Strengths & Weaknesses in Job Evaluations

Ask the boss for ideas to improve in your areas of weakness.
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A job evaluation is an important tool managers use to rate performance during an evaluation period, such as six months or one year. Expect to have strengths and weaknesses as an employee and for some or all of these to be discussed in your job evaluation. If you improve in areas of weakness, you can score better on more components of the evaluation over time.


One way to project how your manager might rate your performance is to conduct a self-evaluation. Request a blank copy of your performance evaluation from the boss or print it out from your company's website or intranet. This document includes areas of evaluation and uses a scale such as 1 to 5 or exceptional, highly effective, effective, inconsistent and unsatisfactory to describe how you perform. Some evaluations also include personal qualities required by your employer. Areas of performance include phrases like "completes projects on time" and "works well with others." Desired qualities might be descriptive words or phrases, such as "honest" and "punctual" or "team player" and "self-starter."


Think of strengths in different ways. Strengths could be areas of performance related to your job, such as time management, and personal qualities that describe your work personality, such as honesty and reliability. Strengths could be specific job tasks you perform at a satisfactory rate or better. For example, your boss might feel you are strong at giving feedback to new employees during training or making suggestions to improve customer service models.


Your boss could use the rating system and the comment areas on your evaluation form to describe areas in which you must improve. Beware of managers saying things that are unsubstantiated by facts observed during the evaluation period. Also, managers may confuse areas of weakness with low performance resulting from an employer's limitations. For example, you might have a legitimate problem with turning in assignments on time to your boss, and this should be noted. On the other hand, perhaps your employer has not provided all training specified in your training plan for a new software program. In this latter scenario, your weak performance results from a lack of training and therefore shouldn't be regarded as a weakness on your evaluation.


As you prepare to meet with the boss to discuss performance, your self-evaluation will be helpful. Some bosses require you to bring your self-evaluation to the meeting. Use online tools, such as the free Mind Tools SWOT analysis -- which examines strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats -- to study yourself as a worker. This will help you identify strengths and weaknesses to discuss with your boss that aren't on the evaluation form. Help your boss see you from a more well-rounded perspective. A personal strength might be how you find resources to succeed in your job. A weakness might be a negative work habit, such as refusing to ask for help when you're overwhelmed and pretty sure you won't make a deadline.

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