Most of us struggle with filling out the appraisal form. Talking about the past accomplishments, learnings, and challenges on the one day where it matters the most can be tedious.

To help you get rid of such cluelessness and ace the appraisal process, we have outlined 8 steps about performance appraisal which can help you get your long-awaited promotion.

But first, let us take a look at what a performance appraisal is.

What is a performance appraisal?

A performance appraisal (also known as self-assessment or self-evaluation) is the collated description of annual accomplishments at work.

It is an opportunity where you get the chance to talk about your hard work, efforts, and dedication directed towards work throughout the year.

The annual performance is gauged based on the KRAs and the target achievement against them.

How to ask for a promotion in appraisal?

Now that we know what a performance appraisal is, let us discuss the steps that will help you ask for a promotion during the same.

1. Understand more about your self-review or performance appraisal

Before you get started, it is crucial to understand the context of the appraisal process. So, reach out to your HRBP or manager & learn more about appraisals. Ask questions crucial to your appraisal cycle to clear your doubts.

Find out if your appraisal will be the basis for the incentives & rewards you will be given and if getting a promotion is on the table.

Here is a sample conversation-starter for you:

This was my first year in this position, so I am looking forward to discussing my accomplishments. I wanted to ask about the appraisal process and would like to know more about the same. I have a few other questions as well. Could you please spare a few minutes tomorrow?

You may likely receive either one or all of the following answers.

  • Your performance appraisal will play a significant role in your salary hike and promotion.
  • The self-appraisal you submit now will directly influence your overall annual review as an employee.
  • Your self-assessment will be shared, as-it-is, with your skip level manager for review.

Since most managers are busy and have too many self-appraisals to manage, ensure that you write a detailed self-review for your annual appraisal, making it easy for them to assess your performance.

2. Draft a detailed report of your performance throughout the year

Quantitative results are always better than vague observations for critical processes like appraisals. Just mentioning that there has been positive growth is not enough. Make sure you justify your observations with numbers and define said growth and how you have contributed to the same.

The first thing you need to do before you can do any of this is a compiled list of all the tasks you have worked on in the past year. A good practice is to document your work and all additional tasks.

You can do this every day or at least once a week to make things easy in the long run. If you have not done it already, you will have to take the long route. Dive deep into your emails, online documents, and feedback received from your managers to find all conversations regarding projects.

List each of them, and assess the impact of the same using tools for data analysis, and prepare a detailed report that defines your efficiency and efforts towards growth. Sort your accomplishments and shortcomings.

3. Work on your self-appraisal

Now that you have laid down the ground work, it is time to prepare for your appraisal cycle. The first step towards asking for promotion in appraisals is to draft an impressive, detailed, result-oriented self-appraisal.

As mentioned above, self-appraisal is the process where employees evaluate their work throughout the year and highlight the highs and lows of the same.

This self-appraisal is used by the employer/manager to gauge performance, and evaluate their employees along with their observations.

You can learn more about writing self-appraisals in our article How to Write a Self-Appraisal

4. Discuss your expectations with your manager

Once you have clarity on your performance, it is time to get in touch with your reporting manager. Ask them for a meeting to discuss your self-appraisal, or wait for them to reach out to you for the same.

Once you get into this meeting, make sure you utilize this time well. Prepare answers to potential questions like:

How much of your goal target have you met this year?
What was your most impactful achievement this year?
How have you overcome your shortcomings?
What was the most challenging task you had to do this year?
Do you think your current job role is aligned with your future goals?
Are you comfortable with the company culture? Is there any room for improvement?

Tip: You can choose to answer these questions directly or you can prepare a PowerPoint presentation if you want to give quantifiable answers

5. Discuss your achievements & shortcomings

Asking for a promotion can be tricky and may backfire if not done right. So, the first talking point for an appraisal interview should be your achievements throughout the year as it will shed light on your efforts and the impact they have yielded.

Discuss achievements that can be backed with reports and numbers and avoid giving vague answers. Be transparent about your performance and discuss why you think you have done a good job.

However, talking about achievements is not enough. Along with taking the praise for achievements, be ready to talk about your shortcomings. You may think it is a bad idea but it is not. Talking about your shortcomings & failures reflects ownership of the work. Also, discuss the steps you are taking to overcome these shortcomings.

A self-appraisal is a critical subject. So, make sure you start the conversation on the right note.

Here's how you can do it:

“Since I joined this team, I have worked hard for the organization and the results speak for themselves. There has been a sharp increase in several metrics, especially in the last couple of quarters.

I have given 100% of my efforts to the betterment of the company, and my hard work has paid off substantially. I would like to show you the growth report and discuss the same in detail.

The team and I have worked extremely hard for this day and even though there were several hiccups along the way, I feel that we overcame all of them gracefully.”

Tip: In case there were too many achievements, outline just the best ones. Distinguish yourself as a singular entity, and show how strong your contributions have been with supporting stats. Gather all reports you've created, for example, weekly sheets, monthly highlights, status presentations, etc.

6. Talk about upskilling and training programs

Now that you have discussed the successes and failures of the past, it is time to talk about the initiatives you are taking for the future.

Use this opportunity to discuss the training programs you are pursuing to upskill and overcome your current shortcomings. Upskilling reflects initiative to grow and talking about this will let your manager know if you are ready for a promotion, and if yes, then at which position.

List down all the learning activities you underwent in the past year or are participating in currently and talk about them in your performance review meeting.

Ensure that you communicate that you are well-equipped and qualified for the promotion and that you are not falling behind the competition, rather you are staying ahead of it.

Here is how you can do it:

“Over the past year, I noticed my software skills needed some upgrade in a particular environment. Hence, I completed 3 certifications from the ABC training academy. I am aware that our website is constantly evolving. Hence, I am applying my newly acquired knowledge and skills to execute all the new projects with a fresh boost.”
Tip: Don't get caught up in the trap of focusing only on the last few months. Check your mailbox and archive folders for details about long-forgotten certifications and development programs you underwent in the appraisal period.

7. Ask your manager’s opinion

Once you have shared your point of view, ask your manager what they thought of your annual performance. You can ask some of the following questions in your appraisal interview:

Is there anything I could have done better?
Are you satisfied with my work performance?
Is there anything I can do to improve my performance going forward?
Is there any room for career growth in our department?

8. Talk about the possibility of a promotion/salary hike

Now that you have discussed all the important aspects, it is time to ask for a promotion. There is no set way to ask for a promotion or salary hike as it mainly depends on your rapport with your boss and work culture.

But self-review is the best time to discuss how you will be compensated going forward.

Once all the talking points have been discussed, confidently bring up a promotion/salary hike and stress the fact that you deserve it since you have worked hard to earn the same.

Here’s how you can put across your point:

In the previous performance review, we discussed the possibility of growth and chalked out the requirements for the same. I have focused all my efforts on achieving the goals and working on the feedback shared by you.
I feel I have fulfilled all these requirements and believe I am eligible for a promotion. So, is there any scope for growth in our department? Also, what would make me an eligible candidate for promotion in our department?

Conclusion

Using these steps can help you ask for a promotion in the simplest manner. Irrespective of the outcome, following these steps, will make it easier for you to communicate with your senior management.

So, prepare to show your managers you deserve the promotion and go get it!

Tip: if you are considered eligible for a promotion, prepare with the Top 5 Promotion Interview Questions

All the best!

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