A performance review is a tool that employers use to measure the job performance of their employees. These reviews are documented and evaluated by the employer and can influence the offering of promotions and raises. If your employer requires employees to write their own performance reviews, you may be wondering how to create an effective one. There are several factors that you need to consider when crafting your own performance review and they will be discussed in this article.
1. Understand the Purpose
In order to write an effective performance review, you first need to understand the purpose and how your manager will utilize the evaluation. For example, ascertain whether or not the review is in correlation to getting a raise or promotion or simply a yearly employee evaluation. If you can find out the purpose and who will be evaluating the review (your boss and any managers), that will aid you in crafting an effective one. Some managers utilize employee written performance reviews in lieu of them writing their own. However, those managers are not acting proactively, but rather lazily. A good manager will write their own review of the employee and simply utilize the employee written one as a measuring tool—ascertaining the employee’s comprehension of personal work performance.
2. Focus on Your Performance
Make sure that you hold center stage in this performance review. Don’t get caught up in mentioning any other employee’s actions or work performance. That would be seen in a negative light by your boss or manager. Focus solely on your work performance and maintain a professional tone and format throughout. One big mistake to avoid is getting defensive or overly apologetic for your behavior. Own up to your actions and take responsibility for your work performance. Any conflicts in the workplace with colleagues should never be written down in a performance review. Those issues should be saved for a personal discussion with someone on the management team.
3. Highlight Your Achievements
During a performance review it is perfectly acceptable to put modesty aside and highlight your achievements. However, remember to write in an even tone where you don’t over-exaggerate your accomplishments, but don’t hide from them either. Be proud of what you accomplished in the workplace. Also, never take credit for an entire team project if you were not the only person completing the project. Focus on your specific work that was completed on that project.
4. Recognize Your Weak Areas
As with the previous step, you need to stay in balance with this one as well. Do not focus solely on the errors you made and the weaknesses you have. It is important to acknowledge those areas of weakness as exhibited in the workplace. However, you always need to shed a positive light on those examples. You shouldn’t give line by line details on a major mistake that you made. Most likely your boss already knew about that incident. Focus on the positive spin. For example, don’t write that you cannot work well under pressure. That fact may be true. Nevertheless, you need to showcase that fault in a constructive way such as; working under pressure is an area I need to work on. When you write it like that, you show your boss that you understand the area of weakness, know it’s a problem and are working towards a constructive solution.
5. Seek Future Opportunities
A good way to end the performance review is to add a section where you are seeking future opportunities for career growth and development. In this section, you want to showcase your willingness to learn and grow as a professional, as well as a productive employee for the company. You can share areas of your job tasks that you excel at and enjoy completing. Explain your aspirations to work on more creative projects. If you have any innovative ideas that will benefit the company—and provide more project opportunities for you—share them in this section. When you take the initiative to write about your desire to seek future opportunities, you will show your boss an example of your devotion to the company and its future success. Such an example can greatly impact your future career path with the company in a positive way.
Writing your own performance review can seem like a daunting task. However, if you take the time to diligently follow these steps, you will craft a document that showcases your skills and accomplishments, and shares your desire to succeed in the company.
Have you ever had to write your own performance review? What was your experience like? Your thoughts and comments below please...