Making the Most of Performance Reviews: Using Feedback to Grow and Improve.

Performance reviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for many employees, but they don’t have to be when you learn to use feedback as a tool for growth. In fact, when approached with the right mindset, performance reviews can be a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.

As a Nigerian employee, performance reviews are a critical part of professional development and they can help you grow and improve your skills.

According to a survey by PwC Nigeria, only 13% of Nigerian companies have formal performance management systems, and only 32% of employees receive feedback on their performance. This means that the majority of Nigerian workers are missing out on valuable opportunities for growth and improvement.

Naturally, you might feel disappointed or frustrated when you don’t receive the report or outcome that you were hoping for. However, it’s important to remember that failure is not the end of the road. Instead, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.

If you are an employee in Nigeria, here are some tips on how to use feedback from your performance review to grow and improve:

  1. Don’t be defensive: Receiving criticism can be tough, especially when it feels like a personal attack. However, it’s important to approach feedback with an open mind and a growth mindset. First, you should remember that the feedback you receive is not a reflection of your worth or abilities as a person, rather, it’s simply an observation of your performance at your workplace. 

Also, when receiving feedback, you should actively listen to understand what your manager is saying, ask questions for clarification, and repeat what you heard just to ensure you understand the feedback correctly. 

  1. Take notes: during your review, make sure you take notes of the feedback you receive so that you can always come back to it and track your progress over time. This also shows that you are committed to improving your work performance and when you track your progress, you will be able to stay motivated and feel good about your growth and development. 
  2. Set goals: whenever you receive feedback from your employer, make use of it as a means to set SMART goals for yourself. By doing so, you’re setting yourself up for success and not settling into regrets. Your goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable  Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART)
  3. Follow-up: following up after a performance review should involve setting clear and specific goals, creating an action plan, scheduling regular check-ins, seeking feedback on specific areas, and keeping a record of progress. This process will help you focus on actionable steps toward improvement and provide more useful feedback to guide your efforts!

It’s easier said than done, I know this. So, how can you survive your next performance review before taking these steps?

  1. Remember that your manager is not your therapist so, while it’s tempting to unload all of your work frustrations on your manager, you can save the venting for your friends outside of work.
  2. Mistakes happen, and it’s important to not take them too seriously. Laugh at your mistakes and use them as learning opportunities moving forward. 
  3. If you feel uncomfortable after the review, you can simply order your favorite snacks or visit your favorite restaurant to relax.

Note: We can never be perfect, but the ability to constantly learn to be the best is what makes us unique, so, keep doing your best!

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