Guidelines for Appraisal Letters


Managers are people who are in charge of overseeing the operations of the business that they work for. They have to see if the quality of the products or services are doing well, if policies and procedures are being followed, and most importantly, they have to see if employees are working at a level that the company expects them to.

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This is the reason why there are performance reviews wherein the managers go one-on-one with employees to discuss their performance. However, it is required that the employee receives a document that will give him or her an idea of what will be discussed during the review. These documents are what you call appraisal letters, and this article will focus on the guidelines you’ll have to follow in order to make one.

Guidelines for employee appraisals

Conducting performance reviews is critical in ensuring an employee’s success. This can help build a relationship between the employee and the manager, as well as let the employee understand what the company expects out of him or her. So if you plan on creating an appraisal letter that you’ll want to hand out to your employee before the review, then the following are the guidelines that you’ll have to take note of:

  • Design a standard form or letter for your appraisal. This has to include the name of the employee, the date when the form or letter was made, the date that specifies the time interval over which the employee is being evaluated, performance dimensions, a rating system, comments regarding the employee’s overall performance, and a line where both the employee and his or her supervisor have to place their signatures. Be careful when wording your form as your employee can sign saying that he or she has understood and accepts the appraisal, or the employee signed the letter stating that he or she has just read the appraisal.
  • Schedule the performance review example around six months after the employee has started employment. This is the probationary period wherein you will be able to do a proper performance evaluation regarding everything the employee has done within the past six months. Once that’s finished, you may then schedule another performance review another six months later, then you may now schedule the employee’s review every year on his or her anniversary date.
  • Before you hand out the letter, you’re going to have to tell the employee that there will be a scheduled performance review. Then you will need to remind the employee what will be involved during the process. Once that’s done, you may then submit the letter so that the employee can go through it and prepare any comments that he or she may have for the upcoming meeting. It’s best that you schedule the meeting about two weeks out.
  • You have to be sure that you’re familiar with the job requirements of the employee that you’re appraising and that you’ve had sufficient contact with the employee to ensure valid judgment. Do not make any unnecessary comments such as one that aims at the employee’s religion, race, sex, nationality, or even handicap. Record all of the employee’s major accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses, and the suggested actions that will help the employee improve his or her performance. Always address the behavior of the employee in the workplace and not his or her personality and characteristics.
  • Nothing should come as a surprise during the employee evaluation meeting. Any performance issues that the employee had should have been addressed as soon as they occurred. The things that are going to be discussed during the review must also be in the appraisal letter.

Tips for writing appraisal letters

Now that you’ve learned all about the guidelines, you should be ready to create your own appraisal letter. So if you do plan on making one, then here are some tips you can follow to help you out:

  • The first thing that you’ll have to take note of is that it’s important that you keep an air of professionalism in your appraisal letter. You want to make sure that the focus of the letter is based on your subordinate’s performance as an employee. If you show your employee that you’re comparing his achievements to that of his colleagues, then you might risk discouraging the employee from excelling in his work.
  • Remember to keep the tone of the letter polite and formal. Appraisal letter templates are meant to be taken seriously as your employees need these in order to validate all the information they possess regarding how well they’re doing in the company. So make sure that your letter is both formal and polite so that you won’t get into any problems with your employee.
  • The appraisal letter should be brief and concise. You want to get straight to the point and tell the employee if he or she is doing a good job or not. You don’t want to make it too long as your employee may be overloaded with information. So just state what the employee is doing well at, what the employee is having problems with, and how you want him or her to fix these problems.
  • After you’ve finished writing your letter, make sure that you check it for errors. You’re not just checking it for grammatical errors or typos, you should see if the tone of the letter as well as the information it contains is exactly what you want. So go over it thoroughly before you hand it over to the employee.

If you would like to know more about appraisal letters, such as ones for self-appraisals, and how they’re made, then you can go through any of our articles that should be able to give you the information that you need.

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