Sample Language for Performance Evaluations During COVID-19
Last updated: December 2, 2021
Estimated reading time: 2 min
Struggling with the exact language to use when giving feedback in performance evaluations during pandemic times? Check out our samples below!
|The low performer falling further off track, or the solid performer who had some dips
Consider the way COVID-19 is amplifying prior challenges; distinguish what might have warranted corrective action before and what’s new, so you can define concrete support to mitigate those impacts before any tough decisions. Do a bias check around your decision.
|“This has been a tough year and I know you’ve experienced the impacts of that. We’ve already discussed that there have been issues with [name the area that needs improvement], which are resulting in [impacts]. I know those were exacerbated by extenuating circumstances, so let’s make a realistic plan for getting back on track. What I’d like to see from you over the next [time frame] is some improvement in [what needs to change]. What do you think of that? What support do you need from me? We’ll check back in by [set date].”|
|The high performer who’s dipped this year
Emphasize inherent value (with or without the superhero cape), note where they met or exceeded expectations, acknowledge where they dipped, and co-craft new expectations and a plan for the year ahead.
|“Given everything that’s happened this year, I don’t expect anyone to perform at the same level as they did pre-pandemic. In a lot of ways, you upheld your previous standard: [list track record qualities]. For the areas that you struggled a bit, let’s talk about more realistic expectations moving forward and figure out what support you need to meet them.”|
|The team member who’s giving it 200%
Reset your expectations of excellence to create breathing room; commend enthusiasm while preventing burnout; set the bar high, but not too high.
|“You went above and beyond during an extraordinary year. You excelled at [XYZ]. As you move into the next quarter, let’s agree to prioritize your personal well-being and sustainability, and focus on the three roles that bring you the most growth and generate the highest impact: [name them].”|
|The solid performer who’s rising to the occasion
Commend improvement over past performance; recognize contribution to the whole, especially in a year when others reasonably needed to step back.
|“This was a devastating year, and you really stepped up to [help colleagues learn, keep team morale up, redesign our outreach approach, etc.]. Your effort benefited the whole team at a time when we needed it most. What do you need to keep up your effectiveness and sustainability this year?”|
Other performance evaluation resources:
- 5 Tips for Evaluating 2020 Performance
- Four Ways to Mitigate Bias in Performance Evaluations
- How to Gather and Use Input from Others in Performance Evaluations
- Eight-Step Guide to Performance Evaluations for Managers
- Performance Evaluation Form Template
- Sample Performance Evaluation Form — Corrective Assessment
- Sample Performance Evaluation Form — Strong Assessment