What Is The Purpose Of A Performance Review?

Think about the last performance review that you took at work. You probably had to check some boxes, and maybe (but probably not), answer some short questions about your performance and your feelings on the workplace. How much thought did you put into your performance review? How long did you discuss it with your employer? Did it contribute anything meaningful to your job experience? Probably not. In reality, though, a performance review can be quite helpful if it’s done right, and it’s supposed to be a positive thing.

Many people feel they are being judged when they fill out a performance review

Then again, the fact that you are supposed to fill it out first and foremost should tell you that isn’t the case. Some performance reviews require your boss and (maybe) your co-workers to contribute written feedback as well. The real purpose of the performance review, however, is to open up a dialogue between you and your employer, and to provide a framework of positive feedback which might help you plan for future success.

Ideally, this is a time when you can share your accomplishments with your employer

If you work in close quarters with your employer, this may not be as useful as it is in other circumstances. In situations where you don’t have a lot of direct contact with your boss during your day to day routine, it can be very helpful to both of you to share your achievements over the course of the year.

By sharing both negative and positive experiences with your boss, you can lay the foundations for a successful year to come

It’s a time to figure out what you’ve been doing well, and what could use improvement so that you can do even better and enjoy a more fulfilling career. Ultimately this could involve a dialogue about the entire organization and not just you. In some situations it might require action from your boss, like providing you with additional training, helping you to get different work experience, or so on.

What should you do if your performance review isn’t taking this form?

First, you should do what you can to take the initiative and open up dialogue yourself. If this still doesn’t work, you could try (in a constructive way) to request a follow-up meeting to further talk about the performance review. If that doesn’t work, your next step is probably to provide feedback to the HR department about the situation, though again, in as positive and constructive a format as you can.

Performance reviews can easily become empty formalities within organizations, but it’s important for you to understand that they do have a purpose.

If your organization isn’t taking your evaluations seriously, it’s up to you to have the gumption to try and make the situation better—but not to get negative about the problem. If your employer sees you taking initiative to try and improve and open up new opportunities for yourself and your organization, perhaps that will help move things along in the right direction.

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