Top 5 do’s and don’ts of writing and conducting effective employee performance reviews


March 14, 2012

Contact: Elizabeth Hall, Senior Web Editor
(800) 543-2055  (703) 905-8000

Human Resource Alert: Employers – Discover the Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of  Writing and Conducting Effective Employee Performance Reviews

Falls Church, Va. —  If you’re in a management position and have direct reports, writing employee reviews and work evaluations is an essential component of your job. But they don’t have to be monotonous or boring. Learn how to compose brilliant, inspiring and action-oriented assessments that drive results. Business Management Daily highlights the top ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ in giving and writing effective performance appraisals.

According to Business Management Daily’s Senior Web Editor, Elizabeth Hall, “Anything less than completely honest feedback on your employee’s performance appraisal will only cheat the employee out of personal development and training opportunities.”

Hall adds, “…It also may set the stage for a discrimination or similar lawsuit.”

Below are the top 5 performance appraisal ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ that all employers should be aware of:

1.    DON’T fall prey to the ‘halo effect.’ Managers sometimes allow a single characteristic to influence their ratings of other unrelated factors. Eliminate the halo effect by considering each performance element independently.

2.    DON’T compare workers. There’s no need to discuss how other workers achieve their goals. This allows the discussion to shift away from the core issue: his or her work. Drawing comparisons among workers only builds resentment. Assume that all employees are capable of superior performance and talk only about ways to enhance their efforts.

3.    DON’T contradict yourself. The most damaging mistake a manager can make during a review is to send the employee mixed messages. Know what to say, put it on paper and talk it through in advance so any potential errors in logic may be caught. Contradictory messages erode manager credibility and do nothing to improve the employee’s performance.

4.    DO go high and low. “Central tendency assessment” occurs when a supervisor gives all workers average ratings. This attitude can depress employee morale and indicate that the supervisor isn’t doing his or her job. Keep detailed employee logs and record instances of superior and inferior performance.

5.    DO focus on pros and cons. Many managers give short shrift to work areas in which the employee excels. They focus almost exclusively on weaknesses and “needs improvement” areas. Give equal time to each aspect of the performance appraisal, regardless of the assessment. Don’t nitpick or try to find something wrong where no problems exist.

Hall concludes, “It’s important for employers to educate their managers and supervisors on how to give effective performance appraisals. Being armed with this information helps both the employee and employer work at their best level together going forward.”
For more information and the full article containing the complete list of top ‘8’ employee performance review ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts,’ please visit
Download Business Management Daily‘s FREE report on writing performance appraisals and conducting evaluations — 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review: Examples and Tips containing a 6-point checklist for review preparation.

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