Advice: What to do After a Bad Performance Review at Work

Many working moms are always anxious about performance reviews. And with good reason. A performance review can be bad and the feedback just negative.

Some moms react with anger, others remain silent while others are indifferent. However, how you react after a poor negative review can highly influence your career.

What you can do is try to explain reasons for your performance, seek clarification, seek directions for improvement, and request for resources. Alternatively you may opt to quit your job instead and create new career goals.

You may not lose your job after a bad performance review. However such consistent poor performance can lead you to getting fired. Therefore it is important to reflect on your career and how you can improve in future so that you a more positive performance review.

How to React after Poor Performance Review

1. Explain the Poor Performance Review

When you get a poor performance appraisal, it is related to poor performance on your side. It can mean a lot of things such as not meeting your goals, missing targets, and generally not meeting expectations your employer had for you. However, there may be valid reasons why this happened.

If you admit there were performance failings and lapses on your side, you need to have a reason why this happened. Use this option especially so when you think that the reasons behind your poor performance were beyond your level at work.

Unless it’s because your hate your job, other reasons that may explain poor performance include falling ill for the better part of the evaluation period, having a sick parent/family/child, having issues with colleagues among other reasons.

The best way to explain a poor performance review is lay out the facts that may have affected your performance. Be honest and include both personal and external factors in the explanation, especially if they can be improved on.

Justify how the factors disadvantaged your against good performance. Then map out an action plan on improving your performance in future.

The best way to respond to this poor appraisal is in writing. Writing better captures the context and allow for objectivity when you are trying to explain why you had a poor performance review.

Read: What to Expect in your First Performance Review

What to do after Poor Performance Review

2. Ask for Clarification on the Poor Assessment

Sometimes we may not understand the results of a performance review. You may have expected a good evaluation to have only receive poor feedback. You therefore may not understand on what basis your manager evaluated your performance.

Your reaction and response to this poor review feedback in that case, would be to seek clarification instead of being angry. Avoid the mistake of rushing out and making accusations based on what you do not understand yet.

Book a meeting with your manager to discuss your review. Ask about the metrics and other determinants that were used in the rating. Also, seek clarification on any comments that you do not fully understand in the review. It will help you improve on your performance and get a positive review in future.

Read: How to Avoid a Negative Performance Review

What to do after Poor Performance Review

3. Ask for Improvement Feedback

React wisely after this negative feedback. When you receive a poor performance review, you need to improve. It means you are under performing and not meeting expectations. Your manager may not offer a direction on exactly what you need to do.

However, you should be proactive and seek this insight. If you have just been told where you are with no idea of where to go and how to do that, ask your manager for an action plan.

Have a talk with your manager on what they would exactly have you improve on. If you have a good manager, he/she will recognize that you want to improve and work with you to achieve it.

It could be on performance issues such as efficiency, productivity, team relation, communication, attendance, job knowledge, or cooperation among others. Make a point of correcting all the mistakes and issues that have been identified in the review.

4. Take the Criticism from the Feedback Constructively

The main goal of a performance review is to give insights into your strengths and weaknesses. However many moms are not used to taking criticism on their weaknesses kindly. Let the reaction and response after you receive your feedback illustrate your willingness to improve.

Many moms think that performance reviews, especially when they turn negative are a personal attack, which is a mistake you should avoid. Do not take the review personally but take the criticism constructively.

Remember the input is meant to help you improve on your performance and do better. Do what the feedback comments about you and see how things unfold. Do take a hard look at your performance for determining where, how, and why you’re falling short, and remedy it immediately.

Read: Questions to Ask your Manager during a Performance Review

5. Request for Resources and Support

Not having the right kind of support and resources can affect your performance. If you feel this is the main reason why you did not score well as you would want, use this opportunity to request support.

Have a sit down with your manager and request and validate your need for support and resources to improve your performance. If your manager is interested in you enhancing your performance, they will be willing to offer you this. If a solution for your under performance lies with your employer, then go ahead and ask for it.

Read: How to Get a Positive Performance Review

6. Create Goals for Next Performance Review

Internalize and process the feedback. Identify the main things that are the highlights of the reviews and create a list. Guided by these issues create goals and deliverables to be achieved by the next performance review period.

Your performance review should say what is expected of you by the next review so creating these goals should be easy. The targets should be simple, manageable, achievable, realistic, and time. Then work on achieving these goals.

Read: Habits for a Positive Performance Review

7. Quit your Job

If you believe you deserve better than the review you received, you should think about jumping ship. It is a reaction that many employee receiving poor appraisal may not consider.

But the truth of the matter is that other factors such as bias, personal favoritism, and office politics can be unprofessionally used in your performance appraisal. It means that your performance may be exemplary but you have been rated poorly in your appraisal.

Many wonder if they should quit their job after they receive a poor performance review. Well, you should quit if there is enough evidence that the review and the appraisal was not credible. It indicates unfair practices and a toxic work environment that you do not need to be part of.

When you have such strong opposition in the office influencing your performance review, you are unlikely to thrive there. The situation can complicate your work and put you at a disadvantage career-wise in future. The best thing to do then would be quitting and finding work elsewhere where the working environment is conducive.

Do’s and Don’ts after a Poor Performance Appraisal

After a poor performance appraisal, there are some things you need to do. Also there are other things you need to avoid doing, particularly because they make the issue of your poor performance review worse.

Do’s After A Poor Performance Review(Appraisal)

  • Do accept criticism
  • Do take ownership of your shortcomings
  • Do make a personal plan on improving yourself. Focus on things that are easy and quick to fix and has the most impact on your work
  • Come out as respectful, fair, and wanting to do a good job
  • Do make a commitment. Also remember that changes take a long time for others to acknowledge
  • Learn lessons from the review that you may use in next reviews or jobs if lose this one
  • Do set up a meeting to discuss things that came up from your review
  • Ask for training so that your employer identify your training needs and give you a chance to learn
  • Do demonstrate your commitment to righting your wrongs
  • Be coachable and open to learning
  • Have a growth mindset and drop a fixed mindset
  • Sort out which kind of criticism is justified and which isn’t
  • Ask for honest reviews from your co-workers and superiors
  • Be proactive rather than reactive and try to plan
  • The low marks may, or may not reflect your true performance, but treat them as if they do

Don’ts After A Poor Performance Review(Appraisal)

Avoid the following mistakes when you get a poor performance review.

  • Don’t get into a confrontation with your manager. Remain calm and polite
  • Don’t be defensive but do seek clarification on what you don’t understand
  • Don’t take the review personally.
  • Don’t react with anger. Do take one step back.
  • Avoid blame. Analyze. Learn. Improve.

Why People Hate Performance Reviews

How to Conduct a Self- Evaluated Performance Review

Signs you are About to be Fired

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