Performance reviews

Performance reviews, also known as performance appraisals or performance evaluations, are a form of assessment where an employer or manager will evaluate an employee’s performance at work. This can include: identifying any strengths and weaknesses, providing feedback, and setting goals for the future. 

How should I prepare for my performance review? 

Performance reviews can be done casually or formally – either way, we would encourage you to prepare for it. Here are our tips to help your review be successful: 

  • Prepare notes on what you want to talk about. 
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Note any accomplishments since your previous review. 
  • Note any issues you have experienced since your previous review. 
  • Collect examples of how you have met goals that were set in your previous review. 
  • Self-evaluate your work since your previous review. 
  • Prepare any questions or issues you are facing to discuss with your line manager – this is the perfect opportunity to discuss them. 

Should I be worried about a performance review? 

It is perfectly normal to be worried about a performance review, even if you have nothing to be worried about, as you may not know what to expect.  

Performance reviews are a standard procedure in workplaces. They provide a space for employers to provide positive and constructive feedback to employees. This also offers an opportunity for employees to discuss any issues or concerns with their employer. 

What should I do in a performance review? 

We would advise that you talk about your experiences since your last review, including: 

  • Any questions you have. 
  • Concerns at work. 
  • Progress on targets set in your last review. 
  • What you think is going well. 
  • What you think could be better. 
  • Any support you feel you need to complete your job and develop.  

Your employer will appreciate any insight that you can provide them as it will help them to improve workplace policies and employee expectations. 

What should I avoid in a performance review? 

It is important that you take the review process seriously and talk about the right things.  

  • Don’t get defensive – while it can be hard to hear criticism about your performance, it can also provide insight into how you can improve at work. 
  • Don’t use excuses – we’re all human and make mistakes, it is best to own them and learn from them. 
  • Think before you respond. 
  • Don’t blame others as it makes you look unprofessional. 
  • Don’t directly ask for a rise – first, ensure you are well equipped with your accomplishments to prove that you deserve one. 

What should I do after a performance review? 

It’s over – but what should you do next?  

  • Ask questions – this is your time to get clarification on anything your employer raised. 
  • Think about your employer’s feedback and what you can do to improve on the points raised. 
  • If your employer has agreed a development plan – ensure this is followed up with them. 
  • Think about your development and how you can improve in your role. 
  • Set yourself goals to accomplish over the next year. 
  • Ask for feedback throughout the year on your progress. 
  • Prepare for your next performance review by keeping track of your accomplishments. 

I’ve had a negative performance review. What’s next? 

It can be difficult to hear negative feedback, and you are entitled to feel lost, angry, and upset. However, it is important to take the relevant steps to improve on your performance. 

  • Listen to and reflect upon the feedback. 
  • Use feedback to better your performance. 
  • Get clarification on points raised and ask questions – such as how you can improve or for specific examples if you don’t understand.  
  • Agree a performance plan with your employer on how you can improve. 
  • Make sure to own up to mistakes. 
  • Don’t get angry – while hearing negative comments about yourself can be hard, getting angry will make things worse. 
  • Focus on what happens next – the review is over, but what is important is to use that feedback to improve your performance. 

Under the ACAS Code of Practice, it is your employer’s responsibility to support your development at work. They should outline your weaknesses and set achievable targets based off their findings.  

Can I be dismissed for a negative performance review? 

Poor performance is something that you can be dismissed for. However, you must first be provided with several verbal warnings, followed by a warning in writing. 

Under the ACAS Code of Practice, your employer must give you opportunity to improve and provide support to allow you to do so. Any objectives set must be made clear to you and must be achievable.  

Your employer must follow a fair dismissal procedure if they intend to fire you for poor performance. If they fail to do so, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.  

My employer has lied in my performance review. What do I do? 

Lying on a performance review is a serious matter. We would first advise you to query the false information as it may be an oversight which can easily be rectified.  

If you believe your employer has lied on your performance review with malicious intent or for discriminatory reasons, they may be liable under discrimination, libel, or defamation of character. If you believe this is the case, contact Community immediately for support. 

If you need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332. 


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