You won't believe this, but I followed your guidance and it worked! I've always wanted to write in and say that.
For the last two years I have followed your exact process on how to prepare for annual reviews (my review with my manager).
In the last two years I received both an annual increase in salary AS WELL AS a yearly bonus. The remarkable thing about the bonus is that I’m in an area where bonuses are extremely rare (HR technology). Last year I was actually told by my manager that a bonus or two in your career in that area was remarkable- now I have it twice in a row. I know that I have received the bonuses because of the detailed work I put into my annual review- following your process.
Yes, I did get the results but I don’t see any higher level results (outside normal growth) in the last two years than in the previous three years when I did not get a bonus. The only difference is that I got the results and I had a template and process to report on those results in my annual review!
I highly, highly, highly recommend everyone listen, read, and follow the annual review process to the letter.
PS- I was listening to some old podcasts (2010) and you mentioned you were “giving away” the resume workbooks to those who could not afford them at the time due to job loss. Your ask was for them to repay once they received a job. I want to say how very cool and admirable this was/is… I’m touched to be associated with a company and team that looks out for its members and followers like you do and was evident in that gesture.