This article on self-assessment performance management strategies was originally published in September 2018. All relevant copy and statistics have been updated as of April 2021.
Solid performance management strategies are a culmination of multiple approaches and performance tracking techniques. One technique that offers employees more freedom and control over their role is implementing self-assessments into your review process. Self-assessments are an in-depth and personal analysis of an employee’s performance, granting a genuine evaluation based on their own perceptions. Annual self-assessments allow employees to reflect on their biggest successes and challenges of the year and allow an open dialogue with managers about future goals.
It’s important to write a professional and comprehensive self-assessment, but it can be challenging to know where to start. To ensure your teams provide the best and most accurate evaluations, HR leaders need to provide clear expectations and guidelines for a structured and insightful discussion.
Below, we’ll provide self-assessment examples along with tips and advice to assist your team in reflecting on their accomplishments, identifying their failures and mistakes, setting new goals for the future, and defining a path for their professional development. Your team can use these examples as an outline for their responses.
Note: The self-evaluation examples provided are specific to certain jobs for added realism. These outlines will need to be adapted to your situation to reflect you and your employees’ realities better.
Reflecting on Accomplishments
Employee self-assessments offer an opportunity for employees to go in-depth over their accomplishments. This is their opportunity to demonstrate the value they provide your team and allow you and your employees to tie actual results to real-time examples. As you and your team read through these self-assessment examples, you’ll notice common elements that should be included in self-evaluations:
- Facts and figures — Keeping an organized journal of workplace accomplishments and results will strengthen your evaluation and consolidate data efficiently. If your organization uses performance management software or goal management software, you should look back at results and pull them into the self-assessment.
- Be specific — Vague sentences in self-assessments are meaningless when it comes to discussing performance. Saying, “I responded to customer inquiries in a timely fashion,” is much less meaningful than saying, “I responded to all customer inquiries assigned to me within 24 hours and assisted with other team members as well”.
- Rationalize results — When talking about successes, explain how they were achieved. Who else contributed, which responsibilities were divided, or what extra steps were taken to ensure success? Take time to document any successes or barriers you and your team encountered.
Below you will find specific examples of what a great self-assessment should look like depending on your role. We encourage you to lean on these examples and customize them to better reflect your own workplace accomplishments.
1. Self-Assessment Example: Sales Representative
“In my first three months as a sales representative for Acme Rocket Company, I have met and exceeded new hire expectations for sales performance. While I was informed during the hiring process that it usually takes up to three months for new hires to start achieving their monthly revenue targets, I was able to meet and exceed my revenue target in all of my first three months, selling 109% of my target in March, 111% in April and 105% of my sales target in May. The biggest factor in my success has been my attention to detail and responsiveness throughout the sales process. Between April and May, I responded to 92% of inquiries from prospective customers inside my territory within 24 hours, regardless of when or how the inquiry was received. The remaining 8% were responded to within 48 hours. My timely responses and attention to detail have resulted in a 78% closing rate for new customer inquiries and enabled me to exceed my sales targets in each month.”
2. Self-Assessment Example: Marketing Manager
“When I began my role as marketing manager at Acme Rocket Company, my goals were to increase our exposure within the industry, expand our thought leadership and help Acme position itself as an industry leader. Throughout the year, I engaged my team members with three important goals: increase Acme’s presence at industry conventions and trade shows, increase Acme’s visibility at industry conferences, especially those with speaking opportunities, and enhance our support of Acme’s account-based marketing strategy by developing personalized white papers and research reports for our most important target accounts.
I am incredibly proud of what my team and I have accomplished during the past year. Compared to the previous year, when Acme attended just two conventions and one trade show, we were present at four industry conventions and four trade shows this year, enabling us to promote our brand further, connect with important industry players, and generate key contacts for our ABM sales team. We also managed to book Acme speakers into three separate conferences, creating a massive platform for us to evangelize our technology and the customer service approach that makes us uniquely valuable for our customers. This included scheduling our CEO for a speaking engagement at the annual Space Commerce Conference that received over 10,000 live viewers on Facebook and boosted our social media following by 17% in two days.
