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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Tips on How to Prepare for Your Performance Review

The purpose of this overview is to assist employees in identifying ways to participate actively in their performance review. Performance Appraisals are part of an overall process called Performance Management. Performance Management is a way to help employees become fully successful in their jobs.

Before the Performance Review Interview

Identify some goals you would like to achieve for the coming year. Be prepared to discuss these goals with your manager. Be sure that your understanding of your goals is the same as that of your manager.

Ensure that your goals are SMART….Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound.

Understand that the standard of acceptable performance is “Satisfactory.” Satisfactory describes performance that is fully successful, and contributes to the goals of the work unit and sometimes exceeds expectations for a person in that position. Other ratings (higher or lower) should be made relative to this standard.

Document your achievements throughout the performance review cycle, and ask to have them noted on your performance review form. Keep track of your achievements by maintaining a “glory file” of projects you’ve completed, letters of appreciation, forms you’ve improved, and more. Keep adding to your “glory file” throughout the year so that you can list your achievements at performance review time.

Check List for Performance Planning

  1. Verify the standards of performance your manager expects
  2. Ask your manager to explain how your performance will be measured
  3. Clarify relevant timelines and deadlines
  4. Seek constructive feedback throughout the performance review cycle (July 1 through June 30).
  5. Ask for specific suggestions for improvement.

General Suggestions

  • Help your manager evaluate your performance. Keep a file of your achievements. Describe them in specific, behavioral terms. Give the list of your achievements to your manager in advance.
  • View the performance review process as a way to help you become fully successful in your job.
  • Ask questions.
  • Listen
  • Learn from your mistakes.

Constructive Confrontation Model and Example

Use an “I” statement to specify your reaction to difficult news during your performance review session.

“I feel frustrated…..”
“….when you don’t tell me how I’m doing on the job….”
“…because I don’t know if I am meeting your expectations.”

And Finally

  • Your signature on the Performance Review Form does not indicate agreement with the contents, only that you have received the evaluation. If you choose not to sign the form, the evaluator should indicate this to be the case in the section designated for your signature by writing “Staff member reviewed the evaluation and declined to sign.”
  • All of the collective bargaining agreements that provide for staff Performance Evaluations also include provisions for a staff member to submit a rebuttal to the evaluation. When the staff member writes a rebuttal to a Performance Evaluation, a copy should be forwarded to Staff Human Resources for inclusion in the personnel file.
  • Always remain professional

Questions? Please contact Staff Human Resources at 5-4031