If a certain form is required, do not limit yourself to it. 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. Make a list of all factual errors that exist in your Performance Review, provided they are not simple typos or otherwise without significance. *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. • Recommend to your Friends 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. Margaret went silent, and barely spoke a word throughout the entire meeting. ... 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. If your manager hasn’t provided specific examples to support general statements, make a Compare your previous years' performance appraisals to the current one, and review all performance-related materials in your employment file. 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. One should only set a follow-up meeting to work on negative performance issues when one is convinced that issues are legitimate. If you have good reason to believe that your Reviewer let his or her “imperfections” come out in the form of improper motivations for giving you a negative Performance Review, now is the time and place to raise that concern. Make Sure It is Best Possible For example, is the response usually put into the employee’s HR file? 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? Just one “poison arrow” can kill your credibility, obscure  your arguments, and turn your readers off. Seek Legal Counsel – Once you can prove your performance review was inaccurate, find legal counsel to help you understand your rights. And, yes, I have come to view them as something that an attorney can – and should – help employees with. 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. 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. While your “target” is a matter of choice, how you send it is not. 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. The essential facts, the point illustrated and the lesson to be learned, remain actual. That is why Margaret didn’t see it coming. As requested Margaret signed her name at the bottom of the last page. During the past year, Margaret’s division did not prosper, due to the economy, but it did not suffer, either. To err is human and people who make themselves out to be perfect end up looking stupid. To obtain a copy, simply [click here.]. If somebody makes an general affirmation, ask for clarification, details or examples. … For example, if your … Legal advice can only be rendered after formal retention of counsel, and must take into account the facts and circumstances of a particular case. 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. Always be persistent. 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. 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. 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. If you strongly disagree with a few points, you’re entitled to dispute them in … 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. 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. 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. Here is the correct performance review with a higher mark." .” but instead, “The review is mistaken when it says. 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. 2. How to Write a Rebuttal Letter to Your Employer. Remember that if you contest every issue in the review, you are insinuating that the reviewer is incompetent, which could lead to a head-to-head confrontation; you should be aiming to politely point out a couple of mistakes. 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. 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. We offer a Model Memo entitled “Requesting Performance Review Rebuttal Procedures and Forms.” To obtain a copy, just [click here]. • Terms & Conditions Concentrate on serious criticisms that you are able to clearly refute or justify. Don't use the letter to take issues with issues not directly related to your performance review or make suggestions. Some people get angry and loud – or even threatening – when they are dishonestly or unfairly criticized. How to Write a Rebuttal to Unfair Performance Review. That is to say, a robust Performance Review Rebuttal both addresses the past, and protects the future. 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. An unfair performance review can leave you fuming, fearing for your job, or both. “What to Say / How to Say It.™” Just [click here. 6. 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. But remember the goal of a performance review: to improve performance. And ask, too, for a response within a reasonable period of time, usually seven to ten working days. Always be vigilant. It is absolutely essential that you don’t make a bad situation worse. Worse still, far worse: she did not know where it was headed. 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. 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. 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.”. • Receive our Posts (RSS Feed) On top of that, 69% of employees said they weren’t given specific examples to … . A rebuttal will likely gain you nothing. 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. Here are ten things never, ever to say during your performance review meeting! Here’s how to manage your emotions and move forward. If asked to do so, you must acknowledge receiving your Performance Review, but you do not need to say you agree with it. 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.”. It is also important that the appraisal or disciplinary action be unfair. If you think there is any chance that you might “lose your cool,” you may need to claim a sudden “physical malady,” and calmly excuse yourself from the room. Now the rest is up to you. I also wrote a rebuttal and provided witnesses to contact. Unfortunately though, employers occasionally use these tools as part of their efforts to make sure they're getting the best out of … The most salient points you can raise are probably above, for you to use and adapt to your own situation. Email is your friend. 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. If you are invited to participate in a meeting, then be prepared. Get the facts without getting defensive. 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. It is just a fact: humans are imperfect. Be sure to include specific examples of where you excelled. 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. Performance is not a feeling. 12 Ways to Enhance Yours, “Will submitting a Performance Review rebuttal backfire?”, 45 Rockefeller Plaza Ste. The next review period I was told I would be fired in 60 days if my "issues" did not improve. As she had each year before, Margaret received word she was to meet with her supervisor to go over her annual review. Another reason that Margaret didn’t see it coming. Afterwards, she walked straight over to Human Resources, and shared her feelings of upset, anger and betrayal. 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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