Whether you’re working from home or in an office, performance reviews are going to happen at some point. I’m a fan of asking employees to complete a self appraisal as part of the overall process. So, while the manager is working on their performance appraisal, the employee should be doing the same.
Before we get into the focus of today’s article – which is how employees should complete their self appraisal – let’s talk about a few things that organizations should do before the self appraisal time arises.
- New hires should get a copy of the company’s performance appraisal form. HR should explain the performance management process. The employee’s manager should explain the rating system. Employees need to know how their performance is being measured.
- Current employees should receive a copy of their performance reviews. There are two reasons for this: first, employees will want to look at their last review when preparing their self appraisal and second, reviews often have goals written on them and this is a good way for employees to keep their goals top of mind.
When it comes time to start the performance review process – whether that happens for all employees at the same time of the year or staggered by their anniversary dates – managers will want to make sure that employees have a blank copy of the review form as well as a copy of their last review on file. Managers should explain to employees the process, set a date/time for their performance review meeting, and answer any questions.
Now, that we’ve covered what the organization should do. Here are some suggestions for employees on how to complete their self appraisal.
- Review your last appraisal. Note where you’ve made improvements. Also take note of any areas where you haven’t completely accomplished expectations.
- Read the blank review form. Make sure you understand all of the categories (or competencies) that your performance is being evaluated, along with the rating scale being used.
- Rate yourself in each category. For every rating outside a “3 – Meets Standard”, prepare at least two stories or examples to support your rating. One incident should not move the needle (positively or negatively) that’s why I’m suggesting two stories.
- Look at your calendar. Or your career portfolio. Make sure you didn’t miss any opportunities to showcase your accomplishments!
- Draft 3-5 goals for the upcoming review year. These goals should align with your strengths and opportunities for improvement. They might be different from work or project goals. And be open to them being edited by your manager.
- Finally, draft some comments. Be succinct and specific about your work. Use good action verbs. This is your opportunity to talk about your responsibilities and what you would like to accomplish in the future.
Even if your organization doesn’t have a formal self appraisal process, this is a great way for employees to prepare for their performance review conversation. Managers should want employees to enter that discussion prepared to talk about what they’ve done and would like to do. A good performance conversation helps the employee achieve their career goals and improve their productivity. All of which is good for the organization.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the Flora Icelandic HR Management Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland11