If you want to make the most of this exercise and help employees think carefully about their performance, you’ll want to ask questions that prompt reflection rather than asking them to answer questions meant for a manager or HR.
It’s also helpful if the questions provide some guidance to employees about topics to consider, rather than open-ended fields such as “what did you accomplish over the past year”. Below we’ve listed our top 18 questions to use in a self-evaluation:
Performance related questions
- What were your key objectives and to which extent did you achieve them?
- How would you rate your performance since your last check-in with your manager?
- Name three things you have done really well in the last 3 months? Why do you think those were successful?
- What is your proudest achievement when thinking about your performance in the last 3-6 months?
- Provide an example of a tough situation you handled well, and the key strengths you relied on.
- In which projects and areas do you think your skills would add the most value?
Growth and development questions
- Which areas would you like to develop professionally (new skills) in the coming period? What support do you need to do that?
- Define one or two areas or skills you can improve upon.
- Do you have other strengths or skills that you feel are not currently being utilized? What are they?
- Give one or two examples of how you have grown professionally over the last period.
- Did you spend sufficient time, attention and resources on your development? Explain why you did or did not.
- What could help you to develop further? (e.g training, tools, coaching, mentoring from more experienced colleagues)
- You feel most valuable in this team when working on...
Start, stop, continue questions
- What actions/behaviors should you start doing?
- What actions/behaviors should you stop doing?
- What actions/ behaviors should you continue doing?
Values and behavior questions
- Do you feel that you delivered on your commitments?
- Do you feel that you consistently lived our values?
Defining the right questions is only one part of the process. Another key aspect of successful self-assessments is the ability to compare responses. This means running manager and/or peer assessments simultaneously. Questions should match, so that people can look at their answers related to feedback they are receiving.
There are different ways you can conduct reviews in order to drive completion and gather insights. Perhaps you’re using a more traditional system such as a Word document or a spreadsheet, but this means you manually collating a lot more data, particularly when it comes to helping employees compare responses.
On the other hand, you may be running your reviews in a performance management system that allows you to run reviews simultaneously. This has several advantages: not only can you use the system to compare responses and provide people with a report, you can also use it to set up a library of skills & competencies that people can be evaluated against. This provides even more context to the reviews.
Now you are equipped to get started and start focusing on your performance! If you are looking for more insights on different review types and more, download our free Guide to Modern Performance Management.