As I mentioned recently, self-reviews don´t necessarily come naturally to everyone. On the surface, it may seem as if writing about your self, your work, and your ability to get things done well and on time would be a cinch. After all, who knows your output better than you? Yet writing about yourself, assessing your worth so to speak, can be difficult. It´s important, therefore, to give your employees some tips when it comes to self-reviews.
Basically, self-reviews are useful because it gives an employee a chance to be someone objective about his or her work. At least that´s what you´re hoping for. Also, employees are the most familiar with their own work, but that can raise issues as well. Sometimes we don´t always see ourselves as others do, which is why peer reviews are used in assessments as well. Self-reviews also give people the chance to suggest and clarify goals. But even though the employee is indicating where improvements might be made and what the future could hold managers, too, must be willing to step in and discuss the review so that there´s a real exchange of ideas. This can further clarify the employee´s perceptions and it doesn´t hurt the relationship. People are so incredibly pressed for time these days and setting aside time to talk about a review really forces people to stop and pay attention. I suppose it´s an excuse for having what for many is a rare conversation.
Employees who conduct self-reviews should know what role their manager plays in the process. Basically, you´re telling an employee that his or her opinion matters not only in theory (which is easy to say) but also in practice (which takes some time and commitment and accountability). A manager has a wonderful opportunity to become advisor, counselor, and coach when it comes to self-reviews. Besides it can also enhance a manager´s job when it comes to conducting the traditional performance review. Having an employee´s perspective can not only make aspects clearer but can also solve some of the dilemmas that arise when it comes to determining an employee´s performance since the last assessment. And let´s face it; we don´t always remember how well people do, particularly when our own plates are brimming over with too much to do.
But a warning: if you´re going to ask your employees to look inward, be prepared for a few things. For example, know that some issues might come up that could be uncomfortable. After all, you´re asking someone to do some soul searching and that doesn´t always occur smoothly. Also, be prepared to listen. We all know when we´re not being heard and the last thing you want is for an employee to consider the whole process a waste of time.
Try to be fair and honest, too. Remember, every work experience is part of the whole scheme of developing your people.