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How to Write an Employee Performance Review


When writing an employee performance review, a standard form should be used for all employees.  This should include spaces for identifying information, a rating system, a list of points on which the employee is to be rated, comments for each section or group of points, an overall rating, overall comments and recommendations, and signatures of the manager and employee verifying that the review has been discussed with the employee and that the employee understands and accepts the evaluation.

Identifying Information

The standardized form should already have printed on it the name and contact information of the employer, which could include the employer’s address, phone numbers and email address or website address. The name of the employee and the job title should be filled in on the form, along with the social security number, employee identification number, date of hire, or other pertinent information identifying the employee. The name of the manager who is doing the review, the dates the review was prepared and was discussed with the employee should have a place to be written in by the manager, as well as the start and end dates of the period covered by the evaluation. For example, if this is an annual evaluation, put the date of the last evaluation the year before and the date of the present evaluation this year.

Rating System

Each point needs to be rated as to whether the employee fulfills that aspect of his or her job in a satisfactory or excellent manner, or if the employee needs improvement in that area. There should be a weighing system so that the score for each point or section or grouping of points counts toward a given percentage of the overall score. The overall score ranges for a rating of excellent, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory should be a numerical high and low score for each level of rating. The weighting and rating system should be uniform for all employees with the same job title, job description, and job duties. The employee’s actual score would fall within one of these ranges and determine the rating of the employee’s performance, whether it is excellent, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory. It may be desirable to use four, five or more levels of rating instead of just three. For example, a scale of one to ten can be used. An option of “not applicable” can also be included in the levels.

Points to be Rated

The employee is to be rated on how well the employee is performing each of the duties listed in the job description, and how well the employee has exhibited each of the abilities needed to successfully perform those duties. These points should be grouped into sections of similar points according to their purpose. Each of these sections should be given a weight, or percentage of the overall score to which it contributes. For example, a list of job duties can comprise one section, to be rated on how well each duty is performed. This section could be weighted as 50 percent of the overall score. Another section could be devoted to skills, and others to attitude, conduct, abilities, etc.

Comments by the Manager and Employee

After each section of points and their ratings is given a numerical score, there should be a place on the employee performance review form for the manager to fill in any additional comments the manager may wish to include. Likewise, after the overall score is calculated and filled in, the manager may want to write an overall impression of the employee’s performance during the period covered by the review and make additional comments. Likewise, the employee may want to make comments about the fairness and accuracy of the overall evaluation or any of its sections before accepting it. Comments, of course, are optional, but space for comments should be included on the printed form.

Calculating the Overall Score

The rating of each point should be given a numerical value. For example, a rating of “needs improvement” could be 0, “satisfactory” could be 1, and “excellent” could be 2. The numerical values of all the points in the section should be added up, divided by the number of points in the section, and multiplied by the percentage weight of the section. The scores of all the sections are then added up to produce the overall score. The overall score is then rated according to the ranges into which this numerical score falls. For example, a score between 0.0000 and 0.5000 could be rated as unsatisfactory, between 0.5000 and 1.5000 could be rated as satisfactory, and between 1.5000 and 2.0000 as excellent. A place for the overall numerical score and associated rating should be printed on the form and filled in by the manager.


After the manager reviews the evaluation with the employee, both parties should sign and date the evaluation to verify that both employer and employee understand and accept the contents of the evaluation as fair and accurate. If the employee does not feel the evaluation is fair and accurate, he should be given adequate recourse to have a re-evaluation or an amended evaluation before signing the document.




“Basics of Conducting Employee Performance Appraisals.” Free Management Library (SM). N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2010.

Neal, James E.. Effective Phrases For Performance Appraisals: A Guide to Successful Evaluations (Neal, Effective Phrases for Peformance Appraisals). 11th ed. Perrysburg, Ohio: Neal Publications, 2006. Print.

“Ten Tips for Conducting Employee Performance Reviews  | Labor & Employment > Human Resources & Personnel Management from D&B Small Business Portal.” Small Business Credit Solutions from D&B. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2010.

Vikesland, Gary, and PhD LP CEAP. “Employee Performance Review.” Free help for employers and employees on how to resolve workplace probelms and increase employee motivation.. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2010.

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