How to implement self-evaluation in the workplace
It's important to remember that the purpose of a self-assessment is to guide employees through a thought process, rather than simply asking for a host of random opinions.
It's therefore a good idea to look at other examples of self-evaluation or use pre-designed templates to begin with, as this should ensure key points are being covered and the whole process gets off to a smooth start.
Here are some important details and questions you may wish to add:
- Ask employees to list their major achievements over the past year, being as specific as possible
- Request a list of goals for a set period and ask what would allow employees to accomplish them
- Ask employees to highlight what they like and dislike about their role
- Enquire where employees would ideally like to see their careers leading
- Ask what employees have seen as their main challenges this year, as this could encourage them to address mistakes
When implementing self-evaluation, it's vital to allow enough time for employees to complete it. Springing a performance review on them at the last minute could leave workers feeling as though they’re under pressure, which isn’t conducive to morale.
The process needs to be something that’s scheduled in ahead of time, with the tasks staggered to avoid too many employees trying to self-assess during the same period - and appropriate cover should be provided. It may be that staff are given regular slots over the course of a week to complete their questionnaires, perhaps in the last half-hour of the day, to make carefully considered responses more likely.
Reviewing completed self-evaluation material
Once employees have submitted their completed self-evaluation material, it's essential to give it the attention it deserves. Filing the forms away as simply another item crossed off the HR to-do list will likely leave employees feeling they’ve wasted their time and aren’t valued.
Instead, managers should review each response and what it might mean for that particular employee before booking them in for an appointment to discuss it. This shouldn’t feel like an appraisal or an attack, but rather a positive chance to look at progress, review goals and examine opportunities for future growth.
An opportunity for a better way forward?
Self-evaluations may seem alien at first, and you could find employees are skeptical of their potential effects. However, over time they should start to feel more natural and - importantly - more progressive than the traditional appraisal.
HR managers may not want to phase the old methods out completely, but self-evaluation could find a valuable place alongside them in creating a better talent management process.
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