5 Ways to Shine After a Critical Performance Review

Performance review season recently wrapped up and you may not have received the results you were hoping for. You love your job and pride yourself in being highly motivated, but with the recent feedback it may feel difficult to get excited for the year ahead.

A study on the performance review process led by Adobe revealed that this common HR practice isn’t as proactive towards employee improvement as you’d imagine. The study revealed that 47 percent of millennials are likely to seek out new employment and 37 percent of non-millennials looked for a new job. The good news is there are ways for you to take action towards a more positive work year.

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Here are five ways to create a more fulfilling work experience while improving your results for next year’s review

Monthly or Bi—Monthly Check—Ins

Often, when it comes time for your review, much of what you’ve accomplished throughout the scope of 12 months is likely to be forgotten by your manager. Recency bias is one of the main factors as to why annual reviews are not an accurate representation of your year in review. To be proactive in tackling this issue, check in with your manager on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

Request Feedback

There’s no need to wait for feedback. If your manager is going to be present during a presentation, take the opportunity to let your manager know that you’d appreciate any feedback. This way, you’re receiving notes in real—time and can make any adjustments necessary.

Furthermore, you can also ask your peers for feedback during day—to—day projects and presentations. Your peers are witness to your work on a daily basis and sharing feedback with one another can not only build on those relationships, but advance one another’s growth in the workplace.

Commit to Taking Action

Now that you’re requesting immediate feedback, you have room to improve in real—time. It’s important to stay committed to taking action towards better results. The Harvard Business Review gathered data in a 2014 article revealing that 57 percent of people preferred corrective feedback; only 43 percent preferred praise or recognition. Positive recognition and corrective feedback are equally as valuable to producing better results. The next time you receive constructive criticism, don’t take it as a “negative” but instead, see it as an opportunity towards advancement.

Create a Performance Plan

You may feel overwhelmed with all of the feedback you’ve just heard in your performance review; experiencing an inundation of thoughts surrounding what changes to make first and how to re-prioritize your tasks. Take a moment to make a performance plan so that you can take each critique one step at a time.

Creating this plan will help you organize which actions to take first and will inevitably set you up for success. Furthermore, you can adapt your performance plan throughout the course of the year as you continue to receive immediate feedback from your manager and colleagues.


Don’t let a disappointing evaluation keep you from building a relationship with your manager. You may feel the need to avoid your manager due to the fear of hearing more negative feedback, but in addition to requesting feedback throughout the year, you can also ask your manager to let you know what they view as your strengths.

Receiving this positive recognition will give you the momentum to continue to tackle whatever constructive criticism comes your way.

Receiving this positive recognition will give you the momentum to continue to tackle whatever constructive criticism comes your way throughout the year. Remember, your manager dislikes giving a negative review just as much as you dislike receiving it. Cultivating open and honest communication with your manager and colleagues will put all parties at ease and bring clarity towards what needs to be achieved.

There are many of avenues to take in order to receive constructive feedback from your peers and managers. Taking control of your progress and keeping a positive and proactive mindset is vital for yielding a better annual review and an overall more productive year.