Leadership

Are employee self-evaluations worthless?

A study from Cornell brings the value of employee self-evaluations into question. Judging by the results of the study, can self-evaluations be trusted?

Entire businesses have been built around how to build self-confidence. I agree that self-confidence can get you far in life and in your career; in fact, I've seen incompetent people succeed just on the basis of a high sense of self-esteem. They ooze confidence and can trick others into believing that confidence equals ability.

That brings me to a topic that has fascinated me for a long time: misplaced self-confidence. As someone who battled low self-esteem in the past, I've always found it fascinating (and even enviable) how some people think their skills are better than they are. I've always wondered if it's just a highly honed defense mechanism or a form of delusion.

So you can imagine my interest in a report from Cornell in regard to self-evaluations used in the workplace as part of an overall employee work appraisal.

Researchers at Cornell found that the worst performers (in a variety of categories) often rated themselves and their performance, in most cases, far above average. But get this: Top performers rated themselves lower than their performance merited.

Here's what the researchers reasoned:

The reasoning for these behaviors is fascinating. Poor performers lack the skills to perform--which are the same skills required to evaluate their performance. They don't understand that they don't understand, and so believe their abilities compare positively to their peers.

On the other hand, Top performers incorrectly assume that their competence is shared among their peers--leading them to rank themselves lower than they deserve.

Given this information, why in the world would any company use a self-evaluation as part of an employee's review? To me, it would only lead to confusion. A manager looking at the low-rated self-review of someone she considers to be a high performer might think there's something she isn't aware of and change her own opinion of that employee. And the poor performer who ranks himself high may cause a manager to question her observations about him.

I'd like to hear from managers out there or even HR folks who can defend the use of employee self-evaluations.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

181 comments
jonblaine
jonblaine

The companies that have managers write the annual review often have an ulterior motive; I was instructed by my manager not to rate my people highly, as salary increases depended on the overall score, and the company allowed only so many people to be rated optimally. As Craig Ferguson would say, "I knooooowwww!" They can also promote favoritism and be counter-productive, especially if the manager is really a mis-manager. But self-evaluations are also useless unless diligently managed. A 6 month or annual self-eval is about as useful as a manager-written piece. The best of both worlds is using something like SuccessFactors to evaluate continually. I was exposed to that at one forward-thinking nonprofit as a dept head, and it made sure everyone knew where everyone was on deliverables. There was no need to write any annual evaluation, except, perhaps, for merit and going above and beyond.

-
-

Self evaluations can show whether the employee is aligned with management. Based on that, management can determine the best approach to presenting their evaluation to the employee.

dlhankie
dlhankie

Yes, they are worthless. Manager is responsible to assist skill building and use the skills available.

paulenet
paulenet

Self evaluations are completely worthless, and they are also destructive to the work environment. There are many here that theorize that top performers tend to rate themselves lower while low performers tend to rate themselves higher (which I think is the case most of the time), and yet, others theorize just the opposite. In the end, one thing is clear: Self evaluations are inaccurate most of the time, and they are highly subjective not only to the person doing them, but also to anyone else that reads them, so why have them? Moreover, if one or more of your coworkers don't like you and / or are threatened by you because you bring much more talent and experience, and you add more tangiable value to the organization, then they may act nice towards you, then stab you in the back in peer review process. I know, because I have had this happen to me many times, despite having a much longer list of accomplishments on the job than my teammates. You can get several positive feedbacks from employees and "customers" that you have worked with which have seen your hard work and true value, while one or two employees on your team give your boss some negative feedback about you. Then, your boss can choose to emphasize or trivialize the negative feedback depending on whether or not your manager personally likes you. What I have found is that the more complicated and drawn out self evaluations, goal setting, and review processes are, the more management and HR want to be able to cover their tracks. They want employees to be spellbound and think that so much work as well as objectivity goes into these things, when in reality, it is a farce. Sorry to sound like a stick in the mud, but let's just face the facts. I have to admit that I do not like to brag about my accomplishments, as it feels uncomfortable. I certainly regret being forced into boasting about accomplishments and successes, when I am treated with a more highly distorted grading system than my teammates, and know that I am about to get a raw deal. However, my father told me once that "if you can do the job, then it is not bragging." In the end, self evaluations are just a popularity contest, masqueraded as some high-minded, objective evaluation for employees, when in the end, it only matters what your boss thinks of you anyway, and whether or not they want to give you a pay increase, promotion, etc. I have seen that most self evaluations and even some goals are just recycled and reworded over and over again every 6 months. BTW: It is the same thing with goal-setting, or the "where do you see yourself in 5 years" type of nonsense. First of all, MY goals are MY goals. They are personal, and I may share them with my family and friends, but as far as with my boss or coworkers, they are private, and up to my own discretion if I want to share them. They should be off limits to management and HR. What if one of my sincere goals is to work hard enough to obtain my boss's job, or a management position in a different department? Do you think your manager (or even their boss) would share such goals with their superiors? Of course not, as it would go over like a fart in church, so why should anyone be subjected to them, and respond honestly to self evaluations or employee goal planning?! This is why self evaluations are dishonest and inaccurate right out of the gate, and therefore should be completely eliminated from the corporate world. Goals can frequently come up in self evaluations and management feedback, but as company directions change, so can your own goals. So, when you technically do not meet your stated goals due to continously moving goal posts, then what is the point of stating goals, especially when it can be used against you later on when they don't reconcile? Ironically, most stated goals that are successfully obtained are continuous in nature, and don't change much, and therefore, goal setting doesn't change much from review period to review period. Also, one of the most overused words in self evalutation measurement is "leadership". Again, this so nebulous in nature, and the meaning has been so abused to the point than anyone can say they have leadership skills, and will tend to rank themselves high. Let's stop with all the artsy-fartsy BS of self evaluations and individual employee goal setting, otherwise it just gets is off into the weeds from the REAL purpose of why were are all "here": to kick butt, do our jobs effectively and efficiently, make money, then go home! No need to continuously talk about ourselves, rehash the same crap over and over again every six months with management and / or HR, as they try to pretend they are skilled in psychology.

