The end of the year signifies a lot of opportunities for analysis and growth in many organizations. If your company is preparing its annual review process this time of year, it’s a good idea to get yourself ready as well.
Annual performance reviews are a great way to stand out amongst the crowds and be seen and heard with top executives in your organization. Regardless of who is facilitating your performance review, it’s a great opportunity for you to get a feel for where you stand and what you can bring to the table – as well as gain from the company – in the coming year. Here are five questions you should ask during your performance review this year.
What’s next for the company?
While you are concerned about your own position and role in the company, it’s important that you also be concerned about the future of the company. After all, without the company, nobody has a job.
While your performance review is about how you stack up, asking about the future of the company shows that you are and are thinking about how to improve things for everyone. And even if you are just wondering, “hey, am I going to have a job here next year?” that’s fine too, but find a way to say it so it at least looks like you give a damn about the job and the direction and success of the company.
What role do you see me playing in that plan?
While we’re on the subject of future planning, be sure to ask specifically what role your manager or supervisor sees for you. If you have an entry-level position and are planning to climb the corporate ladder, dig into what opportunities might be available for you.
You might not be ready for those opportunities right now, but the whole point is to put your stake in the ground and let someone know that you want more out of your career. Don’t be afraid to ask what you manager or supervisor has in store for you. It’s good to get on the same page.
What areas can I improve upon to be eligible for more responsibilities?
It’s not fun to ask for feedback about your weaknesses, but if you are serious about growing in your role and having a long-lasting career (even if it’s not at this company), you need critical feedback. Asking for this kind of feedback shows that you are willing to learn and change to suit the needs of the company.
It might not be your intention to stay there forever, but this information will help you develop into the kind of employee who gets what she wants and contributes effectively to any organization.
What are my strengths?
Performance reviews are not just about finding out how you can improve, they are also about celebrating the things you did great throughout the year. Asking for particulars on your strengths helps to remind you that you are doing a good job, and it also helps to put your strengths front and center for your supervisor, who may, at times, overlook what you can bring to the table. This is especially true if you work for a large organization with many layers of management in between you and the person who signs your paycheck.
Calling attention to what you are good at might help supervisors see how you can fill the gaps and provide more service to the company.
What kinds of things would you like feedback on?
A final question you can ask during your performance review is about the kinds of things your supervisor would like feedback on. It might seem backwards to do this, because your performance review is about you, but really, it’s a conversation about feedback that doesn’t happen enough in today’s companies and you want to take advantage of any facetime you can get with someone who has the ability to make or break your day on the job.
If you have things to offer in return, ask your supervisor what areas they would like to focus on in growing themselves as a leader and offer to provide that feedback. It might not be well received at first, but you’ll soon see that this kind of communication is necessary for successful workplaces.
Have your questions ready prior to your performance review and know what you want to get out of the meeting so you can make the most of the experience.