Getting Ready to Write Your Performance Review?

Then, follow these five simple steps to create a high quality outcome as you write your performance review.

There are a few basic things you need to do when you write your appraisal.

If youfollow these steps and invest some time in doing them properly then you are well onyour way in laying the foundation for a great review.

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5 simple steps to a quality outcome

  1. Don't rush - give yourself enough time and do not write your performance review at the last minute. Given that you do this once a year or at most twice a year it is important to plan this in advance and give it your best shot. Understand your system so you are aware of the timelines. That way you will be able to do a quality job.
  2. Complete the correct sections - by now you should already have the correct form or template before you write your performance review. You should know which section to complete and what to write in each section. Ask your manager for help if you get stuck. I always find it easy to write up the main points in each section of the form and then come back to it later to expand on each point in more detail. That way, you are kind of building the skeleton which also prompts further thought on what could be missing and should be added. Now is the time to refer to all the data you have collected during the year and use it to complete each section to accurately reflect your performance and achievements.
  3. Write clearly and effectively - you may find this a challenge when you write your performance review. I know I do when writing my own reviews. The choice and structure of words used in writing performance reviews make a big difference between a well written review and one which is poorly written. Your review is one of the most important pieces of paper you will write so it pays to write it well. I highly recommend that you use a phrase book which will help you select the best performance reviewrelated phrases to suit your particular situation. I have been doing this myself for the last few years and have noticed the significant difference in quality.
  4. Bring your achievements alive - you can do this by writing well and also by focusing on both qualitative and quantitative data. A good way to do this when you write your performance review is to write each of your achievements as a first cut and then come back and review them later in more detail. Does the achievement clearly state what you achieved, how you achieved it and the metrics or targets achieved? If we take the example of increasing sales then a well written achievement statement could read as: increased sales (what you did) by 10% over established target in eastern zone (metric or by how much) by building close working relationships with my customers and providing them a superior service (how you did it). Spend some time when you write your performance review by writing and reviewing your achievement statements till they actually start painting a picture or telling a story about your performance.
  5. Polish it - write, review, polish and then repeat it if necessary. By following this simple approach you will be able to produce a high quality document when you write your performance review. Do not forget to check your document for spelling and grammar also. It will be very embarrassing for you to hand over a document that has these errors. If possible, try and also have enough white space in your document and combine it with a font that will make it easy on the eye of the reader. No point in cramming five pages of text into one page by selecting the smallest font size! Go for extra pages or try and write more briefly. Use bullet points instead of long sentences to make your point. Finally, let your document rest for a day or so before coming back to it. This space will allow you some time to reflect on anything that is missing and will also enable you to review your document with a fresh eye for the final review and polish!

Good luck!

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Next - what to do before you submit your review.
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