How to monitor your own performance

Wednesday 02 September 2020
It can be hard to critically assess yourself and your way of working, but this handy list will help you to stay on track.

Personal development is a continuous process. Most employers have processes in place to monitor performance and provide opportunities for training and development, but each of us also needs to take personal responsibility for reviewing and updating our own skills. For more on this see CMI’s Personal Development Planning Checklist and Template.

Our growing understanding of human psychology suggests that self-evaluation is far more powerful than external evaluation. It’s important to take a hard look at your performance before your boss does and assess yourself from their point of view. Here are a few important steps towards effectively monitoring your own performance:

Decide on the metrics

This is your career, no-one else’s. Figure out how you want to measure your development. Some of these measurements may be the goals, deadlines and timelines set by your boss, but other metrics should relate to your personal aims and objectives. Make your objectives SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

Self reflect

To monitor your performance against your objectives and metrics, reflect on your performance regularly. At the end of each week, review your objectives and metrics, then ask yourself: what went well? What didn't go well? What can you do to improve?

Re-read your job description

Study it carefully and give yourself an honest appraisal against the requirements listed. This is for your eyes only, so there’s no need to sugar-coat the deficiencies: write down all of your achievements as well as your mistakes. If you weren’t given a job description, or no longer have one available, write out your own specifications for the minimum standards for performing your job.

Continually seek feedback

Ask your boss to play an active role in your development, so they have confidence you’re learning the skills that will make you eligible for future promotions. Keep copies of any documents that directly or indirectly give some indication of your performance, so you can track your progress. Consider asking a trusted colleague if they agree with your evaluations, or approach a senior figure within your organisation who might be willing to act as a mentor.

Move forward

Develop a strategy to improve weaker areas and keep notes on what you have done to improve. During your formal performance evaluation, you’ll be prepared to show your manager what you have done. Remember to communicate your personal development plans to your boss, mentor, or any other relevant stake-holder in the business; touch base with them regularly, so that they can help steer you in the right direction.

If you’d like to dig deeper into your performance, psychometric profiles such as DISC or the Five-Factor Model can give you insights into your behaviour, compatibility with others, team contribution and job-role “fit”.

CMI students and members can develop their performance monitoring skills by completing our e-learning course on making objectives happen. Log into the Career Development Centre to try it now.

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