What is a self-assessment?
As the name suggests, self-assessment is the employee's opportunity to look back and document their accomplishments and missteps, paving the way for future personal growth.
A manager can't focus on the company’s core business while knowing what each team member does daily. Employees have the best image of their activity, so companies want to hear their side of the story.
The process leads to a high degree of involvement and enthusiasm to conclude and implement changes in practice.
Steps before you begin writing the self-evaluation
If your manager asked you to write your self-evaluation, chances are that HR is already involved and gives you some directions to start.
1. Learn why the manager needs you to evaluate yourself
The first step is to find out why your boss wants a self-review. Is it for the annual performance review? Will it be considered for raises or bonuses? The answer gives you a solid starting point and influences your approach to writing the review.
2. Focus on your accomplishments
Write down a list of your achievements over the past year. In this phase, you can include everything that comes to your mind. As you continue to write your self-assessment, you can narrow the list down to those projects you are most proud of and bring the highest value to the company.
3. Note your hurdles
Every job comes with obstacles and challenges. It is vital to acknowledge and include them in an objective self-evaluation. Again, write everything you can think of, and later you will trim the list down to the significant issues.
4. Align your assessment with the team’s goals
Describe your efforts to reach the team goals. This information is vital for the manager to understand your contribution to the team’s mission and vision.
5. Concentrate on yourself
Describe your achievements and struggles. Focus on what went smoothly and your improvement areas. Self-evaluation is about yourself, not your colleagues or the team.
Best practices when writing a self-evaluation
The ability to write a comprehensive and professional self-evaluation is a critical career tool. Every self-assessment is unique, but you should ensure it works within a few key parameters.
- Respond in a specific time frame: demonstrate your time management skill and evaluate your best work as quickly as possible.
- Answer the questions directly: write three to four short sentences providing succinct explanations related to your projects.
- Craft a focused self-evaluation: the notes should address your job performance while emphasizing your contributions to the overall team goal.
- Proofread your review: before submitting your evaluation, you should check it for typos, grammar errors, or incomplete sentences.
As you launch into the self-evaluation process, use these best practices to complete your best self-assessment.
1. Be honest and confident
The meaning of self-evaluation is to highlight your on-the-job strengths without downsizing the weaknesses. Be honest about your endeavors while expressing your confidence and pride about the times you went the extra mile to reach personal and team goals.
2. Keep it professional
Make no mistake: your choice of words is as important as the content of your self-evaluation. You should avoid criticizing the manager for poor leadership and blaming colleagues for your failings. Keep it professional whether you are providing critical feedback.
3. Use metrics to support your contributions
You need to use hard data to describe your job performance. Managers and colleagues have an approximate image of your performance throughout the year. Using metrics to back up your achievements clears this image, strengthens the validity of your self-evaluation, and demonstrates how your work benefits the company.
4. Strive to improve
Personal and professional growth does not confine itself within a time frame. Showing commitment to educating and improving your work habits and strengths, as well as overcoming drawbacks, proves you are a valuable employee that will grow with the company.
Examples of self-evaluation phrases
Although the script and structure of a self-evaluation depend on the company, department, and employee, there are common areas to assess within performance reviews.
Inspire yourself from the below examples, but be sure to personalize your self-evaluation. Feel free to tailor these samples to your experience, and add metrics and examples where possible.
1. Job performance
Organizations measure job performance to ensure that their employees are meeting the goals and standards set by the organization. Job performance data can also be used to evaluate and reward employees, as well as identify areas for further training or development. Furthermore, it can be used to benchmark the organization against its competitors and provide useful data for decision-making.
- I value my job and fulfill my responsibilities with dedication.
- I accept challenging tasks that help me become better.
- I truly enjoy helping my colleagues in difficult situations.
- I have exceeded my ______ performance goal by decreasing the costs by ___ percent.
