Rob Hildegard has more than 25 years of ghostwriting experience. One aspect of human imperfection lies in the motivations we sometimes have for doing things: at times they, too, are imperfect. Always be vigilant. 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. As requested Margaret signed her name at the bottom of the last page. 4. 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. 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.”. Model Memo: To Enhance Your Upcoming Performance Review Consider what  else may be wrongly ignored and missing from your Performance Review, such as (a) no prior notice of problems, (b) absence due to maternity, illness, personal leave, etc., (c) relative performance, and/or (d) directed diversions of your time and attention. She was told performance reviews are “not negotiable.” She was told that perhaps she should consider whether her job was really the right fit for her. . It is just a fact: humans are imperfect. If at all possible, your Performance Review Rebuttal should be no more than two or three pages. Be sure to include specific examples of where you excelled. Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of a poor performance review or disciplinary action at work. Is there some kind of “mediating meeting?”. What really bugs me this goes against some very basic principles of performance evaluation. It is whether or not, in fact and reality, assigned tasks were accomplished and responsibilities fulfilled. 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. 10. Unfair performance review - what to do about it? How to Write a Rebuttal to Unfair Performance Review. 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 … 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? 7. 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 apologize. 11/16/2015 Generally, the value of a rebuttal to a performance review that you received and that you disagree with is very limited, and it usually will not make much of a difference. Photocopy the performance appraisal to use as a working copy for your draft. During the past year, Margaret’s division did not prosper, due to the economy, but it did not suffer, either. 3. 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. 2000 New York, NY 10111. Ask your boss to explain each criticism. The past five years or so has made me feel quite different. When you receive a bad review, there is temptation to take an issue with every negative statement. If no specific procedure or form is required, ask your HR representative what usually transpires when an employee files a rebuttal to a Performance Review. 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. To write a rebuttal to a negative performance review, an employee should quote the erroneous sections of the review that need rebuttal. 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. As examples, “I feel faint; I must go home for my medicine,” or “I’m sorry, I must have eaten something spoiled at breakfast. These 16 Effective Steps to a Robust Rebuttal to a problematic Performance Review together constitute a mindful and proper response. 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. Here’s how to manage your emotions and move forward. Learn rebuttal process– Ask HR to walk you through the performance review rebuttal process – so you know how your company allows you to defend yourself. 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. That said, you never have to say or write that you agree with the substantive contents of your Performance Review. 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. © 2012 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved. 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. 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. These days, and henceforth, those facing a problematic Performance Review have no real choice but to submit an effective Performance Review Rebuttal. On top of that, 69% of employees said they weren’t given specific examples to … How to Write a Rebuttal Letter to Your Employer. If many others view your performance as positive, maybe your Reviewer does, in fact, have it wrong. • Recommend to your Friends Make a list of all factual errors that exist in your Performance Review, provided they are not simple typos or otherwise without significance. The individual should keep a positive tone throughout the letter and express optimism regarding the resolution of the matter. 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. 9. 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. And ask, too, for a response within a reasonable period of time, usually seven to ten working days. Don’t do it. Of course, they were not contacted. That is to say, a robust Performance Review Rebuttal both addresses the past, and protects the future. Ask your Reviewer, or HR, whether a Rebuttal requires any special form, procedure, or timing. 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 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.”. 11. If you want to ventilate your frustration or anger, then do it with somebody outside the organization. • Make notes of any questions you’d like to ask your manager at the next meeting. In February of each year, Margaret’s company disseminated annual performance reviews. Listen to what your boss has to say: Always make it a point to listen to what your boss has to tell. 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. Worse still, far worse: she did not know where it was headed. If somebody makes an general affirmation, ask for clarification, details or examples. 12 Ways to Enhance Yours, “Will submitting a Performance Review rebuttal backfire?”, 45 Rockefeller Plaza Ste. If you have previously been assigned objective goals or achievement criteria – such as seeing at least 18 patients per day, or perhaps lowering your department’s overhead by 7.5% – are you being measured against those objective criteria? Nobody likes receiving a negative performance review, but an incorrect or inappropriate response could make the situation worse. Are your achievement of assigned goals or specified success criteria being ignored in your Performance Review? Your boss could really use some coaching or training in this area. Additionally, refusing to allow an employee rebuttal sends the message that the company isn’t open to employee feedback. Seek Legal Counsel – Once you can prove your performance review was inaccurate, find legal counsel to help you understand your rights. For example, if your … Unfortunately though, employers occasionally use these tools as part of their efforts to make sure they're getting the best out of … I am also of the firm opinion that, if not addressed promptly and thoughtfully, a negative Performance Review can become a much greater problem, potentially leading to a lower bonus, diminished chances for advancement, loss of ability to transfer within the company, or even job loss. She just never saw it coming. Unfair Disciplinary Action It is also important that the appraisal or disciplinary action be unfair. ], Repairing the World – If a certain form is required, do not limit yourself to it. 