51 Self-Appraisal Examples for Your Next Performance Review

Got to write a self-appraisal, and not sure how to go about it? Check out these examples and ideas for inspiration.

Self-Appraisal Examples for Performance Review

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You’re probably familiar with appraisals. Most companies use them to evaluate the success of employees through the year, as part of a performance review, highlighting where they have exceeded expectations and where there’s room for growth and improvement. Usually, these are written by the manager of each direct reportee and used to make future staffing decisions.

Alongside an appraisal, in most cases, comes a self-appraisal. In essence, a self-appraisal is a statement detailing your own achievements and contributions. While it’s easy to rush through this part of the process because it can feel uncomfortable reflecting on your own performance, when done right, it can be a fantastic tool for highlighting your strengths to superiors. It’s also excellent for counterbalancing any low performance picked up by your manager’s appraisal and using as evidence for a promotion.

In this article, you’ll learn how to approach each section of the self-appraisal, providing positive examples that show you as an asset to the company without making you feel boastful or embarrassed, and framing your less desirable outcomes as opportunities for growth.

Self-appraisal examples

Self-appraisals will vary from company to company, and each will be unique to the individual completing them. The subjects you include will depend on your own skillset and experience, but as a guide, you may want to address some of the following topics.

Accomplishments

Over the year, or other period that the appraisal covers, you’re bound to have had some accomplishments that you can highlight. Make sure that you pick those that you have accomplished personally, as your appraisal is about you, not your team as a whole. It’s a good idea to keep track of your accomplishments throughout the year so that you can easily draw on them when it’s appraisal time.

1. I developed and led the internal training for the department when we implemented the new software system. This contributed to effective changeover, with an 80% take up of new systems.

2. I successfully project-managed the marketing automation platform and onboarded 550 retail stores in a short lead time of 4 months.

3. I managed six global clients, which is an increase on last year, maintaining 100% client retention and exceeding expectations.

Creativity and innovation

Showing that you can be innovative and approach tasks creatively is a quality worthy of recognition in most roles, even if it isn’t explicitly mentioned in your job description.

4. I always encourage others to share ideas in a space that they feel safe and supported.

5. I reintroduced morning team meetings to increase morale and to provide a focus for the day, which has been well received.

6. I devised a new social media strategy to incorporate our ever-changing demographic, following market research to understand customer needs better. This led to increasing page likes by 15%.

Communication

Communication is key in any organisation, whatever your level, and it’s important to show that you have skills in written and oral communication, as well as presenting if applicable.

7. I presented our campaign at a business networking event in front of 150 people, which was challenging for me, but I did it without making mistakes and received positive feedback.

8. I completed a speed-typing course this year to help me write emails and newsletters faster and more efficiently.

9. I have worked hard to contribute more to team meetings by putting myself forward for actions, which is out of my comfort zone, but has been very rewarding.

Collaboration

Whether you work alone or in a team, you will need to show that you can work well with others.

10. I was instrumental in the development of the internal communication strategy for 2021, working with members from multiple departments. This allowed me to make lots of new connections.

11. I initiated research partnerships with the school of medicine to progress with our research interests, resulting in three publications.

12. I work best with others, and I am always looking for ways to make partnerships so I can learn from colleagues and share my expertise.

Motivation

Motivation is highly valued in an organisation. An employee who is self-motivated and wants to do well is the person a manager wants on their team. Think of the times you’ve pushed on and strived to do better.

13. I am always very motivated. I don’t need to be given much direction, I know what is expected of me, and I do it without the need for much input from managers.

14. During lockdown, I took three online courses related to my weakest areas so I can better myself at work.

15. Although I wasn’t successful on this occasion, I applied for a management position within the company. I am always focused on how I can take the next step.

Adaptability

Being adaptable is key to the success of any business, especially in this current climate when things are so uncertain. This is a quality that employers are focusing on.

16. Recent events and challenges in the market, including protests and staff sickness due to COVID-19, means that I have had to become flexible in my approach. I have adapted my strategy and still exceeded annual targets by 10%.

17. I have successfully brought my team through office working to remote working and back again. We’ve had to get used to lots of changes and had to get to grips with modern technologies, but I have remained positive and focused.

18. I am always open to receive constructive feedback on how I can improve.

Negotiation

Developing your negotiation skills will serve you well in any work environment.

19. I am getting better at saying ‘no.’ I have always found this hard, but I’ve learnt that by not having appropriate boundaries, I get left with the tasks no one else wants at the expense of my more important work.

20. I negotiated a contract with a large manufacturer in China to produce 70% of our products, saving the company $30,000 per year.

21. I have been ensuring that I am more prepared when it comes to negotiations with clients so that I can be confident by having evidence prepared and counter offers ready.

Problem solving

Problem solving skills are essential in any office. If you don’t consider this to be a part of your role, think about office politics, problems between colleagues, hot desking issues, the person who doesn’t contribute. There are always a million problems to solve.

22. I am an ideas person. I love to solve problems and always have lots of ideas. Often, it is about working through these ideas to decide which are worth moving forward with.

23. I spearheaded the development of a new working group focusing on wellbeing, following concerns about productivity at work, which has already devised initiatives to combat stress in the workplace.

24. I successfully increased email open rates by 20% with the introduction of revised opt-in lists.

Decision making

Making decisions is a top-level skill but, having said that, you don’t need to be in a position of power for this to be part of your job.

25. While I can be quite indecisive, this year I have got better at making decisions quickly and with confidence.

26. Without the support of a team in the office, I have had to make decisions by myself which has been liberating and has really helped me to use my initiative.