Areas of improvement
- I aim to do my work professionally, however, using traditional means (paper, excel files) is repetitive and takes too much work that I could focus on hiring better people or coaching the existing ones on becoming better managers.
Communication abilities are important for employees because they help to ensure that everyone is on the same page, that instructions and tasks are clearly understood, and that workers can efficiently collaborate and work together. Having strong communication skills also helps to build a trusting and positive relationship between employees and their managers, which in turn can lead to better job performance.
- My strong communication skills help me interact with peers and managers from various levels in our company.
- I can take and give constructive feedback.
- I share my ideas and opinions transparently within the team.
Areas of improvement
- I struggle to communicate my concerns clearly when I am stressed, but I do my best to improve on this.
- Sharing the meeting minutes without checking the spelling leads to errors. I plan to review the notes, edit them if needed and then send them to the team.
- I didn't ensure that all the project partners have a clear understanding on what the key priorities for this month are, however I will follow according with the lead partners to ensure this is done so.
Tip: Some of the most important effective communication skills are active listening, being clear and concise, being able to empathize, having strong problem-solving skills, being assertive, and displaying confidence.
3. Innovation and creativity
Managers should ensure their employees are creative and innovative because it helps to keep the organization competitive, develop innovative solutions to problems, and create new products and services. It also fosters a positive workplace environment where employees are encouraged to think outside the box while working collaboratively together.
- I know my creative strengths and always think out of the box.
- I adapt quickly to new and challenging situations by consistently bringing new ideas to the table.
- I encourage team members to share innovative ideas and think from their perspectives.
Areas of improvement
- I acknowledge that design thinking is not my expertise, and I will enroll in an online course to see how we can bring new ideas into our business.
- In regards to the challenge that we face with our web-app, I didn't manage to find a creative solution for the demands of our top client yet. I plan to organize a brainstorming session with the other developers in the team.
- I have mentioned we will run one creative sprint with the marketing team to refresh the design of our website. This didn't took happen already, however I will put a priority to make it happen the next month.
4. Punctuality & Attendance
Attendance tracking is important within small and mid-sized business because it ensures that employees are showing up to work on time, it can save costs by preventing overtime, it helps with scheduling and payroll, and it can help improve productivity and employee morale.
- I arrive on time at work, and when there is a problem with public transport, I immediately inform my manager and secretary.
- I’ve planned my annual vacations in advance and ensured business continuity within the sector.
Areas of improvement
- I recognize that I must improve my work punctuality. I will plan to do so by leaving 20 minutes earlier from home.
- I know that I have not sent the timesheet for approval for the last 2 months; however, I will do so this week.
- I must stop arriving late to meetings. I showcase a bad example to my colleagues, miss the key points, and demonstrate a lack of respect.
- I understand that I forget to set up the Out of office notification when I go on vacation, and this can create confusion.
5. Collaboration and delegating
Collaboration within the workforce is important because it helps to increase productivity, encourages problem solving, fosters creativity, and encourages employees to work together to achieve a common goal. It also leads to better job satisfaction and higher employee retention.
- I enjoy working with others. Teamwork motivates me to improve myself.
- My outcomes are better when I collaborate with my colleagues.
- As a manager, I find it easy to distribute tasks fairly among the team members.
Areas of improvement
- I find it hard to prioritize my tasks and delegate them to other team members, especially if they are new.
- I find it difficult to delegate tasks to executive members
- Durring busy periods (project deadlines, conferences) I find it difficult to attend all meetings.
When you're looking to improve the collaboration between your employees, we share 7 ways that will lead to better experience and result in your team.
6. Problem-solving and decision-making
Problem-solving abilities are essential for employees because they enable them to devise creative solutions to workplace issues and help their organization stay ahead of the competition. Problem-solving also helps employees build confidence and develop their decision-making skills. Additionally, it helps create a sense of ownership in the organization and encourages team collaboration.
- I am proactive in identifying and fixing potential issues before they become serious.
