Employee self evaluation is one of the best ways to encourage your employees to participate in the annual performance review process and in setting both job and career goals for themselves. Below are 11 great ways to encourage employees to do this.
The employee self-evaluation ensures that your employees make ample preparation for their annual performance review meeting with their manager. It allows employees to enter the meeting with a solid understanding and consideration of their recent level of performance and what they have contributed.
This is particularly important in setting goals for and/or with your employees. Employee self-evaluation helps the employee discover the possibilities that are within their range without having to be imposed upon by their manager. They are able to raise their own expectations of their performance on the job.
Employee self-evaluation also encourages employees to give thoughtful consideration to their career progression and their future with your organisation. They can start mapping out how they plan to take up the next available promotion and what kind of training and/or mentoring they need from you.
Unfortunately, both employee self-evaluation and the annual performance review are often perceived by employees in most companies as tedious and ineffective so they tend to participate in them half-heartedly. Here are 11 great ways any manager can go about encouraging employee self-evaluation.
Lead your employees by example
This age-old method of encouraging people to participate in things applies to employee self-evaluation too. As a manager, take your own honest self-evaluation beforehand and then share it with your employees at the next team meeting.
This way, they get a guiding example of how to go about their own self-reflection and a strong sense of how important the employee self-evaluation is to you as their leader and the organisation as a whole.
Let them know the company goals and values
Your employees need to have a deep and thorough understanding of the goals your company is looking to achieve (both short-term and long-term), the core values it stands for as an organisation and the overall mission it is looking to achieve.
This guides their exercise of self-reflection to make sure that their employee self-evaluation efforts are properly aligned with the company’s objectives and ambitions.
Make it about their career, not just the job
You should make sure to highlight the part of the employee self-evaluation that focuses on mapping their career path together and possibly even make it the primary element of the exercise.
Human beings are naturally selfish and so your team members will be more inclined to participate in employee self-evaluation if they see it as more of a career-planning exercise rather than just another task on the job.
Let them know how they will be used
Give the employees a proper and honest understanding of how these employee self-evaluations will be used. Will they be used to determine who gets which bonuses and/or promotions? Who will they be shared with? The more information they have, the more comfortable and honest they will be.
Ask the right guiding questions
The beginning is always the hardest part so offer your team members a great starting point for their employee self-evaluation exercise by suggesting a set of hard but relevant questions that they should answer honestly to get their self-reflection juices flowing. Some good examples include:
- In what areas could I have performed better this year?
- What are my strengths and how can I leverage them more?
- What are my weaknesses and how can I improve on them?
Incentivise the employee self-evaluation
Appeal to your employees’ competitive side by tying some kind of reward(s) to the employee self-evaluation exercise.
You could put up a prize or bonus pay for the best/most honest self-reflection and also make sure to give the winner due recognition with an honourable mention at the next team meeting.
Gamify the employee self-evaluation
This is closely related to the previous point. Although gamification has turned into a buzzword over the past few years for just about every company and business department, it is very relevant to the self-evaluation process.
Find a way to make employees earn badges, points and levels as they answer the questions in this self-reflection exercise and they will be more engaged as they do it.
Encourage your employees to self-promote
People are often wary of talking about their wins because most of us are socialised not to brag so it often comes across as tacky and feels like unnecessary chest-beating. However, if you make the right space, people will open up about their achievements.
Highlight to your employees that you really want to hear them share what they have done for the company this year as well what new relevant job skills they have learned and which ones they have greatly improved upon. Push them to toot their own horns.
Make room for their shortcomings
Like it’s not already bad enough with their wins, people are even less willing to own up for their shortcomings. And yet one of the key elements to having an effective employee self-evaluation is the employee being brave enough to recognise and admit where they didn’t meet expectations.
You need to reassure your employees that sharing their weaknesses and/or shortcomings will actually paint them in a more positive light and that it will not affect their job but rather help you make it better for them.
Offer the right data and documentation
This is closely related to the above two points. The employee exercise requires the employee to reflect upon both their achievements and their shortcoming.
In order to do this well, they need to have access to the right data and documentation of their performance over the past year so that their reflection is rooted in specific meeting minutes, bottom line numbers, and set targets.
Pair them up
Just because self-evaluation is a personal effort, this doesn’t mean that it has to be approached as an exclusively solo exercise. You should consider pairing up your employees so that they can help, guide and motivate each other throughout the exercise.
They can bounce ideas off each other and help each other find the relevant data and documentation for their respective employee self-evaluations.
Encouraging self-evaluation ensures that the employee makes the time to evaluate their own performance and gives their manager a clear understanding of how accurately the employee views their impact in the organisation. This is why managers should take the above steps to encourage employee self-evaluation.