If you are working at or planning on joining a corporation/larger company you will meet the performance reviews half-yearly and annually when climbing the stairs of your career. These are meant to summarise your performance, put an evaluation on your work and get back to you with a constructive feedback either praising you or critisising. Performance reviews/appraisals commonly have an effect on your yearly pay rise and an organisational bonus/reward.
How to prepare for your performance appraisal?
By the time you attend a performance interview you should:
- Know your responsibilities in depth. However ridiculous this sounds you need to read your job description and know it by heart. You need to make sure you have a good example for each responsibility and task assigned to you.
- Take notes of any significant tasks you performed and responsibilities you have taken over throughout the year. It is very important to keep a diary or at least a notepad file with your thoughts.
- Maintain good relationship with your Manager and senior people (if there are any) within your team all the time. If you do something important – go and mention it to your manager. You should never rely on other people to say how great you are – always look for opportunities to demonstrate that yourself.
- Complete the performance review questions. It is usually on a company intranet where you login onto your profile and provide responses to criteria which your performance is based on, examples of which include:
- Financial objectives (meeting monetary/sales targets, minimising exposure to losses)
- Customer objectives (delivering professional service)
- Process objectives (taking ownership of work allocated)
- People objectives (working towards common team goals)
- Development areas
How your performance rating is calculated?
Every company does this differently so there is no common way of how your personal performance rating will be calculated. However, we will give you some examples for you to get a draft understanding.
Very common is 5 points system. 1 meaning the outstanding performance wheres 5 reflecting an inadequate one, or the other way around. Then the points are converted into words – 1 equal to being “outstanding”, 2 being “strong”, 3 being “good/moderate”, 4 being “below average” and 5 being “weak”. Generally, getting the top rating should mean the highest percentage increase in your pay as well as the biggest share of the “bonus pot”.
What should happen after you produce your responses these should be reviewed by your manager and usually their senior manager. Technically, they would then gather around around the table and discuss each of them. However, everyone is so busy that they really can’t be bothered to do this. And your manager decides your destiny way in advance before you even respond to those questions. The reality is that all of this paperwork is required legally so that employers could not be sued for unfair treatment and etc. As long as everything is documented – employers are covered.
During the performance review, don’t:
- Talk about your colleagues who do their jobs worse then you do. The performance review is only about YOUR performance. Do not mention any names, talk abstractly, however, where necessary base your responses on real examples.
- Lie or invent new things. Try not to be too critical but don’t praise yourself for things that were insignificant or did not actually happen (and just think this would have slipped through your manager’s eyes/ears). Know that your manager will not give you credit for what he has not witnessed.
- Exaggerate. Even though some tasks might have felt as a huge responsibility to you, don’t forget that your manager probably has been in your place at some point in his life and most likely had same responsibilities as you do now. In that case they are very familiar with your role and they will know if you are trying to make things look more impressive than they really are.
How much can I expect?
Well this is completely subjective. However, we understand you want an example at least to get something tangible from this article. So here is one.
In financial services industry bonuses are average and fluctuate between 5% to 40% of your yearly pay. However, the vast majority get their “13th salary” each year as a bonus, therefore it would generally mean they get 1/12 of their yearly salary. Employers like giving you 10% if you get rated at 2 “strong” or 3 “very good”. 5% is usually a minimum. The higher up in the company you are, the higher percentage of your pay you are likely to get as a bonus.
In terms of pay, the usual increase is currently just to match inflation (if you are lucky), therefore, in the same sector you can expect something like 2% to 4% of your yearly pay. Doesn’t sound anything major? Well, this is just a general increase every year if your corporation doesn’t decide to freeze salaries during the economically tough periods. Try increasing your pay by 4% each year and it will not sound so small anymore. If you earn £20,000 a year in ten years time your salary would go up by £10,000, and remember – this excludes any promotions that are more than likely to happen during those 10 years.
Unfortunately, after the big economic downturn and current threats of double dip recession, companies are very cautious to give out bigger increases and you are very lucky if you get 4% increase each year (usually only if you new to the company and on the lower side of the pay scale only). However, this is hopefully not going to last forever.
Performance reviews in smaller companies
What happens in smaller companies is absolutely subjective. Generally all you need is to impress your boss and be friendly and helpful to your colleagues, and of course hit all financial or sales targets and deadlines where possible. How your pay rise is decided is completely up to you as an individual and your tangible results, therefore, usually a written review is not required.
*Should you have any questions or think that we forgot to cover something in relation to this topic, please leave comments below and we will update our article with our comments.