As a manager or supervisor, one of your most important jobs is to make sure your employees are doing the right work in the right way. That job includes helping employees improve their performance and, when it's appropriate, helping them achieve their career goals.
The first edition of this book was published in 1994 as Writing Performance Documentation (Janis Fisher Chan and Diane Lutovich) and while many things in the business world have changed in the past fifteen years, the importance of setting clear objectives and conducting thorough, thoughtful performance reviews has not.
We are writing skills experts and
believe that everything that you
write is important. When we lead
writing skills workshops, we
teach participants to use active,
descriptive, specific, clutter-free
language. It is not a coincidence
that the skills that are important
in everyday writing are also im-
portant when you write perfor-
mance documentation. Everything
you learn or re-learn in this work-
book applies to your everyday
business writing. Suggestions for
improving your everyday busi-
ness writing skills can be found
at the back of the book, Learning
More About Communicating in
Writing, page 115.
In fact, as the employer-employee relationship in our society becomes more regulated, and more lawsuits are filed, the need for well-written, clear, accurate, ant detailed performance reviews has become even more important. In addition to improving the performance of employees, performance documentation—if it follows the criteria described in this book—will help protect you and manage the legal risks.
In the past fifteen years, more companies have moved their performance-review systems online. The systems and forms have become more complicated and the ranking systems more complex. But even though the performance management systems are stored and filed by computers, the feedback that is essential for performance improvement is generated by real people.
Your company's performance management process and system is unique. This book is not designed to teach you how to use your system. This book will help you understand why it's important to write performance objectives, reviews, appraisals, and other performance documentation that is clear, descriptive, objective, and acceptable in today's workplace, and it offers tips and tools for doing just that.