Most of us have experienced a performance appraisal.
We realize that our supervisors try hard to be objective and fair in their assessment of our efforts.
However, employees often see themselves through a different lens.
This different perspective is often overlooked – which can be a disadvantage for the organization because of missed opportunities for improving how its workforce is managed.
Employee self-appraisals can serve as a very powerful tool for managers.
If done correctly, this tool can reveal employee perceptions of the workplace, how it is managed, and things that could be done to improve the worker experience.
As managers, it is important to solicit this kind of feedback and be open to learning from the employee perspective, and to use what is learned for professional growth.
I am always amazed at how honest employees are – if given the opportunity to share their perspective on the work environment.
But more importantly, how often I misread employee responses and intentions.
A self-appraisal process can be intimidating to employees without proper preparation and honest conversations.
It is essential to prepare employees for this exercise, especially new or young people in the workplace.
Prepare employees for the self-appraisal by explaining why the feedback is important, what the organization hopes to learn, and how the information will be used to set goals and improve the employee experience.
Some organizations have the employees fill out their own performance appraisal.
They encourage employees to use the same tool that the manager uses only the employee does the scoring.
Then the manager and the employee compare notes and discuss the differences in their perceptions.
Those conversations can be enlightening for the manager and the employee.
However, I’ve found that using a separate tool to gain insights into the work experience can be beneficial also.
A self-appraisal tool that asks specific questions that relate to how the employee is managed and their perceptions of their knowledge and skill-set can reveal valuable information for the manager.
For instance, employees often feel like they have skills that are not being utilized in the workplace.
This is a sample employee self-appraisal tool that drills down into more personal employee perspectives.
Employee Self-Appraisal Example
What do I consider the important abilities which my job requires?
In what aspects of my job do I feel I need more experience and training?
What are my major contributions/accomplishments from the past year?
What have I done for my personal and/or professional development?
What are some aspects of my job responsibilities that I like the best? That I like the least?
The following changes made in my job would improve my effectiveness.
Are all of my capabilities being utilized in my present position? If not, how can they be better utilized?
What are the specific things I need to do in the next year for my own development?
In what ways does my present position better prepare me for assuming more responsibility?
What are my long-range plans?
What type of work do I see myself doing five years from now?
How am I preparing myself for this work?
This example can be formatted into a document that will become part of the employee file.
You can access an editable copy of this form here.
Use this tool to provide valuable information for the performance appraisal process.
Speak to the employee about what is learned from the tool to clarify and establish goals.
For example, employees may reveal things that the manager could do to help make their job easier.
This kind of information opens the door for communication that might not have otherwise occurred.
Regardless of the tool used, it is important to set time aside each year to have a performance discussion with employees.
Engaged employees are loyal employees. Engage them in conversation, ask them their perspective, and you may just learn some things to improve how your organization manages those valuable assets called employees!