Above all, keep calm, but be persistent. 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.”. No matter what, keep calm and courteous throughout your Performance Review meeting. To obtain a copy, simply [click here.] Afterwards, she walked straight over to Human Resources, and shared her feelings of upset, anger and betrayal. 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. 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. There are, of course, many, many others. 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. During the past year, Margaret’s division did not prosper, due to the economy, but it did not suffer, either. 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. Get a copy of your Performance Review, and read it over carefully. 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. It is not “touchy-feely,” but rather “cold, hard reality.” If your performance review is loaded with mental impressions, feelings, emotions and/or other subjective statements, these should be raised in any Rebuttal you prepare. On top of that, 69% of employees said they weren’t given specific examples to … Speak Up Carefully, Performance Management and Appraisal Help Center: 7 Tips to Deal With a Bad Performance Review, Florida Education Association: Example of a Formal Rebuttal Procedure and Advice. 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. The same goes for errors in reasoning. • Recommend to your Friends 10. Do not write “Bob lied when he wrote . 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. Unfortunately though, employers occasionally use these tools as part of their efforts to make sure they're getting the best out of … Highlighting the good things ahead of type is a great way to influence the manager's opinion, but the article is really about handling an unfair or negative performance review. .” but instead, “The review is mistaken when it says. To obtain a copy, simply [click here.]. If at all possible, your Performance Review Rebuttal should be no more than two or three pages. 4. 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. Note, too, that “getting even” is not one of your goals. Seek Legal Counsel – Once you can prove your performance review was inaccurate, find legal counsel to help you understand your rights. 13. But trivial criticisms are really a bonus, because if that was the worse criticism that could be made, then there is nothing seriously bad. 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. Of course, it is possible that your biggest issue is not listed above. • Media Inquiries . 16. Do not get drawn into long discussions on minor issues but concede and brush them aside. General Tips for Crafting a Rebuttal Letter. 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. 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. 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. Having others – especially influential others – vouch for your good performance can only help. [Image: L’effet du mélodrame via Wikimedia Commons ] Time and again, internal audits showed her division to be among the most efficient, profitable and growing in the company. 9. Nothing new in that; that is what happened each year. Be honest about where you need to improve, and request the next steps. Chances are that you did not read … 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. Problematic Performance Reviews arrive in your email mailbox when you least expect them. 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? Rob Hildegard has more than 25 years of ghostwriting experience. Contesting a performance review is not just about the bad points. They are based in common sense, and are just as much a defense as is “I did not do the act.”, In the Performance Review context, certain “affirmative defenses” exist, too. 15. 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. 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. ], Repairing the World – Although it is important to make a timely response, how to act and what to contest must be carefully thought through to be as effective as possible. 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. Performance reviews are part of being in the workplace, and sometimes, unfortunately, bad performance reviews happen to good people. 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. 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 … Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. I also wrote a rebuttal and provided witnesses to contact. 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. Negative performance reviews are a big disappointment not only for the employee but also the reviewer When writing a rebuttal to a performance review. Another reason that Margaret didn’t see it coming. 12. Ask your Reviewer, or HR, whether a Rebuttal requires any special form, procedure, or timing. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! For example, if your sales total for one quarter was 2% under goal, and on this basis your Performance Review states that you failed to maintain client relations properly, the two just don’t make sense. Sample Rebuttal Letter for Performance Review Being on the receiving end of a disappointing performance review is never easy, especially if you thought your work did not require improvement. 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. It is not an emotion. 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. Alan L. Sklover, Employment Attorney and Career Strategist for over 35 years. Unfair Disciplinary Action It is also important that the appraisal or disciplinary action be unfair. 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. Please do not say to yourself, or write “I am a woman,” or “I am a Jew,” or “I am an older person,” and for this reason, alone, my Performance Reviewer must have been prejudiced in my review. She just never saw it coming. 8. That is to say, a robust Performance Review Rebuttal both addresses the past, and protects the future. 12 Ways to Enhance Yours, “Will submitting a Performance Review rebuttal backfire?”, 45 Rockefeller Plaza Ste. Make your points clearly and as ever stick to the big issues and ignore the minor ones. She was told perhaps she should consider looking “elsewhere.”. Compare your previous years' performance appraisals to the current one, and review all performance-related materials in your employment file. 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. • Receive our Posts (RSS Feed) While your “target” is a matter of choice, how you send it is not. Many times we see important circumstances not taken into account when performance is evaluated. Don’t do it. We also offer a 198-point Guide and Checklist to Responding Effectively to Your Performance Review. For example, if your … 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. 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. 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. 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. In February of each year, Margaret’s company disseminated annual performance reviews. If you are invited to participate in a meeting, then be prepared. No one is entirely pure of heart. And always do what you can to achieve for yourself, your family, and your career. We apologize. Avoid the use of personal invective and criticisms. • Become a Member (10% OFF) For example, is the response usually put into the employee’s HR file? 6. 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. • Terms & Conditions It is a common practice among most employers to provide employees with  copies of their Performance Reviews at the end of such meetings. 11. That is why Margaret didn’t see it coming. Make a list of all factual errors that exist in your Performance Review, provided they are not simple typos or otherwise without significance. Ask that your recipient(s) acknowledge receipt of your Performance Review Rebuttal by means of a reply email. Gather your thoughts into a Performance Review Rebuttal which is a respectful, reasoned and focused response. But remember the goal of a performance review: to improve performance. We also guarantee that this approach – respectful, reasoned, focused, hitting the important points, and being clear about what you believe needs to be done to correct the problem – is the best approach there is. Be sure to include specific examples of where you excelled. These days, and henceforth, those facing a problematic Performance Review have no real choice but to submit an effective Performance Review Rebuttal. 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. In most cases, rebuttal is, at best, a waste of time. Note any (a) factual errors, (b) inconsistent statements, and (c) failures in reasoning. Take all available steps to increase and secure employment “rewards” and eliminate or reduce employment “risks.” That’s what SkloverWorkingWisdom™ is all about. If a certain form is required, do not limit yourself to it. 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. Consider whether others have faced or reported similar problems with your Reviewer. Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of a poor performance review or disciplinary action at work. An unfair performance review can leave you fuming, fearing for your job, or both. Step #7: Plan For Your Next Review. Are Performance Reviews ever modified as a result? 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.”. … 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. Does someone usually investigate? And she had not received any negative reports, comments or complaints. 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. Keep your words and phrases impersonal and professional. is a perfect idiot.”. 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. When you receive it, read it over carefully, perhaps twice, and make a list of (a) things in it that are in error, (b) reasoning or logic that is in error, (c) things that should be in it but are missing, (d) grossly subjective statements, and (e) all the other reasons it is unfair, dishonest and improperly motivated. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 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. Some people get angry and loud – or even threatening – when they are dishonestly or unfairly criticized. To write a rebuttal to a negative performance review, an employee should quote the erroneous sections of the review that need rebuttal. It is also important that the appraisal or disciplinary action be unfair. His work has appeared on eZines and eHow. Ponder who you may find to be a Supportive Colleague, a Pleased Customer, or a Happy Higher-Up. 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. Year in and year out, Margaret’s performance reviews were either “exceeds expectations” or “meets all expectations.” What’s more, Margaret had received significant bonuses, promotions and awards for her good work.