A performance appraisal offers a manager the opportunity to evaluate an employee, but it can also offer an employee the opportunity to evaluate himself. Self-appraisal can encourage employees to become mindful of areas where they need to improve and it can reveal attitudes and biases a manger might never guess from observation. Some examples of employee responses can prepare you for the results you may get from employee self-evaluations.
When asked to evaluate their productivity, most employees think they are very productive. Comments such as, “Of course, everyone has an off day once in awhile,” or “Despite a lot of personal problems, I did pretty good” can be cues to examine whether you are really getting a full effort from the employee. Anyone who blames the business for a lack of productivity with answers such as, “I want to be more productive, but management keeps wasting my time with busy-work.” This kind of self-evaluation turned into a management evaluation may indicate someone who does not take responsibility for their own actions.
Quality of Work Answers
If you ask employees to write down an appraisal of the quality of their work, ignore the general pats on the back and look at details. If someone says, “I make some errors, but I always try to correct them and learn from them,” you probably have a good employee. If you see responses like, “There’s not always time to do my best work,” or “Nobody’s perfect,” you may have an excuse-maker for an employee.
You can ask employees to analyze what skills they needed to complete their tasks in the past year. Watch for answers such as, “I found that my organizational skills really helped me do my job,” and “My interpersonal skills contributed a lot to getting things done,” and you will know you have a self-aware employee who is trying to make the workplace as productive as possible. If you hear, “I can’t wait until I get a promotion so I can really use my best skills,” or “A lot of my skills go to waste because people don’t always appreciate what I can do,” you probably have an employee who is not fully invested in their current position.
Answers About Problem-Solving Abilities
A business owner needs employees who can solve problems. If you ask employees to evaluate their problem-solving talents, you may hear, “I jump right in and try to fix whatever is wrong,” or “Several times last year I headed off problems before they got too big.” This is the kind of employee who can be a real asset. What you don’t want to hear: “Every time I try to solve a problem, I’m afraid I’ll get in trouble if it doesn’t work,” or “I feel like manages are here to solve problems. I just do my job.” This type of employee can be someone who just wants to show up for a set number of hours and get paid for doing as little as possible.