How to Survive a Bad Performance Review

By: AJE Recruiting Specialist

How to Survive a Bad Performance Review

The unthinkable has happened. You just met with your boss and received a bad performance review. While your first instinct may be to respond in anger or become defensive, your best approach is to remain calm. You can survive – and thrive, after a bad performance review. Here are some tactics to employ immediately that can turn a bad situation – into an opportunity.

Before you follow–up with anyone, make sure you understand your company’s performance review policy. Some companies have rating systems that they require all managers follow. This rating system may mean that the rating you received, while lower than your expectations, may in fact be in line with company performance metrics. Perhaps your review, upon second glance, isn’t as dire as you first assumed. If you are unsure about the performance review policy, follow–up with human resources or your manager, and request further clarification on the company’s rating system.

As objectively as possible, re–assess your performance rating again. While your first instinct may be to focus on bad comments only, temper that desire by looking at all the comments and feedback you received. Parcel the good comments from the bad and objectively consider your boss’ assessment of your performance. Are there areas that objectively, upon further review, you can improve? Are there any issues that you would like to review again with your manager?

Post–review ask for a follow–up meeting with your boss. This is an opportunity to discuss any comments that you received in more detail and ask for further clarification. This is a time when emotions are put on the back–burner and any follow–up comments are centered on facts alone. Do not become defensive.

Request that you work with your manager to develop an action plan for improvement. This is an opportunity to show your manager that you understand the comments that were addressed, and are willing to work towards improvement. Any manager will be more than pleased to work with an employee who is willing to put in the extra effort to improve their performance.

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