How to Write a Yearly Performance Review for Your Employees

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The yearly performance review is often a source of stress for the person who is writing it, as well as the person who is being evaluated. Writing or receiving a performance review does not have to be a nerve-wracking experience. A well-defined performance review should be positive and productive, both for the employer and for the employee.

The goal of the yearly performance review is to provide feedback to your employees that will help them excel at their job. If your employees are giving you their best, your company will operate at its peak, and you will see the results reflected in the success of your business.

If an employee has struggled to meet the expectations of his position, the yearly review should not be the first time he is confronted about his weaknesses. Keep in touch with your staff, and address problematic issues as they arise.

Always give the employee the opportunity to improve upon any situation through a written plan of correction prior to his yearly review. Keep a dated file that includes notes and documentation of each time an employee is written up, or recognized for an accomplishment.

How to Approach the Yearly Review

Ask for input from the people who are in key positions and aware of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. You may not be aware of the specifics of the employee’s job performance. Once you have your information, it’s time to write the evaluation.

Which Format Should I Use?

Performance reviews can be very formal, or you can be creative in your approach. Some employers prefer a simple format that lists job expectations, and evaluates employees using a number system, such as a scale of 1-5. Other employers prefer a more personal format. The narrative system uses a series of questions regarding job performance. The employer’s responses using the narrative format are more personalized to each employee.

Begin and End on a Positive Note

Evaluations should be honest, goal oriented, and fair. Most employers discuss the completed evaluation with the employee in person. Begin by letting the employee know that you appreciate his service to the company. Be specific when outlining the positive points outlined in the evaluation. Use phrases such as “Your customer service skills are a wonderful asset to the company.”

No employee is perfect. Ask for input from the employee when discussing problematic issues. He may come up with his own solution to the problem. If there are problems that may lead to suspension or termination, use this time to help the employee determine whether he is willing to work to correct the problem. Offer advice on how to meet that goal.

Ask the employee if he has any questions or comments regarding the review. Listen attentively to his input and concerns. Ask the employee to sign the review, give him a copy, and always conclude with a positive statement.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Write a Yearly Performance Review for Your Employees," in, January 26, 2016, (accessed October 4, 2022).