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Employee Self-Assessment Examples and Questions

Feb 18, 2021

Having employees fill out self-assessments periodically—whether it’s once a year or every six months—helps them develop and grow in their role. In fact, there’s a great quote by the American philosopher John Dewey: “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” 

When creating an employee self-assessment survey, it’s important to ask questions that are targeted at getting employees to see what they did well, where they can improve, and how they can continue to grow. Here is a compilation of effective employee self-assessment questions to ask. Bonus: Employees, I’ve also included some employee self-assessment tips on how to substantially answer some of the tougher questions.

Employee self-assessment questions


Questions about their current role

Often, an employee’s actual job differs from what is written on the job description. By asking questions about their current role and daily responsibilities, you’ll get an idea of new responsibilities that the employee has taken on. This gives you the opportunity to recognize the employee for work well done. What’s more, you can also gain insight into the challenges of the role, offering the chance to address inefficiencies in your organization. Some questions to ask about the employee’s current role: 

  • What are some parts of the job description that you no longer do?
  • What new responsibilities have you taken on since the last assessment?
  • Are there any new challenges in your role?
  • What do you like most about your current role?
  • What about your role would you like to change or remove and why? 

Questions about achievements

By giving employees the chance to show what they’ve achieved since the last assessment, you offer them the opportunity to show the value they bring to the organization. Below are a few questions you can ask: 

  • What is your most significant achievement since your last assessment? 
  • What goals do you wish you had achieved since the last assessment but have not?
  • What additional support would have helped you achieve these goals?
  • What is your proudest accomplishment since the last assessment? 
Employees: It can be hard to talk about what you’ve accomplished or what you’re proud of. You may even feel as if you are bragging. Yet detailing the good things you’ve done is important. It reinforces what you bring to the organization and how you've grown in your career. As a general rule, here’s what you should include in your employee self-assessment: 

  • Include hard facts and results, such as sales numbers or a growth percentage
  • Be specific
  • Explain how you achieved your results, as well as any obstacles you overcame

Here is an employee self-assessment example that showcases all three of these elements: 

“This past year as a sales representative, I exceeded my sales goals by 109% percent. I did this by being  attentive and respondent to prospects and  responding to 95% percent of inquiries in less than 24 hours. The other 5% had been responded to in less than 48 hours. This helped me achieve an 80% closing rate for new customers, thus allowing me to surpass my sales goal.” 

Questions about professional development

These questions give insight into where your employees wish to be in the future, helping you enhance your employee development programs, whether it's through coaching, mentoring, or training sessions. It also allows employees to reflect and possibly discover new goals. Some effective personal development questions include: 

  • Where do you see yourself professionally in three years?
  • What resources can our company provide you to help you reach these goals?
  • What skills do you want to develop to grow in your role and overall career? 
Employees: When listing your goals, try using HARD goals, as described by Mark Murphy in his book by the same name. HARD goals are ...
  • Heartfelt
  • Animated
  • Required
  • Difficult (that's what makes achieving them so fun)
Examples of HARD goals: 

  • "Serve humanity by improving health" (Emory University Hospital)
  • "A computer on every desk and in every home." (Microsoft, at its founding)
  • "A world without barriers to the tools of clear vision..." (New Eyes for the Needy)

Even though these are company goals, you get the idea. Your own HARD goals should be so inspiring that you can't not pursue them. A goal that is truly heartfelt, animated, required and difficult won't be seen as drudgery; on the contrary, a HARD goal will "pull" you toward completion. 

Improve employee development and engagement with self-assessments and other effective strategies

While employee self-assessment evaluations help improve employee development, engagement and company culture, there are other strategies your organization can implement to reap these benefits as well. To learn more about how I can help you drive employee development and engagement, contact me today.

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