And while those six steps are fairly simple and straightforward, sitting down and writing your accomplishments, learnings and challenges can be hard. Lots of people struggle with knowing what and how much detail to provide.
So, we thought we'd give you a few self-appraisal example comments you can use to guide your efforts.
Your goal with your self-appraisal is to be honest and provide as much detail as your manager needs to understand why you've given yourself the rating you have. So be thoughtful about your performance over the past review period. Here we've provided example comments for some fairly common elements included in a self-appraisal form: a competency, a performance goal, and a development plan. Hopefully they inspire you to write your own thoughtful assessment.
1. Competency: Teamwork
Is an effective team player who adds complementary skills and contributes valuable ideas, opinions and feedback. Communicates in an open and candid manner and can be counted upon to fulfill any commitments made to others on the team. This is distinctly different from those who withhold ideas and opinions, offer ideas or opinions that rarely add value to team discussions, have established a track record with many unmet commitments, and/or have not contributed skills that complement the skills of others on the team.
Self-appraisal example comment
This past year, I really worked on improving my teamwork skills. After completing the 2-day Teamwork 101 course, I had a much better understanding of team dynamics and how to contribute more effectively in the various roles and stages of team development.
I served on 3 key teams this past year: the corporate social responsibility committee, the customer service process improvement team and the team involved in successfully completing critical orders for our customer Dunrite.
On the corporate social responsibility team, I assumed greater leadership, taking on the role of event coordinator. I successfully organized our annual food drive and cancer fundraiser. For both these events, I recruited more volunteers than we've had previous years (10 vs 6 for food drive; 22 vs 13 for cancer fundraiser) and made sure we all shared the same understanding of team goals, roles and responsibilities. For both events, I held weekly team meetings and sent our notes on what we'd discussed and agreed to. I also made a conscious effort to give everyone a chance to share their ideas and feedback, especially the quieter more introverted members. Team members commented on how much more smoothly both events ran this year. In both cases we exceeded our fundraising goals.
On the customer service process improvement team, I played more of a supporting role. Despite my heavy workload, I attended all team meetings and completed my action items on time. In addition, I was the one who suggest we approach Ken from IT business tools and then invited him to meet with the team to explore possible improvements to our order entry software tool. This proved to be a key action for the team because it allowed us to understand the opportunities and limitations we faced with tool. As a result, our team was able to put forward practical recommendations for process improvements that shaved a half day off our current order fulfillment process.
I was also one of the customer service representatives who worked on the special project for our customer Dunrite. This team struggled a lot because we had different ideas about the priorities, sequence of actions and responsibilities of the team. After a few rough weeks of work, with a lot of conflict, I suggested we hold a facilitated team meeting to help get to the root of our conflicts. Before we held the meeting, I met with John to discuss his aggressive demeanor with the team. I explained to him how valuable his contributions were, but that his behavior was being perceived as aggressive and threatening by some and harming team communications and performance. We talked about ways to reset or diffuse the situation. John had been unaware of his impact on the team, and our conversation helped him change his approach. The team was able to constructively air their differences, come to agreement on priorities, responsibilities and process, and we successfully completed the customer order on schedule.
2. Performance Goal: Improve customer responsiveness
Respond to all customer inquiries with two hours. Process all customer orders within 24 hours. Reduce the number of orders with errors to less than 5% by ensuring you've accurately and completely captured all details, considered current inventory levels, and accurately documented any back-ordered items on all order sheets. Email order confirmations to customers within 24 hours.
Linked to: Maintain customer satisfaction rating of 85%, as measured by quarterly sample and annual customer satisfaction surveys.
Due date: end of fiscal year
Self-appraisal example comment
My customer satisfaction ratings for the year were as follows: Q1 - 83%, Q2 - 86%, Q3 - 86%, Q4 - 87%, overall - 85.5%
My order error rate was 2.7%, the lowest in our department. The order fulfillment team gave me a spot award in September for the quality, clarity and completeness of the orders I submit.
All of my customer orders were processed within 24 hours (average 17 hours).
82% of my customers received order confirmation emails with 12 hours, all within 24 hours.
I responded to 84% of my customer inquiries within two hours. The other 16% were responded to within three hours. As we discussed, my participation in the customer service process improvement team made it difficult to respond to some customer inquiries within the targeted time because of the duration of some of our meetings. Once we realized the problem we worked to shorten our meetings and keep them more focused.
I struggled a bit in dealing with our contact at Dunrite. Henry can be very disorganized and seems to forget what we've discussed, and what he's ordered from one interaction to the next. Then he gets angry at what he perceives to be my mistakes. I've been careful to keep notes on our conversations and have taken to sending him emails recapping my understanding after each one, which has helped. But I still don't feel like I have a great working relationship with him. I'd really appreciate some guidance in better handling him and improving our communications.
3. Development plan: Improve teamwork skills
Improve knowledge and understanding of how teams function, the development stages of high performing teams and the various roles team members play by completing the 2-day Teamwork 101 workshop.
Self-appraisal example comment
I completed the course in April of this year and gave a presentation on what I learned at our monthly staff meeting in May. I've worked hard to use what I learned in the teams I've participated in this year, and think I've noticeably improved my teamworking skills.
How much detail should you provide?
The more closely you work with your manager, and the more often you meet to discuss your goals, performance, development and progress, the less detail you'll need to provide. If you work fairly independently of your manager, you'll need to provide a lot more detail.
The best way to prepare for your self-appraisal is to document your performance throughout the year via journal notes. It's an easy way to keep a record of milestones, accomplishments, successes and challenges as they occur, when the details are fresh in your mind.
Do a good job with these comments, and your manager may even cut and paste them right into the appraisal form to save time.
Your turn: Do you have any example comments you'd like to share - either good or bad? Do you think this kind of detail is helpful?