Ace your Appraisal

It’s the appraisal season again. Are you sweating about how your meeting with your manager will go? If you prepare well, you could walk out with a wide grin. Just keep two words in mind: clear and realistic. That is how your approach must be for a successful appraisal.

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Here’s our take on how to deal with an appraisal meeting.

A self-assessment report
Mention the various responsibilities that you fulfilled in the year or the months gone by. This is the document on which your Performance Appraisal meeting will be based. It is up to you how to make your work look good. The following tips would help:
• Objectively assess your abilities, your targets, and how you performed. Evaluate your performance against established benchmarks. Rate yourself sensibly — neither too modest, nor too pushy but overall positive.
Avoid negative connotations. Describe the difficulties as challenges. Instead of focusing on a setback, explain how it was a learning experience.
• Sum up each of your successful projects with the action you took and how it helped the company. Use measurable references e.g. how much money and time it saved, how many people benefited, what was the client feedback, and so forth.
Keep it balanced. Your self-assessment should draw the picture of an employee who has a positive impact. But do not make yourself so indispensable that the company should be worried about the department malfunctioning without you.
• Build a case of what roles & responsibilities you would like to handle. Define how you will equip yourself with requisite skills. Conclude with how valuable an employee you are and how much pay raise you deserve.

The Appraisal Meeting

This is the big event that you had been waiting for but fret. Dress up your best and take a deep breath. Now it is all about your negotiation skills. Remember:
• Your boss is not your enemy. Do not go in with a confrontational mindset. It would be a frank discussion — how well you are doing your job, where you could do better.
• It’s a career milestone. This appraisal is another step to your career ambitions. You will be discussing an increase in your salary and your career advancement prospects.
• Be open to feedback. Respond in an affirmative manner to suggestions and criticism. Ask for trainings to sharpen your job skills, wherever found lacking.
• When you negotiate for a salary raise, keep two figures in mind — a minimum that you definitely want, and a maximum that would make you very happy. Do not feel disappointed if you are paid near your minimum. This is the figure that the company finds reasonable remuneration for your services.
• Constantly reinforce the positives about yourself and your commitment to the company. This might swing the discussions in your favour.

Don’t leave anything unsaid. If there are operational or team-related obstacles, open up about them now. Be clear about your expectations, and honest about what the company expects from you. Remind yourself that you still want to work here, so don’t burn any bridges during the negotiations. You will certainly have a fruitful Performance Appraisal meeting.