If your workplace functions like most office environments, your employers probably subject you to some form of overall performance review at least once a year, usually sometime in June or January. And while performance evaluation tools and metrics differ with every industry and every business model, there are probably some clear patterns to the criteria your employers use to measure your success. There may also be some predictable steps you and your managers typically take after the review ends to help you stay on track toward company goals or shift you back in the right direction if you’ve strayed off course.
So if you recognize these patterns and criteria, and they provide a reliable picture of your yearly contributions to the company, why not take it upon yourself to increase the benefits of the review process by giving yourself an extra review a few times a year? Try these self-review tips to help you increase your value to your manager and your organization.
1. Use real criteria, and take the process seriously. Hold onto a copy of your annual review each year and apply the same questions and metrics to your performance three months later. But add your own criteria as well. If your official review offers no 1-5 ranking options for metrics like “timeliness” or “determination and follow-through regarding problem solving”, then add them. Any criteria that can used to measure how well you do your job should be factored into your unofficial review.
2. Be honest. Nobody will see this review but you, and its primary purpose is to help you identify and shore up areas of weakness. So face these areas of weakness head on and see them with clear eyes. Don’t let your ego stand between you and the truth.
3. Be honest about your strengths as well as your areas in need of improvement. We all like to be praised for our positive traits, even if the praise is unofficial, unpublished, and self-attributed. Just be as realistic as possible and give yourself credit where credit is due.
4. Follow through. There’s little value in going the process of a point-by-point non-mandatory self-evaluation if you don’t intend to do anything with the results. One you’ve completed the assessment process, form a clear plan with achievable actionable goals and a realistic timeline. If you need help with your public speaking skills, for example, don’t just give yourself low marks and move on. Reach out and take measurable action by signing up for a Toastmasters course, or asking your employer for guidance and training.
Need help following through on your self-directed employee improvement plan? The Connecticut career experts at Merritt Staffing Agency in Connecticut can help. Contact our office and find out more about our industry connections, tips, job search tools, and training resources.