How employees perceive their contributions to the workplace may be far afield from the observations and expectations of their supervisors. As part of a company's training and development plan, many employers are now requiring their workers to write self-appraisal essays in order to identify strengths, weaknesses and strategies for personal and professional growth.
Open a new document in your word processing software and choose an easy to read font such as Courier, Times New Roman or Bookman that will be used throughout the entire document.
Type your name, title and division. Also include the date of the self-appraisal document, the date you began your present job and your current salary.
Summarize your current scope of responsibility in the organization and the specific duties you perform. If the tasks you are performing are different from what is identified by your human resources department as the parameters of the position, be sure to point this out. For instance, the spec sheet when you were first hired may have defined your job as answering the phone and performing mail duties, but you are now also ordering supplies, distributing weekly payroll checks and maintaining the office library.
Create a subheading titled "Accomplishments." Your supervisor may not be aware of your initiative to streamline certain activities, generate more business for the company or resolve conflicts in the workplace. This section is the place to toot your own horn by providing concrete examples of your ability to go above and beyond what is required.
Create a subheading titled "Challenges." The purpose of this section is to address tasks that you feel you're not performing as well as you should and to provide reasons you feel you may be deficient. For instance, if you have recently been moved to a customer service position where many of the clients speak a foreign language, you may be concerned that you're not able to process their requests and complaints as efficiently as you could if you were able to converse fluently with them.
Create a subheading titled "Training Needs." Using the example provided in Step 5, you might request that the company pay for your enrollment in a foreign language class so that you improve your performance. Other examples might include remedial or advanced classes in accounting, participation in workshops and seminars to enhance marketing skills, or perhaps an assignment where you could learn the ropes for your next move up the corporate ladder.
Identify your plans for the future under a subheading titled "Career Goals." Examples might include transitioning from a clerical staff position to management, learning a different aspect of company's products and services or transferring to a regional or overseas branch. Include a realistic timeline for accomplishing these objectives.
Be as specific as possible in explaining what you have done and what you need in order to do the best job possible. For instance, saying "I want to take computer classes" is vague compared to "I want to take the following courses to enhance my knowledge of firewalls."
Even if your real goal is to save money for the next two years so you can start your own band and go on a world tour, a self-appraisal evaluation isn't the place to declare this. Your chances of getting the training and support you need as an employee are more likely to occur if the elements you identify have some bearing on the company's core mission. Don't lie. Don't exaggerate. Don't sell yourself short.