Employee self appraisals can serve as a very powerful tool for managers. If done correctly, this tool can reveal employee perceptions of the workplace, how it is managed and things that could be done to improve the worker experience.
As managers, it is important to solicit this kind of feedback and be open to learn from what employees think and use it as a learning experience for professional and organizational growth.
I am always amazed at how honest employees are if given the opportunity to share their perspective of the work environment and how often I misread employee responses and intentions.
This process can be intimidating to employees without proper preparation and honest discussions making it important to prepare employees for this exercise, especially new or young people in the work place.
Preparation should be done by explaining why the feedback is important, what the organization hopes to learn and how the information will be used to set organizational goals and improve the employee experience.
Some organizations have the employees fill out their own performance appraisal using the same tool that the manager uses for their self appraisal.
But I’ve found that using a separate tool, that asks more questions that relate to how the employee is managed and their perceptions of their knowledge and skill-set, can reveal valuable information for the manager.
This is a sample employee self appraisal tool that drills down into more personal employee perspectives.
This example can be formatted into a document that should include the employee’s name, department, date and signature that will become part of the employee file.
This tool should be incorporated into the performance appraisal process and the information learned should be discussed for clarity and establishment of goals. For example, employees may reveal things that the manager could do to help make their job easier. This kind of information opens the door for communication that might not have otherwise occurred.
Regardless of the tool used, it is important to set time aside each year to have a performance discussion with employees and use that discussion to learn ways to improve the employee work experience and create employee goals to help them in their professional development and growth.
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photo by: Mike Chen
Article was originally published June, 2011, update January 2014.