Preparing for Your Year-End Review

The words “year-end” in a work setting are frequently associated with a third, less exciting word: review. At the end of each calendar year, managers and subordinates come together for the most painful of experiences, the year-end review. At least, that’s the perception.


Too often the review process is put off to the end of year, meaning both sides are scrambling to get everything ready in time and normal work operations are pushed to the side. In order to be properly prepared for year-end reviews, you should start getting ready in January.


Set your goals


There’s a lot to measure in your performance, so having previously established goals can streamline the end-of-year review process. Sit down with your supervisor and decide what you want to accomplish and they expect from you this year. Organize them into a plan with measurable and attainable steps to aid you along the way so you aren’t setting yourself up for failure.


Check-in periodically


Schedule time with your manager to go over your progress and areas of improvement. This will help keep you on the right track to a positive review and allow your boss to know where you are at and provide guidance when needed.


Halfway through the year, set up a more in-depth conversation to do an evaluation of what you’ve accomplished so far and what you need to do in the remaining months. These meetings are the place to bring up issues and adjust goals if needed based on shifting priorities or workloads.


Assemble everything for the final review


With everything in place for the last 11 months, you can enter the review prepared. By doing this, you’re eliminating a lot of the fear that can come with the unknown. You’ll know how you’re being evaluated and on what, so you go into the review with an understanding of where you stand already.


Take time to organize everything for easier presentation and reference during the conversation, so you aren’t rifling through anything for answers. Being prepared gives you some control and allows you to ensure your own success.


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