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Performance Management: Pros and Cons of Employee Self-Evaluation

April 01, 2022

Learn how our employee performance management system should give you tools to help make the performance review process easy to navigate for the managers and employees.

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Your employee performance management system gives you tools to help organize all the information that encourages engagement and helps improve employee performance and satisfaction. One of the things you might consider is using self-evaluation features. Self-evaluation, also commonly referred to as self-assessment, is often part of the employee performance management process. This gives your employee a chance to assess themselves.

Truth be told, most workers dread this part of the employee review process. It's difficult to rate your own performance honestly. When handled well, the self-evaluation process can offer management and employees some great benefits. The key is in knowing how to administer and encourage honest self-evaluation as part of your company’s employee review process and encourage staff to use the information in a value-based way.

What is an Employee Self-Evaluation?

An employee self-evaluation is a formalized self-assessment, documented in writing or as a digital file, that grants your employees the opportunity to reflect on their contribution to your organization. These employee evaluations typically take place at least once a year and are often included in the yearly review process to build out a full picture of the employee’s accomplishments and learning opportunities. Employees’ self-assessment of their work can provide valuable insights into next steps for professional development.

What's Included in an Employee Self-Evaluation? 

When it comes time to review employee performance, clarifying which aspects you’d like your employees to review can set everybody up for a successful experience. Here’s what to include in your employee self-evaluations:

  • Accomplishments—how have they contributed to the team environment and overall success of the organization
  • Opportunities to learn—have they identified gaps in their skill set or areas where they’d like to improve
  • Goals—what do they want to achieve next in terms of performance, position, or project
  • Feedback—what insights do they have about workplace culture, operations, and collaboration

Providing employees the opportunity to self-reflect can empower them to take ownership of their contributions to your organization and operate at the top of their skill sets and capabilities.

What are the Advantages of an Employee Self-Assessments?

A self-assessment, when completed without bias and with the goal of improvement, can be an excellent performance review tool for both staff and management. When an employee is given the tools to look at their own performance to analyze their strengths and weaknesses, it can help them create goals that will fuel personal and professional growth.

Some major benefits you can see with self-evaluations include:

Giving the Employee Better Insights into their Data

With a self-evaluation, the employee needs to consider different projects and tasks they completed and compare their recollections to the data associated with those projects. It gives them the chance to look at their performance through the eyes of management, which is a perspective they normally don't have. This can be an excellent teaching tool to improve skills and it can also lead to growth in areas of management and leadership.

The Employee's Perspective Is Considered

Managers and supervisors don't always know or understand the exact duties of their individual employees. The self-assessment gives them the employee's perspective on scenarios which can be a great communication tool on a personal level and it can improve the manager's ability to inspire and lead.

Gives the Employee a Voice

This is a key benefit. The self-evaluation process opens a line of communication for the employee to give feedback on their performance, but also the intricacies of their job. This can help management understand pain points for employees and highlight strengths and weaknesses for specific staff members. By using Journals, employees can keep record of their tasks, goals and accomplishments, and discuss with their managers on an ongoing basis.

Self-assessments are often part of the overall employee evaluation process and include their performance review. Management and HR can use this information to encourage growth, reward excellent productivity, and as a part of the consideration process in promotions.

What are the Disadvantages of an Employee Self-Assessment?

Many companies use employee self-assessments, but often not to their advantage. For the most part, no one really wants to assess their own performance. It's uncomfortable. Speaking highly of your own performance can be awkward, even when it's true. Pointing out your own flaws can feel like a bad idea in a professional setting.

The outcome is that many employee self-assessments aren't done well or used to their best benefit. The key in making self-assessments useful is in creating an environment where there is no negative judgment on honest assessment. The goal of improvement and growth should be highlighted. With that being said, there are some ways that employee self-evaluations can be less than productive:

The Employee Isn't Honest or Helpful

This is common and often not intentional. Employees don't naturally know how to assess their own performance and self-appraisal is often an uncomfortable thing to do. HR and supervisors should make sure to give the employee the tools they need, such as data and examples to help them compile the most valuable assessment.

It's Difficult to Eliminate Bias

You're not going to get a completely unbiased self-assessment. It's not possible to remove yourself entirely from an assessment of your own performance. For some employees, it may mean that they don't showcase their strengths as well as they should because it feels braggy. For others, it might mean that they simply do not see their own weaknesses.

Self-Assessments in Performance Management Systems

The performance review and self-assessment process is an important tool to build employee engagement and encourage growth. It does need to be handled professionally and with best practices in leadership. Recommendations for improvement need to be handled with care so that the employee feels supported and encouraged when engaging in self-appraisal.

Your performance management system should offer employee assessment tools that help make the performance review process easier to navigate for both managers and employees. You should be able to construct unique workflows that help your HR set goals with your employees, manage benchmarks, and clearly see progress. Communication should be efficient throughout the process so that your employees always feel supported as they participate in their self-assessment. 

When used effectively, an employee assessment tool can help management compile robust reporting options, so they have a better view of individual performance, as well as whole company productivity.

Request a demo to learn more about Paylocity’s Employee Management System!

Level Up Employee Performance

Help your employees unlock their true potential with modern performance management tools. From goal management to personalized performance review and Journals, our solutions facilitate transparent, two-communication and get your workforce involved in their own development. Employees want to grow and expect ongoing support - give it to them with Performance Management from Paylocity.

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