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. Always be creative. Just make sure you have given considerable thought to what it is you want, and that you respectfully request it. • Media Inquiries A rebuttal will likely gain you nothing. 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. Today, I find that issues of Performance Reviews, and their “cousins,” Performance Improvement Plans, to be among the top reasons people contact me, or review my blogsite. 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. 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. 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. Concentrate on serious criticisms that you are able to clearly refute or justify. Always be persistent. Surely something is in error, as the two statements have no rational connection. Those in need of legal advice, counsel or representation should retain competent legal counsel licensed to practice law in their locale. 14. 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. 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. With these 16 Steps, you’re prepared to effectively Rebut. Imagine, just for the moment, that you learn that over the past four years nine of your colleagues have also experienced false, dishonest, or mistaken Performance Reviews from this Reviewer, and each was later found to be correct in their rebuttals. His work has appeared on eZines and eHow. 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. It is a common practice among most employers to provide employees with  copies of their Performance Reviews at the end of such meetings. And she had not received any negative reports, comments or complaints. The essential facts, the point illustrated and the lesson to be learned, remain actual. She was told perhaps she should consider looking “elsewhere.”. But remember the goal of a performance review: to improve performance. Do not write “Bob lied when he wrote . 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. Always use email at work to transmit important communications, including this one. 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. 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. While your “target” is a matter of choice, how you send it is not. 15. Negative performance reviews are a big disappointment not only for the employee but also the reviewer When writing a rebuttal to a performance review. It is not an emotion. 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. Performance reviews are part of being in the workplace, and sometimes, unfortunately, bad performance reviews happen to good people. 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. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. And, yes, I have come to view them as something that an attorney can – and should – help employees with. • Alan L. Sklover’s Blog. 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. Gather your thoughts into a Performance Review Rebuttal which is a respectful, reasoned and focused response. • Receive our Posts (RSS Feed) You will need this kind of letter to counter any unfounded allegations, request for a refund after the purchase of fake items and respond … 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. 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. 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. 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. ACTUAL “CASE HISTORIES”: For nine years, Margaret, was universally considered a top performer in her position as Vice President of Vacation Residences for a diversified real estate company. *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. … I know this is easier said than done. The letter must be factual and display minimal emotion. . The most salient points you can raise are probably above, for you to use and adapt to your own situation. Take all available steps to increase and secure employment “rewards” and eliminate or reduce employment “risks.” That’s what SkloverWorkingWisdom™ is all about. Yes, I have come to view Performance Reviews as sources of significant problems in the workplace. The problem with refusing to sign a performance appraisal is that your refusal can introduce an adversarial tone to the appraisal discussion. Step #7: Plan For Your Next Review. I assure you that your manager or his higher management will not come to you and say "Oh, you are right; we are wrong. 3 z Responding to a Disappointing Performance Review limiting defensiveness. An unfair performance evaluation is stressful to deal with. Ask that your recipient(s) acknowledge receipt of your Performance Review Rebuttal by means of a reply email. . Performance is not a feeling. His credits include hard backed books and numerous academic articles. 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. Take time to craft a non-emotional written response to the review, including factual examples that show why you believe the review is inaccurate. The same goes for errors in reasoning. 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. 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. If your manager hasn’t provided specific examples to support general statements, make a 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. It's best not to vent these feelings immediately or argue with the supervisor. No one is free from all forms and all degrees of prejudice. If you are invited to participate in a meeting, then be prepared. 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.”. Another reason that Margaret didn’t see it coming. You might ask around about such things, but if you do so, do it discreetly. Having others – especially influential others – vouch for your good performance can only help. That’s quite personal to you. If your employer doesn't have an appeals form, prepare your draft in letter form or search online for an example appeals form. 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. If you strongly disagree with a few points, you’re entitled to dispute them in … Compare your previous years' performance appraisals to the current one, and review all performance-related materials in your employment file. Take some time to reflect and calm down before you begin writing a rebuttal letter. “By the time you get a review that you … For example, if your sales for the year were 2% under goal, and your Performance Review says they were 20% below goal, that is surely significant. One Empowered and Productive Employee at a Time ™. Many times we see important circumstances not taken into account when performance is evaluated. And always do what you can to achieve for yourself, your family, and your career. 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. 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