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.
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?
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?