mytmous
mytmous

I've found they offer a great deal of insight into an employee's perception of their work and how it compares with their colleagues. This, when contrasted with the perceptions of others (including mine) allows me to better manage the person - not just their projects.

newby7718
newby7718

Employee performance is a two edged sword because good management is a key to good performance. A method to get a better evaluation of performance is to have the manager rate the employee and give the employee a chance to respond ... the have the employee rate the manager and give the manager a chance to respond. That keeps it a level playing ground and quickly identifies successes and potential problems.

sbcs_avenger
sbcs_avenger

Not when use as we do at our Company. Both manager and employee fill and discuss during an evaluation session and the mutually agreed-upon ratings are submitted to HR. Maybe HR wants to call out those reviews with the high marks?

mhbowman
mhbowman

a man is looking at one of those useless pie charts in USA Today and says: "Hmmm... it says here 79% of people polled consider themselves to be above average". To me the evaluation would be more of an indicator of self esteem than anything else. Unless it was coupled with the knowledge of their actual intelligence and performance levels over time it would prove to be of little if any value.

PalKerekfy
PalKerekfy

I do believe that self evaluations are important. We all need to assess our capabilities and results from time to time. Self evaluations are important components of the annual evaluations in my practice. BUT: I don't accept everything they write there, and we discuss. Yes, they are subjective. Any other evaluation is subjective as well. We need to collect the facts and the opinions, and come to a conclusion. Ideally, the final evaluation (input: self, peers, bosses) is rather close to the reality.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

