Performance Evaluation

Have you ever thought about giving yourself a performance evaluation? No, I don’t mean on THAT performance, we all know we’re perfect at that. I’m talking about being in business for ourselves, in my case an author, and being accountable. There is no big boss who sits me down, leans on the mahogany desk and makes me sweat and squirm as I’m informed of my work performance of the past six months.

I know that an evaluation is not only a chance to show appreciation for excellence, but it is also a way to gently guide an employee on where and how to improve. You have to use examples of both the talents and the areas that could be improved upon. You also need to provide a safe place for the person to discuss future goals, opportunities to develop or further their education, or how to improve on work conditions.

Businessman Conducting a Presentation

As the employer, there are two main things to consider: behaviors you would like to see, and expected results. I tried to identify some of my own behaviors that might hinder my business. Was I underachieving? Was I spending too much time on social media? What was I doing right to increase my business, to grow my business? Was there anything that needed to change?

Okay, so this is what I came up with. I’m a diligent worker. I’m loyal to the work place. My goals are to produce two books per year. books 005

I would like to attend one major and one smaller conference per year to hone my craft and to network. (But unfortunately, that does not include conferences in Tuscany taught by Eloisa James.) I need to say no to distraction, yet give back to my community in some way. The one area I found needed some improvement was more new words on the page. Oh, and to quit being negative when times are tough and to remove Hollywood hack from my vocabulary.

Regarding the workplace, I decided the equipment was updated and functioned well. However, my office chair is old. My back is not as strong as it used to be, and my eyes are weaker. Result: purchase a new chair. Decrease eye strain. Allow for more exercise. Add daily walking to my current regime. Break office hours into several hours in the morning, and several hours in the afternoon. No more marathons!

Then I looked closely at my record keeping. Sigh. What a mess! If this evaluation was being scored on an A-F system for the most part I’d score B+, but for office management a C-. The work gets done, but it’s in a slipshod manner. Files are maintained and labeled. But, receipts and payments are shoved into one folder and never documented until years end. Taxes are paid quarterly, but in all honesty that is handled by my accountant. Records should be done weekly. I detest this kind of work, but I have designated Monday as office day and taking care of business day, so how come it isn’t also record keeping day?

Bottom line: Would I fire my lazy ass? I decided that I liked more aspects about my work performance than I disliked, or found troublesome. I gave myself a pep talk and have promised to work on office skills. I value and enjoy my work and have no desire to leave my position in the near future.  : )

What about you? What are your skills, and your weaknesses? If you are not self-employed, what do you feel about performance evaluations? Are they helpful? Do they make you nervous? Ever had a really bad one that made you quit the job?

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12 Responses to Performance Evaluation

  1. Janie Emaus says:

    This post really has me thinking. I know I spend too much time on Social Media. So..right now, I’m logging off and getting to work!

  2. Robena Grant says:

    Ha ha. Yep, Janie, I’d better do the same. ; )

  3. Sorry about the tough boss, Robena! 🙂
    May I recommend an Alera mesh chair? I just got one last week and feel a huge difference already.
    I find the more years I put in to writing, the lower key I get about it. I used to produce a new blog every week of the month, now only two blogs a month and often they are repeats from guest blogging. I just don’t feel blogging is a good use of my time.
    And here I thought I was doing so good with getting an accordian file to shove all my receipts into their correct pockets before the end of year marathon prep at tax time.
    Way too much time on social media – especially when books are being offered free at Amazon.
    I think you’re too hard on yourself. You’re a model worker and you are having a great year!

    • Robena Grant says:

      I’ll look into the Alera, Lynne. I’m hoping to do that this week as with the broken eyeglasses and awaiting new ones, I can’t get much done with magnifiers. I checked out Lens Crafters but they wanted hundreds of dollars. I figured I’d wait. : )

      Your comments on blogging are worth thought. I wonder if with everyone being on FB there has become less of a need for blogs. I know my commenters have fallen off in recent months.

  4. Chrys Fey says:

    Thank you for sharing, Robena! I found this post . . . comforting. If I had to grade myself right now I’d probably also get a B+. I am getting important work done, and my office space is in order, but I haven’t done any real book writing in a while as I am busy editing my upcoming eBook, and planning on how to market it. I’ve also been focusing more on my blogging efforts. I hope when things calm down a bit more I can dive back into writing.

    • Robena Grant says:

      I’m glad you stopped by Chris, and that you found the post comforting. : ) I think it’s good to take a step back and look at our journey and give ourselves a much needed pat on the back.

  5. Sam Beck says:

    My husband and I were just talking about the business of being an author today, and I earned an “F”. Sometime between now and year-end, I need to take the disorganized and, frankly, incomplete stack of receipts cluttering the empty space around my computer and organize them into a complete, easy-to-follow file…possibly with an accompanying spreadsheet. Sigh… 🙁

    • Robena Grant says:

      An F!!! Oh no! Seriously though, Sam, I do understand because that is the aspect of office management that I have the most problem with. I tell myself I’ll just put the receipt in the folder and take care of it later…and later means December. : )

  6. Skye Hughes says:

    Y’know, I’ve been more self-employed than other-employed for over a decade and I’ve never once thought about giving myself a performance review. But it’s a brilliant idea!

    Unfortunately, I’m giving myself a D in my work habits. I just haven’t been as hard a worker as I could be. I’m way behind in my current project. I feel disappointed in myself.

    BUT … thinking in terms of giving myself evaluations and talking to myself where and how to improve gives me great ideas! So thank you very much for putting this idea into my head. I think it’s just what I needed today.

    And good luck on the record-keeping. It’s something I struggle with as well. Let us know how it goes, okay?

  7. Robena Grant says:

    Yep, I got thinking about it last week when I remembered that I am my own boss. I recall getting evaluations as a young R.N. I used to shake in my boots and think the worst possible things, and then I’d come away from the interview beaming and wanting to work even harder.

    With the receipts, I’ve now made large envelopes and put them within that file. I’ve written P.O. Office Supplies, Promo/Advertising, etc. on the front and am placing everything in its right envelope as I file it. Much neater, and it will help at tax time. ; )

  8. My former team leaders always gave me 100’s on my performance. I was worried the new ones might not be impressed. Got my first evaluation and 100 again. Whew – big sigh of relief.
    Sounds like you are on top of keeping on top of yourself as your employee. Or something like that!

  9. Robena Grant says:

    Wow! Fabulous, Judy. 100% you can’t beat that in an employee. Hey, maybe I should hire you as my virtual assistant, although that wouldn’t help with my problem re sloppy filing. : )