Self-appraisals have gained a lot of traction lately, and have become quite essential in performance and training reviews. In this blog, we will discuss why self-appraisals are so important, how to write good self-appraisals, and how they can help develop your training structure. 

Why are self-appraisals so important? 

Make employees feel empowered

Self-appraisals give your employees a platform to voice their side of the story. It gives them the opportunity to discuss their performance and actions, making them feel heard and valued. This makes them feel empowered and motivated to actively participate in the performance review process. 

Instills ownership of work

This is one of the greatest reasons why self-appraisals are so important! We often perceive ownership comes with authority; however, there’s another key element to it- accountability. If your employees are only reviewed by their managers, they will lose that sense of ownership for their work and actions. Now if they are made to self-review first, they will understand the scope of expectations better and will be more mindful of their actions. 

Improve employee relations

By facilitating a continuous loop of review and feedback, employers are able to foster better employee relations. By keeping your employees in the review loop, you make sure that they are engaged and are more actively involved in setting future goals not only for themselves but also for the company. 

Reduce performance management discrepancies

An organization is a social setup and sometimes (however much we dislike it) manager and employee conflicts will arise. There might be times when the manager’s view of an employee’s performance will differ from the employee’s perspective of their own performance; this is one of the reasons why self-appraisals are so important in organizations today. They help both parties get an objective view of the situation and help eliminate any chances of discrepancy. 

Highlight opportunities for career development

Self-appraisals are more than just performance questions; they aim to identify the employee’s strengths and weaknesses on all fronts. For example, if an employee is performing well in his job role but is not as actively involved with the team, it will negatively impact the team dynamic and the employee’s career development. Once you have a tab on what needs to be worked on, you can easily schedule training sessions or courses to help employees overcome their weaknesses. 

Develop new skills

By making your employees routinely reflect on their work and mindset, you help them develop new skills. Self-assessment helps them make self-improvements by working on things in their own way and at their own pace. They become more receptive to change and are motivated to learn more and improve themselves. 

You might also be interested in Practical Performance Appraisal Methods For The Modern Workforce

How to write a great self-appraisal? 

Writing self-appraisals is often challenging; some people are clouded by self-doubt, and some are super-confident in their work. Whatever the scenario may be, the following steps will help you ace your self-appraisals. 

Understand the purpose 

The first step of “how to write a great self-appraisal” is understanding the purpose of the review. Is the self-appraisal a part of your performance review? Is it a routine exercise or will your review be monitored for getting a promotion or raise? It is vital to understand the purpose of self-reviews to ensure you are able to effectively communicate your accomplishments and weaknesses. 

Talk about relevant accomplishments 

Once you understand the purpose, ensure that you answer the questions as relevantly as possible. Talk about your contributions that align with the overall objective and mention your improvement plans. It is essential to maintain a balanced approach; it is bad to overemphasize as well as downplay your accomplishments. 

Acknowledge your mistakes

It is recommended to be honest about your weaknesses in self-appraisals so that your manager is able to better understand your perspective of things. Owning your mistakes or shortcomings will not impact your review negatively as long as you are willing to overcome them. Make sure your manager is aware of how keen you are to learn how to do better. 

Highlight future plans 

Self-appraisals are not just a window into how the employees are doing in the present, they are also a means to understand what future the employees have planned for themselves. This allows the managers and HRs to align the organizational objectives with employee objectives and vice versa. Be candid about how you planned to succeed and discuss any ideas you may have to improve the structure or current job role. 

Keep it concise and balanced

A golden rule of how to write great self-appraisals is not to be the one who can’t stop talking about themselves. It is absolutely critical to keep your self-appraisal concise and balanced. Maintain a professional tone throughout the review and stay focused on the question. Swaying or adding extra details will only decrease the value of the important aspects. 

For further ease, here’s a list of the most useful self-appraisal phrases you can use:

  • Positive self-appraisal examples: 
    • I am able to carry out my job roles and simultaneously come up with new ideas based on my work
    • In the last quarter, I was able to [mention your biggest achievements] 
    • I have a clear understanding of what is expected of me and I carry out my job roles with utmost sincerity
  • Improvement-related self-appraisal phrases: 
    • I intend to take up 1 or 2 additional tasks to improve [skill] 
    • I will better schedule my tasks to improve efficiency and overall work performance 
    • I want to take up [training course] to improve [relevant skill] 
  • Ownership-related self-appraisal examples: 
    • I have participated in activities outside of my KRA to improve productivity 
    • I enjoy spending time on [projects] and can ensure optimal outcomes
    • I intend to take ownership of more projects/tasks in the coming quarter
  • Growth and development-related self-appraisal phrases: 
    • I have [number of plans] personal growth plans in motion at the moment, including [details of plans] 
    • By the next quarter, I intend to finish/target [mention your goal] 
    • I will focus equally on my professional and personal growth this year

If you are a manager, this blog that highlights the best questions to ask in performance reviews might interest you. 

How can self-appraisals help identify training needs? 

Self-appraisal comments by employees can shed insight into various kinds of training needs in an organization. They can be conducted solely but it is recommended to conduct them in combination with manager reviews for greater efficiency. Here’s how they can help:

  • When the employees are self-reflecting, they will be better able to identify the areas wherein they need improvement. It can be anything from a professional or job-related aspect to a more personal aspect such as the development of soft skills. 
  • If you already have a training program in place, you will be able to gauge how effective your courses are by comparing the before and after self-appraisals of employees. 
  • You not only get a comprehensive view of individual training needs but by analyzing self-appraisal comments by employees from the same team, you also get insight into departmental training trends. 
  • Self-appraisals can also act as progress metrics for your training structure. If you conduct a specific training review and ask your employees to self-reflect on how training has helped them, you will be able to develop more robust and effective training courses. 

Several other metrics can help you understand the effectiveness of your L&D initiatives, check them out here

Final thoughts

Self-appraisals offer a plethora of benefits; however, it is also essential to have the bandwidth to analyze the required data and take proper measures to improve your training structure. Let Auzmor Learn help you with that! Our comprehensive feature list will ensure you have all the time you need to focus on making the necessary improvements. With an extensive content library, course authoring tools, progress tracking features, and blended and social learning abilities, what more could you need? Book a FREE demo today to know more!