Asking for an Overdue Performance Review

By November 3, 2015 No Comments

By: Taunee Besson

calendarQ: I work for a large distribution company, troubleshooting lost or delayed shipments. When I started here 16 months ago, I was told that I would have a performance review and a raise after one year. To date, my boss hasn’t approached me about either. Frankly, I’m beginning to resent the delay, as I think I’m doing a good job and deserve the overdue increase. What should I do?

A: First, recognize that your career is more important to you than to anyone else at your company, including your boss. He or she may not give your performance appraisal the same priority you do. Consider the possible reasons for the delay:

  1. Your boss doesn’t remember how long you’ve been on board. While this probably isn’t true, you may wish to give him or her the benefit of the doubt.
  2. Your boss is uncomfortable rating your performance and is postponing your review, even if it’s a good one. This is very common.
  3. High-level management says, “Hold the line. Put off raises as long as you can.” If you aren’t asking for an appraisal in this situation, you may not get one for months.
  4. Your supervisor has something unpleasant to discuss with you and is avoiding possible conflict by postponing your review. When you finally get it, it will probably contain a nasty surprise.

While all of the above are typical excuses for postponing your discussion, they’re not good enough to force you to wait four months beyond the scheduled review date. You need to ask for your performance appraisal and the raise you deserve, before your resentment begins to affect your work.

Schedule a specific day and time with your supervisor. Then think about both your outstanding accomplishments and stupid mistakes since you joined the company. Put yourself in your manager’s shoes and consider how he or she will evaluate your work. Be prepared both to respond to negative feedback and point out how your efforts have benefited the department.

Develop a list of alternative proposals on how you would like to be compensated for your above-average performance. Be specific in your request. Have a dollar figure in mind. If more perquisites appeal to you as a part of your increase, don’t limit your suggestions strictly to a pay hike. Consider extra vacation time, training opportunities, a new office computer, etc., as negotiable items.


Taunee Besson headshotTaunee Besson, CMF, is president of Career Dimensions, Inc., a consulting firm founded in 1979, which works with individual and corporate clients in career change; job search; executive, small business and life coaching; college major selection and talent management.

“One of the smartest minds in the career field,” according to Tony Lee (VP of CareerCast Operations at Adicio and former publisher of the Wall Street Journal’s Online Vertical Network), Besson began writing for the Dallas Times Herald in the early 80s. Having read several of her columns, Lee asked her to contribute regular articles to the Journal’s National Business Employment Weekly (NBEW) as well. Since then, she has been a triple award-winning columnist for CareerJournal.com  and Senior Columnist for CareerCast.com, as well as WorkingWoman.com and Oxygen.com. At Lee’s request, Besson authored five editions  of NBEW’s Premier Guide to Resumes and three of its Premier Guide to Cover Letters. She has also written articles and/or been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Business Week, Time, Smart Money and Yahoo among others.

Taunee has worked on community nonprofit boards and committees for over 30 years including Girls Inc., Women’s Center of Dallas, Girl Scouts and Dallas Women’s Foundation, The Volunteers of America and Mortarboard, among others. She was a member of the Leadership Dallas in 1987 and Leadership America in 2003.

In 1994, the Dallas Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development chose her as its “Professional of the Year”. Her NBEW columns were selected for the “Ten Best Article Award” in 1990, 1994 and 1997.  
In 1999, Alpha Gamma Delta, a 200,000 member fraternal organization, named her as one of three “Distinguished Citizens” at its biannual international convention.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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