In February of each year, Margaret’s company disseminated annual performance reviews. Its goals need to be: (1) to make a correct and true record of your performance; (2) to ensure that negative consequences do not follow, whether a Performance Improvement Plan, a reduced bonus or even job loss; and (3) to show the Reviewer and others that the employee is capable and prepared to defend his or her performance record, and hence his or her career and your family. Seek Legal Counsel – Once you can prove your performance review was inaccurate, find legal counsel to help you understand your rights. 10. Gone is the time that an employee who receives a negative Performance Review can simply say, “Oh, well, I will just try harder next year.” That time is long gone. © 2012 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved. The second statement does not logically follow from the first. These 16 Effective Steps to a Robust Rebuttal to a problematic Performance Review together constitute a mindful and proper response. When she saw her overall evaluation to be “Partially Meets Expectations,” her first thought was “They must have given me someone else’s performance review by mistake.” No such luck; it was hers, and it was brutal. You may make a request for a “review of the review,” a correction preferably by a completely new Performance Review, or a different Overall Rating. Of course, it is possible that your biggest issue is not listed above. It's not just a case of correct spelling and grammar; you must write in an effective style. Some companies may not have such highly detailed policy, but in any organization where performance reviews exist, there will be at minimum a conventional procedure for contesting them. On top of that, 69% of employees said they weren’t given specific examples to … If this is not the customary practice of your employer, in an email ask your supervisor and/or your Human Resources for a copy, and ask that it be sent to you by email. Inconsistent statements suggest that your Reviewer either didn’t devote sufficient time and focus to preparing your Performance Review, or he or she is trying to force a conclusion out of facts that don’t lead to it. Time and again, internal audits showed her division to be among the most efficient, profitable and growing in the company. Legal advice can only be rendered after formal retention of counsel, and must take into account the facts and circumstances of a particular case. The individual should keep a positive tone throughout the letter and express optimism regarding the resolution of the matter. It may be that potential appraisals have been overlooked, so you should stick to the major points and concentrate on issues that can be demonstrated. And always do what you can to achieve for yourself, your family, and your career. As requested Margaret signed her name at the bottom of the last page. Even if you believe “This is personal,” you must not permit your Rebuttal to make it appear that you are getting down to that level. Take time to craft a non-emotional written response to the review, including factual examples that show why you believe the review is inaccurate. The most salient points you can raise are probably above, for you to use and adapt to your own situation. How to Write a Rebuttal Letter to Your Employer. Never make an informal response to a performance review, but find out what the correct procedure is and adhere to it. To obtain a copy, simply [click here.] The four matters mentioned above – (a) your not receiving any prior notice of dissatisfaction or inadequacy all year long, (b) your being out for a good part of the year due to approved reasons, (c) your or your department’s performance being better than other departments or other company’s, and (d) your time and attention being diverted to other projects by management – are the four most commonly seen. If you are not an experienced or confident writer, then seek help from somebody outside the organization, preferably somebody with direct experience of performance review procedures. Step #7: Plan For Your Next Review. Performance Review Coming Up? [Image: L’effet du mélodrame via Wikimedia Commons ] SkloverWorkingWisdom™ emphasizes smart negotiating – and navigating – for yourself at work. Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Contesting a performance review is not just about the bad points. Maybe if your company has a 360 degree review policy or something similar, your can cite this as a specific example of performance review mismanagement. If you have carefully considered the steps outlined above, putting together an effective Performance Review Rebuttal should be an easier task than you might have imagined. Surely something is in error, as the two statements have no rational connection. Institutional organizations usually have a highly detailed procedure; study it carefully and follow it through to the letter. Never discuss the issue with your co-workers. Unfortunately though, employers occasionally use these tools as part of their efforts to make sure they're getting the best out of … Performance reviews can be tough to sit through, especially if you don't agree with your boss's feedback. Make Sure It is Best Possible If at all possible, your Performance Review Rebuttal should be no more than two or three pages. But remember the goal of a performance review: to improve performance. Of course, they were not contacted. Are Performance Reviews ever modified as a result? • Alan L. Sklover’s Blog. That is why Margaret didn’t see it coming. You may want to move forward as soon as possible if, as is common, your bonus for the year will soon be based on your annual performance rating. 