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Understand what performance self-assessment is and how to do it

Renan Araújo

As we know, performance appraisal is a structured assessment of a person’s individual performance over a given period of time. Its main objective is to improve the company’s performance through improvements in employee performance. In order to structure a performance evaluation and achieve the desired results, it is necessary to know the main steps of this process and, in particular, the existing bifurcations.

As an alternative to this methodology, aiming to bring more reflection and self-knowledge to the people involved, performance self-assessment can also be performed.

In this post, we explain what it is, what the differentials are, and how to apply it. Enjoy your reading!

Performance appraisal and its context

Before we get into performance self-assessment, we will explain a little more about performance appraisal itself. One of the main challenges that companies experience in relation to the topic is in structuring questionnaires that contribute to increasing people’s satisfaction with the process, improving the perception of fairness, and increasing accuracy in relation to the method.

As for “performance” in performance appraisal, it is divided by experts into two major dimensions:

  • outcomes;
  • behavior.

What are the main differences between outcomes and behavior? As for the former, understand that they are “what” the someone does. That is, what are the results you achieve by executing the daily demands. Behavior, on the other hand, is “how” the person achieves the numbers presented – these two dimensions are important precisely because they form the backbone of the performance management cycle.

Performance Management Cycle

Speaking of the performance management cycle, it is important to understand how it is formed. In general, its composition occurs through two phases: definition of expectations and evaluation of performance against the elaborated and aligned expectations.

In this scenario, we can define performance evaluation as having two main objectives:

  • measuring the person’s performance, especially when there is a need to make decisions related to the person (promotion or dismissal, for example);
  • providing input so that the person can develop and present more attractive results – improving performance in the other cycles.

Performance self-assessment

Given this scenario, let’s look at performance self-assessment. As the name implies, it is the person who will evaluate himself and understand points of improvement. This is an optional step in the process. However, it should be applied if the company considers it important to bring a little more reflection to team members, as well as to provide more self-knowledge. You will find below some questions we have selected which would be interesting to develop.

1. What were the main results achieved and deliveries made in the last X months?

In this question, the person will perform a kind of review of the past months. The X in the title refers to the period from the last performance appraisal to the current one.  At this time, the employee will discuss the results he has achieved during this time, what efforts were made to achieve these results, among other relevant points.

As for the results, the ideal is to analyze the key results established throughout the cycle (whether sales, rates, indexes, etc.). In this way, a team member will analyze how he or she contributed so that the company could get closer to its goals and mission.

2. What is not going well?

As we have seen, performance management is composed of results and behavior. In this question, it is important that he asks this question: what is not going well?

For example: a professional from the Marketing team had the key result of increasing the site’s organic hits by 30% during the cycle. How was the result at the end of this process? If you did not reach the desired number, how does this negatively impact the person themselves, the team, and the company? What can be done to bring improvement to this process? All these questions will be positive in a performance self-assessment.

3. What is the leader doing well (i.e., results and behavior)?

Going back to the example of the marketing professional, let’s suppose that, although the result was not achieved, there was the effective fulfillment of the proposed planning and other gains from the project (attracting more qualified leads, for example).

From this perspective, he can ask himself some questions. They include:

  • How does this positively impact you, the team, and the company?
  • How can either the team or the staff member continue to enhance the positive impact generated by the proposed actions?

4. What should be the priorities for the next X months (deliverables, results and employee development)?

The time has come to understand and define what the priorities will be for the next X months (i.e., the period up to the next performance evaluation and self-assessment). In this case, the marketer mentioned above would need to understand what would be the priorities for the coming months that would contribute to reach the desired number and how to further enhance the qualification of leads.

When the team already works with OKRs, this process will be more simplified, since the organization already has a formal goal management practice. However, if there is no such formal practice,  the leadership should help employees understand what are the priority areas of development, what should be the focus of the project and deliveries, as well as highlighting what are the action plans so that there is a better result of the demands executed.

As for behavior, it is necessary for the person to analyze which are the focus areas that should be developed (that is, which can be improved).

The frequency of evaluation and self-evaluation of performance

A common doubt among teams is related to the frequency of evaluation and self-evaluation of performance. According to Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, ” these days, doing anything once a year doesn’t make sense. It’s just bizarre.”

Qulture.Rocks suggestion is for the company to begin the performance assessment by performing the performance check-in at least 4 times in the year. However, it will depend on the stage of your company and the maturity. If it is a young company, it is important that check ins are more frequent. Moreover, organizations with young professionals are also recommended to have a smaller cycle.

The differentials of applying performance self-assessment

As explained, it is important that performance self-assessment is applied when there is a need to promote reflection by the people of a team. Thus, some of the differentials observed by this process are:

  • possibility for the person to understand what are the points that need to be improved, both in the results and in the behaviors;
  • opportunity to understand what has not been working well in your work and what are the positive points that can be potentialized;
  • provide the Human Resources department with concrete data that will bring gains to decision – making;
  • understanding, for leaders, about the profile of each member of their team.

In this post, you could have an overview of what self-assessment of performance is, what differentials to apply and suggestion of questions that can be asked. Today, there are already tools that will help the entire team in the evaluation and self-evaluation processes. Through it, there will be greater automation of the strategy, contributing to more effective results.

If you want to know the solution or have questions about how to start this methodology in your team, contact us, talk to our professionals and ask your questions!