Key elements of the appraisal form
Section by section guide to the appraisal form.
Part I: Job Functions and Standards Accordion Closed
These are written and/or updated and agreed upon at the beginning of the appraisal year.
Job functions are the essential daily job tasks performed in the position. The standards are measurements for how to perform the tasks. When writing this section, a supervisor often uses the existing job description as a starting point, but should work with the employee to ensure that the job description is still current and accurate. This section ultimately becomes the most up-to-date record of the job the employee is expected to do.
Learn more about writing job functions and standards.
Part II: Goals Accordion Closed
These are written and agreed upon at the beginning of the appraisal year. Progress or changes in timelines can be recorded on the form throughout the appraisal year.
The goals are to be the specific, individual outcomes necessary to improve job performance and/or help the department meet its goals and move forward. These are actionable “to do’s” for the appraisal period, and they should be measurable so that a supervisor can indicate whether a goal was completed or certain milestones were achieved during the appraisal period.
The number of goals can vary depending on the position, the department, the individual, and the nature of the goals themselves. The number should ultimately be realistic and achievable. In some cases, such as probationary appraisals or a newly-hired service professional, there may be fewer goals in the first rating period.
Goals can be:
- projects to complete or make progress on if it’s longer than a one year project
- job functions or behaviors to improve
- practices that could be further developed
Goals should not be a wish list of items that cannot realistically be accomplished.
Learn more about goal development.
Part III: Behaviors for Success Accordion Closed
These are shared with employees at the beginning of the appraisal year so they know what they’ll be assessed on at the end of the year.
No matter what role we play in the organization, each of us is responsible to practice the behaviors that promote a positive and constructive working environment. The behaviors listed in this section flow from and support the university values. Some of the individual descriptors will be more applicable to specific positions.
Part IV: Additional Performance Information Accordion Closed
Parts of this section can be recorded throughout the appraisal year.
The first section should list accomplishments that were not included in any previous section. Some examples might include:
- committee work
- education completion;
- special project participation
The second section should include any professional development obtained over the appraisal period, as well as intentions for participation in the next appraisal cycle. Development can include training courses, professional reading, video conferences, audio conferences, on the job training, cross training, etc.
Part V: Overall Assessment Accordion Closed
This section is to be completed at the end of the appraisal year.
The overall assessment should reflect:
- the employee’s self-appraisal
- the supervisor’s notes and observations
- progress on the goals
- assessment of the job functions, behaviors, and other accomplishments
Writing the self appraisal
In general, the self appraisal is a tool to help your supervisor write a more accurate final appraisal and to create a good opportunity for an open conversation about how you can be successful in your job.
Here are a few general tips for writing your self appraisal: Accordion Closed
To give yourself a jump-start, begin by brainstorming some answers in each section of the self appraisal. Don’t worry about complete sentences or exactly how you’ll say it – just get some ideas down.
Write in the first person, but use a professional tone.
Since you’re writing about yourself, use “I” – but avoid slang or language that is too casual. “I rocked on that assignment!” may not be the most professional approach. On the other hand, flowery language with extra words isn’t necessary. Keep it clear and simple. If it’s easier, use bullet points.
Make sure your assessment of your work ties back to your key job functions.
Make sure that you talk about how you performed in all the different parts of your job. To make this easier, refer to your job functions and standards. If these weren’t articulated on the new form, use last year’s appraisal, or if you’re in a new position, look at the position description used to hire you. This is also a good way to note if there are new things you’ve added to your role over the year.
Give specific examples.
Always give examples of how you performed or met a goal – not just general phrases. For instance: “I provided clear direction, support, and oversight for our student workers” is better than just saying “I’m a good student supervisor.”
Be as objective as you can.
Don’t be shy about writing what you did well. On the other hand, don’t exaggerate or stretch the truth. For example, review goals that were set and discuss how you met them. If there were some you didn’t meet, talk about what you learned or what you’ll do differently during the new appraisal year. Show your supervisor that you can realistically review your own work.
When rating yourself in the checkboxes, use the descriptions as they are written.
Read the description under each checkbox so that you are clear on what you are selecting. Based on those written descriptions, choose the one that you honestly feel most accurately describes your work over the course of the appraisal period.
When finished, re-read your self appraisal to be sure it’s clear.
Before giving your appraisal to your supervisor, re-read it to correct any mistakes or clear up any confusing sentences. Also review whether you might need to add or clarify an example. You can also have someone else read it to be sure it makes sense.
NAU Performance Appraisals for Administrators