“Man know thy self”. This is a popular phrase by Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers that ever lived. Socrates’ statement is a clarion call for self-knowledge as the bedrock for a clear understanding of one’s self, as an effective tool for self-development and the benefit of the larger society at large.
It is on this basis the concept of self-appraisal comes to play. This concept describes the action where an individual or employee evaluates their actions or performance as it relates to work or their personal life.
In the workplace, self-appraisals are when employees are allowed to gauge their performance, strengths, or weakness against certain agreed and already communicated benchmarks provided by their employers.
Self-appraisals are usually, part of an employee’s performance evaluation conducted by employers. If you are tasked with carrying out performance appraisals or self-performance reviews, this article would show you the importance of a self-appraisal and how to write one, with valid examples.
Simply put, self-appraisal is the ability to check yourself, usually against certain parameters you have set for yourself to see how much progress you have made. It entails you monitoring your strengths and weaknesses to identify areas where you need improvement, in a bid to put you in charge of your development.
In the workplace, a self-appraisal focuses on showing your work performance over a certain period and is usually included in the annual performance evaluation of annual performance evaluation.
The essence of this is to effectively help you focus on your career goals in sync with your employer’s goal and mission. Being honest and objective about it would help you improve effectively in your chosen career path.
During your self-appraisal, you would write down your accomplishments, and key performance indicators highlighting the success levels of each one. You would show how you overcame obstacles or challenges encountered, how your contribution benefited your organization and areas where your employers help you grow.
Most employees perceive the self-appraisal exercise as an unnecessary and cumber exercise, mostly because they do not understand the aim and objectives, so it is mostly perceived as a witch-hunting exercise.
However, this is not true because it is one of the effective processes that can drive you towards achieving your goals effectively. The self-appraisal process is vital for the following reasons:
Self-appraisal moves an employee from the role of the audience to a player in the scheme of things. This sense of ownership invokes the self-appraisal process and makes them more deliberate in their actions as a result.
The major cause of friction between line managers and employees is a lack of understanding. Most times, a manager is saying one thing and the employee is hearing a different thing. Even managers who work closely with their team have difficulty understanding the employee’s perspectives.
These conflicting views are usually evident when there is a performance review meeting. Self-appraisals help to create clarity and eliminate any ambiguity in lines of communication.
It shows an employee’s strong points and weaknesses and this would help you to understand their actions clearly and treat them more favorably as you now have a better understanding of their perspective.
Employee motivation is triggered when employees are empowered to evaluate their actions/performance. This shows them that their perspectives are important what they think and feel truly matters as it requires mindful engagement from every employee.
It is also a way to gain insight into the personal drive and standards employees have set for themselves.
Communication between line managers and subordinates is improved with self-appraisals because it’s no longer one-way communication but a two-way interaction. The self-appraisal process creates a two-way conversation between an employer and employee and enhances the overall performance of the workforce while illuminating the employee’s areas of strength and weaknesses.
This interaction is essential to an effective performance management process and self-appraisals are one of the major drivers for this kind of work relationship.
Self-appraisals improve the working relationship between employers and employees. It promotes active communication and a healthy friction-free interaction between both parties. This encourages positive energy and synergy that allows for better teamwork and collaboration in the workplace.
The road map for an employee’s career path is illuminated by the self-appraisal process. Employees actively recognize their areas of strength and weaknesses without any resistance compared to when someone else points them out.
Areas, where they need further training, are made clear to them, they can understand areas where they would thrive the most, and identify areas where they struggle. This can allow their line managers to place them in roles where they will flourish with ease and help their professional and career development trajectory within an organization. An employee’s self-appraisal is an opportunity to discuss with their manager’s accomplishments, the challenges they are currently experiencing, and what they need from the management to perform better.
Self-appraisals can undoubtedly help an employee progress in their chosen career path.
Self-appraisal is beneficial to employees, employers, and generally individuals.
When employees are heard and acknowledged through the self-appraisal process, they are more likely to be open to feedback and constructive criticism without being defensive.
Alongside this, it gives the employee freedom to express themselves which invariably eliminates micromanagement from line managers. Employees who take part in self-appraisals are free to decide how they structure their responsibilities, which makes them more committed, loyal, and productive.
On the part of the managers, self-appraisal creates insight into an employee’s perception of their work and their place in the team. It clears the air on any misunderstanding and they learn what motivates their employees. This is a great tool for managing employees productively, as knowledge of what drives them makes it easy to lead them.
