Writing your performance review is critical to your success because most often it it the only performance data your manager has before making a decision on your pay and bonus. Why? Because performance reviews in large companies have to go through the rating and ranking process to determine pay raises and bonuses. Which all means performance reviews are part of the budget process. Are you sitting on the fence between a great rating and an above-average rating? If budgets get cut, most likely your rating will too.
If you write your performance review with facts, you give your manager ammunition to answer the perceptions of your performance.
Let me give you a real example. I rated a person above average in performance and it was this person's first above average rating in a long time. That rating got questioned by my manager looking to reduce the number of above average ratings (and, therefore, budget). Because of the numbers we were using to track performance, I was able to tell my manager that this person ranked first in the department in three different metrics. "Didn't know that," my manager said. "That's great work." Case closed. Pay raise and a higher bonus for that person.
But, without the facts, the perception would have carried the day and my direct report would have gotten hit with a percentage less raise and a bonus that would not have been as much. This is money you lose that you never knew you lost.
As Cubicle Warriors, we don't want to let money slip out of our hands without us ever knowing it because our manager didn't have facts to fight for our rating, raise, and bonus.
That's why it is important to include facts in your self-evaluation for your performance review. Not that you worked long hours. Not that you get along great with your team. But that you beat your goal by 5%. You saved the company $100,000. You reduced the cycle time by one day.
Your work performance already has a perception in managers who decide your ratings and rankings. The only way to improve that perception is to do the work -- and present your facts to back it up.
Where are the facts about your performance?