University of California, Berkeley

The pre-review checklist and preparing for the review

  1. Set a calendar date and time in advance that is mutually convenient for both you and the employee, and that will allow enough time for each of you to do preparation. A conference room is a good choice for privacy and no interruptions. Schedule enough time for discussion [1 to 1-1/2 hours].
  2. Gather:
    • the job description and performance objectives
    • goals set from the current review period
    • work rules and procedures
    • your documentation notes
    • any feedback or letters from customers/co-workers
    • current disciplinary memos
    • the previous performance review
  3. If you have asked the employee to do a self-review, be sure to obtain that early enough so you have a chance to review it as as part of your preparation. 
  4. Before filling out the review form, take a moment to:
    • list the main areas of responsibility
    • what the employee has done well
    • what the employee needs to improve in
    • what you can do to help the employee do a better job
  5. Remember to avoid:
    • Halo Effect - tendency to overrate a favored employee, or an employee who had a prior good rating
    • Horns Effect - tendency to rate an employee lower than circumstances warrant
    • Recency Error- letting outstanding work [or unsatisfactory work] immediately prior to the evaluation offset an entire year of performance
    • Cookie Cutter Effect - not focusing on individual specific performance. Rating all your employees, or groups of employees the same