Never discuss the issue with your co-workers. Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. That said, I am of the view that “for every problem there is a solution.” I strongly suggest that every employee who believes that his or her Performance Review is incorrect, improper or otherwise “corrupted” should respond in an appropriate and effective way. Though it is a sensitive topic, if it helps keep you employed, or helps you get a better bonus, or even makes a transfer possible, it may just be worth the effort. Step #7: Plan For Your Next Review. 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. 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. When Margaret met with her supervisor, as was the custom, Margaret was handed a copy of her annual review to read before the two discussed it. 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. ” Try not to use the words “he, she, they, us, or them.” Instead, use the words “the Review,” or “the Reviewer.” Keep it cool, calm and professional; no personal invective, even if it is warranted. If you are invited to participate in a meeting, then be prepared. Legal advice can only be rendered after formal retention of counsel, and must take into account the facts and circumstances of a particular case. 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." In an email, ask HR (a) if a certain procedure or form is required, (b) if so, where can you get a written description of that procedure or form, and (c) if there is a deadline to your filing your response. 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. She was told there was nothing she could do. 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. In February of each year, Margaret’s company disseminated annual performance reviews. Consider whether others have faced or reported similar problems with your Reviewer. 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. Compare your previous years' performance appraisals to the current one, and review all performance-related materials in your employment file. How to Write a Rebuttal Letter to Your Employer. 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. 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. Then transmit your Performance Review Rebuttal to your best “target,” usually either one or more of (i) your Reviewer, (ii) his/her manager, and (iii) your Human Resources Representative. 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. 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. Even then, I expect you will now be better equipped to respond with respect, clarity, focus, organization, effect, and confidence. Seek Legal Counsel – Once you can prove your performance review was inaccurate, find legal counsel to help you understand your rights. As she opened the papers before her, Margaret was startled to see a few comments that seemed negative, and a few “needs improvement” boxes checked. Are your achievement of assigned goals or specified success criteria being ignored in your Performance Review? 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. Photocopy the performance appraisal to use as a working copy for your draft. 16. The problem with refusing to sign a performance appraisal is that your refusal can introduce an adversarial tone to the appraisal discussion. 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. 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. 3 z Responding to a Disappointing Performance Review limiting defensiveness. No one is entirely pure of heart. Here are ten things never, ever to say during your performance review meeting! No one is free from all forms and all degrees of prejudice. 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. Take some time to reflect and calm down before you begin writing a rebuttal letter. Keep your words and phrases impersonal and professional. For example, if your … Get a copy of your Performance Review, and read it over carefully. These days, and henceforth, those facing a problematic Performance Review have no real choice but to submit an effective Performance Review Rebuttal. 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. Afterwards, she walked straight over to Human Resources, and shared her feelings of upset, anger and betrayal. 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. Listen to what your boss has to say: Always make it a point to listen to what your boss has to tell. Make your points clearly and as ever stick to the big issues and ignore the minor ones. 14. Of course, it is possible that your biggest issue is not listed above. An unfair performance review can leave you fuming, fearing for your job, or both. One Empowered and Productive Employee at a Time ™. It should be a reasoned approach, leading the reader to view you to be respectful, rational and reasonable, and for those reasons, come away from reading your rebuttal convinced that “Surely, something is amiss.”. When you receive an unfair work evaluation, you'll likely be angry or hurt. • Terms & Conditions Here is the correct performance review with a higher mark." It is not a mental impression. 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. 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. 4. SkloverWorkingWisdom™ emphasizes smart negotiating – and navigating – for yourself at work. • Receive our Posts (RSS Feed) Concentrate on the major issues you have already identified and stick to your prepared response. is a perfect idiot.”. A rebuttal will likely gain you nothing. Chances are that you did not read … Nobody likes receiving a negative performance review, but an incorrect or inappropriate response could make the situation worse. I know this is easier said than done. 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. 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