An Employee Self-Evaluation of Strengths & Weaknesses

Employee self-evaluations are a tool designed to improve employee performance. By asking employees to assess their own strengths and weaknesses, you encourage a thoughtful evaluation of job performance. Self-evaluations also open a dialogue between the employee and supervisors about how the employee views his job and his prospects for advancement. Employee self-evaluations should help workers set goals, provide constructive feedback and highlight areas where the employee and supervisors might not be in agreement on job performance.

Participation in a Self-Evaluation

An employee self-evaluation makes the employee a partner in the review process, rather than a passive recipient. This is the employee’s opportunity to assess her performance, communicate her needs as an employee and clarify any misunderstanding on job duties and company policy. She also can assess her relationship with supervisors and share her vision for herself and her job. These evaluations provide insight into the employee’s morale and where she sees herself in the company.

Characteristics of an Effective Self-Evaluation

An effective employee self-evaluation asks the employee to provide specific examples of strengths and weaknesses on the job. Ask where the employee feels he needs to improve and what things about the job he would change. If possible, list specific objectives for the employee’s position, then ask if these objectives were met. Discuss employee goals and whether or not these are being met.

Ask the employee to set new goals for the coming year. Ask him to review any training he received since the last review, and to assess if this training was effective. Provide space for the employee to list other training he feels he needs, and to share anything else he thinks would improve his job performance.

Review the Employee's Self-Evaluation

The supervisor should review the employee’s self-evaluation before she sits down with the employee to discuss job performance. This lets the supervisor to assess if she and the employee are on the same page when it comes to their views of his job performance. For example, if the employee feels he needs more training for the position, and the supervisor assumes he has all the training he needs, this is an area that warrants further discussion. The supervisor should also note any questions the employee didn't answer or areas of concern he failed to touch on.

Once the supervisor has reviewed the employee’s self-evaluation form, she should discuss it with the employee face-to-face. The supervisor should do more listening than talking, and ask the employee to brainstorm solutions to problems, formulate a plan for improvement and set measurable goals for the coming year. The discussion should cover both strengths and weaknesses, and not focus solely on negatives and shortcomings.

Other Considerations in the Self-Evaluation Process

You want the employee self-evaluation to be comprehensive, but don't make it too long or cumbersome to fill out. This could have a negative impact on employee participation in the process. Consider using online forms rather than paper forms, to streamline the process.

Offer feedback to the employee after the meeting to discuss the self-evaluation. In a letter or email, repeat key points and steps the employee and the supervisor agreed to take to help the employee perform better on the job. Make a note to revisit these key areas at the next employee evaluation.