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Ace your appraisal

With the end of year fast approaching, many companies are scheduling end of year appraisals in their diaries

With the end of year fast approaching, many companies are scheduling end of year appraisals in their diaries.

As with Christmas, end of year appraisals come but once a year, so
it’s important to know the best ways to have a successful and
beneficial appraisal in order to get the most out of 2010

Steven Kirkpatrick, Managing Director of Adecco Staffing in UK and
Ireland offers the following tips on how to ace your appraisal:

Be prepared

Preparation, preparation, preparation! Don’t just turn up and see
what happens. At the very least, you should have an idea of what you
hope to achieve from your appraisal and how you’re going to achieve it.
This will show your employer how organised, driven and methodical you
are whilst getting the most from the appraisal for yourself.

Be open

It’s essential that you are honest and upfront as much as you can be
during your appraisal If you beat around the bush, contradict yourself
or hold back any questions that you might have then the process becomes
worthless. Be honest when discussing your current situation, your work
and your targets for the coming year, so you can set realistic and
achievable goals.

You get what you give

Be prepared to accept constructive criticism without assuming it to
be negative. To ensure you make the most of the opportunity of the
appraisal you have to be open minded enough to take the negative with
the positive! Conversely, if you have to be critical of anything or
anyone, try to suggest potential solutions, rather than just point out
problems as this can create the wrong impression.

Show your best bits

Twelve months is a long period of time so it’s easy to forget or
overlook earlier work and projects you may have completed. Wherever
possible document and demonstrate to your employers just how much
you’ve done, how you’ve met and exceeded targets and also the variety
and consistency of your work. Be sure to bring materials that highlight
your work covering the entire length of time since your last appraisal.

Peer approval

If possible, demonstrate the gratitude and acknowledgement of your
work from peers and, where appropriate, customers or clients. Whilst
you may think your work is outstanding, your situation is strengthened
when you can draw your employer’s attention to the positive feedback
that you’ve received for it. One of the best ways to handle this is by
keeping a folder in your inbox of appreciative e-mails or kind words

The year ahead

Be sure to finish your appraisal with a clear idea and understanding
of how you’re going to progress over the next year. While it’s useful
to analyse the year that has just passed it’s important that you know
what is expected of you. Most importantly you need to know what is
needed for you to improve your career and develop within the company.
Remember to refer back to these targets and areas of focus throughout
the year so that by next year you’ll be well on track to acing your
next appraisal.

Steven Kirkpatrick concludes,

“This year’s appraisal process is likely to be very different to any
carried out 12 months ago. While the theme of 2009 has been heavily
focused on survival and staying afloat, many experts are seeing an
imminent recovery in 2010 for most businesses; as such, employees can
start to focus on progression and career development again. As the
economy picks up and profits start to increase, the jobs market will
inevitably strengthen and employees need to be aware of this. This is
not to say that end of year appraisals should be approached with an
‘all guns blazing’ response, but with a targeted focus on individual
career progression in 2010, rather than solely the survival strategy of
the company.