Performance reviews (in my experience) have always been a yearly pain. Management told me what they thought of my  performance and I had to take it. Some appraisals had a comment area where I could say that I had an appraisal but did or did not agree with it. Then came the era of having to do self appraisals as part of the process. I never saw the value, but played along. Being a pack rat I usually had better data than my manager, keeping comments from my customers, clients, peers, etc. throughout the year. Thus I was able to rank myself 5 out of 5, and when challenged asked my manger to prove his ranking. We compromised on 4 out of 5.

But today, there are many systems that record large amounts of data about your performance and I don’t have more data than my manger anymore. Thus I began to pay more attention to the self assessment portion of my review.  Doing a self assessment is still a pain. I do not know anyone who likes to honestly review what they have or have not accomplished during the past year. But these assessments have become and are an important part of your career and its development.  It is to your advantage to take the  time and put in the effort to do a good self assessment.

So what makes for a good self assessment . Below are a few things that I feel that you should keep in mind when writing your self assessment.

Self-Evaluation for Performance Review Guidelines

  • Restate objectives. – This will emphasize your understanding of what was decided about your objectives.
  • Highlight the most significant achievements. Sometimes this can be hard. I usually keep a record of my achievements, completed tasks, etc. so I remember what I have done during the year. In reviewing my achievements some will standout and are included in the self assessment.
  • State why each achievement matters – Your achievements after all, support the business, there must be a value in doing so.
  • Emphasizes when your actions or conduct was an important factor in success – This is your review, you must have done something that factors into achieving the objectives. Do not forget that not all achievement are individual. Some are group achievements and that you participated in the group activities.
  • Acknowledges challenges. not everything runs smoothly. Business conditions change throughout the year and can cause difficulties in achieving your objectives. Include what you did to overcome these challenges
  • Be specific – give examples
  • Be honest
  • Be concise – I normally write the assessment in a separate document, review and tighten up the language & wording before entering it into the self assessment system
  • Acknowledge mistakes – carefully. When acknowledging a mistake, also include how you corrected the mistake, don’t lay blame.
  • Don’t use defensive language – emphasize the positive,
  • Include a plan for improvement – use the opportunity to identify new or where improving your existing  skills will benefit the company and support your career goals
  • Be balanced – nobody is perfect. Most people under rate themselves, Try to be objective, you are not as bad as you think
  • Include those “other things as assigned” – these other things given throughout the year tend to chew up time and can impede you in completing the yearly objectives. Management has a tendency to forget these “very urgent, do now” activities that come up.

For some more additional information please look at the following:

10 Tips For Making Self Evaluations Meaningful

Self Assessment Tips for Employees Writing Performance Reviews

Performance review – tips for writing your self assessment

How to Write the Dreaded Self-Appraisal

How to Write an Employee Self-Assessment or Self-Appraisal & Job Assessment

If you have any other tips, on improving the self assessment portion of the performance review process, please comment.

By the way, I apologize if this is too late for your self assessment, you might want to bookmark the blog for use next year.

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