As we are closing in on the final stretch of 2017, many managers are starting to schedule out annual performance reviews with their direct reports.

What are Performance Reviews? An analysis of an employee's work habits undertaken at a fixed point in time to determine the degree to which stated objectives and expectations have been reached. (

Many companies have built their own formal review systems to let employees know how their performances stack up. Performance reviews are conducted as often as every quarter, but most commonly at the end of each year. For employees, these meetings can be nerve-wracking, but they are great opportunities to reflect on all your achievements in the past year and set goals for your year ahead.

If your nerves start getting the best of you the night before a performance review, don't sweat it. Here are Xtreme's 4 tips to help you prepare:

  1. Reflect.  Take the time to sit back and recall all your accomplishments and achievements over the past year. Did you accomplish all the goals you set out for yourself during your last review? Make a list of all these items and highlight where the company benefited as a result of your work. Increase in revenue? Growth of client catalog? Successful integration of a new business tool? These are all examples of your highlight reel that you should definitely bring up in your performance review.

  2. Room for Improvement.  While you may have knocked your 2017 goals out of the park, you can probably identify some areas of your work where there is room for improvement. Did you have trouble multi-tasking? Did you have to ask for any project deadline extensions? Did you show up late to one too many staff meetings? Whatever the case, for every weakness, you should have a follow-up for what steps you are taking to improve in that area.

  3. Goal Setting.  Now that you have had time to reflect on your past year, it's time to look forward to 2018. Come prepared with a list of career goals you would like to accomplish and run them past your manager. Together you can agree on some challenging, yet actionable benchmarks to set your intentions on a successful year ahead.

  4. Attitude.  You may not have control of your manager's comments or feedback, but you do have full control of your attitude. If your manager shows praise and recognition for your work, gracefully thank them and take the opportunity to let them know how satisfied you are with your current role and/or the company. If you are met with some hard, constructive criticism, try not to argue or turn too defensive. You don't want to say anything out of anger or frustration that you may end up regretting down the line. Instead, take a couple days to reflect on your manager's feedback. If you think their comments were unjust, schedule a follow-up meeting with them after you give yourself a few days to calm down and recollect.

Now, we know that every company's review process is different. But no matter the format, we hope these four tips will help you shake off those pre-review jitters. Most importantly, you should be proud of all the strides you made in 2017, and eager to grow and accomplish more in 2018. For more career advice, feel free to reach out to one of our veteran Xtreme recruiters. They have years of industry experience on career development, salary negotiations, and more. Click the button below to connect!

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Topics: Workplace Culture

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ABOUT Britta Jones

Britta works as a part of the Marketing Team at Xtreme Consulting, focusing on brand strategy, designing new campaigns and programs, and strategic planning. Outside of Marketing, Britta enjoys snowboarding, watching football (Go Huskies & Hawks!), and spoiling her two golden retrievers.
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