How to Write a Performance Appraisal Letter

As you might be able to tell from the abundance of different HR letter templates, there are quite a number of letters you might have to write if you are in a managerial position. After all, you would have a number of different responsibilities related to dealing with all your employees which would require letters to help facilitate communication. One such letter would be a performance appraisal letter that could let you gauge employee performance over set periods of time.

Of course, employee performance appraisal can be made easier, just like other tasks that a manager’s position would entail. One such aid would be letter templates, but it also pays to make sure that you have an understanding of how to write your performance appraisal letters. This can help assure yourself that you are actually writing such letters properly, which makes communication with your employees easier.

Steps for writing a performance appraisal letter

Of course, if you are to write any kind of document, then you would be required to have an in-depth understanding of the steps you need to follow. Aside from this being a vital part of a performance appraisal anatomy and a requirement, this is also a basic requirement for practically any kind of official letters. Such letters have very strict formatting, so it would be prudent to know these steps so that you can be certain that your letters adhere to standards.

Start by including the company’s letterhead

All official letters need to include a company letterhead. At its most basic, this can show the organization’s logo and name, which underlines the idea that the letter has to do with official business. This is something unavoidable as you would need this to reassure your recipient that your letter is genuinely related to the business of the company. This can have more practical uses in that you can list both your own and your recipient’s names here, which would make it possible to state everyone involved for future reference. This also lets your recipient confirm that the letter is indeed his.

Be sure to list the specific employee’s name

Of course, it would be absolutely necessary for you to list the employee’s name. This can make the task of delivery and storage considerably easier since the recipient’s name would be listed clearly.

Include a statement of intent

A performance appraisal letter should properly start with a statement at the beginning of the letter stating what the letter’s purpose is. This can be seen in most examples of sample performance report templates, where the senders state at the beginning that the letter is meant to evaluate one’s performance over a specific period of time. Placing this notice at the beginning serves to let the recipient know what the letter is about from the start, which may give some indication of what to expect in the rest of the letter.

Include the period covered by the appraisal

It is also important to list the specific period of time covered by the evaluation. This can serve to leave the recipient informed as to when their performance and behavior were monitored. It would arguably be fair to let the employee know when they were being evaluated so that they can judge how their performance seemed to them vis-a-vis the evaluation given by the management. At worst, employees may see a need to send a letter to explain themselves if necessary, but it is only right that they are informed of this in the actual letter.

Give a frank, objective evaluation of the given employee

When actually giving the evaluation of the employee, it is important that you list your impression of their performance in your sample appraisal letters. This allows you to be sure that you have given a clear idea of how the employee has done for the duration of the evaluation. After all, you would want your employees to do as well as possible, which is why it would be so important to be clear during your appraisal of their performance.

List the criteria for judgment

In order to provide some context to the evaluation, it would be best if you listed the criteria for how you appraised your employee’s performance. This can be seen in sample HR evaluation forms but you can also specify these criteria in a performance appraisal letter. This would make it easy for your employees to understand by what standards you graded their performance.

Include specific details that contributed to the decision

As with other kinds of letters like employee recommendation letters and promotion offer letters, you may also want to include the specific details that led you to your decision. For example, if your employees consistently demonstrated a good work ethic and attention to detail, you can state that those were factors that influenced the final evaluation you gave them. This can also be an indicator of what behavior you want your employees to continue so as to keep up their performance. You should also take the time to include a statement of encouragement so that you can encourage them to keep it up to everyone’s benefit.

Provide a list of either benefits or tasks, depending on the actual performance

When the appraisal is finished, you should include some more details resulting from that appraisal. If employees were judged as having good performance, then you should include some of the benefits you offer to hard-working employees to encourage them further. In the case of low-performance employees, you can make use of performance action plan templates to help come up with a plan for adjusting their performance so that they can meet your basic standards and move up from there.

These insights are generally true of most kinds of documents you might use in the course of your work. After all, if you were to use sample HR appraisal forms, you would still have to have an understanding of how they work in order to make the most of them. However, you may be able to apply some of these insights to other kinds of templates, so you may be able to get more uses out of these tools than you might think.