Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.
~ Peter Drucker

That’s perhaps how I would define Performance Management!

Be it the year end review or the beginning of the year goal setting meeting, you feel as if it is just another meeting to get done with. Well, think again your performance management and reviews impact you in different ways. It could mean a higher raise, a promotion and even protecting you from a possible layoff further down the year.
Consider it an opportunity to enhance your career and an essential step towards your professional development.


  • On Setting Goals: What were the goals defined at the beginning of the year? Did they change over time? Ensure that the goals set for you are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time bound).

Read more about goal setting in the book, Managing for Dummies by Bob Nelson and Peter Economy.
An excerpt from this book
Specific: When goals are specific, they tell employees exactly what is expected, when, and how much.

Measurable: If your goals are not measurable, you never know whether your employees are making progress toward their successful completion.

Attainable: Goals must be realistic and attainable by average employees. Goals that are set too high or too low become meaningless, and employees naturally come to ignore them.

Relevant: Goals must be an important tool in the grand scheme of reaching your company’s vision and mission.

Time-bound: Goals must have starting points, ending points, and fixed durations. Goals without deadlines or schedules for completion tend to be overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization.



  • Get your Documents in place: If you have been proactive towards your career development you would have documented the tasks and projects you were assigned during the year. If not, well try to document them right now, you must have in writing what you want to present in the meeting.


  • During the Meeting: Be clear and comprehensive in understanding the expectations from the management towards your role in the company. Communicate effectively and rephrase and understand the tasks assigned to you during this meeting.
  • Your growth plan for the year: what are the set objectives, do you and your boss agree with them? This is the time to carefully evaluate what the expectations are from both sides and negotiate on your terms if possible.
  • Be proactive and ask for a mid year review to re-evaluate your goals and discuss new challenges that you might possibly undertake during the year. And don’t just plan on a tentative meeting mid year or in a couple of month – act now and set a date and time to meet next. These things if postpone for a later decison remain postponed forever.
  • At the end of the meeting: Ask for constructive feedback and request if your manager can provide you this feedback in writing – it is most essential to document your accomplishments and receive as many testimonials as you can.


  • Post meeting: If you are interested in a new assignment or responsibility do not wait until the next round of review. Interact and communicate well to your boss – rise above the rest by taking the initiative of professional growth, every company and management admires such a move.


  • During the months till your next performance review, visit online your performance management system and keep in regular touch with your boss on any updates to your tasks. Keep your visibility high and you will never fall under the radar.
  • Although you might consider it an overpreparation but actually there is no such word. It is a good idea to role-play the entire meeting either with someone or just with yourself in isolation before you actually meet your manager in person.


This is one of those articles to which I can say “I wish I knew then what I know now.
Your performance management is your responsibility and the results affect you in every way, like it or not, you better take charge now.


What has been your experience in being proactive toward your performance review?