performance review

Preparing for End of Year Performance Reviews

As we head into the end of financial year, it is important to think through how you will approach your end of year performance review. We asked our members for their advice on how to make sure your end of year performance review works to achieve your career goals.

Strong, confident women the world over can be wrought with fear and doubt when it comes to our own performance review meeting.

A run-of -the-mill (and frankly, lackluster) annual review meeting can leave us unsure of our value, and unclear about how to ask our employers for ‘more’. How can we shift the energy from battered to brave in approaching your next review conversation?

Be Confident In Your Worth

Do you know how your role contributes to the commercial success of your organisation? How confidently could you articulate this to your Managers? Do your homework and put some time aside to work on the business of you – your brand, your value proposition, your skillset.

Know What’s Important

Be clear on what ‘value’ means to your employer, and what value means to you. Is this aligned to what is important to you? If not, decide on what you are willing to compromise on.


Be clear on what you, specifically and authentically, bring to the table. Make an effort to make the connection with your Manager. The ability to influence relies on a relationship and trust – this isn’t a sales pitch. Listening is critical during your annual reviews – show your manager that you are genuinely interested in self-development and seek constructive feedback.

Be Bold, Be Brave!

When it comes to remuneration, benefits, development opportunities, projects that you are involved in and the nature of your work – don’t hesitate to ask for your ‘ideal state’. Visualise the role that you want and then… ask for it! Getting what you really want starts with you – know what’s important, be confident in your worth and dare to be bold!

Lyndell Fogarty, CEO and Founder, performHR

performHR is Australia’s leading provider of outsourced HR for mid-tier organisations. Focused on “changing the way HR is done” performHR’s approach is progressive, agile and pragmatic. For organisations looking to do things differently, performHR provide innovative thinking balanced by depth of experience.

Understanding the organisation’s review format and the key outcomes

Being prepared for a performance review is essential for achieving the best possible outcomes and building your confidence to provide effective feedback. To guide your preparation, think about the following points in context of the organisation:

  • Goal setting
  • Professional development
  • Remuneration review
  • Feedback

Completing a self-assessment using the review format prior to having your review discussion is the best way to prepare

Think objectively about your performance and what issues may be raised by your manager that will impact the outcomes of the review. Remember that your perspective may differ from your manager’s. So, it’s important to have examples that demonstrate the outcomes you have achieved and reflect your opinion of your performance. Ideally, make notes throughout the year of the key events, impacts and your results so you can provide accurate and balanced feedback and participate equally in the discussion.

Situation – Evidence – Impact – Action

Providing feedback can often be difficult and I recommend using this simple format to guide the discussion and keep it focused on facts and outcomes and not emotions.

  • Situation – State the situation or event
  • Evidence – Provide the evidence or examples to support your perspective
  • Impact – explain the impact it had on your performance and contribution to the business
  • Action – be clear about the actions required for ongoing success

Always remember, while the review is a summary of what has happened over the review period, it should also be future focused.

Being well prepared will help you to confidently participate and influence the outcomes that will support your future success.

Georgia Henry CEO Henry ReedGeorgia Henry, CEO, Henry Reed

Georgia Henry works with leaders to build inspiring organisations that drive the performance of their business and individuals to take them beyond what they thought was possible. Henry Reed turns potential into performance through a focus on culture, strategy and performance.

Think about building coaching into your professional development program

Engaging a coach is an important decision for an organisation, and often a sizeable investment. Some say they hesitate to ask because they feel it might make them look like they are lacking in some skill, or that they see themselves as better or more deserving than other employees. They also worry about engaging the ‘wrong’ coach.

Coaching has become the tool of choice in management development in recent years.  There are significant benefits to individuals and organisations from coaching and mentoring including:

  • revealing new talents or opportunities
  • inspiring team members to mentor others
  • supporting diversity initiatives
  • assisting succession planning
  • attracting and retaining talented people

Prepare in advance for the conversation at your annual review

The International Coach Federation cites research showing people see significant benefits from coaching. Beata Staszkow describes several ways in which executive coaching improves people’s performance. If you are seeking to propose executive or leadership coaching for yourself, here are some tips to guide you:

  • Think about what you need for the year ahead, and how coaching can help you achieve the key elements of your performance plan. This equips you to open the conversation with your manager. It also helps you and your manager to talk with prospective coaches about how they propose to work with you.
  • Consider how ‘coachable’ you are. Can you commit to the time and to doing the work that might be required for you to gain the most from coaching right now? What might you need to change?
  • Check whether your organisation already has a panel of coaches they regularly engage, and whether you can look outside that list.
  • Look for a coach who has studied to build their experience and refines their skills regularly. Ask them if they have their own coach or mentor and if they undertake professional development. Ask for their accreditations and credentials. Read testimonials on the coach’s website or on LinkedIn. Ask for references.

Most important: don’t forget to use the conversations in your annual review to think about where you are now, and where you would most like to be

This is a great place to start a discussion with a coach about your objectives and what outcomes you would like to build into a coaching agreement.

Maree McPherson Consulting

Maree McPherson, Founder of Maree McPherson Consulting

Maree is a speaker, author, professional mentor, and leadership coach. She works with corporates, non-profits and individuals. Maree is an evangelist for women creating possibility in regional and rural areas. The thing that sets Maree apart is that she is what she preaches – her diverse and varied career background has been possible in regional Australia and she has experienced many of the challenges and joys that regional women describe. Maree’s book, Cutting Through the Grass Ceiling – Women Creating Possibility in Regional Australia was published in November 2017.

Practical tips on capturing your achievements year-round and a checklist to guide you through the conversation

  1. Having an email folder/file to store the following:
    • Customer compliments
    • Achievement/over achievement of project or initiative milestones
    • Scorecards demonstrating achievement against targets
    • Evidence of ‘over and above’ tasks, committees or voluntary work completed
  2. What are your key objectives aspirations (professionally and personally) for FY19

Allow enough time to prepare by writing your own review

Use the language of business when communicating your results to your manager. Prepare your responses using the following checklist to capture your performance and future goals:

  1. What did you achieve this financial year?
  2. What outcome or impact did you have on:
  • The company’s overall strategic and financial results?
  • The impact for the people in the organisation?
  • Value creation for shareholders?

Michelle Redfern

Michelle Redfern, Founder of Advancing Women in Business and Sport

Michelle’s mission is to achieve global gender equality. Michelle is a Director of Williamstown VFL Football Club and Good Shepherd Microfinance. She is also the Co-Founder of Culturally Diverse Women.

In addition, Michelle is an in-demand speaker, moderator and MC at conferences, leadership forums and diversity events.


About Femeconomy

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In this article, we have featured four of our Gold members – Michelle Redfern from Advancing Women in Business and Sport, Maree McPherson from Maree McPherson Consulting,  Lyndell Fogarty from PerformHR and Georgia Henry from Henry Reed. To learn more about Femeconomy, hit the big red button below:

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Posted by Alanna Bastin-Byrne - Femeconomy Director

CEO of the house, community builder and a globetrotting nomad. Background in Marketing and Communications leadership in the UK and Australia.