HR Management & Compliance, Learning & Development, Talent

Pros and Cons of Employee Self-Assessments

Both employees and managers perform better when they receive regular feedback, and employees state that they desire more feedback from their bosses, leading many organizations to get rid of their annual employee performance reviews or supplement them with more regular forms of employee feedback, like employee self-assessments.assessment
But before you definitively decide to implement employee self-assessments, consider the following pros and cons.


More ownership is placed on employees. Employees must own their performance when they evaluate themselves and are required to recall tasks and projects that they have completed, as well as successes and areas for improvement.
Self-assessments also encourage employees to think of their work in terms of tangible metrics and data, though they may not usually do so.
Managers are presented with valuable insight. When reviewing self-assessments, managers will gain insight into the tasks and projects their employees are tackling that they otherwise may not have known about, and they’ll better understand what motivates their employees and how they approach their responsibilities. Managers will also discover how employees view their jobs, workload, and everyday tasks, which could help leadership determine future work conditions and responsibilities. 
Opportunities for better communication arise. The information managers glean from these assessments will also provide them with insight into what each employee cares about, enabling leadership to communicate more effectively. Managers won’t have to guess or rely on impersonal metrics when coaching or managing their employees or teams but, instead, will have knowledge that will enable them to tailor conversations to each individual.


Perceptions can be different or skewed. Employee self-assessments can become skewed or too subjective if managers and employees don’t provide tangible evidence to back up their performance claims, and if these assessments are too subjective, employees and managers will have different perspectives on what an employee has or has not achieved. For example, a manager may not agree with an employee’s argument that he or she has exhibited optimal performance.
Employee objectivity is difficult to attain. Employees may overestimate their competence and performance because of their close connection to their everyday tasks if they don’t have set performance objectives, which may also lead to difficulty in admitting areas for improvement.
Conflict can easily arise. Handling employee self-assessments carefully is necessary in preventing employee resentment toward feedback that is perceived negatively, as well as in preventing managers from thinking their employees cannot be coached or lack the ability to improve.
In tomorrow’s post, we’ll highlight how to effectively implement these employee self-assessments.

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