9 things to keep in mind for an effective self-appraisal at work
So you can talk endlessly about yourself, what you do at work, your goals, and your plans for the future! Now, try putting these on paper so that they can be corroborated and valued by your bosses during the annual appraisal process.
Most of us find self-appraisals tough, for what you write about yourself may make a difference to that long-due increment or promotion at work. Self-praise is tricky and self-appraisal is not about bragging about yourself, but a calculated and honest overview of life at work! It’s a bit of philosophy too; trying to understand what makes you tick and what pulls you down!
Most companies insist upon this regular exercise before a final performance overview. So, how do you crack this?
The best way to write an effective self-appraisal letter is to be open with yourself. Honesty works, and works to your advantage. Don’t overrate yourself. Remember, the boss is watching… so leave the “blowing the trumpet” bit to weekend gatherings.
Underrating yourself is as bad as overrating your achievements. It gives out a signal that you take things lightly.
How do you strike the right balance? Given below are a few tips that we hope will help you take the pain out of evaluating yourself effectively.
Do you have a clear understanding of what your position in the organisation entails? Note down your responsibilities, priorities, and objectives. These are of great value in self-appraisal.
List down your achievements
Before every self-appraisal, note down all the achievements you have made in the immediate past. Details of projects, deadlines, timelines, accomplishments, feedback from customers, trainings attended etc are all important. Remember, every pat on the back is worth it.
Use a professional tone
Bring your professionalism into your language as well. Your self-appraisal letter should be free of grammar errors and typos. It makes sense to write in the first person as those reading the letter will relate to it in a better way. Use a tone that is free of jingoism and use words that are simple and to the point. Avoid a casual approach and please don’t use slang.
If there are goals you couldn’t meet, list them out and explain why it was not possible to achieve your targets. Be sure to talk about what you learnt in the process, how it helped you avoid mistakes, and how you will now work differently. Do the same even if you have achieved all your goals. The key point here is to impress upon your boss the lessons learnt during success or failure.
Numbers speak volumes
Numbers are hard facts, so use them wherever possible. If you are in charge of a big team or a huge project, use numbers to show the sheer size. State specifically the efforts taken to manage it. Numbers give a clear and precise picture of the work you do.
Lies don’t work
To exaggerate in a self-appraisal letter means to jeopardise your position in your organisation. Remember, lies do get caught, especially when your letter is going to be run through a fine comb by your superior. In addition to ethical implications, exaggerations can bring down your confidence levels and affect your job efficacy.
Ask for more
A self-appraisal is not only about your successes or failures; it is also an opportunity to plan long and short term for the next year. Try and list out tasks beyond your current responsibilities but in line with the work you do. Provide suggestions where you could help. This will help in your personal development and also increase your overall productivity.
Attach relevant documents
Be sure to attach important thank you emails, letters of commendation, and training certifications. Document special assignments or information about membership of certain committees or teams within the organisation.
Once you have finished your self-appraisal letter, go through it with a keen eye. Enlist the help of a friend and review each point in detail. Ask yourself a number of questions like, “Are my answers specific”, “Are my statements believable”, or “Have I missed out on any of my strengths? If your answers to these questions satisfy you, then you have a wonderful self-appraisal letter on hand!
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)