There is nothing about the study which is surprising; or even new information to anyone who has ever had to supervise or manage people directly in significant numbers over long periods of time. Are self evaluations worthless? It depends upon the precise nature and goals of such an evaluation, how they're used and interpreted. On a personal basis, I despise them. Or perhaps, I should say that I dislike the way I've seen them used in some cases in the past. For instance, I've seen instances where such self evaluations were simply required to be filled out because HR demanded it, or somebody read some fool book written by a supposed "expert" who recommended such, etc. In short, everyone was just going through the motions because it was demanded/expected. Chuckle, often enough in the past I've either refused to fill out such nonsense or simply filled such out with meaningless drivel. For instance in response to some idiot question like, "Among your peers, how would you rank yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. With 1 being the poorest performer and 10 being the best performer." I've often responded with something like, "How the heck would I know?" That being an honest statement from me. After all, usually I do not know EVERYTHING that the others have done, nor all the details about those things I know that they've done. That's something the boss would (or should) know. Not me, I'm just a peer, not in overall charge. Too busy getting my own stuff done to be wasting time continuously looking over the shoulders of everyone else I work with. Besides, there is only one true way to rank people in equivalent jobs ... by the end results. Who got how many tasks accomplished adequately, solidly, properly, with lasting results, on time, with the least expenditure of resources, the least waste, and the least number of complaints about inadequacies. As a member of a peer group, one of the worker bees, I usually don't have all that info about each and every member of the group. Now, my boss should have. Oh, he or she probably does not know all the details involved in getting whatever done, but should be cognizant about the results. My point being that more than a few of the things I've seen on employee self evaluations, as to questions asked, or comments required are worthless. OTOH, I have myself required employee self evaluations of people working for me. Where I've asked them to list accomplishments they're particularly proud of or think to be exceptional. And to list things they may have done which they think I may not be aware of but would like me to know about. Also, to be as honest and straight forward as possible and to list their own perceived strengths and weaknesses, and in the case of weaknesses, what they thought they, or I, or the organization for whom we worked might do to help them improve in that area. My goals were simple. Sometimes people DO things which they have a justifiable reasons to be proud about or which gives them a sense of accomplishment ... of which their bosses may not be aware. I didn't know every detail of every moment of every work day and every project this or that person worked on. Tell me about it. I want to know. Maybe I owe you a pat on the back I didn't know I owed. Maybe I've been doing something wrong which has made you have to put forth extraordinary effort to get the job done. Telling me about it may educate me and cause me to revise things so your future work will be easier, better, or whatever. Conversely, I've had guys make a brag ... that was mistaken. i.e. Had one guy working for me once who bragged about his speed in fixing some types of equipment breakdowns. And how many times he'd done so. We had a little talk. Where I explained to him that the problem was ... his fixes were less than adequate. I pointed out to him another fellow with the same responsibilities. Who took longer to make his fixes ... BUT ... once he fixed the item it was very unlikely to fail again. Thus, this other fellow had fewer fixes to make in the first place. And I wanted the guy bragging about his speed and number of fixes made ... to emulate the other fellow. I wanted more reliability and fewer required future repairs. I had instances where someone evaluated self very low in some area. Where I came back to that person and informed him or her that he or she was doing just fine. Keep up the good work. Etc, etc. Employee self evaluations can be worthless, or useful. Depends on how you use them and what information you're soliciting (and why). As to some people over rating themselves? What's new there? Happens all the time. I ignore the lip flapping and the patting of one's own back. Expect it, but ignore it. Sometimes it's just plain ignorance. Lots of folks who think they know a LOT about some subject, but who don't in reality, think they're more knowledgeable about something or better at doing something than they really are. Sometimes it's just a matter of someone over compensating for a known or suspected weakness/ personal lack. With some people, its just their nature. Some are raised in an environment where appearances and ability to BS are what counts most, as versus substance. Etc. Personally, some of the best I've seen at whatever ... seem to have a tendency to think they're only adequate. But that means, they keep trying harder to improve their own knowledge or performance. I like those types best.

Alan C Lee
Alan C Lee

I believe, in most cases, it is a question of objectivity, not honesty that prevents someone to properly assesses/evaluates oneself. The ability to objectively rate ones own performance is not an easy task. I think a self-evaluations can be helpful if the supervisor knows/understands the employees and uses the self-evaluation only as a supplement. Peer-evaluation is also in the same boat.

mp112849
mp112849

I tend to agree with the "Self Evaluations Are Not Real." post. My approach over the years has evolved to one of: rate myself as highly as the scale allows and let the manager tell me why not. This will ferret out whether that manager has a clue about you and what you do. It's a slippery slope, but worth the effort if executed properly.

bus66vw
bus66vw

A missed used tool to allow managers to stop doing their job. If you get stuck having to do this kind of approach, keep in mind that people who fill out the forms need to get a raise not a reason to be fired and that is how Self Evaluations are done. I wish the report from Cornell would also present the reduced productivity caused by employees filling out these Self Stressing Fake Evaluations. Those 360 reviews take their cut from the bottom line by reducing profitability.

dallas_dc
dallas_dc

Self evaluations help the mgr determine what the employee thinks about his performance. We use the self evals as a starting point in the performance discussion. The mgrs then prepare their own evaluations. This helps the manager ease into negative performance details that the employee may not be expecting. In an ideal situation, the employee should never be surprised by information in his review. This is also made easier by quarterly or semi-annual informal performance discussions. Also, sub-standard performance should be addressed immediately, and not left until review time. Surprising the employee with this information after months of the same performance is what we call sandbagging. Where the bad news is dumped on the employee when it is too late for the employee to improve and avoid a bad performance review.

daniel
daniel

I think it is very important to get information from an employee before a review. One needs to have some sense of an employees thoughts and expectations before providing criticism. Obviously, it is important to get this information on a regular basis. But if I'm going to try and provide positive criticism then I need to know if that is going to be well received or is just going create friction. At the very least, I would hope to be be able to introduce information in a manner in which the employee will listen to what I have to say. I don't think I'd use this information to rate an employee. Though certainly some employees are going to be able to present there thoughts so that maybe I will see things in a light that I had not. But I definitely find this is part of the communication process and is useful. Furthermore, if you are giving someone a salary review then I think it is very important that they feel they have a role in the process, even if it does not really affect the outcome.