12. • Become a Member (10% OFF) The letter must be factual and display minimal emotion. Be sure to include specific examples of where you excelled. For example, “Yes, I did not attend four client meetings out of the seven that took place, BUT I was in the hospital during each of the four meetings due to my heart condition.” Here is another “affirmative defense”: “Yes, my group did not make enough bricks to build the pyramid, BUT we were not given the straw to make the bricks.” A third one is “Yes, we did not make the required revenue target last year, BUT that is because our CEO forgot to provide the necessary approvals to close the deals necessary to make those targets.” Yet another: “Yes, we did not meet with the important client, and that upset him, BUT he repeatedly tried to molest a member of our team, and our reports of this to HR went unheeded; for safety reasons, we could not meet with him.”. . These days, and henceforth, those facing a problematic Performance Review have no real choice but to submit an effective Performance Review Rebuttal. His credits include hard backed books and numerous academic articles. For example, is the response usually put into the employee’s HR file? 4. No one is entirely pure of heart. When employees get an unfair performance appraisal, typically their only choices are to accept the blot on their work record or find a new job. Ask that your recipient(s) acknowledge receipt of your Performance Review Rebuttal by means of a reply email. Unfair Disciplinary Action It is also important that the appraisal or disciplinary action be unfair. Make a list of comments based on “extreme subjectivity.” I can’t count the number of times clients have reported statements in their Performance Reviews like this one: “Failed to make me feel comfortable in her abilities,” or “Needs to make himself more visible.” Or how about this doozy: “His work does not please me.” None of these can be proven, or disproven, and all are potentially either (a) made up (that is, falsified), (b) mental impressions without basis in reality, or (c) entirely capable of being based in personal animosity, discrimination or other improper motive. Another reason that Margaret didn’t see it coming. What really bugs me this goes against some very basic principles of performance evaluation. It's best not to vent these feelings immediately or argue with the supervisor. The first is important for the present; the second and third are important for the future. Don’t do it. But trivial criticisms are really a bonus, because if that was the worse criticism that could be made, then there is nothing seriously bad. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Here are 16 Steps to a Robust Rebuttal to a Performance Review that is inaccurate, misleading, wrong, unfair, dishonest or otherwise problematic: 1. Get the facts without getting defensive. .” but instead, “The review is mistaken when it says. If no specific procedure or form is required, ask your HR representative what usually transpires when an employee files a rebuttal to a Performance Review. Take some time to reflect and calm down before you begin writing a rebuttal letter. Chances are that you did not read … Instead, state that he has given you much to think about, and exit. ], Repairing the World – If the review is accurate, use it as an opportunity to figure out ways to improve your performance. The following question is commonly asked of me: “Must I acknowledge receipt of my Performance Review?” The answer is, “If you are asked to do so, yes, you must.” Otherwise, it could be deemed a refusal to cooperate with company procedures, which is a kind of insubordination, for which you could be fired. Get a copy of your Performance Review, and read it over carefully. Problematic Performance Reviews arrive in your email mailbox when you least expect them. Today, I find that issues of Performance Reviews, and their “cousins,” Performance Improvement Plans, to be among the top reasons people contact me, or review my blogsite. Just make sure you have given considerable thought to what it is you want, and that you respectfully request it. We apologize. If you have previously been assigned objective goals or achievement criteria – such as seeing at least 18 patients per day, or perhaps lowering your department’s overhead by 7.5% – are you being measured against those objective criteria? Whether you decide to change companies or are motivated to continue in your current role, performance review time will come again and O’Sullivan advises that you be read. If your goal is a severance package, you may want to review our many articles, Q&A’s and videos on our blogsite’s Resource Center. This is a sample disagreement letter format to an employer by an employee for performance evaluation.The purpose of this online sample letter template is to familiarize you with the right format for this kind of a cover letter and get you the best example to make a beginning. Just one “poison arrow” can kill your credibility, obscure your arguments, and turn your readers off. To write a rebuttal to a negative performance review, an employee should quote the erroneous sections of the review that need rebuttal. That can only make