Did my time off affect my raise?

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

Q: I took some time off this year, and I think it affected my performance review. I got only a 2 percent raise. Does this mean I am a problem employee?

A: The dreaded performance evaluation happens every year. You hope against hope that the project you completed is recognized. You also hope the extra work you put in is also recognized. But to your dismay, you are told that in spite of your hard work, you are eligible for a 2 percent increase, which after taxes isn't much.

Without knowing the details of your situation, I could paint a typical scenario.

During your review, your manager informed you that the extra hours you put in were because the project was postponed several times. And the reason you weren't able to complete your project on time was that you had to take some time off work.

There may be a number of reasons why you didn't complete your work on time, or were absent from work. But whatever the reason, it did have an impact on your performance.

So how do you know if your lack of performance will affect your review? If your manager reminds you that you didn't meet the proposed deadline; or your absences have presented a problem, then it's safe to assume your time away will negatively affect your performance review.

So how do you avoid getting a negative review? At the beginning of the performance year, ask to see the performance rating system for the upcoming year. Clarify the objectives and the ramifications if the objectives are not met. And always remember to let your manager know if you are encountering problems performing your job. Come up with ways to accommodate those problems so that the manager knows you are aware of them and working to resolve them.

Good luck.