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Let’s face it – performance reviews can be difficult, intimidating, and stressful. Even if you are an exemplary employee, it can be challenging to find the right information to include in a self evaluation for a performance review. You may even feel insecure about highlighting your accomplishments and identifying your weaknesses. Don’t worry! With a few simple considerations, you can get through your self evaluation smoothly.
Your performance review should not feel like an examination. It should be a means for you to highlight your strengths and set goals for the next review period. Your self evaluation is the perfect means for you to set the mood for the discussion with your manager. Filling your self evaluation with strong details and positive accomplishments is a great way to direct your performance review meeting.
When performance review time rolls around, do you scramble to remember what you did in the past year? Do you find it frustrating to try to remember dates and project details? With a little bit of planning, you can say goodbye to this frustration and make your self evaluation much less painful.
Plan ahead and create a method for logging project highlights, lessons learned, training, and achievements throughout the year in one place. You might keep a performance review notebook, spreadsheet, file folder, or other means of collecting this information. When something noteworthy occurs during the performance review period, simply log it. Make sure you include relevant details and dates.
Support Statements with Evidence
When you tell your manager a project went well, how does he know it went well? Support your positive statements in your self evaluation with proof. If a project member sends you an email praising your work on the project, save it and include it as evidence of a job well done. If your project increased sales by 3%, present this fact as proof of a successful project. Show your manager measurable proof that your work made a difference in your company, department, or process.
Another great way to present evidence is through application of training. If you took a project management class to improve your management skills, do not simply list completion of the course on your self evaluation. Tell your manager how you used a skill learned in the class to improve your management skills on the job. For example, if you learned listening skills in the class, document in your self evaluation how you used a technique learned in the class to mitigate a negative situation on the job.
Create a Plan for Improvement
No matter how exemplary your work is, there is always room for improvement. Now is the time to identify areas for improvement and set goals for the next performance review period. Think about upcoming projects, and identify opportunities for improvement. Match these areas of opportunity with your areas for improvement, and then create goals around them.
For example, if you feel you could improve your leadership skills and you have an upcoming project in which you are a team lead, write a goal around improving your leadership skills. The key is to make sure you have an opportunity in the near future to work on the goal. If you identify an area for improvement that you do not feel you will be able to work on in the next performance review period, perhaps that area can wait until you have an opportunity for improvement.
The next step is to identify measurable actions to achieve your goal. Consider taking courses that you can apply to the goal, taking specific actions to reach your goal, or improving a procedure or task to increase productivity. No matter what your goal or action, make sure it is something that is measurable. A measurable goal will be easy to prove and provide evidence against in your next performance review self evaluation.