How to Write Performance Self-Appraisals

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Writing performance self-appraisals is actually a very valuable way to learn information - if they're written properly in the first place. Write performance self-appraisals with help from an accomplished attorney, author and speaker in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Welcome. This is HR That Works president Don Phin, and today I'm going to answer the question, "how do you do a performance evaluation, self-evaluation?" And a lot of companies have moved towards this today, where they ask you to self-evaluate, and then the manager responds to that, and one of the things I teach about performance management is getting very clear about what the company wants you to focus on being very good at, you know? There's a question that I ask everybody, where if you write down the three things that you think are the most important things you do everyday, and then if I ask the manager to write those same three things down, I bet you those two lists won't match. So the first place is getting clear about what it is that you're supposed to be focusing on. What did they hire you to do? What would they consider to be the three most important things you do everyday? Because that's where you want to focus your efforts. Then the second question is, how would you know if you're doing any of those three things or five things, or how many you want to list, how do you know if you're doing those things well, without having to ask your boss, without the boss having to tell you? Because until you can have those two conversations: where do you want me focusing, and what are my benchmarks, it's very difficult for anybody to evaluate anything, including you doing a self-evaluation. Now, assuming you've got those things down, be honest about things. Say "look, this is what I think I'm doing very well, this is where I have some challenges - maybe because I don't have the training I need, I'm not clear about what you want about me, maybe I'm just a round peg in a square hole. I'd rather focus twice my efforts over here and none of my efforts over here." So when you do the self-evaluation, be honest. Be responsible. As I say, play above the line, don't point fingers at anyplace else. Just focus on what you can do better. And the last thing about it, be prepared for some judgement back. Be prepared for people challenging you on it. Don't play victim on the situation. It's a dialogue. If you've got good management, they want you to succeed. Come into the self-evaluation process with that idea, and you'll do a great job of self-performance evaluations. Take care.

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