Are Self-Appraisals Right For Your Company? The Answer is Yes.


If performance management were to be exiled from a company’s lifestyle, slowly but surely employees would become unhappy, nobody would have motivation to set goals, and the company would, one day, wind up unsuccessful. Nothing can be done well without a little direction, and when done properly, appraisals can provide that direction… particularly, self-appraisals.

Now, you may have heard that the performance appraisal is dying, alongside any sort of self-evaluation. Now while part of that may be true (companies are announcing they’re “doing away with the annual review!”), what isn’t being divulged is that they’re just evolving their process, not getting rid of in completely. Yes, the annual performance appraisal may be dying, but performance management, and its accompanying reviews, are not. If anything, they’re becoming more frequent and employee-involved than in the past.

Self-appraisals allow for employees to feel empowered and in control of their own destiny at a company, while managers can have the ability to help guide and direct them alongside the individual’s own work. Performance management should be a team effort between the two parties anyway. Managers should not feel empowered to drive an employee’s career in whatever direction they feel is best, it should be an open, and honest, conversation between the individuals. Ideally, in this conversation either person is able to share their opinions, questions, and even concerns about how one is doing in their career, and use the time to reflect and grow in their job. 78% of employees have said being recognized motivates them in their job, so there’s no reason not to encourage this recognition through the use of self-appraisals.

Taking the manager out of the equation, self-reviews are extremely beneficial for the employee on an individual level. When the self-appraisal is integrated into your performance management process, it encourages employees to take a look at, and evaluate, themselves multiple times throughout the year. This allows employees to actively monitor themselves and become self-aware of any problems they may be experiencing. When the employee is doing this work, it opens up more time for managers to actively work on goal setting and achieving, teach, and maybe even harbor a more productive team energy.

Now of course, allowing the employee the ability to drive their own career can create some problems such as inflation of scores, an incorrect perception of how they’re really doing within the company, and maybe some missed context as to why they do what they do, but the beauty of this being a part of your performance management process, is that it allows these problems to be caught early and remedied, rather than at the end of the year when the employee may be expecting a bonus, but isn’t going to receive one. Besides, 92% of employees agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.” So, while these conversations won’t be easy to have, they’ll save your managers, and you, many headaches (and potentially heartbreaks!) in the future.

If this post hasn’t convinced you on the idea of self-appraisals, I would highly recommend you take some time to do your own research. The beauty of the self-appraisal is that it can be designed exactly how you like. Questions, or no questions? Competencies, or no competencies? Goals, or no goals? There are also plenty of anecdotal stories from other companies’ experiences for you to read. Learn from their mistakes, go out on a limb, implement an idea of their’s you may think will work for your company. The self-appraisal world is your oyster with all of the options out there – there’s no excuse to not at least try it once.

If you’re sure you want to implement self-appraisals, but need some assistance, our wonderful Reviewsnap team members would love to assist. Reach out today by phone or email.