7 Topics to Cover in Year-End Performance Reviews

Year-end is fast approaching. As companies get all their ducks in a row, many organizations review employee performance before the calendar year ends. If you’re scheduled to meet with your manager, it’s a good idea to go into the review with a game plan. Let’s explore seven topics you’ll want to discuss in your year-end performance review.

1. Your day-to-day responsibilities

It’s a good idea to start the review by reminding your manager of your day-to-day responsibilities. You may assume your boss knows everything you do, but chances are you’ve taken on more tasks, projects, and roles as you’ve grown into the position. Plus, the year-end review is a great time to remind your boss of what you bring to the company.

2. Your accomplishments

Bringing your manager up to speed on your day-to-day responsibilities is a great place to start, and now it’s time to mention specific accomplishments. Keep a record of emails congratulating you for a job well done, presentations you’ve given, campaigns with solid growth, and other examples of metric-driven accomplishments. Concrete examples of your contribution to the company is the best example to prove your worth during a performance review, as well as solid ground to stand on when negotiating for a raise.

If you haven’t started logging your individual accomplishments, start now!

3. Your Strengths

Ask your manager what strengths you possess that they value. It’s always a great idea to build on your strengths to become a better employee and see what your manager likes about your skill set; they may bring up something you do that you don’t realize is important. If this is the case, it gives you a concrete example of a skill you can incorporate into other aspects of your job.

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4. Areas to develop

It may come as a surprise, but many managers have a hard time giving negative feedback. That’s why the compliment sandwich technique stuck around for so long. It’s becoming less popular today, but it provided managers with a framework to tell employees what they could improve on without sounding too harsh.

If your boss fails to tell you where you can develop, don’t assume you’re a perfect employee. Ask what specific skills and qualities you can improve to be a better asset to your team and the company. By opening the door to feedback, your manager will feel more comfortable providing areas of improvement. If it’s appropriate, ask for specific examples of where you fell short of their expectations so you’re clear on what exactly you need to improve and eliminate from your work habits.

5. People you should know

In addition to asking about specific areas of improvement, your manager can assist in your career development by introducing you to people you don’t normally interact with but would be beneficial to know. A year-end performance review is a great time to mention your interest in building your professional network and possibly schedule introductions.

6. Priorities for the company

The year-end performance review provides the perfect platform to review company priorities. You’re undoubtedly aware of your company’s larger mission, but the review allows an opportunity to clarify what the current, smaller priorities are and if any changes are coming. It allows you to understand the broader picture of your organization while letting your manager know you want to contribute to these goals.

7. How your manager can help

As the performance review comes to a close and you’re discussing long-term goals, it’s never a bad idea to ask how your boss can help you achieve some of these aspirations. If there’s a skill you’d like to develop, ask if there’s any upcoming projects with the opportunity to use that skill. If you’d like to work across teams or be put up for a promotional opportunity, clarify what those processes initial.

Don’t dread performance reviews this year. With a structured plan, you can use this process to build your skills, professional network, and growth opportunities.

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