To gauge workers’ performance, go to the inside source.
An annual employee performance review can help keep workers engaged — and provide valuable feedback that may enhance their workplace contributions.
However, if the only input comes from your HR department or an employee’s manager, you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity.
Meeting with employees, formally or informally, on a regular basis — whether it’s once a year or, ideally, more often — to provide a performance review can illustrate that their employer and direct manager both care about the worker’s progress. With just 13 percent of employees engaged at work worldwide, according to a Gallup poll, direct initiatives to make employees feel valued are clearly needed.
Giving workers the chance to weigh in on their performance through an employee self-evaluation can offer additional proof that their satisfaction level — and opinion — are important.
A few tips to help the employee self-evaluation process go smoothly:
Don’t make it a stressful experience: Be sensitive to the fact employees may not initially celebrate the chance to fill out an employee performance review. Some may be uncomfortable praising or criticizing their work. Some may feel managers are just trying to avoid taking the time to write employee performance reviews. Make sure workers know your intent — to use employee self-evaluations as a tool to help you offer additional support and guidance.
Inaccuracy can be revealing: Some employees won’t rank themselves accurately; and that’s OK. Research conducted by psychologist David Dunning and his then-grad student, Justin Kruger, initially published in 1999, found that poor performers often rank themselves highly; top performers, on the other hand, tend to rate themselves lower than they should.
The employee self-evaluation process won’t remove any need for a managerial performance review; you’ll still need to use your own records and recollections of employees’ successes and struggles to provide a thorough assessment. An employee self-evaluation can, however, offer a good look at which staff members’ perception is a bit off. Employees who are significantly overconfident about their skills may need a bit more guidance — and, in some cases, a softer managerial approach.
Use the employee self-evaluation process to set goals: Instead of just asking team members to list their accomplishments, encourage them to also identify several things they’d like to achieve in the coming year — such as a new position, training or other accomplishment. The top goal can serve as something to benchmark the employee’s progress against next year during the worker’s annual employee performance review.
Creating a customized employee self-evaluation form will allow you to include questions relating to your organization’s specific succession planning and other concerns. Once you know employees’ central motivations and concerns, you can work to proactively make changes designed to prevent top performers from leaving.
If you’re not sure where to start, free employee self-evaluation examples are available from the Society for Human Resource Management, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other sources.
Managers can benefit from performance reviews, too. If you’re struggling to determine whether someone you supervise is becoming a problem, this employee self-evaluation for managers from the American Management Association can help you clarify if the situation is poised to potentially spark a workplace issue.
For additional insight into improving employee engagement, find out how to correct employee communication missteps you may be making; ways to effectively motivate your workforce — and how to identify and correct issues that result from disengaged employees in the workplace.