Performance reviews, also known as KPAs, are part of every woman’s 9-5 life. Zabo Mhleli, senior student advisor at Oxbridge Academy, gives sage advice on how to make the most of your performance review.

These are some of the questions you should ask your manager or team leader during their annual review:

What skills will help me become more effective in my current role?

“This question is a great opener for going into a more in-depth discussion about professional development and career growth, including whether your company would be willing to sponsor any training,” says Mhleli. It shows that you are willing to learn and want to grow within the company. It will highlight to your boss that you are someone they can invest in.

What are the company’s goals and challenges for the year ahead?

By asking this question, you demonstrate that you are not just thinking about yourself, but also about the success of your company.

As an employee, you need to have a clear idea of the company’s direction so that you can make a meaningful contribution towards realising its vision, says Mhleli. “By knowing what the potential challenges are, you might also be able to step up and help the company navigate difficult terrain, which will make you an even more valuable part of the team.”

How can I make a greater contribution to the team?

“You’re also showing some initiative and leadership qualities, which won’t go unnoticed,” says Mhleli. In the modern workplace, teamwork is vital. By asking this question, you show that you’re eager to be a team player and that you want to help other colleagues in order to achieve company goals.

Finally, a performance review offers you the chance to broach the subject of getting a raise or a promotion, which isn’t always easy to do during the ordinary course of business. “Do your market research and go into that meeting prepared so you can state your case,” Mhleli advises. 

He concludes by pointing out that raises aren’t automatically offered anymore, and it will be up to you as the individual to start the conversation. “To improve your chances of getting a raise or promotion in the near future, you really need to do your homework and build your evidence and argument,” he says.