Employee evaluations and reviews are no doubt critical to your organization. To make it more effective and successful, you might want to involve your employees in the process. This can be done with an employee self evaluation, a method that boosts employee engagement and helps everyone focus better on their performance. Moreover, it helps employees to set their own career goals, track their performance, and build a career vision.
What is self evaluation and its purpose?
In a self evaluation, a set of questions are presented to the employee so they can review their performance during a particular period of time. The process may be complex, but in the long run, it can be rewarding to both the company and its employees as it empowers them to focus on the different aspects of their job performance while understanding which areas may need improvement.
During self evaluations, employees are typically asked to think about their long-term career goals, basic responsibilities, professional development, and other aspects of their performance. This gives performance management and planning a more structural approach and allows employees to analyze their contributions easily. Through self evaluation, employees can embrace an introspective way of thinking about their career goals and their job while gaining a deeper understanding of themselves. Self evaluation could also be used as a tool for career promotion, as it encourages an employee to plan and reflect on their future with your company.
However, not all employees may be up for it. They may be afraid to evaluate themselves and their performance because of the following reasons:
1. Employees do not understand the purpose of self evaluation.
Simply asking your employees to review their own performance without explaining why they should do it could leave them feeling confused and unsure of what to do. By explaining the purpose of the self evaluation, you can answer their questions and explain to them how the process can help with their professional growth and career goals.
2. Employees underestimate the significance of their self appraisals.
Employees might not want to evaluate themselves if they do not understand how it can benefit them. It’s critical to establish a better relationship with them before the evaluation. Show them that you value their opinion and that as their manager, you won’t ignore their evaluation.
3. There is insufficient equipment, memory, or information to self evaluate their performance.
Self evaluation can be ineffective if the employee lacks the information to analyze themselves objectively. They might not be able to recall all the projects and tasks they completed or areas where they were able to excel. In some cases, an employee might not have enough to evaluate because they were hired only recently.
How to encourage employees to perform self evaluation
1. Discuss their work progress and vision with them.
Opening the dialogue prior to the self evaluation gives the employee time to reflect on their time at work, and ask themselves hard questions to arrive at truthful and unbiased answers.
Below are a few examples of questions that can help your employees achieve an honest self evaluation:
– What aspects of the job do I enjoy most?
– What areas could I have performed better in this year?
– Where are my areas of struggle?
– What is causing me to struggle in these areas?
It is important to set aside time for your employees to complete their evaluations, especially if it is lengthy. If you do not prioritize the evaluations, your employees won’t either. They need to feel that self evaluations are a priority to the organization, or they may see it as something that takes crucial time away from other important job tasks.
2. Lead by example.
Setting a good example for your team is a characteristic of a good leader. Are you doing the self evaluation as well? If not, your employees may question why the evaluation even matters.
You need to ensure that your employees know what the evaluations will be used for. Will they be used for future promotions or salary reviews? Will they be used to closely scrutinize workplace dynamics?
When the employee is unsure of what the specific purpose of the evaluation is, they may be hesitant to give honest answers because they may feel their answers will be used against them. If you are honest about your objectives, employees will be much more likely, to be honest with you.
3. Explain how the self evaluation will be used.
Be clear on how the employee self evaluation can benefit them, who will read their evaluations, and its effects on their career growth. They should know if it could lead to bonuses, rewards, or a promotion.
4. Stay positive.
Make sure they know that the evaluation will not be used against them. Effective self evaluation must reflect and address their own weaknesses—and they might not own up to those if they think that their managers will use the information against them.
5. Recognize and acknowledge achievements.
Encourage everyone to be specific with their achievements and do your part in recognizing their contributions. You might want to provide incentives or share their achievements during meetings, too. That way, they know that upper management acknowledges their efforts for the company.
6. Offer mentoring and guidance.
Managers should give feedback to employees, but it should not be critical. The point of giving feedback is to provide the right advice and lead the employee in the right direction for self improvement.
It’s important that you take the time to explain the process and how a self evaluation benefits the employee. Employees are accustomed to receiving evaluations from their managers and supervisors, but performing a self evaluation may leave them feeling intimidated or overwhelmed.
Encourage them to be as objective as possible, and not to be exceedingly critical of themselves. They should also be encouraged to not over-exaggerate their positives either.
You can help your employees prepare for self evaluation by recommending they:
– make an honest list of their struggles
– list their accomplishments over the evaluation period
– connect the above to the overall goals of the organization
– have them reflect on where they see themselves in the future with the organization and how the company can help them to achieve their goals
7. Work on your environment.
It’s great to encourage and prepare your employees for self evaluation, but if the business culture only punishes mistakes and does not honor honest feedback, your organization will not see much benefit from the process.
If you plan to regularly use self evaluation as a tool in the workplace, you should guide the culture in a way that your employees feel safe to admit their weaknesses without fear of retribution.
8. Follow through.
What occurs after the evaluation is complete will affect how employees conduct self evaluations moving forward. There should always be a follow-up discussion between the employee and manager to determine what steps need to be taken to move forward.
If the organization is unable to make changes based on suggestions from the employee, you should provide them with a clear reason why.
9. Enable convenient evaluations over mobile apps.
Mobile apps offer an easy and fun way of completing evaluations. Most employees prefer this over forms. The ability to sign on the mobile device and usage of emoticons can encourage employees to complete their self evaluations without a lot of nudging from HR.