How to Write Employee Self-Evaluations + Self-Evaluation Templates
The key to annual performance reviews that produce real results are employee self-evaluation forms. Self-evaluations increase the likelihood that employees will internalize and act on suggestions for growth from their supervisors.
This article briefly covers the method for choosing self-evaluation questions and how to interpret the responses so that employees are more likely to grow from their performance review. We’ll also supply you with some sample questions and templates to get you started.
What is an Employee Self-Evaluation?
An employee self-evaluation is a series of questions that encourage employees to think carefully about their achievements, strengths, and areas for improvement during a performance period. It also encourages them to set goals and strategize their growth for the following performance period.
Employees usually complete the self-evaluation and return it to their manager before a performance review meeting. This provides a helpful basis for discussion during the meeting.
There are two main types of self-evaluations: open-ended and sliding scale.
Open-ended self-evaluations give employees a chance to tell “their side of the story,” so to speak. These are usually ten or more questions with space for employees to write their responses.
- More engaging for employees
- Responses give managers and employees more jumping-off points for discussion
- Time-consuming for managers to review
Sliding Scale Self-Evaluations
Sliding scale self-evaluations present employees with a series of statements instead of questions. Employees then choose from a set of responses, such as “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree.” Managers can also complete a form about an employee, then compare responses during a review meeting.
- Ideal for managers with large teams
- Less time-consuming for employees to complete
- Less engaging for employees
10 Self-Evaluation Questions
Interested in learning how to write a self-appraisal for an annual performance review?
Below are ten specific questions that fall within those categories, as well as some insights about why you should include them and how to make the most of employee responses:
1. What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
A surefire way to get employees engaged with a self-evaluation is to start the process on a positive note. Unless they have no desire to stay in their current role, everyone will love discussing aspects that make them happiest.
2. Are there any aspects of your job description that you no longer do?
Any aspects you do that aren’t part of your description? Jobs evolve. New needs arise while old expectations get phased out. A performance review is a chance for a manager to discuss with an employee if those changes are appropriate and align with company objectives.
3. Is there anything you would prefer to do more or less of?
While it’s rarely possible for employees to get to do everything they love and nothing they don’t, as a manager you might consider dividing work among team members in ways that are conscious of their preferences.
4. What has been your greatest achievement during this performance period?
What do you think made that so successful? Employees who feel valued for their contributions tend to be happier and more productive. This question gives them an opportunity to receive recognition while drawing connections to the skills or habits that made those successes possible.
5. What tasks do you feel you consistently do well at?
This question gives employees a chance to acknowledge the day-to-day tasks and skills that contribute to their overall success. Managers can discuss how strongly they agree with the employee’s self-evaluation, or if there are other ways that they excel that they haven’t considered.
6. What are some unmet goals or things you could’ve done better during this performance period?
What support would’ve helped you? Some failures, mistakes, or shortcomings are a natural part of professional development. Reflection on those instances is the first step toward preventing them from happening again.
7. What skills would you like to improve upon in the next performance period?
Building on the last question, this gives employees an opportunity to consider how they’d like to grow, so that they can better contribute to the company.
8. What goals would you like to set for the next performance period?
Employees who have some say in setting their own goals, such as a number of deals won, are more likely to buy in and follow through. As a manager, you can work with them to make sure those goals align with company objectives.
9. Is there any education, coaching, or support that would help you perform better?
If the support and educational resources are available, employees should have access to them. Better-trained employees usually mean better results for the company.
10. What long-term goals do you have for your career?
What support would help you prepare for those goals? While it’s not necessarily a manager’s responsibility to prepare employees for their long-term career goals, investing in their development can increase their engagement and productivity while still on the company’s payroll.
Get More Out Of Your Performance Reviews
Self-evaluation forms are an easy way to get employees to hold themselves accountable, actively pursue goals, and feel valued at a company. To make implementing this practice even easier, we’ve created this open-ended self-evaluation form and this sliding scale form.
Try them out during your next performance reviews and enjoy having more engaged, growth-minded employees.