Performance Reviews – Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by Luke Mitchell on 29 May 2019
Performance Reviews – Do’s and Don’ts


First and foremost, create effective, easy-to-implement performance review management policy and processes.




Performance Review Do’s;

  • Create an effective, easy-to-implement performance review management policy and process

  • Be fair, accurate and supported by evidence and examples.

  • Ensure that the process includes self-evaluation by the employee.

  • Give an employee the opportunity to comment on their appraisal result, to express their agreement or otherwise, and to appeal the result or at least request a review by next level management.

  • Be balanced, recording information on both the good and the bad aspects of an employee's performance (as far as possible).

  • Provide timely feedback, especially to marginal or poor performers. Not offering feedback on performance (even informally) prior to a review and then presenting an employee with a bad assessment will almost certainly lead to resentment and possibly conflict.

  • Employees who receive a poor performance review should be given a reasonable chance to improve.

Performance Review Don’ts;

  • Reviews should not be used in a punitive or retaliatory fashion.

  • Reviews must not be used to discriminate against employees on the basis of race, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, pregnancy, or sexual orientation.

  • Reviews should not use inflammatory and emotive language. Ensure that criticisms relates only to the job requirements and are not based on personal or other issues that have little or no connection with the actual job role.

  • Review results should not be used as the sole basis for promotion, remuneration or termination decisions. A broad range of information should be considered, in which the employee's appraisal results may form part of the decision criteria.

Other important things to note;

  • Retain detailed records. In the case of poor performers, or persons dismissed or demoted, or those who resign or leave in less than happy circumstances, we suggest that their performance review records, together with critical incident reports and other relevant documents, be archived indefinitely. Check with your legal advisors for any specific timeframes for record keeping requirements.

  • If a performance review result is poor (or in any way likely to be controversial or provocative), ask an objective third party for their views on whether it seems fair and reasonable.

  • Managers and supervisors who are required to conduct performance reviews should be trained in review management technics and strict processes should be in place to avoid any missteps or misunderstandings.

  • Appraisal results are considered private and confidential information. Record storage should be secure and controlled. Only those within the business whose role it is to know the outcomes should have access to an employee's performance review information.

If you have concerns about your performance management process, need help creating new policies and procedures or if you need advice or assistance regarding an Employment Law issue, please contact us and we can provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation.