Ellen Warden, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
WorkPlace Synergy, LLC
Atlanta, GA

The thing managers like doing least is performance reviews. They look at them as a pain in the neck and something they feel they are forced to do. Chances are you don’t look forward to them and even wonder if they do any good.

Kevin Eikenberry, world renowned leadership expert, bestselling author, speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach, suggests that regardless of your firm’s process, the nature of your “form” or anything else, there is something you can implement, simply and easily – to make those dreaded performance reviews more effective. Kevin encourages leaders to make employees active participants in the review process by conducting regular self-evaluations.
Here are some questions he suggests you can use to help your employees prepare.
• What are you most proud of?
• What is your biggest accomplishment or success?
• What do you see as your strengths?
• What are some areas of challenge or weakness?
• Where have you made the most progress?
• Where do you still need the most progress?
• In what ways have you received help or support?
• What do you see as your focus for the coming year (or appropriate time period)?
Then use their comments and reflections as a substantive part of the conversation.

While some view employee self-evaluations as just another tedious step that adds more work and paper to an already onerous performance appraisal process, self-evaluations are in fact a vital activity that can help make your performance appraisal process more effective:
• The act of self evaluation and the concurrent introspection causes an employee to review goals, assess progress, and thoughtfully consider areas for job and career growth;
• Rather than simply being the “recipient” of random feedback from their manager, the active participation helps employees be more engaged with both their performance and the review process overall;
• Identifies differences in perception and expectations – helps a manager see whether or not an employee has an accurate understanding of his/her job duties and performance;
• Promotes and formalizes two-way dialogue, avoiding top down evaluations that often serve to discourage or disengage employees.

Have your employees take the self-evaluation seriously, and hold them accountable for doing it. After all, it’s their performance.

Ellen Warden
Ellen Warden