How to Prepare for A Winning Performance Appraisal

  | 5 min read

What a performance appraisal is all about

The Dreaded Performance Appraisals! These are a measure of the achievement of your tasks and how efficient you were in the process. Most career employees look forward to this stage of their ‘business year’ since it is an opportunity to showcase what they have been able to accomplish as well as the implication of a green flag toward a promotion or a raise in remuneration (Of course, where opportunity allows). Your next performance appraisal need not scare you. Get tips on how to prepare and impress your boss.

Truth be told, sometimes, when you are behind on your tasks, or your results betray you, you do not look forward to an appraisal, focusing on the possible result that the employer/appraiser may not be as quiet as you would desire when displaying their abilities of how good they are at keeping records of your “fails” across the appraisal period.

Snapping back to reality, and on a more serious note, performance appraisals frequently mean a review of your past performance (achievements), within a specified period and providing you with feedback on your improvements. So, if there’s been little or no performance, the same shall be reflected as little or no appraisal on your salary and position.

Performance appraisals vary from company to company. The most frequent appraisal is done after 12 months but some organizations have one in every three to six months, particularly if your employment is performance based. There are some with reviews that are monthly which build into the annual appraisal.

Some appraisal cycles are defined by the completion of tasks, for example, a project-based workload’s achievement can be reviewed at the completion of the project. This sometimes defies defined timelines, meaning that the project could be completed before the expected completion time or even after the expected completion time or along with the usual organizational review cycle of six months or one year. A performance appraisal, nonetheless, is important for your career growth. Here are tips on how to ace it.


Understand your main duties in the organization

Before going in for an appraisal, it is important to have a detailed look at your duties and responsibilities. This is because the performance appraisal will focus on why you are in that organization and how well you accomplish your main tasks. This also gives you a chance to state any duties and responsibilities you might be handling that are not within the main duties. As a result, you can take this as an indicator of growth and make a case for yourself if a promotion opportunity comes up.

Additionally, take a keen look at your weekly, monthly and quarterly reports to see any patterns that may indicate growth in terms of skills and competencies. This also helps you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

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Review your last performance appraisal

We have established that companies hold regular analyses of each employee’s performance. During these reviews, you get feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and areas that need improvement. As such, you should have a look at this feedback and compare it to your current state, to see whether there has been any growth and positive or negative change.

During your appraisal, your past performance is evaluated and the roadmap for the coming months is prepared. Take note and be keen on how your roadmap for the coming months is being decided, as this often defines your future and all the leaps you might make in your professional life.


Make a list of your accomplishments over the period under review

Of course, you need to show that your input is of help to the company. So, list down any projects or activities that you may have been involved in, your input and how you helped the organization to achieve its objectives. Ensure that your accomplishments are in line with your duties and responsibilities and they relate to the organization’s overall goals.

Note any training you may have undergone and how it fits within your day-to-day activities and how it has helped you in achieving your goals. This also means that you should have information about any emails, verbal praises, awards, certifications or recognition within the period being scrutinized in your performance appraisal. It is imperative to have particular examples to back up your claims so that your manager is aware of particular inputs from your side.


Have a list of areas that you think you need to improve on

Once you evaluate your performance, it is important to identify areas that need improvement. This makes it easy to ask for any assistance you may need from your boss and raise this during your performance appraisal. This also indicates that you are aware of your expectations and what you need, to grow as an individual and as a company.

Areas of development should also be in line with your career goals and they give you clear indicators of what needs to be done to get ahead. This is because career development is closely tied to continuous learning and you can always learn from your team members.

In conclusion, performance appraisals need not be stressful. Take the sessions as a way of evaluating progress in your career and in the overall growth of the organization. This helps you to identify and seize growth opportunities. Remember, good preparation makes it easy for you to tackle the appraisal skillfully and comfortably. Always take the feedback you get from your manager positively as this is what will help you to identify areas that can help you grow and stand out.

Of course, this is just my experience as a team manager, Your experiences or questions can be of valuable help to me and other process managers to improve the appraisal process.

If you agree, disagree or have a different experience, Include your comments, questions or feedback below.


Mueke Katwa
I have two years experience in Business Support which covers Human Resource as a function; and a lifelong passion in creative writing.


    • Hello Roy
      Thank you for reading our articles.
      We endeavor to bring our readers relevant and practical tips.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more enlightening career advise.


    • Hello Peter,
      Thank you for showing interest to our website.
      We are located at 14 Riverside, Grosvenor westlands.
      We do have sales jobs which you can apply,but we have checked you account and it needs to be completed up to 98% and you also need to subscribe to our email alert. Below is the link to view the latest sales jobs.
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  1. thank you so much for this article, av been stuck in a position for years without an appraisal and lately ave been contemplating asking for an appraisal and this is quite informative. I do apply for jobs but ave not succeeded yet but am optimistic that soon will get one.

    • Hello Catherine,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      Some companies don’t do appraisal for their employees but in regards to your account we checked and realized that it needs few amendments.
      First you need to complete your profile up to 98%.
      Secondly ensure that your Cv and cover letter is updated.
      Hopefully, these simple yet effective measure would go a long way in improving your user experience on our job site.
      Feel free to write to us if you need further assistance.


    • You’re welcome Bibyana
      We highly appreciate your participation.
      Keep it here for more insights.


  2. is the appraisal supposed to be a secret or the management is supposed to inform their employees of an upcoming performance appraisal?

  3. this is very good information am yet to be appraised and this has prepared me.
    I have tried to apply here on brighter Monday but I have never been successful what needs to be updated on my profile dear brighter Monday?

    • Hello Fiona.
      Thank you for your readership.
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained. subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will improve your chances of being considered.


  4. Its fantastic to have got this useful information…its very much useful esp when one is on contract basis to be confirmed on permanent basis. Thnx

    • Hello Joel,
      Thank you for taking your time to go through our articles.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more inspiring career advice.


    • Thank you Julius,
      Your feedback is highly appreciated.
      We hope you will implement what you have gained from us.


    • Hi Joseph,
      You can revisit our Career homepage and view the articles that correspond to what you are in need of.


    • Thanks a lot for your sentiments Joseph.
      Keep it Brighter Monday your career partner.


  5. Well but not to the task try and improve on disbursement of the jobs first give priority to the first applicant.

    • Hi CPA Jason,

      Thank you for sharing your sentiments.

      You mean the jobs on our site, right? Just a point of clarification; at Brightermonday, we do not disburse jobs. We only advertise jobs and bring to the attention of job seekers the opportunities in the market for them to apply. All CVs go directly to the employer who advertised who then makes a decision on the candidate of their choice based on qualification and experience. This is why the career center was started. To help applicants with tips on how they can rise above competition and grab the opportunities that come their way. When it comes to jobs, it is not a matter of who applied first, it is a matter of who the employer feels is the perfect fit for their vacant position.

      We wish you all the best. Use the tips given in this blog to help you ace interviews and get the opportunity of your dream.


  6. Thank you for this article brighter Monday,I have worked for a certain Institution on contract for the last eight years now, renewable in every after three years best on performance. The financial year 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 I real helped my employer by even going extra miles ensuring achieving its goals/mandates. my accomplishments was satisfactorily to my employer. My immediate supervisor recommended me for a rise in remuneration and a rise in job group but my employer did not took any step considering this commendation. What did i do to feel appreciated? Need your advice.

    • Hi Godfrey,
      Thank you for opening up. If it happened two years ago and up until now your plea hasn’t been responded to yet, you can hang in there and wait and see if the next appraisals there is going to be a change, if not then you can speak to your Hr on the same and hopefully they will react on it. We hope it goes well and we wish you all the best.


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