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Self-Evaluations – Your Voice in Your Performance Appraisal

Posted Feb 08 2010 4:53pm

Your annual performance appraisal should be a fair and objective record of your contributions to the organization that includes your major accomplishments and areas for potential development. All too often however, these annual reviews feel like “top-down” evaluations that leave employees feeling powerless and result in unpleasant surprises for both managers and employees.

Effective performance management requires an ongoing, two-way discussion between you and your manager about your performance, priorities and challenges. One way many healthcare facilities encourage this two way dialogue is through self-appraisals, where the employee formally evaluates their own performance, then send their assessment to their manager before the manager writes the annual employee evaluation.

There are many reasons why employees may not give much thought or effort to a self-evaluation – a lack of time, a feeling of powerless to change anything, or the belief that management already knows about work competence. The bottom line is that it’s a mistake to downplay your self-evaluation because in so doing you remove your voice from a formal process that results in documents that remain on your employment record. Rather than simply being the “recipient” of feedback, you are being given a voice, and can inform or shape management’s perceptions before your performance appraisal and ratings are done.

A good self-evaluation gives your manager a broader perspective to evaluate your performance. Remember it is not always possible for your manager to see the full picture and understand all the factors that affect your performance – they work different shifts, have others to manage, or might work in a different location. Completing a self-assessment allows your manager to view your performance through your eyes and get your “side of the story”, leading to a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, the information revealed in your self-appraisal might even guide or redirect your manager’s assessment.

Many managers have been caught off guard in an employee performance appraisal meeting to discover that their employee has a completely different perception of their performance and value, or that they themselves are lacking vital information that affects ratings. An employee self-appraisal can help identify differences in perception that might not surface otherwise, allowing the manager to prepare appropriately for the performance appraisal meeting and ensure a fruitful discussion and fair performance ratings.

Investing time to carefully complete your self-evaluation lets you highlight your accomplishments and contributions, and gives you input to your manager’s perceptions of your performance.

Halogen Software is the industry leading provider for online nursing competency assessments, development plans and performance management. To learn more about our performance management solutions for nurses , visit our website:

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