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How to Create an Employee Self-Evaluation Process [+Video]

Self-evaluation lets employees track their achievements and take ownership of their career

Anna Coucke

by Anna Coucke - February 3rd, 2023


When creating an effective performance review process within your company, employee self-evaluation is one of the most integral steps. As its name suggests, a self-evaluation allows employees to track their individual goals and achievements, while also inviting them to take more ownership of their work and career advancement.

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Knowing what to include and how to make self-reviews useful can feel daunting. Let’s take a look at what should be included in these evaluations and how they can be implemented in order to be successful.

What to Include In Employee Self-Evaluations

While there are many performance feedback models and ways to measure success in different roles, here are some categories that are present in most employee self-reviews:

  • Personal goals – Having specific and measurable goals, both long-term and short-term, can help employees push themselves to succeed in both their current roles and overall career. Many companies use the SMART model for achievable goal-setting.

  • Areas to Improve – As part of personal goal-setting, employees should take time to reflect on particular areas where they may have shortcomings or found themselves struggling to grow.

  • Achievements – Highlighting successes and completed projects during the review period lets employees reflect on their wins and accomplishments, which boosts morale and encourages them to take ownership of their tasks.

  • Manager Feedback – This space should allow employees to give honest feedback about their manager’s performance, including strengths and areas to improve.

  • Resource Feedback – Along with providing honest manager feedback, employees should have a place to give feedback on company resources and the tools they use in their role, and allow them to make suggestions on what they need to be successful.

Feedback Frequency

Self-evaluations typically accompany performance reviews for employees. It varies from company to company how frequently these review cycles take place; while companies traditionally have held annual review cycles, more frequent reviews are becoming common.

Workers have made it clear that they prefer feedback more frequently than what they get through annual reviews. A survey by Reflektive found that 92% of workers polled prefer to receive feedback more often than once per year. According to Rachel Ernst, Senior Director of People Programs at Udemy, encouraging frequent feedback and self-assessment can inspire employees to have an active role in their career development and be more engaged at work.

“Employees crave accurate, growth-oriented feedback – and they don’t want to wait until an annual job review to get it,” Ernst explains. “When employees receive regular attention, recognition, and guidance on how to improve from their managers, they tend to be more engaged and productive. They often stay with their employers longer and work harder, decreasing recruitment and retention costs.” [Note]

Frequent self-evaluations go hand-in-hand with feedback from managers, but it’s up to HR professionals to create a process that makes self-evaluations effective rather than annoying.

Creating Effective Self-Evaluations

Frequent feedback and self-evaluation don’t necessarily need to have the formality of a performance review – they can be implemented as part of monthly or even weekly check-ins between managers and employees. This can take the shape of setting and providing updates on short- and long-term goals and chatting about broader career or education interests.

What can HR departments do to make self-evaluations successful? Here are a few tools that can aid the process:

  • Provide Templates – Whether it is a weekly meeting or an official performance review, providing employees and managers with a template that guides one-on-one meetings can encourage these discussions and make them less ambiguous.

  • Set Reminders – Setting reminders for employees and managers to check in on goals and feedback can keep these discussions from being pushed to the side by other matters.

  • Add to the Employee Handbook – No matter the frequency of performance reviews that works best for your company, spelling out the review cycle in the employee handbook can manage expectations and keep employees prepared.

With self-evaluations playing such a vital part in employee satisfaction and performance, it is important that HR professionals are able to keep them organized and updated. GoCo’s all-in-one performance management allows you to easily create customized review templates, track review progress, and send automatic reminders. Take a free tour today!

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