Write Your Own Performance Review

Click here for the April 2007 issue

You know you’ve done a good job this year. But will your Performance Review reflect that?

Here’s how you can improve your chances that it will: write it yourself.

Along with actually doing a good job, “writing your own performance review” – or at least, helping in its creation - is a good way to help your supervisor review your efforts favorably.

By “write your own performance review” we mean to write a comprehensive self-evaluation that includes data, examples, and any positive results you have accomplished. This will make it easy for your supervisor to fully understand the scope and impact of the work that you do. It will also make it easy for her to write a thorough and complete (and favorable) performance review for you. When your busy supervisor is provided (by you) with the data and examples, the easiest thing for her to do is to use some of your information data in her own review of you. Thus, in a sense, you end up writing your own review – or at least, influencing it.

“Wait a minute,” you may be thinking, “Isn’t that my supervisor’s job? Why should I do her work for her?”

First of all, we are all responsible for mapping our progress and performance in the job. But even if you would rather just leave that to your supervisor, why…
    …leave it solely in his hands when you have the opportunity to exert your influence?
    …hope that she’ll have the time to pull together more than just a sparse recounting of all you did?
   ¦…depend on his memory to recall the vast array of things you accomplished?

So here’s how:


  • An easy way to do this is with whatever type of calendar system you use. Your log of appointments and “To-Do” list will help you reconstruct the previous year.
  • Another easy way to do this is with a specially designated folder. Whenever you come across something that will be helpful to remember at performance review time, toss it into the folder.

Did you work on an unusual project? Note it on a scrap of paper and toss it into the folder. Did you receive a letter of praise from a patient or from a colleague whom you assisted? Into the folder. You’ll be amazed at the things you did during month two of the cycle that you’ll forget by month twelve.


At performance review time, gather:


Sharon Aylor of Human Resources says when writing your self appraisal you should:

  • Cite specific examples of how you achieved established goals
  • Describe results of your efforts
  • Note areas where you took initiative and made improvements
  • Explain how you enhanced your skills and abilities [Note: this is where that copy of your training transcript can help.]
        EXAMPLE: Took initiative to learn MS Project, then used it to create a new workflow process for our XYZ research. This resulted in a 15% reduction in error in the months after implementation.

Along with increasing your chances of getting a good performance review, taking responsibility for “writing your performance review” can:

  • Demonstrate your initiative.
  • Help your supervisor to become aware of the scope of what you do.
  • Be a powerful way of marketing - you! Not in order to get pats on the back (although that may happen), but in order to strengthen your influence and credibility.

Performance reviews are right around the corner – start the process now!

Our thanks to Sharon Aylor, Director of Staff and Labor Relations for providing information for this article.

Also in the April 2007 issue:

Four Steps to Writing Performance Appraisals
Meeting & Retreat Design and Facilitation
Workplace Q & A
Knowledge Link Help Desk

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