It’s time to close out last year, and all businesses have kicked it into high gear on two major fronts – year-end accounting close and performance reviews for employees.
Rarely will a manager perform a review without first receiving a year-end summary of activities from their direct report accompanied by a personal assessment of their performance and accomplishments. The personal assessment always feels awkward; people in general do not like to talk about themselves positively because it feels like bragging. Watch YouTube interviews of the 2014 National Champions The Ohio State University Buckeyes. (I just love saying that over and over). Urban Meyer, Ezekiel Elliot and Cardale Jones are trained in crediting the team for success, but if these three outstanding individuals weren’t star performers, this Buckeye team may not have won the Big 10 championship game against Wisconsin where they made the case for the college playoffs. It is not easy to talk about how great you are, but you must! You need to believe in yourself before others will believe in you!
Here are four tips to make your self-assessment easier.
Restate Activities – If you follow my blog, you know that I emphasize goal setting and action statements in order to provide a clear roadmap for activity throughout the year. If the planned activity levels are detailed and the employee followed then, self-evaluation can be a “cut and paste” with a completion mark at the end. If you followed this plan, your self-assessment is nearly complete. If you didn’t, go back now and write a retrospective plan. Add the finishing touch with an anecdotal statement of the quality and timeliness of those activities, and two additional comments describing lessons learned.
No place for self-deprecating remarks – Don’t like talking about yourself? For just once doing your year, get over it. This is not the time to be laughable or self-deprecating. Use positive action words like completed, managed, delivered and executed, and use adjectives like dedicated, customer-oriented, informative and timely.
Provide evidence that you are accountable – If you were disciplined last year and completed an activity plan, you can now restate it, demonstrating that you did everything you said you were going to do. You are accountable and organized. If some of the activities were incomplete or changed, document why, provide a guess on % completion, and relay how and when it will be completed this year. Show that you can be a reliable producer.
Demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement – End your self-assessment with your plans for personal growth and professional development. Whether you had a modest or exceptional year, there is always something you can work on. Showing your willingness to improve and learn will give you and your boss something to talk about comfortably during your review.
Joyce Jarek Mihalik is a business leader in the real estate industry, creator of HlpSum1, Inc., and author of First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates. To purchase, visit www.hlpsum1.com/first-job.html