What is a Performance Review?

A performance review is a formal meeting between you and your line manager designed to review your overall performance. It can be annual, quarterly, or bi-yearly depending on the organisation you work for.

How to approach a Performance Review:

That time of the year again? One morning you happen to open Outlook and there it is - that invitation from your supervisor that sends tiny bolts of dread down your spine. These lengthy reviews are not everyone’s favourite things on the menu, but it certainly does not have to lead to sleepless nights! On the contrary, the right mindset can pave the way for your professional growth and open new doors. Instead of these reviews bringing you back to those intense parent-teacher meetings at high school, see this as a moment to showcase your achievements that may have gone unnoticed, address concerns you might have, and align your personal goals with that of your company’s.

In this week’s guide, we’ll unlock the secrets to making the most of your performance review, transforming it from a customary event into a pivotal moment of growth, recognition, and strategic advancement.

Step 1: Prepare in Advance

It is baffling how many employees do not do their preparation or keep a backlog of their achievements throughout the year. Is it not essential to show your supervisor what you have done and how you have made a positive contribution? If your firm does not have a HR platform that lays out a checklist for you, treat this like a significant project! The better prepared you are, the better you’ll tell your story.

Task 1: Gather evidence of your accomplishments including completed projects and positive feedback from colleagues, suppliers, and clients. Referencing your job description can help!

Task 2: Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What positive impact has your work had?
  • What challenges did you successfully overcome?
  • Where have you implemented or improved a process that saved time?
  • Have you generated revenue?
  • Have you successfully led a project?

Task 3: Nobody is perfect! No matter how much of an overachiever you are, be prepared to discuss areas where you believe you can improve. Having the courage to be fully self-aware and the discipline to grow will be appreciated by any line manager.

Tip: Data-driven results, such as metrics or numbers, can make your achievements even more compelling. We also have a fantastic blog outlining soft skills essential to being successful at your role.

Step 2: Ask for Feedback

This is a two-way conversation! On completing your 360-degree self-evaluation before the meeting, it is advised to ask for feedback from your supervisor. Ensure you have enough clear information to be able to:

  1. make a list of your strengths vs areas of improvement.
  2. develop a brief plan for improvement where necessary.
  3. ask management for any potential support you may need.

At the end of the day, your future at an organisation (and ongoing reputation!) will partly depend on how you utilise constructive criticism and fine-tune your skills accordingly.

Need Inspiration? Have you read our latest blog: How can a Personal Assistant/Executive Assistant add value?

Tip: Be prepared to engage in a meaningful conversation. It is ok to not always agree with your boss or explain how circumstances may hinder an area of performance but never come across as defensive!!! Remain calm, collected, and open minded.

Step 3: Lay out Goals

Everyone’s supervisor will be different and have a different approach to this, but the most important chunk of this meeting will involve laying out your goals for the coming months. Ensuring that you have clearly defined goals help you stay focused and motivated throughout the year.

The final portion of the review process is an opportunity for you to express your aspirations within the company.

  • Demonstrate your eagerness to contribute to the organisation’s success.
  • Cast a vision for how you want to show up at your company over the coming months and years.

Step 4: Follow Up

After your review, follow up with a brief thank-you note to your supervisor. This is essential even if the feedback you received is not what you expected. Every piece of feedback is crucial for your development as a human being so express gratitude for their time and insights. Such a professional gesture also reinforces your commitment to your current role.

Be sure to reflect on the goals and objectives you have set yourself before the next review so you can ensure you hit all your targets. These meetings are an investment into your personal journey as much as your position in the company.


  • A performance review is an opportunity to shine and lay the foundations for your future grow in the company.
  • Be sure to prepare for this meeting diligently, laying out all your key achievements and areas of improvement.
  • Be sure to engage in open conversation. If you are not ready to receive constructive criticism, you can never grow as a professional.
  • Be sure to lay out your goals in the coming months or year with your line manager and refer to it frequently before your next performance review.
  • Always thank your supervisor for their time and insights. These reviews are more to help you than just them managing you.
  • Never dread these occasions! This is an opportunity to ensure you are working effectively within the organisation and help your career goals.