From time to time, we are advised to take a good look in the figurative mirror and evaluate our lives. This is a good way to gauge where we are versus where we planned we would be. Self-evaluations don’t just have benefits in our personal lives, they are necessary and impactful in the business world as well.
Employee self-evaluations put employees in charge of their development. Employees can examine their input, their progress, and their abilities and are tasked to come up with ways they can improve. Every company should encourage periodic employee self-evaluations.
Here’s how you can do one or guide your team in evaluating themselves.
Before the evaluation
Before you get around to doing an employee self-evaluation, you need to set in place desirable outcomes or targets that you can measure at the end of a given period. Self-evaluations can be done monthly, quarterly, or even annually.
Without parameters or SMART goals in place, it will be impossible to measure progress. Together with their supervisor, an employee should sit down to discuss targets that will set the basis of the evaluation. Some organisations may provide a pre-designed template but if not, the employee self-evaluation form can cover a range of areas from:
- How you describe your responsibilities
- What you achieved
- What you struggled with/Challenges
- Communication and communication style
- How you fared at problem solving
- Areas for growth and development
- Both mid-term and long term goals and how to get there
To do the best with your future employee self-evaluations, you should do some preparation in the present:
Imagine you need to do a half year review in June; it may be hard to remember everything you did in January. To solve this problem, take notes in real time. Jot down your wins, challenges and more throughout the year. When the time comes for your self-evaluation, there will be no need to riffle through emails from the last 6 months.
Ask for feedback
In a similar way, ask your manager or supervisor for feedback periodically. At the end of an assignment, get their assessment of how you performed and include that in your notes as well. You will be able to reference positive feedback on your self-evaluation as well as show progress.
How to go about completing your self-evaluation
Bring some vulnerability and honesty
It can be challenging to evaluate your own actions so you should approach employee self-evaluations with some vulnerability. They require being objective with yourself and this can be particularly hard when it comes to reporting what you didn’t do so well.
Don’t shy away from talking about your mistakes. Share where you went wrong, what you learned and what you would do differently in a similar future situation.
Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn
At the same time, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. For some employees, this can be just as hard to do as talking about their missteps. But the evaluation is meant to show your performance in a given period of time and if you excelled at something, you should brag about it.
To help you paint a clearer picture of your impact, use figures. This will only be possible if there was a measuring mechanism put in place at the start. You will be able to say that you increased sales by 20% in the last 6 months.
Or that due to the green initiative you spear headed, you have led to the reduction of paper waste and saved the company so much money.
Get feedback from colleagues
Just because it is a self-evaluation, it doesn’t mean it has to be done entirely alone. Ask for feedback from colleagues whose opinions you value. They may have sight on a blind spot you missed and highlight a positive quality you may be taking for granted.
They can also share tips on how you can overcome a challenge. Return the favour and help another out with their employee self-evaluation as well.
Link your results to the company’s goals
Be sure to link your results to the company’s goals and objectives. Show your manager that you understand the company goal by showing how you contributed. Take this time to also highlight the mission, how you lived it and how you embodied the company values.
Don’t forget to show where you want to go next
Use your employee self-evaluation to show where you want to go next and advocate for the support to get you there. This can be professional training, upgrading an academic qualification, a promotion or more responsibility on the next project.
You will show that you are invested in the job for the long term and that you want to grow and be more valuable to the company.
Employee self-evaluations can be beneficial to both businesses and the employee in the following ways:
- They open up space for dialogue between employees and their managers
- They facilitate employee self-development
- The role to evaluate employees doesn’t only fall on managers’ shoulders. This can give supervisors and managers more time to focus on other tasks.
- Because the employee is at the forefront of the evaluation process, they can correct problems themselves. Giving employees this autonomy is good for morale.
- Through employee self-evaluations, both ownership and accountability for work increase.
- As the evaluation is done by the employee, there will be no feelings of judgement or resistance to change.
- Giving employees a chance to evaluate their own performance shows that they are trusted. Trust is essential for performance and employee engagement.
- The self-evaluation can show management how employees feels about their work and enable them to put in place structures to better support their workers.
Employee self evaluations shouldn’t be intimidating. They should be seen as a chance for one to look at their work and assess their contributions. They create an opportunity for you to look at your weaknesses and ask for help in mitigating them.
They make a case for you to celebrate your wins and to chart a course for your professional future. Clear work goals are necessary to help employees make the most of self-evaluations.