How To Get That Performance Bonus (By Acing Your Appraisal)


    Traditionally, at the end of each year, employees look forward to that much awaited performance bonus. Prior to being rewarded with such an attractive incentive, they must first pass the performance appraisal with flying colors.

    The annual performance appraisal used actively in today’s organisations aims to assess if the employee has met the objectives and standards set by the employer. An employee’s rating will greatly determine his or her additional and future compensation as well as professional growth and even job security.

    How does one make a good impression and score high in the yearly performance appraisal?

    1) Be familiar with your job description

    The first step towards excelling in the workplace is to know the duties and responsibilities of your job  – like the palm of your hand. Make sure you know what is expected of you in that particular role or position.

    2) Actively take part in the review process

    Employees should be actively engaged, along with their superior, in conducting the performance review process. Further, they should collaborate with their managers in the creation of plans needed to achieve agreed-upon objectives.

    It is also vital that each employee, along with his or her manager, keep track of his or her progress in pursuit of the annual goals. Such collaboration is beneficial because both employee and manager can immediately address potential issues that could delay the achievement of these objectives.

    3)  Document your accomplishments  

    Build solid evidence for a superb performance appraisal by gathering documents that can serve as proof of your work accomplishments (e.g. key roles, tasks, projects), awards, citations and positive feedback. Include significant dates, statistics and figures in your portfolio that will support your credentials.

    4) Be positive, proactive and a team player

    Set the bar higher for yourself. Always go beyond what is expected of you. This may mean spending extra hours doing more sales calls, learning a new system, taking up a skills course outside work hours, volunteering for additional work or participate in company-led advocacy campaigns.

    Discover ways of enhancing existing company practices or tapping potential revenue streams. For example, you may recognise an opportunity to sell products to an untapped segment of the market or you may learn of a software which can increase efficiency of your company’s current payroll and benefits system.

    Be a team player. Develop active listening skills and learn to be flexible, considerate and courteous to colleagues while working on a project or group task. Motivate and inspire them to perform at a high level.

    5) Always communicate with your superior  

    In order for the performance management process to be effective, it is crucial for you to always hold brief and frequent discussions with your superior throughout the whole year.

    Never wait for the annual review before relaying any important concerns (e.g. lateral transfer, superior commitment, career plans), sensitive issues (e.g. work relationships, work hours, code of conduct) or useful suggestions to your manager. It would be too late to act upon these matters if your superior were only to know about them during the annual performance review.

    6) Solicit regular feedback

    Request for regular feedback from your colleagues, superiors, mentors and customers. Gather all these inputs (e.g. e-mails, notes, written remarks) in preparation for the annual performance appraisal. Use them as evidence in support of the outstanding efforts you have done throughout the year.

    If you receive negative feedback, take it as an opportunity to look into yourself and assess how you can further improve the way you carry out your duties or the way you relate with your team members.

    7) Enjoy the art of networking

    TINYPulse and Microsoft Workplace Analytics conducted a joint study aimed at finding the relationship between employee feedback, collaboration and performance. The results revealed that high-performing employees devoted four hours more than their peers working closely with a team of colleagues. Further, the study also showed that employees with the most number of connections in the workplace were the most influential.

    8) Be personally accountable for your career development

    Periodically, take time to reflect and ask yourself where you want to go from the current job position you are in. Make a plan to get from point A to point B. Acquire the necessary skills needed for the position you are aspiring for. Seek opportunities to work with other departments in order to learn more about the various job functions.

    In the end, a highly motivated employee translates to better contributions to the organisation which, in turn, translates to better growth and profits for the company. With the awarding of the annual performance bonuses to deserving employees, not only will the company reap the fruits of their employees’ exemplary contributions but employees and their loved ones will also enjoy the financial rewards given to them.

    Do you want to acquire new skills and consistently bag that yearly performance bonus? Visit and check out Kaplan Singapore’s Professional Skills Development courses.

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