Steve Romero
Steve Romero

I believe Self-evaluations are very important. To me, their ultimate value is to recognize and reconcile any gaps between the evaluator and evaluatee. If a gap exists, and is not addressed, disaster will strike. The inherent weaknesses noted in your post are easily addressed by ensuring performance objectives are measurable and fact-based. In these cases, the gaps are easily reconciled and the outcome is common understanding and shared perceptions - which should lead to reasoned and rational performance management practices. I believe the reason the Cornell study has merit is that few organizations have sound fact-based performance management practices in place. Steve Romero, IT Governance Evangelist http://community.ca.com/blogs/theitgovernanceevangelist/

steve.hammill
steve.hammill

Self-evaluations are a monumental waste of time in a company. Evaluating me is my boss' job. If he doesn't know how I am doing, I'm happy to allow my peers evaluate my work; if I have done my job I'll get great reviews. The only self-evaluation that isn't a waste of time is the moment I look at myself in the mirror each morning because he is the guy who gets the blame or the credit for what is right or wrong.

Jo Valberg
Jo Valberg

Appreciate your thoughts re: purpose/functions of the employee written self evaluation process (a chance to say something in writing...company standards of evaluation,opportunity to discuss, clear communications of expectations...and allows for employees to formally participate in the process). Excellent points! And I would add the benefit of the employee asking questions relative to their interests and career development. For further discussion, I would propose a comprehensive system called Discoveries@Work! developed over 2 decades of entrepreneurial enterprise. Based on a management system foundation, Discoveries! builds on each employee's work situation and identifies information in the system speaking to them in 5 areas, i.e., Vision/Purpose/Org Chart; Job/Routines; Team/Routines; Safety/Health Risks Individual/Corporate; and Self Evaluation/Work Development Plan. Developed for employee investment and satisfaction, the worker can use Discoveries! to identify the scope of the enterprise mission, with attention to details, for adapting and balance in work, and creating passion for one's work. Discoveries! is low tech/cost, but adaptable to higher tech with employee understanding and proficiency. Promoting a paradigm change, Discoveries@Work! creates an effective and rewarding level field for mgt/workers. Jo V., Snohomish, WA

sreid08
sreid08

I'm not currently in a management position, but I was in my last job for 7+ years. And I can tell you that the findings by Cornell are for the most part accurate. The idiots rated themselves too high and some of the excellent performers rated themselves too low. What DIDN'T happen - was that on the manager end - I knew who the idiots were that I'd inherited and who the good employees were. No one was fooling me!

tonycopp
tonycopp

You answer your own question. Invert the scores to make them worth more than less: the better the self-evaluation the lesser the actor...but shhhh! don't mention this again!!!

tonycopp
tonycopp

duplicate: revision below

schmidtd
schmidtd

It seems like you need to be confident enought to say to yourself, "I can do this task" or you won't bother yet self aware enough to say "I have no clue how to do this right now." Small wonder people are always falling off.

mdw1964
mdw1964

I use the self-evaluations of my techs to see where their heads are. It is actually a good tool for that. I absolutely agree with the observation posted from Cornell: The reasoning for these behaviors is fascinating. Poor performers lack the skills to perform?which are the same skills required to evaluate their performance. They don?t understand that they don?t understand, and so believe their abilities compare positively to their peers. The key for the managers is to not let it influence their evaluation. I have found that for my less experienced technicians, I lower the marks and sometimes this is a shock for them. However, if I am honest in my evaluation and I have documented shortcomings as well as kudos, we can go over those and actually help them improve in their skills.