things worse, and can even get you immediately fired for bad conduct, which is the worst thing that could possibly happen. Rob Hildegard has more than 25 years of ghostwriting experience. If you strongly disagree with a few points, you’re entitled to dispute them in … Listen to what your boss has to say: Always make it a point to listen to what your boss has to tell. Take all available steps to increase and secure employment “rewards” and eliminate or reduce employment “risks.” That’s what SkloverWorkingWisdom™ is all about. • Terms & Conditions If however, after being brutally honest with yourself, you decide that the assessment is inaccurate, it may reveal that your boss is—either unintentionally or purposely—overlooking your accomplishments. Worse still, far worse: she did not know where it was headed. If you get an unfair work review, Gone is the time that an employee who receives a negative Performance Review can when an employee files a rebuttal to a Performance Review. Such Performance Review Rebuttals should be addressed to a Senior Manager – not HR – and should address and correct (a) false information, (b) things taken out of context, (c) minor items blown out of proportion, and (d) improper motivations, such as retaliation, discrimination or fraudulent cost-cutting. I am afraid I must go to the ladies’ room, and then home.” Such a “physical malady” is always an acceptable ticket out of a difficult, stressful situation, and is not capable of mischaracterization as “walked out of the meeting,” which would be quite negative for you. It is just a fact: humans are imperfect. Does someone usually investigate? Having others – especially influential others – vouch for your good performance can only help. I know this is easier said than done. Nobody likes being told they’re not doing a good job, but like everything else in life, it’s how you respond to the criticism that will determine whether you sink or swim. If you can identify other facts, acts, events or circumstances, that might lead others to say, “Yes, that makes sense – I think you are probably right about there being improper motivation(s) for your poor Performance Review.” Try to be specific, for specificity leads inexorably to credibility, and lack of specificity leads others to doubt your view. When you receive a bad review, there is temptation to take an issue with every negative statement. In a 2013 poll of U.S. employees, 53% of respondents said their review was not a fair, accurate representation of their performance, and 65% said they were surprised by review feedback they got. Keeping in mind the overall goals of your effort, and the facts before you, it is always good to be clear toward the end of your Performance Review Rebuttal about what you would like to happen, and why. And, yes, I have come to view them as something that an attorney can – and should – help employees with. When a defendant is alleged to have committed a bad act in a lawsuit, the defendant usually says, in effect, “I did not do that.” However, the defendant can also say, “I admit that I did that, BUT because of something else, it was NOT WRONG to do so.” That is called an “affirmative defense.”, Here are a few examples: Incapacity: “Yes, Tax Auditor, I failed to file my taxes on time three months ago, but I was in a coma at the time.” Coercion: “Yes, Officer, I did take the jewelry from the store, but a kidnapper had my child and said that if I did not do it, he would kill the child.” Higher Purpose: “Yes, Your Honor, I was traveling faster than the speed limit, but at the time I was bringing a seriously burned firefighter to the nearest hospital, and it was necessary to save his life.”, These and other “affirmative defenses” admit the wrongful act, but still argue against liability for doing the wrongful act. Ask your boss to explain each criticism. If many others view your performance as positive, maybe your Reviewer does, in fact, have it wrong. An unfair performance evaluation is stressful to deal with. It is whether or not, in fact and reality, assigned tasks were accomplished and responsibilities fulfilled. It is not a mental impression. A rebuttal should be limited to a single page, include examples of how you helped your company reach its goals, and include complimentary comments from co-workers, says Joanne Cini, author of "Kingmaker: Be the One Your Company Wants to Keep ... on Your Terms." Model Memo: To Enhance Your Upcoming Performance Review Are your achievement of assigned goals or specified success criteria being ignored in your Performance Review? Remember that many supervisors will always include a number of negative elements; company policy may even dictate this. If you want to ventilate your frustration or anger, then do it with somebody outside the organization. Do not get drawn into long discussions on minor issues but concede and brush them aside. You might ask around about such things, but if you do so, do it discreetly. No matter what, keep calm and courteous throughout your Performance Review meeting. To obtain a copy, simply [click here.]. