Here was the first response to my question:
“Do you view performance appraisals as a meaningless exercise, or an opportunity to raise your visibility?”
“Meaningless- sitting on both sides I have yet to see a meaningful experience. The appraisal is written and done. There is no opportunity to gain visibility from the exercise.”
I agree…if you wait until the time the appraisal is written to try to turn it into a meaningful excercise. By then, your boss has already evaluated your performance and reached his or her conclusions.; You may be able to make incremental improvements, but probably not much beyond that.
On the other hand, if you write your own self-appraisal in advance of that time, you have an opportunity to:
-Improve the ratings you receive, and ensure that what you’ve accomplished is well-documented in your personnel files.
-Enhance your boss’s perception of your contributions.
-Better equip your boss to describe to others (the next level up, other key executives) the value you are adding to his or her operation.
What do you do if your company doesn’t provide for self-appraisals?
Why should you let that stop you? What would prevent you from documenting your accomplishments to your boss, and presenting it as something to help him or her in preparing the eventual appraisal.
Just be sure that you give a lot of thought to the self-appraisal, and stay at the high level. Don’t get down and dirty into all of the details of what you did, focus on the high level accomplishments. And get very clear on the results you achieved - what your work meant for the operation and the company.
For more on how to do this, check out this article: