3 Tips to Give a Negative Performance Review

How to Handle Giving an Employee a Poor Performance Review

Make Sure You Do It Right

Having a positive employee review is easy. You applaud your employee’s accomplishments, discuss plans for the future, and (hopefully) give him a handsome raise.

Sadly, the same does not apply when you have to give a not-so-glowing review to an employee whose performance has been iffy at best.

Here’s how to handle a negative employee review so that both you and your employee both feel positive and motivated at the end of it.

3. Be Prepared

Most likely, your employee already knows his work has not been up to par. But there is the chance that your employee could be clueless and have no idea that you’re not satisfied with his performance. That’s why it’s important for you to do your due diligence before the upcoming review.

Cite specific examples where your employee dropped the ball on a deadline, or was disrespectful to you in front of your team. Having something to refer to while you are speaking to your employee will not only help support your review, but also act as a refresher should your employee deny any of your claims.

2. Listen

A negative employee review can quickly become heated, with both you and your worker launching into defense mode. After all, no one wants to be told that their performance is poor, or worse, that they are not going to get a raise or bonus because of it. So it’s up to you to keep things calm during the review.

After explaining why you’re disappointed in your employee’s work, give him time to talk. It may be that he was going through a personal problem unbeknownst to you that adversely affected his work. Perhaps he was assigned a project that proved far too challenging for him, and as a result, his work suffered. Or all he might be able to offer up are empty excuses.

Whatever the case, it’s important that your employee feels he’s being heard, so make sure you take the time to actually hear what he has to say.

1. Offer Incentives

After being told he hasn’t been doing well at work and isn’t going to get a raise to boot, your employee will definitely feel deflated.

If you believe in your worker and feel this period of poor work was simply temporary, it’s up to you to end your employee review on a positive note. Focus on a better future by explaining in detailed terms what you expect of him in the weeks and months to come. You should let him know if he does the work expected of him, he could get some workplace perks.

For example, you might allow him to work at home part-time or even help fund part of his education if he’s planning to go back to school. Offering incentives will help motivate your employee, keep him on track, and hopefully ensure a much better employee review down the road.

Some employees won’t warrant pay raises, but your high performers will eventually come calling for more money.


Developement, employment, HR