Employee Self-Reviews: Effective Tactics to Try

Communication is important in any workplace, and one form of this is the review process. Reviews allow managers to give feedback to their employees so they know how well they are performing, what goals the manager has for them, how they can make improvements and what they can do to experience continuing success in their role. An employee knows their own work better than anyone else does, so any review process that includes self-reviews is beneficial for both managers and the employee. Find out what an employee self-review is, tips for giving your employees feedback on their self-review and answers to common questions about self-reviews.


Quick Navigation


Post a Job

What is an employee self-review?

A self-review is an opportunity for an employee to reflect on their work, discuss their professional development and share their goals with their manager or supervisor. When an employee reviews themselves, they can share what they have been working on and make a case for themselves for any raise or promotion they would like their manager to consider them for. 


Why should employees conduct self-reviews?

Employees should conduct self-reviews so managers can get a greater sense of what an employee has been working on since their last review. Employees are the most aware of their day-to-day tasks and how they are managing their time, as well as how successful their projects have been. Self-reviews allow a manager to hear directly from their employee about how happy they are in their role, what their workplace goals are and the accomplishments they are the proudest of.

During a performance review period, both employees and managers conduct reviews, so it’s always interesting and beneficial to see what the other person has to say in their review. During review meetings, the manager and employee can speak about the employee’s responsibilities and address any opportunities for improvement. It’s also a time when discrepancies between what an employee does and what a manager thinks they do can be brought into the conversation.

A team member can address any feedback that a manager has so they can then make improvements. Before they complete a self-review, managers and members of human resources should encourage employees to ask themselves: 

  • What project am I the proudest of and why?
  • In which ways did I display teamwork in the office?
  • Which goals did I meet or exceed this year?
  • How did I represent the culture of the organization?
  • What skills do I want more experience in?
  • How can my boss help me succeed? What training can they offer to do this?
  • What do I love about my job?
  • How do I see myself growing within the company?
  • What area of my work would I like more feedback on?
  • Did I take any prior feedback and improve my work?

When employees have some guidance on what they should address in their self-review, it’ll lead to a more well-rounded review that is easier to discuss together.

Related: How to Conduct an Employee Evaluation


Tips for giving feedback on self-reviews

When an employee reviews themselves, they should share how they feel about their role, what work they are proud of and how they want to grow with the company. As a manager, providing feedback on these reviews is important. If an employee is open and vulnerable with you about their performance and goals, it is the time to continue a mutually beneficial line of communication. Here are ways you can provide the best feedback to your employees:


Listen closely

During a self-review, an employee shares everything they’ve been working on and the goals they’ve reached. Start this conversation off by letting them know that you are listening to everything they’re saying. By doing this, employees will feel more comfortable in sharing how you can help them achieve their goals and what you can do to improve as their supervisor.


Keep a positive attitude

Part of a self-review may include reflections on how you can improve as a manager. Constructive feedback can help you better understand your team and know when you need to adjust your management style for certain employees.


Give praise

Although as a manager you may know how great your employee is, praising their accomplishments as they share them with you during your review meeting shows you’re listening and that you’re proud of the work they are doing. You don’t have to wait until it’s your turn to share the review you’ve prepared to let an employee know how valuable they are.


Discuss trends

If your company has used self-reviews before, you may have years of data from employees . Look for any trends that appear for a team member, such as an employee who has consistently mentioned that they want you to consider them for promotion. Incorporate these trends into your discussion of the review.


Ask how you can help

In their self-review, an employee may include what you can do as their manager to help them in their day-to-day tasks or to reach their work goals. If they don’t include this, ask them how you can help. Find out what you can do to make them happy and successful at work.


Set expectations for the next year

Employees who are passionate about their job often thrive from having expectations openly communicated during a review process. They want to know what to work towards and focus on between this time and the next performance evaluation. Base your expectations and new goals on what an employee has said during their self-review.

Related: How to Create a Performance Improvement Plan


Self-review FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about self-reviews:

What are the benefits of self-reviews?

The main benefit of self-reviews is the ability to have open communication between employees and managers, which leads to a better working relationship.


Does a self-review help with accountability?

Self-reviews help employees with their accountability because they are taking responsibility for and ownership over their work.


Post a Job

Ready to get started?

Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.