A client who I helped secure her first job after graduating from university, called me a couple of months after starting with a concern: she had been told by her manager to prepare for a Performance Review. “Is this a good thing?“, she asked, “what do I do to prepare?“, “Can I use the opportunity to ask about an increase?”
A performance review is defined as “The process by which a manager or consultant (1) examines and evaluates an employee’s work behavior by comparing it with preset standards, (2) documents the results of the comparison, and (3) uses the results to provide feedback to the employee to show where improvements are needed and why. Performance appraisals are employed to determine who needs what training, and who will be promoted, demoted, retained, or fired.” (Business Dictionary)
In other words, it is the opportunity for the employer to regularly evaluate the employee, according to a set of standards.
Employees, however, do have some influence on the process. The better prepared, self aware and able to respond to criticism the employees are, the better they will do in the process: