I firmly believe that self-assessment is a crucial tool for personal and professional development. By evaluating your own performance (instead of simply relying on others to provide feedback), you can proactively identify areas of strength and opportunities for growth.
The end of the year is a natural checkpoint for reflection, but self-awareness and self-evaluation are tools you can leverage all year long. You don’t need to wait for a formal evaluation to assess how you’re doing.
With that in mind, here are five strategies to evaluate your work performance:
1. Predictability: Plan vs. Do Ratio
Your ability to follow through is critical. Consider how often your work is completed as intended versus how often things are postponed or delayed. Certainly, there are factors outside of your control that impact this, but the important thing to note is how you manage changes and how you execute on commitments within your sphere of control. Keeping track of your “plan vs. do ratio” provides concrete evidence of your reliability.
2. Preparedness: Proactive Anticipation
Assess how often you’re able to anticipate needs and act on them before they’re brought to your attention. Being proactive not only demonstrates initiative but also efficiency and foresight. For instance, if you anticipate the need for additional resources on a project and arrange for them without being asked, you’re showing exceptional preparedness.
3. Productivity: Total Output
Productivity is not just about the quantity of work produced but also the quality. Look at the total output of your work. Are you meeting targets and expectations? Are you delivering measurable results? Consider tracking your accomplishments throughout the year so you can quickly and easily share examples.
4. Patterns: Trends in Performance & Competence
Identifying patterns in your work can help you understand your performance and competence trajectory. No one is going to excel at every part of their role from day one. The goal is to consistently grow and not fall stagnant. So, are you consistently improving or are there periods of decline? Some natural ebbs and flows are to be expected but consider the overall direction of the trend. Are you actively and intentionally growing in key skillsets? Are you consistently raising your targets and meeting (or even exceeding) them? Use performance metrics (like KPI’s), feedback from others, and your own personal observation to track and evaluate these trends.
5. Personal: Overall Work/Life Alignment
Finally, evaluate how your work affects your personal well-being. Extreme stress, poor work-life balance, and a lack of composure can be indicators that something is amiss. Performing at high-levels should not come at the expense of your mental, physical or emotional health. Reflect on how you feel throughout the day. Are you focused, energized, poised, and generally happy, or are you frantic, overwhelmed, and irritable? Also consider how you feel away from work. Are you able to disengage, maintain appropriate emotional detachment and feel relaxed, or are you carrying the day’s events with you to an unhealthy degree?
By routinely examining these five areas, you can create a comprehensive picture of your work performance. You can begin to see where changes are needed and where you deserve recognition for a job well done. No need to wait for your annual review to explore these ideas. In fact, the more often you do it, the more valuable this exercise will be.