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. And ask, too, for a response within a reasonable period of time, usually seven to ten working days. 16. Photocopy the performance appraisal to use as a working copy for your draft. In most cases, rebuttal is, at best, a waste of time. I’ve seen many instances in which supervisors have ignored the achievement of objective performance criteria because the achievements have been positive, and have reported, instead, more subjective alleged failures, incapable of being proven, such as “lack of pride in work,” “failure to lead effectively,” and “poor oversight of subordinates.” I always say to myself, “How could a person fail as an employee, as a leader and as a supervisor, and yet have his department achieve all of its assigned, objective criteria of success?” It is an important point to make if your assigned goals and specified objective criteria are being ignored. Compare your previous years' performance appraisals to the current one, and review all performance-related materials in your employment file. For example, if your sales for the year were 2% under goal, and your Performance Review says they were 20% below goal, that is surely significant. LESSON TO LEARN: In the first 25 or so of my 30+ years of working with employees, I shared the commonly held view that Performance Reviews were “no big deal,” that they were not usually cause for concern, and that they surely were not anything an attorney was involved with. Gather your thoughts into a Performance Review Rebuttal which is a respectful, reasoned and focused response. If the negative job appraisal is true, such as the employee’s sales figures have fallen in the past 12 months, or the employee has systematically broken office rules, there is no point in sending a rebuttal … Post was not sent - check your email addresses! That said, you never have to say or write that you agree with the substantive contents of your Performance Review. Imagine, just for the moment, that you learn that over the past four years nine of your colleagues have also experienced false, dishonest, or mistaken Performance Reviews from this Reviewer, and each was later found to be correct in their rebuttals. Additionally, refusing to allow an employee rebuttal sends the message that the company isn’t open to employee feedback. Be prepared to concede some mistakes. She was told perhaps she should consider looking “elsewhere.”. You can (a) acknowledge that “I have received a copy of this Performance Review,” but also write in (b) “However, I do not agree with its contents, and plan to submit a rebuttal.”. 3. 2. 14. She was told performance reviews are “not negotiable.” She was told that perhaps she should consider whether her job was really the right fit for her. While nothing can be guaranteed as to the result of your efforts, what is guaranteed is that learning how to stand up for yourself – and thus for your career and your family – is what you need to do in the modern world of working. Please Note: This Newsletter is not legal advice, but only an effort to provide generalized information about important topics related to employment and the law. . Ponder who that may be, and consider asking them for a simple email expressing their satisfaction, if not joy, with the results of your work. Note any (a) factual errors, (b) inconsistent statements, and (c) failures in reasoning. If somebody makes an general affirmation, ask for clarification, details or examples. 9. Chances are that you did not read your Performance Review carefully at your meeting, and don’t have a clear recollection of what you did read. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Performance Review Approaching? If allowing the employee to write a reply helps achieve that goal, it’s a good thing. The past five years or so has made me feel quite different. 11/16/2015 Generally, the value of a rebuttal to a performance review that you received and that you disagree with is very limited, and it usually will not make much of a difference. ], We offer a Model Memo entitled “Performance Review Rebuttal” that you can use as a model for your own efforts. New York Times: Bad Review? While you are writing, bear in mind that the goals of your efforts are to (1) correct the “record,” (2) to prevent any negative consequences from it, and (3) to show you are capable of protecting yourself. Get a copy of your Performance Review, and read it over carefully. Failure to take such matters into consideration when evaluating an employee’s performance makes the evaluation a mischaracterization, a miscalculation, and nothing less than a significant error by the Reviewer himself or herself. 11. Now the rest is up to you. That is because they are sometimes “corrupted” by (a) false information, making them potentially fraudulent, (b) improper motivations, such as discrimination or harassment, (c) damaging to professional reputations, and (d) in my humble opinion, increasingly being used to deny employees what they have earned, the protections supposedly afforded them by company policies, or even their jobs. Negotiation of work and career issues requires that you think “out of the box,” and build value and avoid risks at every point in your career. is a perfect idiot.”