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How to Handle a Negative Employee Performance Review

ongoing employee performance review

Handling a job performance review professionally leads to growth and improvement. The positive ones boost your morale and drive you to work better. But what if it’s a negative employee performance review? How do you regain your professional confidence and take advantage of it?

Manage Employee Performance Review Like a Pro

It’s never easy but the way you handle criticism at work can help you separate yourself from the crowd. Heed these tips on how to manage your emotions and reactions on your next employee evaluation and prove that you’re better.

How to Behave During Your Performance Review

    1. List things to talk about before your evaluation.

    Whether you have given praise or criticism, your boss would expect you to treat the process professionally. Prepare a list of topics to talk about like your biggest accomplishments or challenges. These issues lead to valuable advice from your boss. Whatever the outcome is, a wise leader will think highly of workers who exert effort to make the most of their review.

    2. Stay alert, positive, and ready to talk.

    Your work performance review is a two-way dialog between you and your superior. They expect you to open up about your success, struggles, and relationship with your colleagues. Hence, you should stay focused, positive, and ready to talk about your job. Keep yourself collected by getting enough rest the day before.

    3. Spill out what’s not working for you.

    Talking about the problems you have with your job can be tough but your employee performance review can be the only chance to spill them out. Be honest about what’s not working for you because true leaders will appreciate polite criticism, consider your problems seriously, and find solutions.

    4. Keep your emotions intact.

    While it’s tempting to get angry or defensive, always keep your emotions in check. It is useless to lash out or knock out your superior or co-worker. Let the feedback sink in or find someone you can vent outside of the office.

How to Respond to Your Employee Performance Evaluation

    1. Find feedback objectively.

    Unless your boss attacked you personally, you don’t need to take offense. The goal of performance reviews is for you to improve your work and not to undermine or make you feel bad about yourself. They are only evaluating your work and not you as a person.

    2. Contemplate and reflect.

    Give yourself space and time to let the feedback sink in and to plan a good response. Take a deep breath and ponder on the situation. This will help you deal even with a bad performance review as rationally as possible.

    3. Make a performance plan.

    Once you’re done mulling over the comments about you, it’s now time to set goals for your improvement. They should be definite, quantifiable, challenging but sustainable and completely within your grasp.

    4. Look for ways to show your improvement.

    You can’t undo the past, so stop worrying about it and focus on improving yourself. But don’t let your hard work go unnoticed. Maximize opportunities to bring up the changes and be ready to prove your claims with evidence.

In a Nutshell:

one on one performance evaluation


    – Ask questions and clarify gray areas. It’s important to know and understand the ways on how you can improve.
    – Exert effort and take the initiative to create a detailed course of action.
    – Find the merit even for a bad employee performance review. It can drive you to a positive change.


    – Lose your temper and snap at your evaluator. If things get too personal, contain yourself and report everything to the HR department.
    – Only turn to sympathetic friends. You’ll need true and honest people who’ll help you get the sense of the review. Lean on friends who will encourage you to improve.
    – Dwell too much on a poor performance review. How you react and change for the better is far more important.

Regular employee performance review reminds you the company’s job expectations from you. Whether you received a good or bad one, what matters is how well you managed it and used it to better yourself. Conducting work performance review is to keep you on track, not to make you astray.

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