Friday, July 19, 2019

EER Tips, Round Two

Last year when I did my first Employee Evaluation Report (EER), I wrote a blog post explaining what that is and how to write your first one. I just completed my second EER, and this year I had two additional benefits: the opportunity to serve on an EER panel and a reviewer who had just returned from a promotion panel in time for my EER. So in addition to what I wrote last time, I though I'd add a few more tips:

  • Have a positive attitude towards constructive criticism. Nobody likes trying to give feedback to someone who bristles at any criticism or is so attached to their writing that they refuse to make changes. After all, there's always room for improvement.
  • Volunteer for an EER Review Panel. All EERs are reviewed by a panel, which confirms the EER does not include inadmissible comments (i.e., things you're not allowed to reference in a performance document per the Foreign Affairs Manual here), checks for errors, and makes suggestions. This is a great way to read a large number of EERs and learn what makes a strong and weak one.
  • Take the time to correct typos - even in your rater's and reviewer's statements. It's worth it to make sure that simple mistakes like different numbers of spaces between sentences don't distract the reader. Some might even take errors as a sign of a lack of attention to detail.
  • Your statement really sets the tone. A fantastic rater and reviewer statement is not enough to carry the water for a weak rated employee statement - especially because yours is the first one the reader sees.
  • You can use the "Special Circumstances" box if there were actual special circumstances. This time, I wrote about the unique challenges of the security environment in the wake of the January 2019 Nairobi terror attack in the Special Circumstances section at the encouragement of my reviewer. It saved me a lot of precious space in my statement but still gave necessary context.
  • You don't have to overcome a monumental crisis to have a fabulous EER. I loved these words from my supervisor. Your EER is what you make of it, and you should be able to illustrate your accomplishments with interesting examples no matter what job you did or where you served.

I know it's not the main EER season right now, but I hope this helps some other off-cycle Entry-Level Officer with their evaluation. For now, I'm mostly relieved mine is done!

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