Companies often tie rewards such as bonuses and merit increment to a person’s rating in a performance appraisal. From an employee’s perspective, it’s thus about highlighting as much achievements as possible, and downplaying weaknesses or areas where improvement is required.
However, there is of course no such thing as the perfect employee. Most companies require employees and their managers to indicate at least a couple of areas of improvements, and plans on how to achieve those goals in the next review period.
As such, it is important to write “areas of improvement” in such a way that it does not have a negative impact on you professionally.
Here are 3 areas of improvement or development plans that you can live with, or even put you in a good light.
Area of Improvement # 1: Improve soft skills such as presentation or negotiation skills. Everyone needs to improve their soft skills, and highlighting this has no impact on your professionalism.
Area of Improvement # 2: Increase proficiency in internal systems – most large companies have complex internal systems to say the least. Wanting to improve your proficiency in using internal systems does not affect your professional work (unless of course you’re in fact responsible for the system).
Area of Improvement # 3: Improve cross group collaboration – again, most large companies struggle with cross group collaboration particularly those with complex matrix reporting structures . Your desire to improve collaboration implies you’re a team player.
These development plans are generic, and can be included in your performance feedback regardless of industry, company or role you’re in.
David Russell (author for Phrases For Performance Appraisals)