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An annual review is considered necessary for employers, clients, job seekers and employees. This extensive conversation sometimes conducted over multiple meetings gives all parties the full opportunity to evaluate how their relationship has developed over the past year. If they feel there has been a certain lag in some areas, feedback can be given before addressing such topics as work role and salary raise.

And even though employers and clients own the prerogative of navigating most of the review conversation, some techniques can help the employee do precisely the same. If you have your annual review coming up soon, it’s about time you get organising and planning.

With concrete homework and intellectual clarity, you’ll be able to nail this review and get that referral, raise, or transfer you’ve been longing for all this time.

Ready to take notes? Let’s go.

Record Keeping is the Key

Nothing works better than having your previous review record right before your eyes. You can see how you have progressed over the years, which characteristics have led you to who you are today, and how you have overcome your weaknesses in certain areas. 

If your review is scheduled with the same reviewer, you can also check out their previous remarks and make a point of how you’ve progressed since then. Likewise, make sure you also take your notepad to the following review and note down the minutes so that they help in the future.

Keep it Future-Oriented

One primary reason why many annual reviews go in vain is that the people involved spend most of their time and effort reviving old disagreements, recounting previous disputes, and getting stuck in the nitty-gritty of the past year. 

Sure, it’s essential to have some retrospection but make sure you get over that phase swiftly and plan what you aim to do next. When your boss sees how clearly you put your past, present, and future into a single perspective, they’re bound to feel confident that you want to walk your talk, which can give you increased chances of an overall positive review. 


Use Your KPIs

Before your review, you have to ensure that you know exactly how well you’ve performed as per the KPIs set by your employer. 

Let’s suppose your performance has been par excellence in comparison with the KPI set. This means that you have a good chance of establishing your impression as a successful employee. 

But if your KPI evaluation isn’t as impressive, then that’s also something you can tweak to work in your favour. 

Here, you have to be objective in analysing what you need to do to improve your KPI rating in time for your review. Then, at the time of review, you can discuss a future time frame for reaching your KPI goals. If you can achieve them sooner, you can also talk about relevant incentives with your client.

Feedback is Your Fuel

What’s the one thing that gives annual reviews those goosebumps of dread? Feedback, of course! The feedback that the parties provide each other on their performance during the year influences how the review will turn out later on. And unfortunately, the feedback we get isn’t always the feedback we want. 

Let’s say you were expecting a pat on the back for nailing your most recent proposal. But when you see that scowl on your reviewer’s face, you instantly feel a tremendous disappointment. But on the flip side, your worst audit so far can have surprising positive feedback for a reason you probably overlooked.


Since feedback is often unexpected but so influential, you need to learn how you react to it professionally. For example, if you disagree with the employer’s review, do you raise your voice? Does your tone drip in sarcasm? Does your body language change? Or do you panic? Do you apologise and tell them that you ‘had no idea it could happen this way?’

The only way to handle positive or negative, expected, or unexpected feedback, is through composure. First, keep yourself emotionally detached from the review, no matter how triggering it is. This will help you absorb everything that is said at that moment, and then you can go through it all with a calm mind and come up with ways to use this feedback in your favour.


All set to ace your upcoming review. We’re sure these four key formulas will help you get precisely the results you want. 

If you need further help evaluating your annual review and discussing your future as a building service engineer, book a call with one of our experts today


Author: Alex Cole is a Specialist Building Services Recruiter with Responsum. He’s always interested in networking with Building Service professionals. He loves talking football, is hoping to get on the property ladder soon, and visits Tenerife every year!

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