4 tips on how to write an effective performance review, Career Coach, HR Consultant For Small Business Owners, Barbara Mason Blog - Career Pathways Consulting


I’m in HR and I don’t get excited about performance reviews. So, I know you don’t either. But, it is important that you do them regularly with your employees.

Writing a performance review is essential because it gives both the employer and employees a platform to discuss goals, performance, objectives, and achievements within a constructive framework. It helps to clear up any misconceptions and have a clear picture of where things stand and what needs to be changed.

Here are 4 tips on how to write an effective performance review:


While writing a performance review, always be honest. It is essential to point out all areas that are worth addressing. Honesty includes addressing issues affecting the team without hesitation, avoiding beating around the bush, and addressing issues squarely. An effective performance review includes open and transparent conversation. 

Informal and Regular Feedback

Although performance reviews are a formal part of the employee’s file, you should always be giving feedback and not wait to once a year to deliver your thoughts. Employees should not be surprised at the review time because they thought they were doing great, but you tell them they are close to losing their job. Communicate frequently with your employees, informally and formally.

Make Time For It

An effective performance review is respectful and a time for you and your employee to talk solely about their performance. I suggest you schedule this meeting and this is the only topic of discussion. Set aside 30 minutes at least to just talk and share. Do not squeeze the employee’s performance review in for 5 minutes in the middle of your weekly production meetings. Let the employee know you care enough and that is important that you discuss how they are doing on the job and what can be better.


Include the Employee

Performance reviews should not be one-sided. Give your employee a chance to share and talk. Make sure you ask them their thoughts. Ask them what their professional goals are and if there are other things they want to be involved in. This will go a long way in establishing respect and loyalty with your employees.


I hope these 4 tips help you as you plan for your next performance review cycle. At a minimum, make sure you are having performance reviews on an annual basis. Also, make sure it is documented. If you do not write it down, it doesn’t exist!


Barbara Mason is a career consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and her passion is helping career professionals stay, flow, or go in their career.

To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.