Writing Performance Reviews: A Write It Well Guide

How to write performance objectives, reviews, and other documentation that is clear, specific, and effective in today’s workplace.

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Does it take you too long to write performance reviews? Do your reviews clearly describe what employees need to improve and what strengths they can continue to build? Do you know the criteria for acceptable performance documentation?

Writing Performance Reviews: A Write It Well Guide is a user-friendly book filled with guidelines, tips, and tools that will help you write performance objectives, reviews, appraisals, and other performance documentation that is clear, descriptive, objective, and acceptable in today’s workplace.

The book includes examples, questions, and activities to help you learn on your own, with your team, or with others in your organization.


Performance reviews can be just a routine or they can be leveraged to engage employees and managers in important conversations. Strong writing skills can create structures for these meaningful conversations.

—Ellen Raboin, Researcher and Consultant, Human and Organization Systems, CareQuest Consulting

With the increased pace of the business environment, writing and delivering effective performance evaluations is becoming a lost art. This book reminds people how to write a performance evaluation that will be useful to you as a manager and a welcome development tool for your employee.

—Craig Pampeyan, Director, Business Operations, Hewlett Packard

Writing Performance Reviews is a great tool to help you ensure that the performance documentation you prepare has all of its positive intended effects, and doesn’t lead to unintended problems.

—Jonathan Hughes, Director and Business Litigator, Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, PC

I recommend this book! It’s a great resource for the people–employee relations consultants, trainers, and managers of managers–who are all responsible for coaching and teaching others how to write effective performance management documentation.

—Belva Jennings, Talent Development and Training, Unum


A supervisor confronts no more difficult a task than evaluating subordinates. As a lawyer, I know that a badly done performance review is a path to court or to arbitration. "Writing Performance Reviews" leads supervisors around the potholes and bear traps. It shows how to evaluate performance by laying out the facts in a manner that leads the reader to his or her own conclusions about the employee's performance, without making unsupported conclusory statements that can be destroyed in an arbitration. The material is concise and includes invaluable examples. It is presented logically and clearly and will enable supervisors to prepare reviews efficiently and effectively.

David Madway