Receiving a negative performance review can be demoralizing or even traumatic. If you think of yourself as a professional who wants to do the best job possible, you shouldn’t let a negative evaluation destroy your career.
There are two ways to benefit from such a situation:
1) Learn From The Experience
In order to benefit from a negative performance review, it is important to take an honest inventory of your own performance and view the negative performance review as an opportunity to improve. Salary increases and promotions often result when a person can overcome problems. If your performance review indicates that you have a problem with attendance, you may want to look back over the period covered by the performance review and count the times that you were late or absent.
You may have believed that attendance was not a major issue as long as the work got done. This may be an opportunity to better organize your personal life so that you are not tardy or absent. Better organization in your personal life will most likely result in better organizational skills in your work, leading to increased quality of your work. If your performance review indicates that the quality of your work does not meet expectations, you can view it as an opportunity to acquire additional education or training.
The key is to open the communication channels with your supervisor and make sure that you are on the same page regarding goals and performance expectations. As an employee, you need to be clear on what you are being evaluated on so you can devise specific ways to achieve these targets in the future.
Doing this can turn a weakness into a strength and may reveal areas of work that you may find more interesting or rewarding.
2) Assert Yourself
If you honestly believe that your supervisor has inaccurately judged your performance, you may want to assemble as much documentation as possible to counter the assertions made by your employer that you believe to be false. This documentation can include logs or date stamps if the performance review states that you are frequently tardy or turn in assignments late. If the negative comments in the performance review are more subjective, you may want to gather documentation that clients or customers were pleased with your work. It may also be helpful to gather assessments from coworkers, subordinates and colleagues in other departments. This kind of 360 feedback may balance the negative comments made by your supervisor. If you are unable to gather such documentation, one thing that you can take away from a negative performance review is to learn of the need to document your performance.