How to Write a Self Evaluation for Work

Megan Thompson · June 1, 2021

Writing a self evaluation for work can be intimidating, especially if it’s not done regularly. But getting to a place where employees feel more comfortable assessing their performance, wellbeing and overall experience at work is vital in the new world of work.

The employee voice is more important than ever, and with these tips you’ll be able to write a comprehensive self evaluation for upcoming performance reviews and one-on-one meetings.

The importance of self evaluation

Self evaluations can be incredibly helpful for influencing your career development, uncovering areas for improvement or additional support, getting access to new resources or training and boosting your confidence.

Therefore, it isn’t something that should be taken lightly, or brushed over. Sit down, and take your time to think about what it is you would like to get from your performance review. What goals are you working towards? What motivates you to do a good job? Where do you want to improve?

Read more about the benefits of self evaluation here.

How to Write a Self Evaluation for Work

How to do a self evaluation as an employee

Give your self evaluation enough time

Put aside some time to avoid a last minute rush to try and remember everything you’ve done since your last review. If you do a weekly self-evaluation, this shouldn’t take long, but a monthly, or even annual review can be much more time consuming.

Use the right tone of voice

A written self evaluation is an important document. It tells a lot about how you perceive yourself and your future at work, so using a professional tone of voice is vital. Use concise, clear language, and bullet-point where possible, as this will help you to focus and stick to the topic at hand.

Don’t use your self evaluation as an opportunity to criticise another colleague or your manager. Any conflict or praise you have for another employee should be discussed separately, so your self evaluation can focus solely on your own progress, goals, and success. An easy way to do this is to use “I” focused language,

Think positively in your self assessment

Celebrate your accomplishments! What have you done well at work? It’s much nicer (and easier) to get into the flow of writing a self evaluation for work when we think of the positives. Include facts, and any data you have to give weight to your claims. If you consistently went above your KPIs or targets for the last month, tell your manager how much you went above.

Did you contribute to a recent successful team project? Consider how your role affected the project outcome and what you learnt from the experience. Show how your input was indispensable by drawing a clear connection between your actions and the success of the project. Give solid examples and prepare relevant, insightful data to help you and your manager feel confident in your assessment.

If working in a particular area resonated with you make sure you bring it up in your evaluation – it could lead to more opportunities to do something you enjoy and excel in.

Evaluate yourself honestly and critically

Being positive about your success is great – but you can talk about your weaknesses in a positive light too. Taking a critical look at your performance means evaluating from all angles, and if you’re lacking confidence or skill in a specific area you don’t need to be self-effacing.

Simply put, you should speak truthfully about where you may have performed weaker than anticipated. However, make this about your professional growth and development rather than a flaw that will prevent you from carrying out your job.

Use your self evaluation to look forward

One thing that is vital for a successful self evaluation is a future-oriented outcome. Point out a few areas where you would like to improve and note what you hope to achieve to move forwards. Once you’ve picked an end goal it makes it far easier to plan your path to get there.

Choose a few areas you’d like to grow in, and come up with some ideas for how to get there. Perhaps you could shadow a colleague or complete an online course. It’s likely that your manager will also have some suggestions, but starting the self evaluation with a direction for improvement will get you moving in the right direction.

Identifying underlying factors in your self evaluation

Sometimes we aren’t 100% sure why we’re struggling in a particular area. You might feel a bit disconnected from work, but be unable to identify exactly why that is, or what’s causing it. Often this is due to underlying or subconscious factors that affect the way we feel about work.

It could be because you aren’t getting enough positive feedback or attention from your manager, or perhaps you’re lacking a strong common bond with your team. Either way, when it comes to the subconscious ways that we think and feel it can be helpful for an unbiased, outside perspective.

WeThrive’s free Bubble demo can help you identify exactly how you’re feeling and any particular areas you could be struggling with. No email address, no credit card, no hassle required. You’ll just get instant insights and feedback to help you write a self evaluation for work that your manager will love.