Every manager not only has to evaluate employees, but evaluate him or herself. Self-evaluations can be difficult, exhausting, and downright annoying, because they force us to look honestly at our strengths and flaws. In addition to the stress that completing them causes, self-evaluations can feature inflated opinions or biased information.
When it’s Time to Conduct a Self-Evaluation
Your company may require routine self-evaluations once or twice a year, but you may want to conduct informal evaluations more often so that you can better lead your employee team. You may want to consider giving yourself a self-evaluation if your team stops meeting goals, you feel like you’ve lost focus, or you need to conduct employee evaluations. Recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses can help you identify areas that need changing and may provide insight into certain employee behaviors.
How to Conduct Your Own Self-Evaluation Effectively
Self-evaluations can help managers become better evaluators and leaders over time. But it’s difficult to look at yourself in a truly objective light. Some people tend to look at their actions in a more positive light while others fall into a category of self-deprecation, and neither is truly beneficial in the workplace. Here are some ways you can keep your individual evaluations as helpful as possible:
- Ask your employees or peers for feedback: Since humans are not great at self-evaluations, consider asking your team for their interpretation of your performance. Students evaluate their teachers, and the practice is also common in other industries. If you’re not managing them effectively, their feedback is the only way to recognize pathways for change. It doesn’t have to be a formal evaluation. Simply ask your team for feedback about your performance over a period of time and if they have any suggestions for improvement.
- Keep a regular log of your activities: Write down your accomplishments and keep them in a file. A self-evaluation is a time for you to showcase the things you’ve done well. Try to associate a value with each accomplishment that you’ve achieved. Executives want to see the effects of the work you’ve been doing over the time period.
- Include some areas for improvement: Review givers often have to find the right way to communicate criticism to employees, and those who conduct self-evaluations also have to word their own self-criticism carefully. Acknowledge areas for improvement, but always frame the information in a positive light, and offer the solutions you have come up with for improvement in the future.
- Do discuss your career plans and job wants/needs: A self-evaluation is also a forum for employees to ask for what they need. In addition to outlining your performance, subtly talk about advancement by highlighting what you find most rewarding and what you would like to accomplish in the company in the next year or two.
Take the time to write well-thought out and comprehensive self-evaluations throughout the year. Each version will help you improve your ability to evaluate yourself in the future. Make sure that your self-evaluation helps you advance your career and purchase the Self Evaluation eBook.