it
it

On the Contrary, they are ABSOLUTELY necessary. A self-evaluation shouldn't be used as a basis for the supervisor's evaluation, but it should be used as a gauge of how the employee views him/herself and this is critical information for a constructive employee appraisal. When conducting an employee appraisal, I always write up my appraisal prior to reviewing the employee's self evaluation. After completing my written eval, I review theirs and see where we agree/ disagree, or if the employee is delusional. If a top performer rates him/herself low in any specific area I take this opportunity to ask the employee why he/she didn't rate themself higher and I often tell the employee that I see he/she doing well in this category but wanted to better understand where they were coming from. On the contrary, if a poor performer rates him/herself delusionally high, I know to prepare constructive criticism for the appraisal and present it to the employee in a manner that he/she will best receive it (as all employees/all people are different and have different sensitivities and capabilities for receiving criticism). A good manager knows how to use the self-evaluation to positively inspire his/her employees to grow, stretch, and become better employees.

d3d4E4
d3d4E4

Self-evaluation is one of the delusional tools used by incompetent managers to give them ilusion of managing.

cranky_paranoid
cranky_paranoid

At my company, there's a quota (not officially, but nonetheless) that employees fall into around a 3 on a 5-point scale. Knowing what their end score is going to be, the employees tailor their self-review to match what they are going to score anyway. So it's not really an honest self-review. Take away the given of what your score will be, and you start to see what people really think of themselves. Previous posts are correct; under-performers tend to overrate themselves. Part of this is delusion, part is not understanding what is expected, part is trying to bump up their review and hold on to their job. high-performers do tend to rate themselves lower; part of this is familiarity with the process, part is their expectations of themselves, and part is that we expect higher of the high performers so they rate themselves against what they perceive our expectations to be.

jabulani42
jabulani42

The whole concept of "performance reviews" is questionable anyway. It is merely a tool used by HR types and senior management to delude themselves that they are actually doing something for the "well being" of the employees. In my considerable experience performance reviews are only done once a year by managers under duress from the HR department, at salary review time. In all cases performance reviews have little or no impact on morale or remuneration.

g01d4
g01d4

Only if the manager rates himself highly.

daverosenberg
daverosenberg

They have always been an invaluable tool for me. A poor perfomer, who rates themself higher then their performance indicates is either unaware of their job descriptions, or they think they are smarter then they are and are trying to blow smoke. If the employee isn't one of my direct reports, it may indicate a management/leadership deficiency in their supervisor (this could be one indication, I wouldn't base my entire opinion on that). If the poor performer's evaluation is accurate, it brings up an entire other set of issues, such as why is their performance poor if they are aware of it? Is it a training issue or are they just in over their head. I'm not surprised that star performers frequently under rate themself. It has been my experience that superstars tend to have higher standards and expectations for themselves, that is why they are superstars. In anycase, I have always found the differential between my evaluation and an employees evaluation helpful in determining what kind of corrective action to take.

bbbaldie_z
bbbaldie_z

I sure with my HR department thought they were...

erik.vanasch@pearson.com
erik.vanasch@pearson.com

What I believe the root cause to self-evaluations being worthless is the fact that many organizations do not have a very clear expectation set for their employee on what performance levels are expected. Too often during an interview I'll ask a potential candidate how do they know when they are doing a good job. After literally hundreds of interviews and cheap pat answers, I have yet to be told that the employee was provided a set of job expectations and how they achieved or exceeded those expectations. Too many managers seem too busy with other things and ignore the fact that their people need to know what's expected of them and MEASURE to that expectation. This makes review time so easy, because the employee either met the expectation or didn't and you have a year's worth of QUANTIFIABLE data to support whatever raise/review you provide the employee. Simply put, set performance expectations and measurements = no surprises and no sense of over-inflated self-worth

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

I wonder... if I coat my face with lemon juice, will my boss give me a favorable review?

paulenet
paulenet

will know if an employee is aligned with them long before a self evaluation cycle, simply by paying attention to the employee's work and direction. No need to play "wait and see" in an a self evalution, let alone a performance review. If management sees an alignment problem, address it immediately. If they do so, then there is no need to cover it over and over again through further evaluations. Moreover, removing such paper shuffling and management fluff, allows increased efficiencies in time management and operational costs. I have seen too many companies waste such an incredible amount of money and time while posing and posturing on artsy-fartsy evaluation processes. It has been proven over and over again that self evaluations are a waste of time, and are not needed when organizations have high performance management in place that know what they are doing.

vsatyaramesh
vsatyaramesh

Self evaluation is a need, otherwise we don't have an opportunity to voice our accomplishments. Imagine what it would be like if your supervisor forgets some of your accomplishments (because he is the RM for many associates) & rates you below what you deserve? Just like advertisements are required for good sales of a product, its important that you advertise your accomplishments as well (there is nothing to be uncomfortable about speaking of your accomplishments as long as you don't get horny about them). Cheers, Satya.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

