The Do’s and Don’ts of Performance Review Comments

Performance review is an anxiety-provoking process for employees. The superiors’ feedback can make or break an employee’s motivation and drive to stay working for a company.

For both reasons, it is essential to determine the most effective way to provide helpful employee feedback without sugarcoating things and without breaking the employee’s spirit.

Striking a balance between discussing the positives and negatives of employees’ work performance requires that employers indicate employees’ strengths and weaknesses with respect.

While there are differences in communication styles, there are certain aspects of social politeness to consider for every company conducting performance reviews.

Review this list of the common do’s and don’ts of performance review comments, to maintain respect for both the employer and the employee during such evaluations.

The Do’s of Performance Review Comments

1. Validate Employee Strengths

List at least five employee strengths for the performance review comments.

By including positive remarks, the employee will feel good, leading to increased workplace motivation.

2. Use Softening Adjectives

When you need to comment on a weakness or area in need of improvement, be sure to include words that eliminate absolute statements.

Avoid words like “always” as these can make an employee feel that poor workplace performance is unrelenting.

The employer should provide constructive criticism as a mean of improving the workflow of the company, not to assert their position of power.

An example of a well-written critique or comment might be this:

“On occasion, you avoid urgent requests.”

Since the softening phrase “on occasion” was used, there is no implication that employees always create this issue.

Indirectly acknowledging that this is not always the case provides sustained confidence and the ability to consider criticism without self-devaluation.

The Don’ts Of Performance Review Comments

1. Do Not Use Emphatic Implication

All performance review comments should be stated objectively. The evaluation aims to improve workflow for the employee and the company, not to make a mockery of someone.

When making a critique, avoid language that suggests personal dislike of the employee or their behavior.

Instead of making a comment like, “Frankly, I have not seen your efforts improve this quarter,” say something like, “It would appear that your efforts have not reached their full potential this quarter.”

Commenting without emphatic implication gives the employee room to consider what is being said without feeling verbally attacked.

2. Do Not Hold Back On Positives

If black and white statements are allowed anywhere, it is within the positive comments section.

If an employee is genuinely never, using direct phrasing on their performance review comments is a well-intended way to inform them that they are doing great.

Just Like Your Report Card

Write your performance review comments with the same tones as your report card commentary to avoid causing offense or unnecessary enthusiasm when doing employee evaluations.

For any employees reading this, remember that a review is based on work performance and does not assess who you are or your character.

Keep matters in their appropriate contexts, and everyone should get along swimmingly.

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