self appraisal

The self appraisal process provides unique benefits and serves some specific purposes in the employee performance management process. Including self appraisal in the performance appraisal process can help managers make more accurate performance ratings and conduct productive performance review discussions with employees, if used properly.

1. Self Appraisal Provides Managers with Vital Information for Decision Making

The employee performance management process requires managers to review and integrate performance data for a given period of time, analyze the data, and ultimately make decisions regarding ratings. Employee self appraisal is an important source of information on behavior and outcomes that may be missed over the course of the performance period. Performance feedback from peers or direct reports provides unique and specific insight on performance and the same holds true for self evaluation. Self appraisal, coupled with multi-rater feedback, provides a complete picture of performance so that managers can draw accurate conclusions regarding performance ratings.

2. Self Appraisal Builds Employee Engagement

Employees often feel as though the performance appraisal is a mystery - something that happens in secret.  Using self appraisal as part of the employee performance evaluation serves to involve and engage them. Self appraisal supports open feedback and dialogue about performance between employees and managers which serves to enhance the manager-employee relationship, a key driver of employee engagement. When employees perceive that their perspective matters they are more likely to be open to discussing their performance and collaborating with managers on goals for the future.

3. Self Appraisal Facilitates Productive Performance Review Meetings

Don't get caught by surprise!

self evaluationOne of the reasons why performance evaluations get such a bad rap is that the entire process is stressful for managers. Many managers fear engaging in conflict or disagreement during the performance review discussion...and they should be afraid if they do not do a good job of evaluating performance. The worst time to identify a big gap between an employee and manager's view of performance is during the performance review discussion. Self appraisal can help surface differences in perceptions/opinions BEFORE the performance review meeting.

The self appraisal provides managers with insight into the employees view of their own performance. The employee's view includes their perception of the progress they have made on goals and objectives, their priorities, as well as their perception of their own strengths and development needs.  Managers armed with this information can prepare to have an effective and productive performance review meeting.

Manager Do's and Don'ts: 


  • Ask employees to submit their self appraisal in advance, giving yourself enough time to review it, make your ratings, and prepare for the performance review discussion.
  • Clearly communicate how you will be using the self appraisal to employees. Make it clear that the self appraisal is important to your understanding of their performance over the course of the performance period AND that it will be considered along with a variety of other sources.


  • Take the easy way out and use the self appraisal as a draft of your performance evaluation on the employee. Managers lose credibility quickly when they make some wording changes to the self appraisal and call it their own.

Make things easier for yourself and all managers in your company by including self appraisal in the performance management processNeed more information on Self Appraisal?

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