Why You Should Use an Employee Self-Evaluation

An employee self-evaluation will enhance the performance management process

Employee sitting in an office working on a self evaluation.

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Want to encourage more participation in performance evaluation and career planning from your employees? Employee self-evaluation is one of the best methods to engage employees in the process of looking at performance and setting both job and career goals.

The employee self-evaluation ensures that employees prepare thoughtfully for their performance development planning or appraisal meeting with their manager. It provides a useful opportunity for the employees to seriously consider their level of performance and contribution.

This is especially important when you want to encourage your employees to set stretch goals. Self-reflection on the possibilities can enhance their capability to aim further, higher, and smarter. It is not the same as the manager expecting more from them. It is far superior for performance when it is the employee raising the expectations.

Using Self-Evaluation as a Career Promotion Tool

The employee self-evaluation encourages employees to think about and plan for their future with your organization. They can target their next opportunity, possible promotions, different jobs they'd like to try, and cross-training they'd like to obtain. The self-evaluation is also an opportunity for employees to think about their careers either with your company or with another employer.

Does your company use a traditional performance appraisal system? Or, does your company pursue a forward-thinking performance management process?

Whatever method your company uses to encourage employee performance development, consider making an employee self-evaluation an integral component in the process. Your employees will appreciate the opportunity for input and your managers will receive further insight into what motivates and excites the employee.

What Is Included in a Self-Evaluation?

In a self-evaluation, an employee responds to a series of questions that help the employee evaluate his or her performance during the evaluation period. This guides the employee through a thought process that allows him or her to focus on the many aspects and nuances of performance.

The employee is prompted to think about all of the components of performance, from the job description to goals accomplished and to include professional development in the mix. This structured approach to performance management and planning helps the employee take a look at his current and desired level of contribution.

This self-evaluation opens up the conversation between an employee and the manager during the performance evaluation meeting. The act of self-evaluation and the concurrent introspection causes an employee to review goals, assess progress and thoughtfully consider areas for job and career growth.

Purpose of Performance Evaluation

The primary purpose of a performance evaluation is to encourage communication about job performance between the manager and his or her reporting staff members. Additionally, the performance evaluation meeting is an ideal time to discuss:

  • The quality and quantity of the work that you accomplished during the evaluation timeframe
  • Your business goals for the quarter or evaluation time period
  • Your goals for performance enhancement and improvement
  • The next steps for your personal and business development in your job and career.

Recommended Approach to Employee Self-Evaluation

One way to prepare for this evaluation is to write a job description for the duties and responsibilities you complete on a regular basis. As you prepare for self-evaluation spend time thoughtfully considering and evaluating your job performance since your last performance evaluation or performance development planning meeting. Think about your work, career, and personal development progress since that time. Also, consider the goals you’d like to achieve during this performance evaluation period.

Determine the areas where you may want to improve your performance. You may be able to use coworker and manager feedback over the evaluation period as input to where you can improve. Decide if you are spending time on tasks that are preventing you from contributing the outputs that the organization most needs from you. Perhaps you could suggest they be moved to another place in the organization where they would be a better fit.

During the formal evaluation, be prepared to ask your manager's opinions about how you are performing. Ask if there is any particular need or output that they feel is not currently being met by your work. As you interact with your manager during the evaluation, try to approach it more like a conversation rather than them passing judgment of your failings.

Following your thoughtful preparation, send copies of your self-evaluation to your manager and the Human Resources department before your performance development and evaluation meeting.