Finally, our team produced 41 individual white papers and research reports for our target accounts this year. When our sales team sent these reports to prospective clients instead of a generic sales message, closing rates were 18% higher, and revenue per sale was 41% greater. In total, these three initiatives have helped increase our inbound lead volume by 87% compared to this time last year.”
Tip: 2021 is well underway. Stay up to date with the latest performance management strategies as the year progresses.
3. Self-Assessment Example: Customer Support Representative
“In my first year as a customer support representative for Acme Rocket Company, I maintained high standards for customer service and responsiveness that have been reflected in the results of my work. Given the target of maintaining an average call time under 10 minutes, I maintained an average call time of 7:22 throughout the year. This was a full two minutes faster than the company average of 9:25. I also maintained an average customer satisfaction rating of 94% throughout the year, compared to the average rate of 90% for other employees in my role. Finally, I minimized escalations by achieving a first-call resolution rate of 95%, compared to the company average of 90%.
Together, these metrics demonstrate that I have consistently provided our customers with quality and timely service that exceeds their expectations and the requirements set by Acme Rocket Company. The single greatest factor in my success was how I made use of Acme’s internal resources, including training materials and internal contacts. I developed a deep familiarity with our knowledge base by reading it during less busy periods. I spent lunch breaks interviewing reps from other departments about how best to answer customer questions related to their work. My growing expertise and familiarity with Acme’s operations contribute to my quick resolution times with customers.”
Reflecting on Mistakes
As you approach performance discussions, employees can become anxious when talking about their shortcomings. HR leaders need to create a culture that supports and encourages reflection upon their areas of opportunity. Employees should feel comfortable recognizing their shortcomings and having honest discussions about how they can improve in the future.
Frame mistakes as opportunities for improvement. You and your employees can identify what went wrong and what can be done better in the future. Stress the importance of reflection to your employees. After all, it is important to see whether employees are willing to recognize their mistakes. Demonstrating an ability to maintain your performance is a key indicator of potential future leaders.
Below you will find some high-quality examples of self-assessments that discuss performance shortcomings based on your role. We encourage you to learn from these examples and implement a similar strategy in your own situations.
4. Self-Assessment Example: Sales Representative
“Despite meeting my most important performance objectives during the past three months, there were times when I struggled with my job responsibilities. There were several occasions where I missed daily activity targets for lead generation and customer calls, something that should never be acceptable for someone in my role with a positive work ethic. In my view, those days represent lost opportunities to contribute even more sales to the team. While I met my sales targets by responding decisively to warm prospects, I could have enlarged my sales pipeline by meeting my outreach targets consistently. I am working towards improving my time management and scheduling to ensure that I consistently meet daily activity targets.”
Tip: For strong self-assessments, you need a reliable and robust performance management strategy. Check out the latest best practices for creating a modern performance management process.
5. Self-Assessment Example: Marketing Manager
“Because of the ambitious nature of this year’s marketing strategy, there were times when I pushed my team hard to perform at their best, put in extra hours, and deliver on highly demanding projects. In general, I am always patient and understanding with my team members about the challenges they are facing, but there were times this year when I was perceived as too blunt when giving feedback on work that a team member produced. While I would never compromise on my drive for results, I must take the time to give more thoughtful and considerate feedback to members of my team. When working under the pressure of deadlines, I can positively influence the team attitude by demonstrating confidence and work ethic. I need to improve my emotional response to stress so that I can set a better example for my team.”
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6. Self-Assessment Example: Customer Support Representative
“Although I demonstrated outstanding success in providing service to our customers over the past year, there were several areas of opportunity for improving my job performance. Despite my consistency in resolving customer issues, I was only able to successfully cross-sell our products to 5% of my customer base, short of my goal of 7%. Further developing my technical knowledge of our products will enable me to make better product recommendations for our customers. Still, I need to understand more about how to communicate value propositions to our customers and help them realize when it makes sense to purchase more from us. I believe that additional sales training and education about our products would assist me in increasing my up-selling performance in line with company expectations.”
Setting Goals for the Future
The most important part of employee self-assessments is discussing and defining future goals with your team. Your A Players are ambitious and want to work for an organization that offers opportunities for professional advancement. Self-assessments allow employees to dictate personal goals to their leaders. Employees and managers should have the space to talk about how they can better match their skills to what they enjoy about their role.