- I have excellent planning skills that help me address the arising problems and solve them promptly.
- I manage to solve complex problems by considering different perspectives and breaking down the problem to analyze it.
Areas of improvement
- I recognize that problems in the accounting field are not my top quality, and I will consult with an expert about such matters next time.
- When it comes to high-ticket sales i find it dificult to make decisions on the spot. I will join some calls with more experienced colleagues to learn how to answer tough questions
Time management is important for employees because it helps them prioritize tasks and improve their efficiency. Having good time management skills also helps to reduce stress levels, since employees are better able to stay on top of their workloads. Additionally, it can help boost overall job performance and job satisfaction, as well as provide a sense of accomplishment.
- I can evaluate my project's complexity and plan so that I finalize the milestones according to their deadlines.
- Even when working from home or remotely, I maintain a work environment that doesn’t distract me from my job.
- I know the difference between important and urgent; this helps me establish my priorities and decide which tasks can be postponed or delayed and which cannot.
Areas of improvement
- I recognize that I need to improve my time-management abilities. I often tend to overwork certain tasks while others remain unfinished. I plan to use the time-blocking strategy from now on.
- I know where I tend to struggle with time management: I often leave tasks that I find too challenging last, but I have systems in place to remind me of my commitments.
Recommended read: Discover the key tips to improve your time management skills.
Leadership abilities are relevant for employees in any business because they help to motivate and inspire colleagues, build trust between workers and managers, and foster a successful work culture. Leadership also helps to promote collaboration, encourage creative problem-solving, and develop a shared vision for the organization's future. Ultimately, strong leadership skills can lead to a more productive and effective workplace.
- I showed leadership qualities with Project X and empowered the team to finalize everything in time at high standards.
- I have demonstated leadership at the last 3 conferences where I presented the vision of the company and the latest results.
- Under my leadership, the sales performance of the business has increased by 20%.
Areas of improvement
- I could not correctly assess the resources needed by the team to deliver the new product by the end of Q3. I will need to allocate more time to listen, plan and engage with the project leaders so that the delay is not longer than 1 month.
- I have not correctly envisoned how the current market will impact conditions will impact our busines. I will consult the CFO and the board on how we can revise out expectations till the next quarterly review.
- The plan for retaining 2 key managers didn't work out accordingly, as the proposed stay offer were declined. We plan to run plans satisfaction survey every quarter to spot such challenges early on.
In our in-depth guide we have expanded on the 15 key leadership qualities that leaders must posses. Check them out.
Management abilities are critical in fast-growing companies because they help organizations adapt to changes quickly and efficiently. Good management skills help to ensure that tasks are delegated correctly and deadlines are met, and also help to create an environment of trust and respect within the organization. With good management, employees have clear direction and are better able to stay focused and productive.
- I demonstrated support as a manager guiding an employee through prioritizing work and aligning expectations.
- I’ve run weekly 1-on-1 meetings with colleagues in the last quarter, resulting in a better team spirit and increased velocity in goal achievement.
- I have solved a conflict between two senior employees this quarter. The two employees had strong personalities, and were difficult to get them to agree on a solution, however we found a compromise.
Areas of improvement
- I took too much credit for the results accomplished within Q3. I should recognize better the work of the hard-working team members.
- I need to take some measures so that when we run the weekly team meetings, the agenda needs to be better prepared, the meetings end on time, and everyone has the chance to speak.
- I need to better involve the key employees in the strategic decisions of the team's roadmap for Q4. In this way, trust, engagement, and management skills will be improved.
If you want to improve your people management skills, we have an in-depth guide covering the topic.
Goal setting is important for career development because it provides direction and focus. It helps to provide a clear path for employees to follow and provides them with the motivation to move forward and meet their objectives. Setting meaningful goals also helps to increase job satisfaction and performance, as well as create a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
- I have divided large goals into smaller ones that have been easier to achieve.
