Employee Self-Assessments: 4 Guidelines to Help You Prepare

While preparing for the self-assessment portion of an annual performance review is not a new concept, many who have been involved in the process itself, understand how it can be a challenging, sometimes even daunting, practice. In one of our recent articles, “How to Ensure Your Management Team is Conducting Effective Performance Reviews”, readers are offered a glimpse into the employee review process, from the employer’s point of view. Performance reviews benefit the employer by allowing them to assess the functionality of the company’s infrastructure as a whole, while also viewing individual departments and subsequent employees.

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Yet, the self-assessment is also an invaluable tool for employees, as it offers the opportunity for workers to gain a personal in-depth perspective of their own abilities, competencies, strengths, and weaknesses. Additionally, the self-assessment portion of the performance review allows employees a forum to spotlight some of their own achievements and strong suits, which may or may not have passed under management’s radar.

As it is crucial that self-assessments are approached pragmatically, we are offering a list of guidelines to ensure you are fully prepared to maximize the benefits of your next self-assessment.

  1.  Research and take notes. The most important part of a successful, professional and well-developed self-assessment is to make sure you have done your research and have taken notes throughout the year. Notes, both positive and negative, will help identify areas in which you have especially excelled, or those where you may need some more guidance. You may also include your own ideas for overall improvement.
  2. Rate your performance accurately. Before checking “excellent” on all of the categories, familiarize yourself with the company’s definition of excellence and other rating qualifications. Also, be honest when rating your own past performances and abilities. Acknowledging your own imperfections and recognizing areas in need of improvement actually reflects your own professionalism, and ability to proactively react to constructive criticism.
  3.  Emphasize the positive. As we know, the employee assessment isn’t exclusively based on identifying areas in need of improvement; it is also a time to highlight great achievements and successes throughout the year. Showcase accomplishments that you are proud of in a professional manner, and be sure to add references and notes that may apply. Explain or demonstrate how these achievements have been beneficial to the company. Perhaps they have positively affected the bottom line, reduced costs or improved sales.
  4.  Be professional. While the self-assessment is a chance for you to concentrate on your own achievements and abilities, it is still important to be as professional as possible. Remember that your superiors will be reading and evaluating your assessment, so this is just another opportunity to impress. Your self-assessment will also become a permanent part of your employee file; so be sure you have read the initial performance review guidelines so that you can properly cover all of the listed objectives.

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The Takeaway

The self-assessment segment of the performance review offers employees the opportunity to objectively view their work performance from the perspective of their employer.  It also affords workers the chance to honestly identify their own strengths and weaknesses and gain an in-depth view of their value as a team member. What is imperative, however, is to remain honest and professional, while remembering to highlight your achievements in equivalence to any areas in need of improvement.

Fred Coon, CEO


At SC&C we offer Career Analysis to help senior decision-makers from all walks of life identify strategies and tactics to increase their value-add employment potential.

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