The Importance of Self-Management & Assessment at Work
Self-management and self-assessment are two key concepts that work together to increase your ability to handle challenging work or personal problems. By being aware of these concepts, leaders in particular benefit from understanding their employees and their co-workers better, as well as seeing great impacts on their own work too.
In this article, we’re diving deep into what these two concepts are, and why they’re important in the workplace.
What is self-management?
In a basic sense, self-management is the ability to take control of one’s behavior and effectively control your thoughts and feelings in a productive way. Whilst this is useful for outside of work too, being able to self-manage in a workplace environment is an incredibly important skill.
Self-management at work is critical for organizational function; without autonomous self-management, productivity and task completion rate can be seriously impacted. Not only does it boost autonomy and productivity, but, arguably more importantly, it can lead to other useful benefits for employees, like:
Increased time management
A reduction in stress
The importance of self-management for employees
Better time management
Building the skills to manage yourself will subsequently impact your ability to manage time. By establishing self-management, you form a better understanding of prioritization, as well as learning when you’re most and least productive and how to make the most of your time when it often feels like there’s just not enough of it.
This understanding can be used to structure your whole workday; perhaps moving meetings to when you tend to feel less focused in the afternoon and blocking out ‘work’ periods in your calendar for productive mornings.
As a leader, time is precious. So, time-management is vital to stay on top of work, but having these skills can also influence and empower others around you to do the same.
Self-management is important in boosting employee motivation. How? Well, managing yourself increases independence and autonomy, it helps you better understand yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses, and as a result it can lead to a better sense of achievement when tasks, projects, and workflows are completed. What’s more, by gaining a better understanding of yourself through self-management, you can work to prioritize the things that motivate you most.
Being able to manage yourself and your time effectively can lead you to feel far less stressed – building the trust in yourself and your self-management process is key.
You’ll always have to deal with stressors as work, both as a leader and as an employee. "Am I making the right decisions?" "Have I hired the right person?" "Will I meet this deadline?" These stressors can very quickly become overwhelming. But by strengthening your self-management, you’ll develop skills to approach these stressors in a much more focused way. For example, breaking down tasks into smaller chunks to meet a deadline, evaluating your steps towards decision-making rather than focusing on the bigger picture, and so on.
Through finding the ability to manage yourself comes personal development; and personal development is a fundamental part of feeling fulfilled at work, and in life. Being self-manageable puts you in an autonomous position where additional responsibilities, like leadership, are within your reach. By defining, setting, and achieving goals, you start to personally develop. By doing so yourself, the self-achievement is only enhanced.
Now, understanding self-management is one thing, but how do we get to the point where we can start to manage ourselves effectively? That’s where self-assessment comes in.
What is self-assessment & why is it important?
Self-assessment is the ability to look at oneself and be able to critically analyse our flaws or strengths. But why is self-assessment important? The benefits of being self-aware are directly linked to being able to manage ourselves – with greater insights into us personally, we gain the ability to adjust goals and objectives accordingly. Other benefits to self-assessment at work include a greater understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, for both self-development and effective working, resulting in greater confidence in yourself to take on those more challenging tasks.
The process of assessing yourself is often linked to a performance review by a manager, but if you’re in a position of leadership, you may have to autonomously self-assess yourself. We’ve put together some things to ask yourself when you do:
What are your key strengths?
What am I good at?
Do I always lead by example?
Do I have high standards for my work?
Do I excel in organization and time-management?
Give yourself credit! If it helps, think: what have I worked on this year that’s had the highest impact? And which of my strengths have helped to achieve that?
What are your weaknesses?
Perhaps time management isn’t your strong point, or maybe you don’t speak up in meetings as much as you’d like. Once you’ve identified these, think about how you can work on them. What do these weaknesses tell you about yourself?
If managing your time is an issue for example, you can try out some time management techniques over the following months, like the Pomodoro technique. Read more about this in our article on how to stay focused at work.
Where do you want your career to be in five years’ time?
A CEO, a creative director, or an accomplished colleague – the opportunity to reinvent yourself and question your motivations can lead to a much more happy, healthy life. When asking yourself where you want to be in five years’ time, think about the life, job title, and the role you see yourself in. Do you want to work in a big city, expand your business, or earn a certain amount?
What personal development goals do you want to achieve?
Knowing how you’re going to reach your five-year career development plan and what goals you’ll have to achieve to do so is key. If you’re looking to move into a position of leadership, one of your goals might be to learn to delegate tasks better, for example. Work out whether your goals are long term or short term, and make a plan to tackle them.
By understanding yourself, you’ll be in a far better position to manage yourself. But self-assessment and self-management can be difficult to achieve on your own. Find out today how digital coaching could make a huge difference with understanding your goals.