Self-assessment refers to an employee’s description of his accomplishments, in relation to his job’s key objectives. It is a tool that provides him an opportunity to describe and put into light the major contributions he made to the organization. Note that an employee’s assessment of his own job performance may be different from how his superior, or the organization in general, perceives it.
Basic Guidelines for Self-Assessments
The following should be present in a written or documented self-assessment, for it to be effective:
1. Restatement of objectives – The objectives of the job should be rephrased according to the employee’s understanding of it, in order for his superior to gauge whether the employee has indeed understood these, or not.
2. Most noteworthy achievements – All major achievements should be given focus as these are key indicators of an employee’s performance.
3. Explanation of why those achievements are important – Mention the effects of the achievements you made, and how these have greatly helped the organization.
4. Areas for improvement – Whilst the main focus of self-assessments are the employee’s good performance, it is also important to mention the challenges that he believes he has, and it would be helpful to include some suggestions on how his superior and the organization can help him overcome these.
Before Conducting a Self-Assessment
Many people make the mistake of hastily making a self-assessment just to comply with the organization’s requirement. Only a small percentage of the employee population realize that there are steps to be taken in order to make a helpful and effective assessment of themselves.
• The first step is to make sure that sufficient time is spent in thinking about how well the person is performing his job over a specified time period. Some companies require an annual self-assessment while others require quarterly submissions. But conducting a personal self-assessment is also recommended to help keep track of a person’s own performance.
• The second step is to think about career, work, and personal growth. Include any improvements that were made since the last time you assessed yourself. Even if there is only a very minor improvement, consider it; after all, it is still an improvement.
• The third step is to identify your weak areas; or areas where improvement is needed for you to be able to excel in your performance.
• The fourth step is to think about your goals. Ask yourself what work-related goals you want to achieve and how you think these can be realized.
• Lastly, ask yourself what other factors could help you in achieving your goals. What can your superior, your teammates, or your organization do to help you achieve your goals?
Make the Most out of Your Self Assessment
There are essential elements that will make any self-assessment very effective, and these are: preparation and objectivity.
Well written self-assessments are made mostly by people who spent ample time preparing for it. Here, “well written” does not mean a nicely formatted assessment with perfect grammar and vocabulary; instead, it means a written assessment that can accurately and clearly relay to readers how well you have performed your job since your last evaluation.
Few people make a habit of taking note of every achievement and contribution they have made to their team and organization, and their significance. Each time they write it down, they provide as much detail as possible so that they can go over their list again when it is time to make a self-assessment. This has worked for those who have tried it, and surely, it will work for you, too. You probably do not realize it, but a lot of your achievements could be forgotten over time if you do not document them and file them accordingly.
Objectivity is also one of the fundamental requirements of a good self-assessment. When assessing yourself, it is difficult not to be subjective but it is important to refrain from biased judgment when trying to identify our own weak areas so that we could be as precise as possible in talking about our performance and what aspects of it need to be further improved on. Some people refuse to acknowledge their own weakness and as a result, nothing can be done about it.