Annual Performance Review? Seven Questions You Should Ask

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Your annual performance review gives you the chance to talk to your boss one on one about your performance, your career growth, and the goals of the company.  If you feel like you’re “stuck” in your current position or that your goals aren’t lining up with the company’s progress, use these questions to learn how to put yourself back on track – or start looking for a position that will support your career growth.

  1. “What went well this year?” Make this your first question and start the conversation off right – in two ways.  By asking for your boss’s view of your strengths, you get your boss thinking about what you do well.  You also discover whether your own proudest accomplishments are on your boss’s radar, or if you two have radically different ideas of “success.”
  2. “What should I do differently next year?” By framing this question as “different” rather than “wrong,” you seek constructive, specific feedback without focusing your boss’s attention on finding fault.  You can also ask follow-up questions to help you understand exactly how to implement your boss’s advice.
  3. “What are your most important goals for the coming year?” Whether or not your idea of “success” in the past year aligned with your boss’s idea of success, asking this question can help you focus your efforts on accomplishments that will demonstrate your value to the organization and its goals.
  4. “What new knowledge or skills will I need?  Can you recommend resources for developing these?” The business world changes constantly, and workers who are willing to learn new skills on their own are better equipped to keep up.  Demonstrate your interest in learning and growing by asking what skills you’ll need, and get a “head start” on obtaining them by asking for help in locating resources.  Your boss may be able to recommend a book, an online course, or a seminar that is perfect for your needs.
  5. “I’d really like to earn [a raise, a promotion] in the coming year.  What should I do to put myself on track for this?” Setting your goals on the table connects your name and face to the idea of a raise or promotion in your boss’s mind.  It also allows you and your boss to talk about exactly what you need to do to reach your goals – or, if neither a raise nor a promotion are likely in your future, it lets you know now so you can plan ahead.
  6. “What other career opportunities are available for someone with my background?” Have you “maxed out” on your current career path?  If a raise or promotion on this track isn’t an option, ask your boss what other career opportunities are available within the organization.  A lateral move to another department might be an option, or you may need to start looking elsewhere.
  7. “Is there anything I can do to make your job easier?” This question surprises many managers because they simply don’t expect it.  End on a positive note by asking what you can do for your boss in the coming year – and then do it.

At Burnett’s Staffing, our experienced recruiters can help you find a position with a great company in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Contact us today to learn more.

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