How can I ask my boss for an appraisal?

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15 Nov 2022

Appraisals are the one factor in an employee’s life which fills them with hope and dread at the same time. On the one hand, you do feel like you deserve the appraisal which is due while on the other hand you feel unsure if your efforts have been acknowledged or not. Since a lot of issues regarding appraisals are not within your control, you feel conflicted and confused about the right approach.

That being said, there are definitely certain things which are within your reach and certain aspects which you can control so as to achieve the desired levels of appraisal without reflecting desperation, greediness, disdain, or disappointment.

There does lie a mid-way. 

Find your true worth

As inhumane as it sounds, you are in a market where you sell your expertise for compensation. Networking with your colleagues, peers, and people in the similar field can give you a tentative idea about where you stand and hence the levels of compensation which you can realistically seek. 

Know your company’s compensation plan

Before you head out to seek appraisal find out more about the compensation ranges, the various compensation slabs, and the appraisal patterns. Ask for clarification if needed. The more you know, the better you would be placed in terms of leverage. 

Pitch, don’t beg

Remember, never ever try to beg for appraisals no matter how desperately you need it. When you ask for appraisal be very sure about the value you add to the company and come with a solid reason as to why you deserve it. Confidence really matters here as you are pitching for a higher compensation for your value not for your personal situation. 

Timing is important

Timing your request can be highly crucial in terms of seeking appraisal. A bad time for the company, for example, would not be appropriate no matter how much you deserve the raise. Also if you have committed some blunders recently then seeking appraisal isn’t worth it. Wait for a time where you have completed a major work or have done something exceptional or outstanding. It need not be in sync with your appraisal cycle. 

Understand your dynamics with your boss

Certain bosses are work oriented while certain others are more biased. Certain bosses tend to look at personalities while others look at performances. Your preparation, therefore, should be accordingly (this does sound unfair but is as real as it gets).

Do not act rashly

Your composure would matter as much as your confidence when you seek an appraisal. Be calm through the meeting. You boss may try to provoke you, taunt you, berate you or even admire you profusely. Either way, keep a firm hold on your emotions. Appraisal reviews can turn ugly or pleasant, be mentally prepared for both. A calm personality is much more assertive in its demeanor than a reactive one. Lashing out or thanking too much shows emotional response which needs to be avoided. 

Be ready for a ‘NO’

Even the best-laid plans in history have failed so be prepared for a rejection. It may be an outright ‘no’ or a diplomatic denial but when it happens, and if it happens, take it in your stride. No amount of appraisal is worth your self-esteem and never lose that. Shake it off, contemplate, and push even harder the next time. 

The one thing that does matter, irrespective of gain or loss, is that the experience would help you realise your worth and there can be no price for that.

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