- When encountering a bottleneck, I have asked for guidance from my experienced peers.
- The implementation of a goal-setting tracking methodology was a success in our business.
Areas of improvement
- Altrough I have setup clear goals, they were too ambitious. We should reflect about using smart goals.
- The high-level goals were described, however the overall key results expected were not indicated leading to poor results.
- The overall goal was well-known, however a clear way to assess over time the evolution of it was not indicated, leading to delays.
Note: If you're looking for a detailed overview about the goal-setting process, well here it is in brief: 1. Set goals that resonate with you, 2. Set SMART goals, 3. Write down your goals, 4. Create an action plan, 5. Take action, 6. Be accountable, anf finally 7. Reflect and fix errors.
Suggested areas for development
If the self-evaluation template that you are filling has a zone where you should suggest where you aim to become better in the next quarter or year, aside from the ones already mentioned, we have some additional areas:
- Projects management (improved quality, risk management, better coordination)
- Commitment (dedication to the company and passion for succeeding)
- Attitude (accepts criticism, flexibility, conflict resolution, initiative)
- Cooperation (group work, coworker relations, diversity, teamwork, interpersonal skills)
- Adaptability (flexibility, brainstorming, planning, change management)
- Accountability (takes ownership, admits mistakes, delivers on time, dependability)
- Skills growth (willingness to develop skills)
- Quality of work (provides outstanding work, work consistency, excellence, and professionalism)
- Organizational skills (planning, prioritizing, task management)
- Creativity & innovation (design thinking, new ways of work, digital transformation)
- Integrity & honesty (willing to question the status quo, giving meaningful feedback, ethical work, being trustful, working hard during business hours, meeting deadlines, taking responsibility)
- Productivity (minimal distractions, sticking to the plan, avoiding multitasking, taking breaks, eating correctly).
The benefits of self-evaluation
Managers and employees benefit extensively from employee self-assessment.
For managers, self-evaluation is one of the most powerful key performance indicators. When an employee self-evaluates, managers, gain valuable insights into how they feel about themselves, their job, and how they fit into the team. The main benefit for employers is the confidence it gives to employees.
A solid self-evaluation can make the annual performance review process more effective, create new communication channels between managers and employees, and provides several key benefits to the company.
Crafting a thoughtful self-evaluation can be a rewarding experience for employees. Here are the main reasons why the self-appraisal process plays a crucial role in the current organization structure:
- Give employees a sense of motivation – Self-evaluating empowers employees. Asking and listening to their side of the story increases motivation which leads to a better output beneficial to the growth of an organization.
- Increased employee engagement – Self-evaluation gives the employee a voice and the opportunity to engage in the appraisal process. Self-appraisals initiate an engaging, two-way communication between employer and employees.
- Identify and eliminate gaps – Managers and employees tend to have different perspectives. A well-done self-appraisal provides a complete picture of the strengths and weaknesses of employees. It also helps managers find the gaps that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
- Career growth – Self-appraisal underlines areas where employees excel and need more training and improvement. These inputs help managers gain better career prospects and help the employee grow.
The employee self-evaluation form
The example of self-assessment for employees is ideal for a comprehensive annual evaluation. The precise questions compel the employee to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and rate their proficiency in the necessary skill sets for their position. It has ten queries that address inquiries regarding the job, achievements, goals, and professional development, where the employee has to provide work-related insights regarding performance over the past year and will inform the performance review.
Download the employee self-evaluation form
Wraping up the employee self-evaluation guide
Times are ever-changing. Evaluation is no longer a one-sided process performed solely by the HR or manager. The employees must self-evaluate their work and contribution to the overall business result.
Self-evaluations allow people to express their introspective perspectives about their performance and career.
When performing a self-assessment, the stress that accompanies the annual performance reviews minimizes, and the employees feel more confident. Facing your demons and writing down what you could have done differently is more digestible than relying on your manager's evaluation.