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Top Tips for Conducting Performance Review Meetings

June 7, 2017

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This month, you may be among the many Auburn University supervisors who are conducting performance review meetings. If so, we would like to share with you some excellent tips which may help you effectively communicate the review contents with your employees:

Before the Review Meeting

Give the performance review to the employee before the meeting. This simple gesture allows the employee to digest the information and prepare for a productive meeting.

Conducting the Review*

  • Welcome the employee; put the employee at ease.
  • Let the employee start:
    • Listen and take notes.
    • Maintain good eye contact and attentive posture.
    • Reflect back to the employee your understanding of what the employee said.
    • Don't interrupt, but ask questions only for clarification.
    • Apply the 90/10 Rule: the employee talks 90 percent of the time and you talk 10 percent of the time.
    • Be non-judgmental
  • Compare the actual specific performance results and behaviors to the objectives. Stay away from an attitude or personality focus. We suggest you provide at least two specific examples of resulting outcomes (successful or unsuccessful) and the related observable behaviors that contributed to the success or failure of achieving the expected outcomes.
  • Ask the employee for ideas about how to resolve problems.
  • Emphasize strengths, as well as areas that need improvement.
  • Be honest and be prepared to discuss questionable items. Support the employee's effort to improve.
  • Set goals, expectations, and objectives together for the next performance period.
  • Discuss development/training plans with the employee.
  • Summarize the session and end on an encouraging note.

As a reminder, June 30 is the University’s deadline to conduct these meetings and then submit the completed employee review forms to your HR Liaison. (Your department may have an earlier deadline. Please check with your Liaison). If you have any questions about the Performance Review process, please contact your Human Resources Liaison or our office at 844-4145 or

*A helpful source is the University of California at Berkeley:

Another article we recommend for AU supervisors regarding the Performance Review process is “Delivering an Effective Performance Review” from the Harvard Business Review (2011). It includes case studies and some “Do’s and Don’ts” when performing reviews.  To read this article, visit:

Last updated: 06/07/2017