27. Decision making is a strength of mine. I am calm under pressure, able to quickly assess the scene and make judgements on risk factors before coming to an informed decision.

Working under pressure

Being able to work under pressure shows that you can keep cool and calm, even when things are hotting up. This is an excellent quality to highlight.

28. I am excellent at managing my time and prioritising my workload. I always meet deadlines, even it means working late to do so.

29. I developed the new remote working monitoring system, including bug testing and rolling it out within three months when an expected timeline would have been five months.

30. I exceeded targets this year despite having a freeze on recruitment and losing three main stakeholders who went into administration.

Emotional intelligence

Having a high level of emotional intelligence means having the ability to understand and use emotions as well as knowing how to connect with others.

31. I understand people well. I can read people and know when to help or take a step back. This means colleagues often trust me with their problems at work.

32. I know my own strengths and weaknesses and, as a result, I know what to work on and have started taking a course in negotiation.

33. I have learnt what triggers me personally and when to remove myself from a difficult situation. This year, I’ve been better at accepting that I can’t do everything and to let others help when needed.

Accountability

Showing that you deliver on your promises and will be accountable for your actions is very important.

34. When faced with the problem of team members not contributing when working from home, I introduced accountability partners which was very effective and increased productivity.

35. Before the working day begins, I write down my goals in order to hold myself accountable.

36. I don’t find this easy, but I have developed a network of colleagues who I have tasked with holding me accountable for what I have promised, and vice versa, which is proving very effective.

Leadership

Being a strong leader doesn’t just apply to senior positions. You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader; you can take examples from any scenario where you have taken initiative and inspired people to help you create your vision.

37. I am very proud to have led my team to achieve an employee pulse survey of 76% this year, despite so many changes and disruptions.

38. I have played a big part in supporting teammates through the transition to remote working. As it’s something I’ve done in the past, I’ve offered support and been available for people to talk to.

39. I am very good at looking at the skillset of each team member and assigning them tasks that suit them and that they really enjoy. This has made for a happy, productive team.

Attendance and punctuality

Employers what to know that their employees are punctual and reliable.

40. I have a 100% attendance rate for the year.

41. I am always punctual to meetings and arrive at work in time to set up for the day and prepare before I begin work.

42. I have joined some new networking groups which I have attended each week.

Productivity

Staff productivity is important to any organisation, and your manager will want to see what you do to ensure that you are efficient.

43. In the past, I have found focusing on one task hard, so I have adopted the Pomodoro method, which has greatly improved my focus and productivity.

44. The internal processes around entering client data were laborious, and we were wasting time repeating tasks, so I volunteered to streamline the process. This has improved efficiency and I have had excellent feedback.

45. I always use lists to make sure I prioritise tasks well and am as productive as possible throughout the day.

Growth and development

If you aspire to develop yourself within the company, make it clear. Keep this at a level that shows you’re committed though and not ready to leave.

46. I am always keen to develop my skills, and I completed my Level 7 qualification in mentoring and coaching, mostly in my own time.

47. Seeing people’s strengths and helping them to further develop is something I love to do, and I make this a focus in my team through opportunities for courses and internal training.

48. I have an interview coming up for a more senior position in the company. I am always looking for ways to develop and move forward.

Interpersonal

Being able to relate well to others and build relationships is an excellent skill.

49. I have exceeded my sales targets this year because I am excellent at building relationships with others, winning clients and managing stakeholders.

50. I’m a quiet member of the team, but I join in with everything and contribute to discussions and meetings. I’m not one to speak for the sake of it, so my team have come to know that when I speak, I have something of value to say.

51. I am an excellent listener. People come to me for advice and a friendly ear, even if I am not their direct report.

Tips for writing a self-appraisal

When writing your appraisal, there are some important factors to consider to ensure that it hits the mark and really backs up your contributions. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Use numbers

It’s great to point out what you’re doing well at, but it’s all very subjective, so it’s clever to use metrics to back up your claims. Numbers and percentages bring your contributions to life because you can instantly show a real value to your achievements.

2. Frame weaknesses as opportunities

We all have weaknesses, so it’s pointless trying to hide them and pretend you don’t. It’s much more effective to be honest to show you’re willing to improve (an important quality in itself). Framing weaknesses as an opportunity for growth is a clever way to show that you can recognise what you’re not so good at, but also showing that you have a plan to work on it.

3. Rationalise results

Don’t assume that your manager will know your results. You need to be explicit in documenting them. Showing your achievements is the whole point of an appraisal, so don’t take it for granted that all your accomplishments will be remembered. Mention them, highlight them, and quantify them where possible.

4. Be specific

Don’t be vague. Comments like ‘I’m an excellent communicator’ won’t get you any points. You need to be demonstrating why and providing evidence. Give context, time scales and specific results.

5. Use action words

Using action words shows that you’re not simply stating that you were present, but that you were also engaged. Were you ‘thinking up’ a new way of managing filing systems or did you ‘initiate and develop’ the system? Great action words show your personal contributions and make you stand out.

Final thoughts

This article should provide you with all you need to write a winning self-appraisal.

Self-reflection doesn’t have to be daunting; in fact, it can be an exercise in self-development. Looking deeply into what you’re good at and identifying opportunities for growth can be hugely satisfying and motivating. By putting together a self-appraisal that is well thought-out and backed with evidence will be a reminder to your employer of what a valuable team member you are.

Got a question about preparing for a self-appraisal and want to share a useful tip? Let us know in the comments section below!

This article is an update of an earlier version published on 15 June 2019.