Writing Better Performance Reviews That Motivate Your Employees

Anyone who employs other people in a business setting will at some point be required to complete a performance review. There are many different performance appraisal methods, and finding the right one for your business will depend largely on what you expect from your employees. Often, performance reviews will follow an employee even after he or she has left your company, so writing them well is vital to both your business and your employees’ future.


Get the language right – Clear, concise & measurable

Regardless of the performance appraisal method you choose, there are two areas that you need to focus on. The first is how the employee is able to fulfill the requirements of the job. You will need to include performance review phrases that speak to the capabilities of the employee and how he or she is able to meet the requirements of his or her position.


Clarify their part in the bigger picture – Objectives & their dependencies

The second part of the performance appraisal is to discuss how the employee functions as part of the larger business environment. Working well with other employees, supervisors, customers, vendors, and anyone else that regularly interacts with the employee is a key component of any employees’ job.

Bringing it all together

Once you have decided on the performance appraisal method you are going to use, it is then time to compile the information into a usable format that will help you track an employee’s performance and growth.

This is where performance review phrases are very important. While you want to communicate all of the relevant information about an employee’s performance, you must keep in mind that you should be offering primarily fact, not opinion. Your HR department should define the facets of each persons role to be used for appraisals. This makes all performance reviews much more standardized and less prone to emotional factors or favoritism.

Performance review phrases should be written so that they read as positive, not negative. Negative aspects of an employees performance should be placed in between positive comments to avoid making a person feel overly criticized. Performance review phrases should also suggest how that problem could be corrected.

Settle on an appraisal method, technique or process – For ALL employees

All companies settle on an appraisal technique, whether it is the popular 360 degree appraisal method or a simple 1-to-1 appraisal. The key is that you settle on one approach across the board to ensure fairness and consistency for all employees reviews. There is nothing worse than giving some employees preferential treatment through wrongly managed reviews.

Performance appraisal methods will vary from company to company, but the performance review phrases that will be used are often similar. If you are working on your first performance reviews, feel free to read other reviews from other companies that will help you get an idea of standard performance review phrases. Your company will benefit from the time you spend creating smart, well written performance appraisals.

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