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How to Write & Answer a Performance Evaluation

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Whether you are writing or answering a performance evaluation, remember that the goal is to make the process of working and getting the job done better. Everyone should be working together to achieve goals, so you are all on the same team. A performance evaluation creates a space for an open discussion of what you are working toward, and how best to get there. Clear and positive-toned feedback will give you the best chance of making that happen. An employee response can be an important part of a 360-degree feedback process.

Write a Performance Evaluation

Review first the goals set for the employee at the last evaluation. If there are none, they should be set during this evaluation. The employee should be clear on what has been expected. Consider how well the employee has achieved these expectations.

Fill in the performance evaluation per instructions (often, they are numerical) and write comments where possible. This is where you can provide important examples and substance to your conclusion.

Share your evaluation with the employee in a private meeting. Create a good dialogue by framing your comments civilly and with an eye to achieving team goals, rather than just criticism. Make sure the employee understands your rationale, and give an opportunity for feedback.

Create goals and agree on them with the employee for next year. Usually, an employee will need to sign the form, although a signature does not mean full agreement. Sometimes, an employee will be given an opportunity to file a written response with the evaluation.

Answer a Performance Evaluation

Consider the feedback you have received not just from your point of view but from the point of view of your supervisor. Think about your work in relation to goals that you and your supervisor have set. If you are largely in agreement with your performance evaluation, you may not need to write a response.

Write your answer in relation to goals and comments. If your supervisor does not feel you have achieved certain goals and you feel there are extenuating circumstances (such as lack of clarity in the goal or projects, or outside influences such as an extended illness), this is the place to voice that. Be clear and avoid being contentious.

Turn in your answer and review it with your supervisor if you feel it will improve teamwork. If there were disagreements regarding your goals and focus during this round, ensure there is clarity for the coming year.