Appraisals are pretty standard in most work places. They are put in place to give you and your employers the opportunity to reflect on your work and figure out just where needs more improvement in your performance. A time for you to put in place an effective ‘personal development plan’ moving forwards with your career. Appraisals should really be a ‘two-way’ rather than a ‘one-way’ communication between you and your manager/boss. However, appraisals don’t necessarily always go the way you would like and you can find yourself walking away from said appraisal, feeling a little deflated, perhaps fearing for your job and questioning everything.


When your boss starts their sentence with ‘I’m sorry to say but…’ you can already get a sense of where the conversation will be heading. If its unexpected, it’s very easy to sit there initially dumbfounded in shock, before going on the defensive.  It’s very easy to feel humiliated at the prospect of the more senior individuals in your office, having discussed you’re not so great progress, so before you announce to the world you’re going to quit your job, let’s talk about how best to handle a bad appraisal.


  1. Listen, digest and discuss.

It’s very easy to make excuses for bad work or to indignantly choose not to listen to your manager, however, if you would like to move forward in your company listen to what is being said. Digest this information and then discuss how best you should continue with your work. It shows willingness to listen and to learn from your mistakes and also demonstrates maturity.


  1. Request to review more frequently.

Instead of getting hit with the shock of an unexpected bad review, request to have more frequent reviews, so you can monitor your progress and can see where you start falling behind, so you can implement damage control quicker. It also shows you’re serious about the points that were highlighted in your appraisal and you are keen to instigate improvement.


  1. Don’t believe you’re not right for the job.

A bad appraisal can really dent your confidence and therefore make you believe that perhaps you’re in the wrong job after all. It’s all too easy to just pack it in and find something new, but perhaps you actually like your job and this is in fact the line of work that you really do want to be in. So, don’t be disheartened and think you have to look elsewhere. You don’t. Just accept you hadn’t been progressing in the way your manager had hoped and see it as the kick up the arse for you to really grab your job by the horns moving forward.


  1. Don’t be in denial about the error of your ways.

When our egos are bruised it is very easy to want to stick two-fingers up at the establishment and carry on ‘business as usual’. See the appraisal as a golden opportunity, in which your office appreciate your worth and want you to stay and are therefore giving you the heads up in just how to. Imagine if offices didn’t have appraisals and if after 6 months you were still doing your work wrong they just showed you the door? Therefore, accept where you have been going wrong and implement change in order to prove your keep.


  1. Set yourself targets and goals.

Agree on targets and goals within timeframes that both you and your boss can measure. By having timeframes, you are ensuring that your work doesn’t lag behind and you can work out just what is expected of you over the course of a week and a month.



A bad appraisal can be the catalyst to ignite change in your working habits. A bad appraisal can be the turning point that makes you become a better employee.


Twenty Mile Club