You are evaluating something, him, her, you, it, them, us, me. How can it be anything but subjective?

reisen55
reisen55

GOOD or BAD Remember that as an AMERICAN WORKER you are an overpaid techie when compared with those bargains Management can find in Bangalore that get paid $1.80 an hour with no benefits.

doogal123
doogal123

'Sandbagging' is done all the time

mp112849
mp112849

I couldn't agree more. You have hit it, and squarely. The key to the validity of your response is "I knew who the idiots were...". In my experience, and being on the other end of the process (as one of those who had to supply a self-eval), I would always marvel at the responses I would get when questioning the validity of the self-eval process. They would always be something like, "...this is your opportunity to let us know what you did and how well you think you did it". My stock response was, "...you're my boss and I meet with you every week. We talk about what I'm doing and I tell you the obstacles and my progress. Shouldn't you know already what my self-eval should say?" Anyway, if people managers were doing their jobs and listening to their direct reports, there'd be no need for these ridiculous self-evaluations. In the end, if promotions and raises are not dependent on the self-eval process, why bother? Good employees do their work, and if their bosses are watching and correlating, there's no need to recap the obvious. If bosses are perceptive, which they damn well should be, they should be able to see through a poorly performing employee's efforts.

lt.seahawk1
lt.seahawk1

A good manager that knows his people can use this self evaluation as a tool to modulate up or down the individuals merit amount with this.if so he could give more to those who really deserve it thus a more reasonable distribution of the available merit increase pool monies. This would be the ideal of course. Most mangers don't think that deeply in my opinion, they only looking out for their own career and that takes priority over everything in my opinion.

LMOTP
LMOTP

ejirak, You hit the nail on the head :) You cannot manage staff with paperwork/processors. You must have the guts to sit down and talk to them face to face and ask simple straight forward questions like "what have you done in the past 2 months" a good employee will know the answer straight away. A poor employee will bluff. You can go from there.

wolfgang.bonow
wolfgang.bonow

Maybe I'm wrong, but if people are "unaware of their job descriptions", or their evaluation is far off, this only shows 1 thing: The supervisor/manager is not doing his job and/or is reluctant to deal with people who do underperform. If I "manage" employees properly, I surely know what they're doing and how they perform. If I don't know, the evaluation wouldn't be of any help anyway, because I would have to believe their self-evaluation. Either way, they would be a complete waste of time (and paper).

drn
drn

The primary purpose of a self-evaluation is that it gives the employee a formal channel to let his boss know the employee's successes, i.e. the good things he's done -- for knowledge workers who are largely self-directed, bosses rarely know what they've done except for problems. This lets the boss hear about the successes. This is all predicated on the evaluations, both by the boss and the employee, being based on concrete, measurable outcomes (ROI, surveyed customer satisfaction, downtime/MTBF, meeting deadlines, etc). The less capable employees who overrate themselves tend to claim non-quantifiable achievements, which should twitch the manager's BS meter.

paulenet
paulenet

... even for stating accomplishments. In addition to the several reasons I have stated before, if someone thinks they are needed in order to state accomplishments, then it is important to get to the root agenda behind that. The only real purpose for stating accomplishments is to provide evidence to your manager that you are valued, do good work, and are a possible candidate for salary increase, promotion, etc. If you are required to submit self evaluations like everyone else, then you are going to have little or no control in having any honest discussion about your accomplishments, let alone negotiating a pay raise, promotion, etc. By the way, many companies prefer it this way, especially large companies. Most companies that are rigid enough to force self evaluations on its employees usually have a point system that they have to adhere to for possible raises, and in which case, do not allow you much room to negotiate a pay raise. contrary to some beliefs, employees have a better opportunity to discuss accomplishments, salary increases, promotion, etc., simply by arranging a meeting on your own with your manager to review the work you have done for the company, followed by a discussion of your value going forward. By having a more open discussion like this instead of having self evaluations and point systems, it allows you to have a more open and honest discussion instead a contrived, cookie cutter approach forced on employees, plus it also allows you to stand out well. Even though I prefer not to state my accomplishments (as a good manager will know what they are anyway, unless they are managing too many employees), I have used this approach when self evaluations were not mandated, and it has allowed me to have honest disccussions, and the very best pay raises and promotions that I would not otherwise have an opportunity.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

costs when your pay is tied to performance. Seen it so many times it has to be deliberate.