How To Protest an Unfair Performance Review

Once every few months, the most gut-wrenching part of being employed takes place. The Performance Review, also called Employee Appraisal, happens. It can both be an unavoidable start of a humiliating pitfall, or it could be that feather that breaks the camel's back (depending if the camel you've been riding is one of a pile of failed reviews) or, in some cases, the start of a better and clearer career. These potential outcomes are expected, as always, to be fair and just assumptions of an employee's contribution to the company and adherence to its guidelines. It is also expected to be concise and, well, fair.

Hence what happens when you get, what you feel, is an unjust review? First you have to keep in mind what it's for and how it "says" these things. A performance review treads terms of quality, quantity, cost and time. This is how it "says" how well or not you've been. What it says is how you've dealt with these same terms.

As intimidating as it looks to question these figures because of the imposing terms and graphs used, it is that same factor that makes it easy to deal with. It speaks in a language that cannot lie on its own - numbers. Numbers in essence don't need flowery or derogatory words prefixing it. It translates facts into readable exact data that should be processed as is. 

Keeping that in mind, we can start to dismantle its supposed effectiveness.

  • First make a clear read-through of the report; note discrepancies that you think are trite to question and ones that are vaguely arguable. 

  • Being aware of your own performance helps a lot. Try to gather as many supporting evidence that counters the allegations made on the report (i.e. time cards, receipts, important contracts or papers, even phone bills). If you have these, they will greatly help in your chances in being accurate and likewise, seen as a critical employee that has surely studied his self first and hence lessen the feeling of the superior that he is simply "wasting his time".

  • Assess why an unfair predilection of you was made. It greatly helps to admit to yourself things that you have failed to do, or in some cases, did. 

  • Set an appointment with the right person to talk to, whether he or she is your Q.A or supervisor or the C.E.O. Being friends with the said person does not warrant you the right to barge into his office uninformed.

  • Once an appointment has been set, be critical. Never be late. Do not come in a worn out shirt. In other words, don't let them find a fault as soon as you get in the room 

  • Be in top form. Be courteous, come in with you're A-game on. Do not even think of going in there to raise hell. However, don't make the mistake of coming in as the office person that you're not. In some cases it helps to show your real attitude in hopes of winning over sympathy.

  • Be factual in your choices of words. Get to the point as early as possible. This is no time to be beating around the proverbial bush. Show your gathered evidence to support unjust allegations. 

  • After everything has been said and done, be kind of enough to thank for their time in listening.

  • Once the decision has been made, deal with it. Whether it goes your way or not, you have no choice but to go with their answer. (Remember that, until you complained about the review, that was already a decision made, be thankful that you were actually given the opportunity to contradict it).


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