Performance Review Comments: Everything You Need to Know
Professional performance review comments tell an employee what they did well and then tell an employee what needs improvement.4 min read
Performance Review Comments
Professional performance review comments tell an employee what they did well and then tell an employee what needs improvement.
If done with an approach for improving and not criticizing performance review can offer good feedback to workers and managers. If done inappropriately it can destroy a company and set it up for discrimination and harassment lawsuits.
According to Fast Company, a well -known website for progressive business leaders, 74% of younger workers leave reviews without understanding the level of their performance. A 2017 Employee Engagement Report stated 79% of employees do not believe the review process as helpful. The “could almost certainly do better” idea of performance review can cause issues.
In any work situation, some things remain under an employee’s control but many issues stem from other departments, other employees, communication issues, and distribution problems. A performance review that recognizes those facts, classifies issues in that manner gives a more honest view of the state of the company. Performance reviews do not just review an employee but also, taken as a whole, review company policies and implementation of programs.
Performance Review Phrases
Performance reviews need to have levels of perspective with phrases and comments meaningful for the situation. Standardizing the language of common comments can make the process more efficient such as a checklist. Performance review comments can be about teams not just individuals. In face to face meetings the comments need detail and diverse explanations so an employee can use to improve. Writing consistent and detailed employee reviews takes training. Learning to use language that facilitates improvement rather than agitate takes training as well. Beginning with a concrete example in a performance appraisal sets the tone so that the comments remain about the work not the person.
- Does the company use goals to start a work process?
- What portion of the work done is significant?
- Can the work be measured in increments?
- Was the work assigned attainable at the time?
- Did the employee have the resources necessary to do the job?
- Was the work assigned a reasonable request?
- What quality assurance program measures the product or service offered?
The issues with an employee need to be obvious in most cases to be addressed. Supervisors and managers need to balance a performance review. It cannot be all good or all bad. Comments by supervisors need to be specific, short and matter of fact. Management must admit where they need to improve otherwise it comes out during litigation. The following areas need coverage:
Optimal levels of work need a comparison in the industry and that particular company for accomplishments to be measured. It must be evidenced based. Create a list of strategies that helped and a list of strategies that did not perform as expected with a possible why and numbers. Participation in program development needs to be listed and what part the employee took part in. Naming a specific task with an improved production percentage or what percent was the original goal exceeded.
Example: Improved production by Y% with task MNOP
Policies and procedures needed to run a business or a task in the business done by an employee lists as administrative. Does the employee establish effective systems of communication and information retrieval for their position? Does the employee file and keep documents organized? Does the employee improve the administrative systems in place?
Example: Developed successful administrative process for xyz task which resulted in % documents filed appropriately
Behaviors that share knowledge, create good work relationships, and make positive work environments classify as coaching. More about the social aspects of work such as interest in employees, amount of support given, giving advice, and respect can be harder to measure.
Example: Implemented a continuous improvement model with 5-minute sharing of issues discovered with the work that day. Summarized to 3 key points with a solution given the next day.
Communication centers around business goals, expectations, and issues. It also deals with company policies, maintaining appropriate work environment, and keeping employees communicating about the work. Leading groups appropriately classifies here.
Example: Employee L used three-point question technique to remain on CDE issue
Other areas to cover in performance reviews include cooperation, creativity, delegation, innovation, or planning. It depends on the industry and work which classifications you need.
The goal remains to improve the work environment overall by helping each employee reach their potential in the framework of the company goals. Those giving the review must consistently rate each employee’s tasks. Standardize the comments to the major tasks and leave room for individualized facilitation. After the performance review ask the individual to come up with their individual goals for the year and turn that in.
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