One of the most dreaded times in any company is employee performance review time. The funny thing is that not only is a scary time for workers.  It’s also a terrifying time for those who have to do the evaluating as well.

While  it may be easy for you to evaluate your employees (or even talk about them with others), writing down these thoughts can be nothig short of nerve-wracking. Especially considering that the people you evaluate are those you have to face and deal with every day.

As a business manager, how do you make sure you are giving them an accurate and fair appraisal?

It is best to begin evaluating your employees in your own way long before the deadline kicks in. That  way, you will already have a wealth of reference material to base your evaluation by the time you file your report. An informal log sheet or record book can serve this purpose. This will be much better than being forced to craft an evaluation based only on the employee’s recent activities, something many business manager tend to do when they are pressed for time.

You might tend to favor employees you know personally over the ones you don’t.  Or give better assessments to the ones who share your values. Be sure you don’t let this bias skew your review.

Another thing to remember is that you are evaluating performance, not their character. Base your assessment on how he or she goes about his work. Avoid using his enmity with another person or department.  Her troubled social life outside the office should not have an affect on your evaluation.

When giving feedback about the performance of an employee, it helps to focus on the positive rather than the negative. This is to build morale and also to show you treat them as professionals. You should discuss the negatives; you have to tell the employee where he or she falls short. Just don’t focus on it in the evaluation if it’s not the central defining characteristic of the employee.

You can also consider multiple sourcing when it comes to reviews. You might have a team assigned to assist you in doing evaluations, have them help you out. Don’t make the mistake of soliciting them for comments about employees, rather let them conduct their own evaluation.

Be honest in your review. This is cliché for a reason. The main purpose of the review is actually to determine any weaknesses anyone in your organization might have so he or she can make the necessary improvements. Not making honest assessments may get your company in trouble. Especially if that person has to be let go but argues that your review places his or her performance in a favorable light.

Theory is one thing. Practice is another. Sure, you know what to look out for the strengths and weaknesses of an employee. But what about the part where you have to sit down and write about it? What performance review phrases best convey what point you want to get across?

In case you didn’t know, there are performance review examples you can refer to. These contain performance evaluation phrases that can give as much information to employees about what they need to change. These employee evaluation examples contain guideline statements and questions crafted by human resources experts to cater to a wide field of employee types, skills and abilities.

If your company is still using a generalized set of performance review comments that don’t give much in the way of feedback, use these examples as inspiration to become more detailed with your performance appraisals.