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The wisdom of showing written performance reviews to employees

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Management,Performance Reviews,Records Retention

Q. We usually don’t allow our employees to read or comment on their annual evaluations. Instead, we perform a performance review one-on-one and have them sign an acknowledgment that they have discussed their performance. Do we need to provide them with a copy of the evaluation?

A. You are not legally required to provide an employee with a copy of his or her review when it is completed, but it is a good idea to do so. A copy of the evaluation should go into the employee’s personnel file.

In Pennsylvania, employees have the right to inspect (but not copy) the contents of their personnel files, so they have access to their evaluations anyway. Also, the evaluation serves to document that an employee has been notified of any performance issues.

In addition to affording an employee an opportunity to improve and correct performance problems, documenting those problems provides helpful evidence in the unfortunate event of a lawsuit. It can show that you communicated performance issues to the employee.

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