I was never given measurable goals, just qualitative ones, but my annual self-review form emphasizes that I should use measurable targets and how I achieved, by how much I failed, etc.

How should I formulate this and what should I write if I am completely unable to find any measurable data on my performance?

  • FYI Never put anything even slightly negative in your self appraisal performance review even if you are truly trying to be honest. It won't help your cause and can actually hurt because you'll be getting compared to others who already know not to put anything negative. Same goes for "peer reviews" of your co-workers that you like. I put 1 sentence regarding an area of improvement and that showed up 3 times in his overall performance review. Never again, unless I don't really care for the co-worker.
    – Dunk
    Dec 5 '14 at 22:26

Since your manager provided only qualitative goals, you may have to translate them into quantitative ones... preferably ones that both look reasonable and make you look good.

You should have some numerical data -- number of subprojects completed, how much something was improved, how quickly you responded to assignments, whatever chunks your job breaks into and whatever indicates how much you've accomplished how quickly and how well. Align those with the qualitative goals.

Then run a draft copy by your manager with a request for feedback, since your manager's the one who is going to have to present/support/applaud this data when it gets passed up the management chain for comparative evaluation. You may get told it's fine as it stands, you may get suggestions on ways to improve it, you may get "Oh, right -- well, here are my numerical goals, see if you can align your report with mine so we both look good".

(People often are too timid about asking their management for advice. Part of what a (good) manager for is to help you operate the corporate bureaucracy. And annual performance reports are about as bureaucratic as it gets... and I say that as someone who actually believes they could be useful if anyone bothered to take them seriously and maintain them through the year as "living documents".)


The data that comes to mind is milestones met vs. milestones missed and by how much, milestones missed vs. milestones missed because it was your fault vs. milestones missed because you did not get the timely cooperation that you needed.

I'd suggest that you include hours of overtime you had to work vs. hours of overtime you wouldn't be working if people around you got their act together.

If I were told to design my own metrics, I'd look for measurable ways of pointing fingers at anyone but me :)


Don't get too emotionally invested in HR BS. It's really rude of companies to ask you to "measure yourself". The only measurement that is important is how THEY measure you, and my guess is, they don't tell you that. Trying to get you to work harder by giving you some kind of self-induced guilt trip is really sleazy and you have zero obligation to participate in being bullied and victimized by that kind of psychological warfare.

To deal with the form, just ask your boss what to put there and do whatever he/she says and be done with it.

  • Unfortunately I have to downvote this. If you are in a business which uses this process, failing to write an adequate "brag sheer" at the end of the year can result in your being threatened with dismissal even if your direct manager had expressed satisfaction with your work. I agree that writing the goals ought to be largely driven from above, but this is your opportunity to shape them in ways that will favor you at the end of the year. I grant that they may not follow the stated process,but it's still better to put yourself in a defendable position.
    – keshlam
    Apr 16 '15 at 11:44

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