In many organizations, the performance evaluation cycle is just winding down. Regardless of what type of process you use to evaluate your people, one thing is constant. People hate the thought of doing a self-assessment before the actual performance discussion takes place.
This puzzles me. It’s an opportunity for you to remind your manager of all the things that happened over the past review cycle. After all, most managers are reviewing the work product for an entire team of people over the course of 6 months to a year. Even the best manager in the world will only remember a fraction of what happened over that period of time. This becomes your chance to influence the review process before it gets set in stone.
Why Employees Fear the Self-Assessment Process
Individuals fear the process for a variety of reasons:
- Some say they don’t have time to do the manager’s work for them. This is a view that will not win you any favor if it’s mentioned in public.
- Some say that it doesn’t make any difference anyway. That the manager has already made up her mind about your performance. Perhaps, but is it worth taking the chance if she hasn’t.
- Still others claim that they don’t like to toot their own horn and draw attention to their accomplishments. To those of you in that category, remember what I said about the manager having many people to keep track of. Think of your team being in a pitch black room and your manger walking around in the same room with a cup of very hot coffee in his hand. If you don’t want to get burned accidentally, you’d better start tooting that horn to let him know where you are.
5 Steps to Survive the Self-Assessment Process
Knowing that it’s difficult and uncomfortable to do, here’s an easy formula to help you with the process.
- Choose 2-3 things you worked on during the year that are important for your manager to know about. Remember, just because you spent a significant amount of time working on a task or project, doesn’t mean it had the same exposure in other parts of the organization.
- For each item, describe the situation or what it was you set out to accomplish.
- What were the challenges you faced while you were working on the task or project What did you do to deal with each of the challenges and were you able to successfully overcome the challenge, or was it something that stopped or delayed your progress?
- For each task or project on your list, what was the final outcome? If you were successful, describe how it helped the business. Also note who helped you to be successful. You may as well take the opportunity to give thanks and recognition to others on the team who may not get the opportunity to speak for themselves. If the project wasn’t successful, describe in detail why.
- Describe the key learnings from each of the projects or tasks. What worked well that you will carry on to the next tasks you are assigned? What would you do differently the next time you are presented with a similar project?
Hopefully this 5 step process will take some of the fear out of your next self-assessment. Remember: you have the best insight into your performance on specific tasks. Give yourself some credit and in turn, you will earn the recognition you deserve.