The adage “honesty is the best policy” is never truer than at performance review time. 

Open, honest reviews which accurately reflect performance are necessary to support Auburn’s culture and mission.  True responsibility and accountability rest with each member of management who evaluates the performance of others.  A manager’s job is to communicate honestly to employees about what is expected of them and how well they are producing results throughout the year.  If a manager doesn’t do that, his or her own performance and that of the organization will suffer because people who cannot – or will not – meet requirements continue to be on the team.

A review is a manager’s formal opportunity to help employees develop their skills and align those skills with the direction of the department or division.  When someone is delivering successful performance outcomes, he or she should be recognized for those contributions.   Honest reviews help foster such recognition.  When reviews don’t accurately reflect performance, it appears that all employees are equal.  Honest reviews distinguish between varying levels of performance by identifying peak performers and helping address performance issues with those who aren’t meeting job requirements. 

Performance reviews also provide a basis for discussing career development opportunities for employees.  Managers should take that opportunity to explain what skills employees must learn to attain the next level of job growth.  Managers must also be prepared to recognize those who are doing a good job to raise the visibility of what it means to be a strong performer. Likewise, the review process should be a tool that managers can use when addressing critical performance issues.

Tips for Giving Reviews

  • Have available specific examples of work performance from throughout the year.

  • Obligate yourself to uninterrupted time to write a thorough review.

  • Nail it! Write a review that accurately reflects performance – good and bad.

  • Expect questions from the employee and be prepared to respond.

  • Schedule a convenient time for the review discussion so you are not rushed.

  • Talk openly and honestly and ask for the same in return from your employee.

  • Year-round feedback on performance is vital; don’t “save it” for review time.

If you have any questions, contact your Human Resources Liaison or our office at 844‐4145 or

Performance Reviews Notes

  • Now is the time to begin preparing for annual reviews for the 2017-18 performance year.

  • The performance year/review period is June 1, 2017 until May 31, 2018.

  • For most departments, the deadline to submit Performance Reviews to the Human Resources Liaison for the 2017-18 performance year is June 29, 2018. Supervisors and managers should confirm the deadline with their Liaison. 

  • Reviews are required for all regular full-time and part-time employees.

Last updated: 09/11/2023