A performance evaluation is a powerful tool.
For managers, a review helps to determine whether you have the right people in your team, driving your company towards success. For employees, self-conducted reports can help drive you towards your goals, highlight the skills you need to work on, and showcase your most recent achievements.
With one half of the year over and summer on the horizon, now may be the perfect time for staff to conduct their own self-assessments. After all, you don’t need to wait for a discussion with your manager to make sure you’re on the right track.
The Benefits of a Personal Mid-Year Review
As helpful as assessments can be for business leaders, they can be even more useful for employees in search of career growth. By looking at your role and your development as an employee over the last 6 months, you can determine whether you’re heading in the right direction to reach your professional goals. Self-assessment:
- Shows your manager that you have initiative and you’re keen to make consistent progress;
- Determines whether you’re progressing towards your goals, and at a speed you’re comfortable with;
- Helps to define whether your goals are still relevant, or if you need to adjust your career plan;
- Ensures that you learn from the challenges you’ve faced so far, and grow as a result;
- Helps to identify more efficient or effective ways of reaching your goals.
So, what kind of questions can you ask yourself during a self-assessment?
1. Where Are You Today?
Conducting a personal review of your accomplishments every six months is a great way to track your progress and take stock of how far you’ve come as an employee. This initial stage of the review is a critical moment of self-reflection, where you can list all of your accomplishments, (big and small) for the first portion of the year.
For instance, maybe you demonstrated exceptional teamwork and leadership skills during a recent project and helped your company to obtain a new repeat client as a result. Maybe you’ve simply found a stronger work/life balance, so you felt more confident and focused in your role.
Once you’ve listed your accomplishments, make a note of the challenges you’ve faced too. Perhaps your manager reprimanded you for your poor time-keeping skills, or you didn’t do as well on a recent task at you’d hoped. Both failures and achievements represent opportunities for learning. Examine your history and ask yourself how it’s helped you to grow.
2. Where Are You Going?
Now that you know where you are in your current career path, it’s time to consider where you’re headed. We all have goals – whether it’s an ambition to take on more responsibilities in your role or earn a well-deserved promotion.
Examining where you are today in relation to your long-term goals is a useful practice in making sure you stay on the right track. Ask yourself:
- How far have I come in the last six months?
- Do I need to pivot anywhere to keep myself on the right track?
- What can I do to achieve my goals faster?
It’s also worth asking yourself whether the goals you set at the beginning of the year are still relevant today. As you continue to develop as a person and a professional, you may find that your aspiration change. On the other hand, you may have made so much progress already that you need to upgrade your original target. Either way, get some clarity on where you’re going in the second half of the year.
3. Are You Happy/ Satisfied?
It’s easy to overlook this section when performing a mid-year review. A lot of people assume that if they’re getting the right salary, and they’re in the right sector, then they have everything they need. However, it’s important to make sure that you feel happy and healthy in the position you have too.
The concepts of wellbeing at work, and work/life balance are becoming increasingly popular in a world where we spend most of our waking hours with our employers. Stress and anxiety account for around a third of the sick days taken in the UK already. Ask yourself if you’re happy in your position and if there’s anything you can do to improve your levels of satisfaction.
Envision the future and where you’d like to be a year, two years, or three from now. Do you need to make any changes?
4. What Mid-Course Corrections Can You Make?
After looking at your goals and your current status, you’ll be ready to decide which adjustments you need to make to your current path. If you’re already on track to a new promotion or an important goal, then it’s simply a matter of knuckling down and continuing in the same direction.
On the other hand, if you’re not 100% happy with where you are today, think about:
- Your decision-making practices: Do you know which challenges to commit yourself to, and which you should say “no” to? Adjusting your decision-making criteria can help your actions each day match up to your long-term goals.
- Important milestones: Alongside your long-term ambitions, set a few short-term milestones. What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year?
- Behavioural changes: Looking ahead, what do you need to do for the rest of this year to set yourself up for success?
- Action points: What do you need to stop doing, start doing, and keep doing?
A mid-year review can be a useful compass to guide you through the rest of the year. Now’s the perfect time to improve your navigation.