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How To Write an Employee Review?

Struggling to know what to include in an employee review?

Writing effective reviews of your employee’s performance isn't a simple task. However, with the right approach, you can write constructive and helpful feedback. It's important to use this time for coaching and helping employees grow — not just evaluating their past performance.

At HR Coach, we understand that writing a good employee review has its challenges. To help you, we’ve put together some tips on how to write a successful employee performance review.

What is an Employee Performance Review

An employee performance evaluation lets you evaluate work performance over time. This assessment looks at various aspects of the employee's work. It includes attitude, attendance, technical skills, communication skills and professional development.

It can also provide feedback on how well they meet the organisation’s goals and objectives. Performance reviews help discover opportunities for improvement. Also, allow you to motivate employees to pursue professional development.

Performance management reviews also provide a platform for you to give recognition for excellent work and encourage further progress. By conducting performance reviews, you can ensure that your employees grow professionally. Also, they will contribute positively to the organisation’s goals.

It helps employees understand their tasks, which boosts engagement and how it contributes to the organisation’s success. You gain insights that might inform future recruiting, promotion, and job design decisions, making it important for you too.

You may help them make well-informed choices regarding your future by conducting frequent performance reviews.

Performance Reviews and How To Perform Them Successfully

Employers evaluate employee performance annually through a performance review. This is usually in the form of a written document. You can consider the following best practices to ensure you are conducting performance reviews effectively and efficiently.

Give Staff Informal Comments on a Regular Basis

While it might be tempting to save all your feedback until the end of the year, this isn't good practice. It's important to give regular feedback throughout the year. It gives staff more information about their current performance and allows them to adjust as needed.

Consider the following when giving informal feedback:

  • Provide constructive criticism: Make sure your comments are specific to the action and provide useful tips on how they can improve.

  • Keep it focused: Focus on just one or two areas that need improvement. This way, they won't be overwhelmed by too much feedback.

  • Give positive feedback and reinforcement: Recognize when your staff has done something well and show appreciation for their efforts.

  • Timing matters: Give timely, regular feedback. It is especially important when giving praise. This way, you can help them stay motivated and inspired.

During a Performance Review, Be Open and Honest With Employees

The performance review should be a time to discuss both positive and negative aspects of employees’ work. Be honest with your staff about conducting a performance review, but do it in a way that is constructive.

Tell them what they need to work on and how. Remember, everyone can improve, so give them a plan. When delivering constructive feedback, you need to consider the following.

  • Be courteous when providing honest feedback: It is important to be mindful of how you deliver criticism so that it doesn’t come across as rude or insensitive.

  • Be specific: When providing feedback, make sure it is clear and concise. Give examples and an improvement strategy.

  • Listen to the employee: Make sure your employee has an effective performance review that is a two-way communication. Let them voice their worries and ask questions.

Conduct Face-To-Face Employees Performance Reviews

A written review might make it easier for the employee to digest, but these performance reviews are important as they allow for more meaningful conversation.

Face-to-face reviews allow you to see body language and other nonverbal indications that are hard to pick up via email or written feedback.

This review also allows for a more comfortable atmosphere. It allows employees to express their thoughts and concerns more freely.

This approach leaves more room for collaboration, which is key to providing employees with a clear path to future success. Also, it will prevent miscommunication and misunderstandings that can occur in written reviews.

Use Tangible, Relevant Examples During the Performance Evaluation

When discussing areas of improvement, it is important that the employee understands what they need to do differently. It can be done by providing concrete examples and evidence for your points.

For example, if the employee’s attendance record has been less than satisfactory, provide examples of times when their lack of presence was an issue.

It will assist them in realising how their activities affect the organisation and what changes are needed.

Remember, don't forget to take down notes over the course of the performance review. It will log any modifications or improvements and measure progress over time.

Choose Your Words Carefully During Evaluations

Paying attention to the language you use during employee reviews is key. Focus on using language that is clear, direct, and positive. Below are some examples of words and expressions that can help you make your point during evaluations:

  • Achievement: Incorporating words like “achievement”, “success”, or “excellence” can help to provide evidence for how far an employee has gone in their performance.

  • Action Oriented: Use language that encourages action instead of passively waiting for a result. Use terms like "take the initiative," "follow up," and "be proactive" to motivate staff and help them with their performance.

  • Opportunity: Point out areas where an employee can improve. Also, provide specific examples of how that improvement could benefit the company. This will encourage them to focus on growth opportunities.

  • Creativity: Look for ways to recognize unexpected problem-solving or creative solutions. This way, employees know that their innovative thinking is valued.

  • Encouragement: Let your staff know you believe in them and think they can handle new difficulties.

Avoid using overly negative language like “always” or “never”. Instead, focus on providing constructive feedback that encourages employees to strive for better results in the future.

Finish the Performance Evaluation on a Positive Note

Finally, end the review positively. Focus on any areas of improvement, successes achieved, and any goals accomplished throughout the evaluation period. You may motivate and give feedback to your team members this way.

