Self Evaluation simply means looking at your progress, your development and learning to determine what has improved and what areas still need improvement. It usually involves comparing a ‘before’ situation with a current situation.
You may be under the impression that it’s your manager who needs to remember all the great accomplishments and successes you have brought to the job, but, no, you’re also accountable for reporting on your successes (and failures), to keep assuring yourself that there is no better-suited person for your job out there.
Self-evaluation keeps you aware of your contribution to the organization, and where that contribution is high, you can operate with a healthy level of confidence, and that will further impact on your output. Where it is low, it will pitch you against yourself as you will fight to avoid the big stick of the management which is sure to come upon non-performers.
If you do periodic self-evaluations, you will achieve two things:
- Remind your manager of your accomplishments, development and challenges
- Identify where there may be discrepancies between yours and your manager’s view of your performance.
Here are 5 steps to completing a great self-evaluation
- Look Back.
Look back at previous feedback received, projects you’ve completed and initiatives you’ve launched and try to recall the circumstances. If you haven’t done so in the past, start keeping a performance journal. It will make your next self-appraisal that much easier to complete.
- Make a Note of All You’ve Learned.
What have you learned in the past year? Look to identify the ways in which you’ve been able to enhance your skills; describe the new skills you’ve mastered and how they’ve helped you in your career development. Describe in your journal how you’ve applied these new skills to your job and how they support the goals of your department and organization.
- Review Your Challenges.
This is not an opportunity for shameless self- promotion. It’s an opportunity for some humility. Be candid about your challenges over the period. Describe how you overcame them or the steps you will take in the future to address them.
- Be honest.
Don’t embellish your accomplishments. Think hard about how you choose your ratings for yourself. If a second party sees it, they might want you to support your ratings so be prepared to provide examples of your successes (why you deserve that high rating) and examples of your not-so-great performance (why you may deserve a weaker rating).
- Take time to do it well.
Don’t rush your self-evaluation. If you must do it, then do it well. Take the time needed to do it justice (schedule time for it in your calendar!). After all, your self-appraisal is all about you, and you’re worth it! Use all the space/features provided in generic self-appraisal forms to tell your story.
Always keep the latest copies of your self-evaluation close to you so that you can refer to it in performance review meetings and other such gatherings.