What to tell your boss at your next appraisal

Getting ready for your next appraisal?

We’ve put together the top five things you need to be prepared to say. Here is what to tell your boss:

  1. How you’ve made a positive impact this year for your organisation e.g. making changes that improved efficiency, problem-solving, keeping a difficult customer happy.  Don’t overlook that this has been a very stressful year for everyone in contending with a pandemic. The fact that you’ve been able to keep things going and make things work is a huge achievement in itself.
  2. If you have failed to meet any targets, then be prepared for this conversation including making some constructive suggestions on how this might be rectified next year. This might include redefining the success criteria, negotiating more realistic targets or asking for more support.
  3. Share ideas you have for how you might improve your performance or that of the team e.g. training, encouraging greater collaboration, adapting workstreams. Managers aren’t always aware of some of the difficulties and this is your opportunity to raise this in a helpful way.
  4. What training and development would help you do your job better – now is the time to request skills training that would help you do your job better, new challenges that will stretch your capabilities and a mentor or others who can share their learning.   
  5. Talk to your boss about your career ambitions and ask for their advice and feedback on how you might work towards them. They can often provide very honest and helpful advice.

While an appraisal is an important review of your performance, it’s also your opportunity to flag up what will be helpful for you to be successful in the coming year.  Managers want their staff to be performing well so look at it as though you are both on the same side. Organisations are currently nervous about losing staff because of the tight recruitment market so you may also find that they are more receptive than usual to your requests.


You may also like to read our other career tips on:

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About The Author

Corinne Mills

Corinne Mills is the Joint Managing Director of Personal Career Management, she is a career coach, trained in workplace counselling and NLP with 15 years career management experience. Corinne is a Fellow of the CIPD and ex Chair for the CIPD Chiltern Branch. Her background is as a Senior HR Manager with a MA in Human Resources (MCIPD), Corinne is the author of the UK's no 1 best-selling CV book "You're Hired! How to write a brilliant CV" and 'Career Coach'.

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