It is also important to show appreciation for their hard work throughout the performance review process. Appreciate their time and look forward to working with them again.

It will help your staff stay inspired, engaged, and productive. The best performance reviews end with both parties feeling satisfied and empowered.

Performance Review Importance and Benefits

As you know, what is an employee performance review and how to perform this task? It’s important to understand why performance reviews are so important and the benefits they offer.

Regardless of how frequently you decide to perform employee reviews, they are a crucial part of running an efficient business. It can direct employees' careers and motivate them to succeed. Below are the benefits of employee performance review:

Improved Communication

Let's talk about communication, specifically how it relates to employee performance reviews. These reviews are like a secret weapon in the workplace because they allow employees and management to get on the same page about expectations and goals.

Plus, they provide feedback on job performance, which is super important. Clear communication between parties helps prevent future misunderstandings. Let's use this to keep communication going and everyone on the same page.

A Stronger Bond

We all want our labour to be recognized, don't we? Well, one way that you can help foster a stronger bond with your employees is through performance reviews. Not only do these evaluations give you a chance to get to know your direct reports on a deeper level. But they can also serve as a helpful way to provide guidance.

This communication and trust-building between you and employees can lead to happier workers, which is a win-win for everyone involved. So let's keep the conversation going and boost that bond.

Improved Performance

Not only will it build bonds, but it also improves performance. Let's discuss how enhancing performance can transform employees. These are the perfect chance for you to give feedback that's tailored to each employee's role, highlighting the things they're doing well and areas they can improve upon for even more success.

When employees receive this constructive criticism, it not only motivates them to push harder. But it helps them identify exactly what they need to work on to achieve higher levels of performance. Plus, who doesn't love a little recognition for a job well done? This is your chance to give it to them.

Increased Accountability

Do you know what's amazing about it? Increased accountability! Those pesky evaluations can actually work in our favour. By holding us accountable for meeting certain expectations, we're motivated to work harder and do our best every day.

Plus, it creates a culture of responsibility within the workplace - no one wants to be the slacker who brings the whole team down. Whether you like performance reviews or not, they improve your work ethic. Let's keep working hard and holding each other accountable.

More Opportunities for Growth

It is the best benefit of employee reviews. It allows for more opportunities to identify potential areas where employees can grow and develop within the company. Not only does this help build an even stronger team. But it helps employees stay engaged in their roles and career paths.

Sitting down with each employee to share their goals helps you understand how they want to progress and how you can help them. It fosters collaboration and growth in the workplace, benefiting everyone.

What Should a Performance Review Assess?

Regardless of your employee review approach, make sure each evaluation addresses all job aspects:

Quality and Quantity of Work

We desire quality and quantity when appraising an employee's job. It's not just about production but quality.

Are they consistently meeting deadlines? Is their work accurate and complete? These questions should be asked when assessing their performance.

And don't be afraid to provide examples. Giving specific instances of good or bad performance can be a practical tool in helping the employee understand where they excel and where they might need improvement.

Attitude & Interpersonal Skills

When it comes to being a successful team player, attitude and interpersonal skills are key. Not only do these qualities help you work well with your colleagues. But they also play a big role in how clients perceive the company.

That's why you should regularly assess your employees' attitudes and interpersonal abilities. By doing so, they can ensure that everyone is on the exact page and performing towards a common goal.

To be a valuable team member, improve your attitude and interpersonal skills. Thus, you can boldly and assertively work with others to achieve a common goal.

Attendance and Punctuality

You know that feeling when you're excited to meet up with friends, and one person shows up an hour late? It's not fun. That's why punctuality is important in the workplace too.

Teamwork requires everyone's help. If one person is consistently late or absent, it's like trying to play a game with one missing player. It throws everything out of balance.

We evaluate an employee's ability to stay on a schedule beyond just following the regulations. Making sure everyone can work together is the goal.


Today's fast-paced workplace demands productivity. To analyse your employees' efficiency and ROI, you're always seeking new methods.

Employee productivity indicates how much they help the organisation succeed. This is not just about output but overall performance as well. Are they consistently meeting deadlines, producing high-quality work, and collaborating effectively with others?

These questions should be answered to evaluate productivity. In comparison, it may seem daunting to evaluate such a multifaceted concept. Doing so can help companies identify areas for improvement and ultimately pave the way to greater success.

Talk to a HR consultant

Talk to one of our qualified HR consultants for more information:

Final Thoughts

Writing an employee review is a great opportunity to provide meaningful feedback and open up the lines of communication. It's crucial to evaluate each employee's performance while taking into account your own strengths and flaws.

Carefully consider how these reviews and performance conversations can benefit you and your employees. Doing so will help ensure that everyone is performing towards a common goal and that your team is always growing and improving.

So consider the above information and make sure your employee review is more effective and engaging. Good luck!

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