How to write a performance review?

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This post will help you how to do/writer a performance review

The objectives of performance review are to improve your performance, correct any misdoing and reward exceptional accomplishment. It should be more about improving oneself than rewarding. It’s true that not many people seem to like performance review, which results in some misunderstanding and misapplication of a performance review. However, the review, in fact, is one of the most important tools for HR work relating to appraisal and compensation policies. Understanding the true importance and conducting such a review properly, the result shall be exceptionally positive:

1. Review Method

First step in conducting a performance review is to review the appropriate method. There are various methods of conducting a review, so you should consider the nature of the work and position of person to be evaluated to select a suitable method.

2. Frequent feedback

A review without communication of result with employees shall be meaningless. It is important to share the results of such a review with the employees to be evaluated on regular basis; then, record their reaction, performance after that, and conduct another review to see how improved they are.

3. Gather relevant information

Information should be stored on regular basis during the year. Details of accomplished plans, projects, letters of acknowledgement or phone call notes… are important to be kept. Also, gather all the documents in relation to previous year review, such as review form, job description, objectives, and so on.

4. Place yourself in the seat of the manager

You should consider what the managers should expect from their employees for the current years? Which accomplishment one employee is supposed to reach? Which behavior one employee is supposed to show? Which performance should be expected from the employees? (cooperative, leadership, innovative…)? Or should the employee be able to resolve the problems at work?

5. Meet with the manager

The manager shall be the one to use the result of performance review to give acknowledgement o or criticism on the employee’s performance. He also will give useful advice or set a specific target for the employee for the next year. So, one employee should expect to meet with the manager after the review to be done. He should listen carefully to the manager’s comments and gain his own lessons to improve the performance for the next year. The employee needs to be polite and keep on well with the manager’s emotion during such a meeting and should consider the types of behavior expected by his boss before meeting him.

6. Debrief

In such a meeting with the manager, he shall give comments on your strengths or weaknesses. So, the employee needs to be as objective as possible and be calm in demonstrating his approval or disapproval of the manager’s comments; look at the manager’s eyes and decide which performance he ought to have performed or which performance to be expected by his boss. Then determine the believes, values and motivations for him to improve in the next year.

7. Make the achievements outstanding

When one employee is writing a performance review for himself, focus on qualitative and quantitative aspects. First, address the achievements first, after that, come back to special points and speak more details about them. The employee should specify whether the achievements meet the objectives or not. For example, you are writing performance review for your sales performance, some of the points needed to be addressed are (1) increase sales by 10% (or whatever) in somewhere; or (2) establish relationship with loyal customers (indicate how you did that). All in all, when writing your performance review, try to focus on your achievements and make them outstanding.

8. Use neutral language

In performance review, the manager should never use preferential language; adopt a neutral or objective one; a manager should learn some typical sayings if he/she wishes to make an objective statements that doesn’t insult or depress his/her employees. The manager has to know the rules of how to criticize others properly in order to motivate them but not depress them to perform the work in the future.

9. Focus on the whole-year-performance

It is a mistake of the manager to make comments on the employee’s performance for only a specific period of time (for example, only three ending months). Being objectives means you should consider everything the employee has done for the whole year, but not for only a period of months.

10. Focus on self-appraisal

A rather common but strange fact is that when both the manager and employee fill in the same performance review, the employee tends to be stricter on himself/herself than the manager does. For such a fact, the manager shall have “opportunity” to make an appraisal of the employee and, therefore, the discussion shall be more relaxing and comfortable. It shall be easier to discuss the weaknesses of the employee while the employee has “acknowledged” his/her weak points, such a thing like that.

11. Make the review process an opportunity to learn more

The performance review is an opportunity for you to learn more about the expectation of the manager. If you are following well, you may know better about the policies of the company: is the policy executed in a different manner? How is the influence of the performance review? Is there an overall ranking for reward or promotion/demotion? How is the manager’s expectation of performance? How is the ranking related to the company’s HR policy?

12. Understand the manager’s objective and expectations

An employee should consider the reasons why the manager conducts such a review? To reward? To criticize? To choose ones to promote or demote? Or to help employees improve themselves? You may even figure out more than that, such as does the manager expect the performance review to be of benefits to the company? What is good for him/her to conduct such a review? Which consequences when he/she over-evaluates or under-evaluate some employees?

13. Don’t rush

A performance review should be written in a moderate time but not within a few hours or minutes. You should consider every aspects relating to performance review to be able to write an effective one. It is the best to plan such a review in advance, so that you may have enough time to gather all relevant information and consider the questions/points carefully before writing a review.

14. Write it up

What it means “write it up” is that you write a performance review from the manager’s perspectives: how does the manager expect your performance would be? Does he/she want a detailed review or a short-list one? Is he/she impressed by evidences and achievements? Nevertheless, never forget putting strengths, contributions, and the benefits to the company in the review.

How to perform a performance appraisal


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