a reflection on one's skills, strengths, and weaknesses, often provided in written format as part of a more formal evaluation process in the workplace.
A critical piece of development and growth in a position is the ability to self-reflect. You honestly identify strengths and weaknesses and create goals for improvement or next steps. In the best-case scenario, an employee can do so on a more formative basis, constantly evaluating their work and the process as they go throughout their days and making adjustments accordingly. Newer employees, and sometimes those who have not developed self-reflection skills, will require a structure to do so. A self-evaluation process in the workplace helps to provide exactly that.
Self-evaluations often serve as part of a bigger evaluation process in the workplace. This process includes a manager or supervisor observing and evaluating the employee as well. You would use a self-evaluation at the beginning of the process to give the evaluator and the employee an idea of focus areas and domains of need. This way, they can better direct improvement efforts. Reviewing an employee's self-evaluation with them as part of a pre-meeting allows for calibration of ratings. The calibration accounts for those who are unrealistic in their view of their performance and those who are too self-critical. It creates a common understanding of expectations prior to observations or feedback. Self-evaluations can also be used periodically throughout the year or at the end of an evaluation period to collaboratively assess employee improvement and growth.
The format typically includes a list of skills or attributes that are desirable in an employee, such as promptness, respect for coworkers, reliability, time management skills, etc. Employees may then be asked to rank themselves on a rating scale (1-5 or unsatisfactory to exemplary) or even describe in a narrative format their understanding of where they fall in developing the skill. Sometimes self-evaluations also include goal-setting and conclude with an assessment and a reflection on the process of meeting those goals.
Real-World Example of Self-Evaluation
All Massachusetts teachers are required to participate in evaluations of their practice and performance on either a one or two-year cycle based on how long they've been working there. During this process, teachers begin each cycle with a self-evaluation, in which they assess their own skills and knowledge in specific domains of the profession. The self-evaluation is then followed by a meeting with a supervisor to go over the assessment and resulting goals. The supervisor completes observations throughout the year aimed at providing feedback in areas that need improvement. The teacher evaluation rubric includes four standards and accompanying indicators of effective teaching:
- Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment
- subject matter knowledge
- child and adolescent development
- well structured units and lessons
- variety of assessment methods
- adjustments to practice
- analysis and conclusions
- sharing conclusions with colleagues
- sharing conclusions with students
- Teaching All Students
- quality of effort and work
- student engagement
- meeting diverse needs
- Safe learning environment
- Collaborative learning environment
- Student motivation
- Creates and maintains a respectful environment
- High expectations
- Access to knowledge
- Family and Community Engagement
- Family engagement
- Learning expectations
- Curriculum support
- Culturally proficient communication
- Professional Culture
- Reflective practice
- Goal setting
- Professional learning and growth
- Professional collaboration
- Decision making
- Shared responsibility
- Reliability and responsibility
In the rubric, each indicator is described in detail, and each rating has a description of what someone with that rating might look like in real-world practice. With this, teachers can more accurately compare what they are doing to what is expected of them. Teachers of the public school system rate themselves on each indicator on a scale from 1-4: unsatisfactory, needs improvement, proficient, and exemplary. The self-evaluation is then used to determine continued employment, a basis for bonuses, and as an indicator of student achievement.