Top tips for how to prepare for your appraisal meeting

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It’s that time of year again…

A common reaction to the words “Appraisal Meeting” is an eye roll or shoulder slump with ‘not again’ thrown in for good measure. This is such a shame and all too often these are not the valuable meetings they should and could be.


So what can I do to prepare myself for my appraisal?

When I managed a large team, and asked them to complete their self-appraisal, a common response was “how am I supposed to remember what I did 6 months or a year ago?” But if you don’t know, how do you expect your boss to know or remember?!


 Take ownership to ensure all your achievements are recognised.


I have always encouraged team members to either use a blank page in their 'To Do' book or open a draft email at the beginning of the appraisal period. Use this to bullet point or summarise any achievements, challenges overcome or additional responsibilities you may have taken on during the review period. You can then use this as a prompt when it's time to complete the self-appraisal.


If you have regular 1:1 sessions with your manager (highly encouraged!) then use these sessions as an opportunity to talk about what you are working on, what issues you face and how you are planning to resolve them. Ask them how they think you are doing, what are the key business priorities and how can you add value to these?


Have you learnt any new skills? Have you contributed to any team or business initiatives?


Consider any areas that might not have gone so well. What did you learn from the situation and what can you do to improve this in future? Be honest! It shows you have considered steps to avoid this issue happening again. It also demonstrates you have used initiative and have problem-solving skills.


What do you want to do to continue developing your skills and role? Ask your manager what else you could be doing or how they see your role evolving over the next 6-12 months.


Are there any training courses you could benefit from? (this doesn't have to be an expensive course if there is a limited training budget. There are many free resources out there via webinars and online training videos on YouTube for example)

In this fast-paced world of work, it’s not often you get recognition or have a focussed constructive conversation around how you as an individual are performing, and how you could progress further.


The appraisal meeting is an opportunity to ensure your boss is focused on you, and your chance to emphasise and evidence your value and input into their business.

Use this to your advantage!