explain how you are going to address these points, or what you’ve already done to improve your performance.  

Performance appraisal meetings can make us feel nervous, so I would recommend taking a few minutes beforehand to prepare – taking some deep breaths for example, and trying to approach the meeting as something positive, a way for you to demonstrate how great you are, rather than something to be feared. You should  also make sure that following the meeting, you follow up with an email to your appraiser, stating any outcomes from the meeting, any recommended follow ups or actions, so that everyone knows what is expected of them, and you can start 2021 in a positive way.


In summary, a performance review should not make you nervous. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate how great you are, receive feedback and create new goals. Take advantage of these excellent tips to nail your performance review!

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