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  • Writer's pictureNGIN

NGIN’s top 3 tips for a performance review

For those new to the insurance market, or even the corporate world the process of a performance review can feel scary. Having a conversation with your manager on how well you’re doing and how best to prepare to get the most out of the conversation can be daunting.

But performance reviews, whether quarterly, mid-year or at the end of the year are designed for you to focus on what you are succeeding at and obtain that ever important feedback on areas to focus on and work on to succeed in your role and prepare you for the next one. That’s why, whether you’re nervous or looking forward to this conversation, we’ve put together our top 3 tips in how prepare for an end-of-year review conversation.

Tip 1: Reflect on and note down your successes for this year

The best thing to do before going into a review conversation is look back on the goals & objectives you set at the start of the year and reflect on how you met those. Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) so, goal by goal write down what actions and results you have delivered this year that back-up that you met the goals set.

Going back through your calendar, documents, emails, presentations is a useful tool to collect as much evidence and, to jog your memory! Numbers and stats are always good to include, especially if you had KPIs set. However, any skills you have developed, relationships you built, personal achievements, passing exams are great!

A good way of tracking these may be a spreadsheet or a file, where you can note things down, file away positive feedback from leadership and your achievements throughout the year to make this process easy.

Tip 2: Be ready and open to receive feedback

It can be nerve wracking going into a conversation knowing that there are areas you need to work on or improve. However, remember that feedback is a gift! Constructive feedback isn’t designed to bring you down but to make you grow and develop in your role.

It is rarely comfortable, both for you and the person giving you constructive, or even negative, feedback. The key is to be prepared and stay open-minded, the more professionally you respond the better for your relationship with your manager, your future in your role and ultimately your own development.

It might be helpful to conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats) of yourself, and identify areas you know you want to improve in rather than anticipating what may come up in the conversation – this way you should be prepared for what topics of suggestions might come up. Don’t get defensive or make excuses, rather ask for suggestions on how you might improve in areas where your performance may be lacking. If you aren’t sure how to respond or feel overwhelmed don’t be afraid to ask for additional time to discuss the feedback at a later date after you have digested it and have a more productive discussion.

Tip 3: Ask yourself – what do I need to help me succeed?

Before the review conversation you might want to have a think about what support you might need from your manager in the upcoming year to help you succeed - but you shouldn’t just focus on the next 12 months!

What is the next role you’d like to do? Are you aiming for a promotion? Managing people? More exposure to a different area of the business? Where would you like to be in 3 or even 5 years? It’s ok if you don’t know that yet, as career goals are fluid and will likely change throughout your life!

This process can be a helpful way of mapping out the steps you need to take to get there and what support you may need – whether additional training, a course you want to do, responsibility you want to explore, a secondment into another team, mentoring you may require or shadowing – all of these things can be useful in helping you develop and get closer to those long-term goals and ambitions.

And that’s it, those are NGIN’s 3 top tips for performance reviews! Don’t be disheartened if your review isn’t entirely positive or you’ve not met all of your goals. These conversations are designed to help you succeed in the long-term, don’t be afraid to ask for more support or follow-up conversations to help you get back on track in the New Year. Most importantly, do not be afraid to recognise and shout about your achievements and successes!

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