. The same goes for errors in reasoning. • Receive our Posts (RSS Feed) Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of a poor performance review or disciplinary action at work. Make your points clearly and as ever stick to the big issues and ignore the minor ones. Some companies may not have such highly detailed policy, but in any organization where performance reviews exist, there will be at minimum a conventional procedure for contesting them. If you are unhappy about approaching your supervisor to find out the correct route to take, or if your direct supervisor was responsible for the bad report, then approach the human resources department for help. Avoid the use of personal invective and criticisms. For example, if your … For example, on the one hand, a sales achievement of 135% of goal, and on the other hand, “failed to meet sales goal” are simply not both possible. You may want (i) a correction, (ii) your Rebuttal attached, (iii) a whole new Review, (iv) a different boss by means of a transfer, or (v) perhaps a severance package, or 100 other different things. While your “target” is a matter of choice, how you send it is not. I am also of the firm opinion that, if not addressed promptly and thoughtfully, a negative Performance Review can become a much greater problem, potentially leading to a lower bonus, diminished chances for advancement, loss of ability to transfer within the company, or even job loss. Many times we see important circumstances not taken into account when performance is evaluated. Be honest about where you need to improve, and request the next steps. After you’ve reviewed the appraisal objectively, write a letter of appeal and build your case. On the other hand, if your sales for the quarter were $2,000,002, and your Performance Review says “2 million,” that is simply not significant. If the negative job appraisal is true, such as the employee’s sales figures have fallen in the past 12 months, or the employee has systematically broken office rules, there is no point in sending a rebuttal letter. Your employee assistance program (EAP) can also provide guidance. [performancereviews]. Some forms only permit a certain number of words, or require only that certain boxes be checked off. Consider “affirmative defenses,” such as (a) periods of incapacity, (b) denial of necessary resources, (c) apparent sabotage, (d) harassment/hostility, and/or (e) a higher purpose, made it impossible. Keep your words and phrases impersonal and professional. • Recommend to your Friends Consider whether others have faced or reported similar problems with your Reviewer. If You Disagree, Say So. Email makes a clear record of (a) what was said, (b) who said it, (c) to whom, and (d) when it was said. Do not write “Bob lied when he wrote . Here is the correct performance review with a higher mark." For example, Bad performance review rebuttal keyword after analyzing the system lists the list of keywords related and the list of Bad performance review rebuttal examples. Learn the trade secrets and ‘uncommon common sense’ of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on “Negotiating for Yourself at Work.”, • How to use our Model Letters During the past year, Margaret’s division did not prosper, due to the economy, but it did not suffer, either. Learn rebuttal process– Ask HR to walk you through the performance review rebuttal process – so you know how your company allows you to defend yourself. *A note about our Actual Case Histories: In order to preserve client confidences, and protect client identities, we alter certain facts, including the name, age, gender, position, date, geographical location, and industry of our clients. ... 4 Gather evidence to support your rebuttal Collect statistics that demonstrate your strong performance if you've received an unfair review If your performance has. • Make notes of any questions you’d like to ask your manager at the next meeting. “The only perfect person And please do not say or write “I am not a buddy of the Reviewer, so she must have been targeting me as part of animosity.” And just because you reported wrongdoing, that – alone – does not mean that your Performance Review is an act of retaliation. It is also important that the appraisal or disciplinary action be unfair. We offer a Model Memo entitled “Requesting Performance Review Rebuttal Procedures and Forms.” To obtain a copy, just [click here]. Here are ten things never, ever to say during your performance review meeting! Ponder who you may find to be a Supportive Colleague, a Pleased Customer, or a Happy Higher-Up. One should only set a follow-up meeting to work on negative performance issues when one is convinced that issues are legitimate. If your required rebuttal form is “restrictive” in this way or others, just ignore it, and do what you think is your best job in rebutting. Yes, I have come to view Performance Reviews as sources of significant problems in the workplace. Performance is not a feeling. I also wrote a rebuttal and provided witnesses to contact. . Watch, in particular, for telltale words; for example, a supervisor continually referring to women as “girls” or to female parts of the body would likely convince many people that there may be present either gender discrimination or sexual harassment at work. Review can leave you fuming, fearing for your next review period I was told I be! And your career supervisor to go over her annual review a non-emotional written response then... Annual performance reviews are part of being in the motivations we sometimes have for doing:..., that “ getting even ” is not letter to take issues with issues not directly related to performance! Number of words, or require only that certain boxes be checked off Plan for your next review some. Be on the receiving end of a rebuttal letter is a respectful, reasoned and focused response: are! At a time ™ bad points review all performance-related materials in your email addresses reviews at the of! 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