How to Ace Your Next Performance Review and Goal Setting Meeting

As a leader, one of things I enjoy most is to supporting and guiding my team in achieving their professional goals. This includes setting clear and measurable objectives, providing regular feedback, and identifying any roadblocks that may be hindering progress.

As we start the new year, it’s important to take the time to reflect on what’s working well and what areas need improvement. I encourage all team members to share their thoughts and feedback on what’s working and not working in their roles, as well as what support they need to achieve their goals.

In addition to providing support, it’s also important to invest in our team’s personal and professional development. This can be achieved through learning and development opportunities such as taking relevant courses, attending industry events and including them in strategic meetings as observers.

Overall, I am committed to working with my team to set and achieve meaningful goals that will drive our success and growth in the coming year.

I believe performance goal setting should not just be a tick box exercise, as leaders we have an opportunity to propel our staff career’s through this process.

Be Proactive and Intentional To Prepare for the Meeting

Not every manager takes the goal setting process seriously, some managers actually do not understand the purpose of the process. You have to be proactive and intentional in planning for the meeting. Even if you have a manager who supports career progression, they will not decide for you what your career goals should be.

In preparation for the meeting:

  • Define your career goals. Break down the bigger goal into smaller ones, one of which you can achieve this year. For example, if your goal is to become a manager, a smaller goal for this year could be to lead a project. You can self-initiate the project to resolve a frustration you are experiencing in your role.
  • Reflect on your past year and answer the questions, what worked, what didn’t, what were your achievements (include both small and big achievements) and what lessons you learnt.
  • Review your organisation’s values, leadership statements and strategic vision. This ensures your goals align with the organisation’s, enabling you to get greater buy-in from your manager – especially when asking for an investment in your professional development.
  • If your manager does not have goal setting meetings with you, ask for one and follow the tips below during the meeting.

Getting the Most Out of Your Performance Review and Goal Setting Meeting

  1. Talk about what’s working for you. What were the highlights and key achievements of your last year? Clearly articulate this, especially the impact you’ve brought to the team and organisation.
  2. What has not worked or needs improvement? Here you speak about process improvements you have identified in your role. What can you streamline? This can be one of your goals for the coming year.
  3. What training do you need? This can be formal education and short courses, on the job training or even shadowing someone in another role. I’ve found most people hold back asking. I’ve been very privileged in my career, having gone overseas for training and even attended a diplomatic week-long gathering of leaders from around the world, as an observer. I got these opportunities because I asked.
  4. If there’s specific support you need from your manager, ask for it during this meeting. Be clear and concise in what exactly you’re asking for.
  5. Ask for a pay raise. Reiterate your value again and the impact you’ve had the last year. Do your research prior to find out industry standards. Be bold and ask. Insider tip: it costs organisations less to retain top talent than to recruit new talent.

All the best as you set your career goals for the year!

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