It’s crucial to set specific and measurable goals for future performance. HR managers can help employees create a strategy to achieve their goals, but only if employees are transparent about what they’d like to achieve.
Here’s how to set goals for the future in a variety of roles:
7. Self-Assessment Example: Sales Representative
“I am excited to build on my early success as a sales representative with Acme Rocket Company. I have demonstrated my ability to meet sales targets with quick and responsive service. I believe that improving my time management will create more closing opportunities for me over the next year. My objectives in this role for the coming year are:
- Achieve 120% of my cumulative sales target for my first 12 months of employment.
- Meet my daily activity requirements with 90% consistency (currently at 75%)
- Maintain a closing rate of 80% for new customer inquiries
While I have enjoyed success as a sales representative, I believe that my skills would suit the sales manager position. As a sales manager at Acme Rocket Company, I would lead a team of salespeople, providing the training, support, and tools required for them to succeed. I have always been passionate about the power of teaching to help others succeed. I believe that I could train new hires to replicate my early success with Acme Rocket Company using the knowledge, skills, and insight I have developed in my time here.”
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8. Self-Assessment Example: Marketing Manager
“In the past year, our team managed to attend eight conventions and trade shows and secure speaking engagements at three industry conferences. We should optimize our strategies surrounding these important events to maximize our investment return in the coming year. Acme Rocket Company should continue to produce personalized marketing materials for its target accounts, a practice that has yielded significant ROI over the past year. In the coming year, my goals are to:
- Increase measurable ROI on Acme Rocket Company’s convention, trade show, and conference participation to 40% through cost reduction
- Increase inbound lead volume by 30%
- Increase lead capture on company website by 50%
- Complete training courses in leadership and constructive feedback
In the past year, I developed further interest in marketing strategy and our marketing directors’ work to determine how the company will invest our annual budget. In the future, I would be interested in learning more about how marketing strategies and participating in marketing strategy development for Acme Rocket Company.”
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9. Self-Assessment Example: Customer Support Representative
“In the past year, I was successful at providing fast and efficient service to our customers, but my sales numbers lagged behind my goal. Because of that, the biggest opportunity for me to improve my up-selling is by making it a focus of my professional development for the coming year. My goals for this year are:
- Increase my up-selling percentage to 7% (currently 5%)
- Achieve a first-call resolution rate of 95% or greater
- Achieve a 95% customer satisfaction score based on providing exceptional service
- Complete a sales training course
- Complete a technical training course related to our products/business
As a customer service representative with Acme Rocket Company, the best part of my job is providing exceptional service to our customers. Over the past year, I developed a genuine passion for our products and brand. I take pride in representing our company each time I interact with our customers, a quality I believe has driven my success in service. In the future, I hope to take on a management role where I can share my passion for Acme Rockets and help build a world-class customer support department.”
Writing Your Own Self-Assessment
We hope that these self-assessment examples help you and your employees to create strong and insightful performance review evaluations. Annual performance self-assessments allow your organization to reflect on achievements and shortcomings over the past year and set future advancement goals.
HR leaders need to encourage transparency in self-assessments by creating a culture where employees feel comfortable to evaluate and rate themselves honestly. When reflecting on workplace achievements, encourage your employees to include specific examples and statistics that reflect their contributions to the organization. Discuss detailed explanations that include the what, when, where, why, and how of these accomplishments, and include any feedback received throughout the year. HR managers need to recognize that it can be difficult to reflect on mistakes. Make sure that your employees aren’t afraid to be honest with you. An employee who can honestly assess where they succeeded and failed has a lot of maturity, and is a sign of a great potential leader down the road.
Your approach to self-assessments affects the brand and culture of your organization. To get accurate and honest results from your team, you need to create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their shortcomings. HR professionals should lead by example by completing a transparent and comprehensive review of their work.
ClearCompany can help when it comes to consolidating your achievements and tracking your annual performance. With our performance management software and talent management capabilities, you and your employees gain access to real-time data that facilitates informed decision-making. For more information about how our comprehensive and customizable software can help you transform your performance management strategies, reach out to our team of experts or sign up for your free demo now.
This article was originally published on ClearCompany’s blog.