End Of Year Review

The dreaded end of year review, also known as annual review is approaching soon! It’s the time when managers go through the performances of employees, who also give their feedback and reviews. The purposes of the review summary is to evaluate achievements, weaknesses, opportunities and sharing ideas for the upcoming year. We know that having your appraisal can be worrying, stressful and sometimes one of the most challenging things to prepare for as an admin professional in any stage of your career. To help you have a great end of year review, here are some top tips from some of Australia’s expert admin educators.

Amanda Vinci from The EA Institute 

I love performance review time! I know, I sound crazy, but many Assistants will say to me that they hate this time of year, but I say you’re missing a golden opportunity. Learning how to strategically prepare for performance reviews is a forced opportunity for you to review your performance and plan for future goals.

I want to emphases forced here. As Assistants, we can be so focused on everyone else, that we rarely take the time to focus on ourselves. This was a serious challenge for me when I was an EA. My Performance Review meeting was always the first one I moved and when it finally came time to have it, my preparation was often done on the back of a napkin while stuffing down some lunch hours before my meeting. It’s safe to say not a whole lot of thought went into this process. And what I learnt about that is that if you ‘fail to plan – plan to fail’. Yep, it meant that if I wasn’t clear about my accomplishments, what worked, what didn’t work, and even more importantly, if I wasn’t prepared to think about my future, where I wanted to be and my goals… why should anyone else?

Taking a strategic approach encompasses the bigger picture, cross-functionally within your organisation and also more broadly in your market or industry. It embraces a wide time horizon, including reflecting back on the experience and projecting out into the future. All of this requires devoting time to reflection and stepping out of the action to observe.

The steps I recommend include a review phase and a planning phase and this will completely catapult your results and have you achieve goals you had only dreamed of by taking a strategic approach to your performance reviews.

For more information on this topic, you can read Amanda’s blog post here. Amanda goes into more detail about the review phase and the planning phase when it comes to preparing for your performance review.

Liz Van Vliet from My EA Career

End of year reviews can induce a rollercoaster of emotions and as such my top tip that I want to share with you is to remind yourself to zoom out! I use the analogy of Google Earth. I don’t know about you, but I will occasionally jump on to see what my house looks like using this tool. If I want to I can zoom right in close and literally see the blades of grass in our back garden. But I can equally zoom right out and take in the view of our neighbourhood and the beautiful corner of Sydney Harbour that we are close to.

Adopting the mindset of zooming out allows you to better manage your emotions and get some emotional distance from the feedback you’re receiving and gives you a better chance of maintaining your perspective.

If you want to read more about ways to self regulate, you might enjoy reading this article I posted on LinkedIn.

Rachel Bonetti from Elevated Corporate Support

There’s an art to guiding performance conversations. Being able to quantify and measure how work that’s often under the radar supports strategic objectives isn’t always easy. Thoughtful preparation is critical to support positive outcomes.

For some tips to articulate your worth, show up with executive presence and link what you do to the success of those you support, you can read more on Rachael’s blog post here.


Ruth Kilah from Hoxton-Hyde Executive Assistant Coaching 

Review time… Arrgh they feel so awkward and as an Assistant, what am I actually meant to say?! These used to be my exact thoughts.  I clearly remember, in the earlier part of my former EA career, LOATHING annual reviews.  I got to the point where I’d had enough of ‘hoping’ that my hard work would ‘just be noticed’ because it just didn’t happen.  I realised that to be recognised appropriately, I HAD to learn how to articulate my value. Once I learnt this skill, it was a gamer changer. By the end of my career I LOVED review time!

My advice, DON’T shy away from showcasing your contributions and achievements – own them and be proud! Don’t talk about them as if they are just vanilla ice cream. Make it chocolate fudge ice cream, dulce de leche sauce, chocolate fudge pieces, edible gold sprinkles and sparkler on top!

If you want to hear more of Ruth’s thoughts around articulating your value and other topics, jump over to her free FaceBook community, Extraordinary Executive Assistants where she goes LIVE each week and runs free training or connect with Ruth on her LinkedIn.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with the Admin Avenues community? We’d love to hear them!