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Federal employees: Tips to prep for your annual review

Annual reviews are commonplace in any job, but those who work in the federal sector should note that even if the review does not directly impact their pay it will have an impact on their position. A recent piece in the Federal Times notes the review could still effect consideration for promotions or other positions outside your current agency.

As a result, it is wise to set yourself up for a positive review. Three steps that can help include:

  • Listen. This is an opportunity to hear directly from your employer. Take this opportunity to listen to how your superior perceives your contribution to the team.
  • Speak up. Employers often use subjective standards. These standards can be difficult to quantify. Do not be afraid to let your employer more about your performance. Explain how you have added value to the job. Provide specific examples to help influence the direction of the review.
  • Bring evidence. It can help to take a proactive approach and save emails and other pieces of evidence to support the positive influence you have in your position. Take some time in the days before the meeting to organize positive emails or notes of thanks from coworkers as well as a list of projects you have taken on that have had positive outcomes to bring into and discuss during the review. Even a project that did not go as planned can be an opportunity to show your employer your strengths. Be prepared to share with an employer an explanation of lessons learned.

Some employers will measure their employees with objective measures. If this is the case, try to set up a meeting at the half way point of the year to see if you are on track. This will give you sufficient time to make changes if needed to better ensure you meet the employer’s expectations.

Those who have negative review and find themselves the subject of disciplinary action have options to defend their position. You can have your situation reviewed by an attorney experienced in federal labor laws to help better ensure your interests are protected.

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