How To Write a Negative Performance Review

A negative performance review can make or break people depending on how the affected person handles it. The truth is negative performance review of a staff is required to enhance the efficiency and productivity of the entire workplace. After all, a less than perfect performance of one person can affect the whole performance of the group. To help the group improve, that person needs to be criticized and reprimanded for his actions so he can improve himself. A negative performance review can be done either to keep the person or to fire a person. And if with the latter, the review can be atrocious. However, it will be better for both sides if the employer will present the review in a gentle way that the other party will think his employer is not a jerk and wants him to improve so he can have a better performance on his next job.

Assuming you are the one who has to give a negative performance review, you can use the tips below on how to proceed with it effectively:

  • Know his bad office habits. Before you can point your finger at him, be sure you know why you have to, and that it is not just some personal hatred you have had in the past. If you can make a decent list of his bad habits based on his colleagues’ report and your observations, then you can make a good list. But never mention their names to him. He might think that his colleagues are ganging up on him. Better yet, site some samples of his bad habits and their effects on the whole team’s performance or project. That way, when you set a meeting with him, you will be able to tell him how his behavior badly affected the whole project or the entire performance of the team.
  • Instruct the employee how to get rid of his bad negative workplace habits. Now that you have identified his bad habits at work, surely there are ways to get rid of those. Inform him of the solutions and make him understand that his improvement is also the team’s improvement.
  • Schedule a second negative performance review. It is better to have a follow up review to make sure that your instructions have been carried out and that the employees’ performances have leveled up. Some people work better if they know you are keeping tabs on their actions. A good working habit is the key to have a great team performance.

You do not have to be brutal in executing a negative a performance review. There are people who can get easily scared by such things but being nervous does not always make them work better. Words of encouragement always helps, and letting them know you trust them to correct their wrongs can make a lot of difference at work. Whether you want to keep the employee or you want to fire him, keep in mind that whatever you say can build or break his character, self-esteem and sense of camaraderie.


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