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Room for improvement

How to give a good, bad performance review

picture of an advice stand on a beachAs an employer you are constantly striving to improve performance. It is good to reward an employee for an excellent job done, but what about when the performance is below what is expected? This leads to the next question.


How do I judge the performance?

It all starts with a clearly defined job description. It should outline what performance is required and to what standard. That way both employee and manager know what to expect. It makes the employee's job easier, because they have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they are doing a good job. They also know when they are underperforming. This makes it easier for the manager to point out instances where the performance has been below par. It also makes it easier to spot a new recruit who may not be suitable for the post.

How should I give a poor performance review to a good employee ?

For many managers, giving a poor performance review can be stressful. Having guidelines to follow can help reduce the tension. Having regular reviews means that both parties get into a routine of dealing with difficult conversations as well as positive ones.

What to do and not to do


1. Start with a positive
2. Highlight the performance, not the person
3. Use the job specifications to show where performance has been below par, and how it can be improved.
4. Work with employee to develop an improvement plan.
5. Encourage feedback related to the performance issue.


1. (Don't)Procrastinate. Do not keep putting it off.
2. (Don't) Hold reviews eratically.
3. (Don't) Pick at the same fault constantly, for the rest of the year.
4. (Don't) Treat your friends differently.
5. (Don't) Let bonuses get in the way.

Get more help

See more on Performance Improvement Plan here
This is just a quick look at performance reviews.

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Image courtesy Laughlin Elkind  cc.15



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