Do performance reviews work?

Photo by Eugene Kim.

No matter what industry you work in, you’ll most likely undergo a performance review at one time or another. I worked in a corporate setting for many years where performance reviews were commonplace. Reviews were usually done annually, but I don't remember any of my colleagues finding the reviews particularly helpful to their work performance.

Performance reviews will no doubt continue as a workplace tradition for years to come. Whether or not you believe these sessions to be valuable, here are some tips on how you can get the most from your job and also be ready for your next performance review: 

1) Be prepared

When you start a new job, find out about the performance review process. Ask your manager when reviews will be held, how often and what you can expect. This way, you can stay prepared and not be surprised or taken aback by any comments you receive during the meeting. 

2) Keep a work journal

If notable events, disputes or achievements occur in the months leading up to your performance review, keep a journal and note the dates, who was involved and what projects you were working on. It will be very helpful to have this information at hand during your performance review so you can provide ready feedback at your meeting. 

3) Communication is key

The main drawback of performance reviews is that they’re usually held only once or twice a year. If you’re able to meet with your supervisor and openly discuss your performance on a more regular basis, you may find your reviews becoming much easier and more productive.

Remember to keep the communication open and ongoing on all sides. You’ll enjoy a happier, more effective workplace—and your manager will have one less meeting to attend, too. 

About the author

Sacha DeVoretz is an independent journalist currently based in North Vancouver. Sacha reports and blogs on a broad spectrum of stories both locally and internationally. Her in-depth coverage has been featured in the Vancouver Observer, Canadian Immigrant Magazine and Fox News Latino. She writes a lifestyle blog for the Huffington Post. Visit her daily at

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