With this insight, managers can incentivize employees based on their unique drivers or triggers into better performance and also create or assign employees to tasks where they will thrive effortlessly. An atmosphere of trust and effective employee engagement is created in the workplace through self-appraisal, and this is the bedrock of success for any organization.
Self-appraisal is a regular occurrence in our everyday life, whether consciously or unconsciously. When practiced intentionally and consistently, it becomes an effective tool for learning and growth.
This practice gives you insight into your behavior, and actions and helps you understand areas, where you are at your best effortlessly, and also, helps your personal growth.
This is also in line with the saying by American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer John Dewey, “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”
To carry out your self-appraisal process effectively, it is important to set self-performance goals. The best way to do this is to use the SMART method. This technique makes it easy to monitor and measure your progress.
The smart method helps you create goals that are:
You can use the SMART method to set goals based on the various areas of your work, like productivity, soft and hard skills, training, education, and more.
You should also set goals that address any weaknesses you documented in your self-appraisal review. This lets your employer see how much you are and that you’re committed to becoming better at your job and contributing to your organization’s development.
Now that we have addressed the methods, the next step is to itemize the goals. Some of the goals you decide on can include:
These are tasks and results you want to accomplish at your job. Try to think of productivity goals that can amplify your efforts and impact your work positively.
You can also set new skills and goals relevant to the responsibility that you want to acquire. These skills could include problem-solving, communication, public speaking, analytical skills, and more.
You can also set goals to enroll in beneficial training or educational programs. These learning programs can include visionary leadership or in-house training programs specific to your company.
You can also set goals based on key achievements recognized in the organization you work for. To set these types of goals, select a company achievement that you want to earn and outline tasks you can complete to earn it.
The benefits of setting these goals are many and they include the following:
You can use corporate rules to structure your self-appraisal and focus on your achievements instead of your shortfalls. Consider these shortfalls and opportunities for improvement and request training that can help you overcome them.
You can adopt the following suggestions when writing your self-appraisal:
1. Find out the purpose of the appraisal by asking your manager.
The knowledge of what it would be used for on completion is important before you begin.
2. Share your accomplishments.
Sharing your accomplishments would help, however, strike a balance by not focusing too much or too little on your accomplishments. While you are doing this, take note of the goals you set and the effectiveness with which you achieved them, and don’t hesitate to use concrete examples.
3. Acknowledge your shortcomings.
Recognize your flaws and take responsibility by apologizing for them. Use words like “I would like to develop more in….” so as not to hang yourself.
4. Get their attention.
This can be done by describing your role, the requirements to fill this role that you already possess, ways in which you achieved your goals, and the steps you would take to meet or exceed your goals subsequently.
5. Be professional.
Don’t exaggerate your success or use bogus words, make sure you go straight to the point and your document is scanned for grammatical errors or typos before submission.
6. Request what you need to help you attain new heights.
Inform your employers of the requirements they would need to provide to aid you to attain new levels of success. If you want to switch roles, ask for responsibilities in those areas specifically.
If there are aspects of your career that you are more interested in, ask how you may participate in those responsibilities more in the upcoming year. Don’t mince words, if you need funds to pay for a course that would be relevant to the business ask for it politely.
Conducting a self-appraisal and implementation survey might not always be easy to accomplish. This is where Formplus can help. We offer a free complete employee satisfaction survey template that will help you and your employees learn what is and isn’t working in your workplace.
Our on-demand customizable survey templates can be tweaked to include any aspect you want to include and you can use the data from this survey to garner insights into any challenges your employees might be facing and encourage self-reflective practices.
With premium features like private forms, storage integrations, analytics, and workflows, you can do so much more with Formplus online forms.
Here are some self-appraisal templates from Formplus that you can download for free and tweak to suit your unique needs:
With these templates, you and your employees will be able to prepare effortlessly and adequately for your performance review – with the extra benefit of consistency in the style and form of your self-appraisal templates.
If you do have any additional questions that you would like to include in the template, you are of course more than welcome to modify it.
In designing self-appraisal forms, you can split the questions into categories for clarity.
Self-appraisal is an effective tool for evaluating your abilities in other to further hone them to achieve your personal and organizational goals. To do this successfully you must set SMART objectives and goals.
Creating a self-appraisal form can be a lot of work and to help with the next self-appraisal, sign up with Formplus for free to create your preferred survey form with our easy drag-and-drop form builder.
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