The Ultimate Self-Evaluation Guide (+Tips and Examples)

While self-evaluation may not be your favorite activity, it is essential for personal and professional growth.

May 6, 2022
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Most professionals don't need so much convincing on the need for performance reviews by their managers. But, when it comes to self-evaluation, the enthusiasm isn't often the same. And we get it! It's not always easy to identify our strengths and weaknesses. However, no review is a walk in the park. Managers also need tips to maximize their performance reviews. 

So, while self-evaluation may not be your favorite activity, it is essential for personal and professional growth. It's a time to demonstrate what an asset you are to the company by analyzing and reflecting on your performance and contribution throughout a given period and putting it in writing.

Why does Self-Evaluation Matter?

Self-evaluations vary from organization to organization. Some use evaluation templates, while others allow their staff to freestyle. Regardless of how formal or informal it is, self-assessing is important for the following reasons:

1. Recognizing Accomplishments

You may have never recognized some achievements without a deliberate retrospection because achievements may be vague until they're highlighted. 

Employees can reflect on accomplishments by candidly assessing wins and opportunities and pat themselves on the back. They can also see opportunities for improvement and prepare goals for the next year to accommodate tasks that will aid development and growth.

2. Improved Job Security

A good performance appraisal can lead to a raise and improved job security. Often, employees may try to get a raise without adequate data and metrics to back it. Self-evaluation sessions allow you to correctly highlight all the areas that make you a good fit for a raise and use them to make your case. In addition, if an employee's contract is ending, a self-evaluation allows you to increase your chances of getting a retainer instead of relying solely on your manager for a befitting performance review.

3. Boost Your Morale

An effective self-evaluation session is often the perfect morale boost. It could serve as the driving force an employee needs to do more. By summarizing a year or quarter (as the case may be), you can see how great you've been doing despite a supposedly bad year.

On the other hand, there may be situations where employees may realize they've not been doing as great as they thought. And while this may seemingly look bad, it can also serve as an excellent opportunity to plan new strategies to get better instead of just striving in the dark.

Now that we understand the benefits of self-evaluation, how do you craft effective reports to ensure that your evaluation is on par with others? Let's jump right in! This article will guide you with some tips and examples for making the most of this process in your professional life.

5 Tips for Writing an Effective Self-Evaluation Report

An effective evaluation will ensure that you score highly and are recognized for your efforts. No matter how familiar you are with self-evaluation sessions, there's always room for improvement. 

Here are five tips for writing an effective self-evaluation report:

1. Carve Out Enough Time – The more time you have, the less pressure you feel

Completing your self-evaluation a few minutes before the review may not give you the best outcome. Like most other vital reviews or assessments, adequate time allows you to answer questions in detail without avoidable pressure.

Reflecting on a year's wins, challenges, and achievements requires proper data collection, brain-racking, and research. If your organization doesn't have a template for self-evaluation, you may need even more time to reflect and make jottings, then draft out, build it, and finally proofread. 

2. Be Specific – Specificity gives your review context

In addition to other uses, self-evaluation results may be a deciding factor for a raise, promotion, or contract renewal. Therefore, being vague may do the opposite of increasing your chances.

Specificity gives context and allows you to highlight your skills, approaches, wins, and the challenges you encountered strategically. You can also highlight instances where you showed particular skills that align with the company's values and how you achieved them. It could be collaboration, innovation, or being proactive. If specificity is a challenge for you, you can list the skills and abilities you want to highlight, then build on them using instances that illustrate them.

3. Be Honest – Honesty means taking responsibility, and that's always a good thing

Whether you have more losses than wins or didn't meet your KPIs as you would be proud of, it's still important to highlight them. While being honest about challenges and shortcomings, endeavor to frame weaknesses as opportunities for growth.

It's not enough to mention the problems. It would be best if you also wrote how you could improve, including areas where you need external help. Like suggesting ways that you think managers can help, e.g.: clearer timelines, benchmarks, etc.

4. Use Numbers – Metrics enable employers to connect performance and results

Metrics serve as evidence to back up your accomplishments. Numbers not only put results in perspective, but they also help employees have a clear standard to assess their performance.  Numbers also allow you to build measurable goals and track your progress. Showing numbers also gives you leverage to negotiate raises or other benefits on the table.

5. Use Proper Terms - Business-speak reduces the chances of a misunderstanding 

It's easy to assume that managers know the nitty-gritty of your work. But they may not. While they should know a substantial amount, the manager they report to may not have the slightest clue. So, proper terminologies are crucial to writing an effective self-evaluation.

Endeavor to clearly describe what you do in relation to your team and organization. You can also highlight other self-development activities that may not be strictly about work, ranging from volunteer work in a nonprofit organization to courses you've taken. 

Examples to Guide You When Writing Your Self-Evaluation

Writing an effective self-evaluation can be tricky, it calls for a certain level of self-awareness. But, it's not impossible.  Based on roles and responsibilities, different organizations have different methods and specific metrics to measure. 

However, here are some examples to guide you to write an effective self-review that demonstrates your strong performance while also highlighting areas for growth:

Teamwork and Collaboration
Strengths 

- Working in a team allows me to bring out the best in myself and my teammates. I produce the best outcomes in a team because everyone is comfortable enough to put their best foot forward when they can and take a step back when they genuinely can't. This allows for inclusivity and higher productivity. 

{Give an example of a situation where effective teamwork produced an excellent result, the role you played, and the results}

Opportunity for growth

- I often struggle with delegating complex tasks to team members, especially the new ones, which often overwhelms me. As we advance, I would suggest that we have a departmental onboarding in addition to the company-wide onboarding. There, I can attend and ensure that the new employees for the department understand their deeper tasks. 

Communication
Strengths 

- I have strong interpersonal skills that help me effectively identify the best ways to communicate with clients and colleagues. I have also improved my communication skills with the help of tools such as Slack and Workplace. 

{Give an example of a situation where clear communication saved a misunderstanding, the role you played, and the results}

Opportunity for growth

-I realized that when I feel stressed or under pressure in meetings, I often struggle to share my thoughts or concerns. In the future, I can improve on this by jotting things down before sharing my opinion. I'd also like my manager to tell team members about the meeting agenda before the meeting so that people are more prepared. 

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking
Strengths

-I excel in solving problems because of my analytical skills. I'm comfortable taking issues piece by piece until I find the root cause. I also took a problem-solving course last quarter to develop this skill. This skill has come in handy in team tasks as I can find solutions quickly and carry my team along the process when the need arises.

{Give an example of a situation where critical thinking helped you solve a problem, the role you played, and the result}

Opportunity for growth

-I often get caught up while solving complex problems, and my other tasks suffer. Moving forward, I'll work with other team members to get things done quicker, and I'll also manage my time better by allocating time slots to various tasks and sticking to them. 

Ready to Begin?

When it comes to self-evaluation, the main goal is to improve your performance, so you're better able to get the job done. Identify where you are making mistakes in your work and use that to improve yourself. It's vital to know what went wrong and what was good, then fill those knowledge gaps to become a better employee. 

One final key: Your self-evaluation will only be as strong as you make it. It's best to do your own self-evaluation regularly throughout the year to stay on top of what's important and how you can make improvements.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. These one-time services start at $5,000. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered