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5 Tips for Writing Employee Performance Reviews

Writing employee reviews is an art and gives an insight into the employer’s strength in workforce management. Work evaluations are essential to the manager’s job. But they need not be boring and commonplace. One can write some apt and action-oriented assessments of employees that drive effective results.

According to Senior Web Editor, Elizabeth Hall, complete honest feedback during performance review will only rob the employee from overall growth. Employees might even resent the feedback and an offense might even amount to a lawsuit.

Here are some tips for writing effective performance reviews that all HR personnel and managers should be aware of:

Don’t focus on just one aspect

Performing Employee ReviewsAvoid falling prey to getting impressed by a single quality, and focus on the overall persona. Employers sometimes allow a single characteristic to affect their ratings. Consider each performance aspect before allocating points to an individual, since it would not be fair to the others who are consistent with their performance and efforts.

Don’t make comparisons

Avoid comparing workers. Although one tends to compare them instinctively, avoid doing that when appraising a performance. There’s no need to discuss an individual’s habits or demeanor unless it is affecting his or her work. The discussion tends to move the focus away from the main issue: work. Drawing comparisons also creates resentment in the minds of employees and is not at all healthy for any company. The belief that all are capable of superior performance would drive them to do better than they are doing. Talk only about ways they can improve on their efforts and attitude.

Don’t contradict yourself

Do not ever contradict yourself or anything you have ever said. The most damaging mistake that an HR professional or a manager can do is to convey mixed feelings about an employee’s performance. The attitude just drives the employee to become apprehensive. Know what to say, and be clear in conveying the good points as well as the bad points. If you are not clear enough, put it on paper so that there is no contradiction in what you say and what you actually think. Contradictory messages can even damage your own reputation and erode manager credibility, while also being detrimental to an employee’s performance.

Don’t give out similar reviews

Balance out the high and low. When a manager gives all workers similar ratings, it only damages and depresses the employee morale. It also communicates that the HR professional or manager is unable to do his or her job in assessing performance appropriately and is taking the easy way out. The employee records, logs and performance details need to be recorded and reviewed and ratings should be given based on each employee's overall performance.

Don’t criticize too much

There should be adequate focus on both pros and cons. Many HR managers opt to tilt favor to one of the aspects that the employee portrays. They focus almost exclusively on either the overall weaknesses or grey areas. There should be balance of criticism regardless of the assessment. Don’t nitpick where problems do not exist.

It’s very important for HR professionals to educate project managers on how to render performance appraisals. By being clear about what they expect in an employee’s performance, the performance of the project manager and those working in his or her team can be assessed properly by the HR managers.