How to Write Letters to Appeal Poor Performance Reviews

by Anna Assad; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesswoman with client in office

Employers use performance reviews for various reasons, including setting pay raises, awarding career promotions and identifying weak employees, so a poor performance review can have a far-reaching impact on your career. If you receive a negative performance review, you may appeal it by writing a letter to your employer. Your letter should cover why the review was incorrect and provide specific examples to support your claim. Your employer may not take you seriously if you respond emotionally and don't support your view with facts.

Step 1

Read through the performance review and write down the specific items you received poor marks on.

Step 2

Go over the items you listed. Think of specific examples of your strong performance in these areas. For example, if you received a poor review on your customer service skills, try to remember specific instances of excellent customer service you provided.

Step 3

Use a standard business letter form or the appeal letter form your employer has for your letter. Ask your human resources department if you're not sure whether your employer has a format for performance appeals.

Step 4

State in the first paragraph that you are appealing the performance review you received. Include the date of the review and the names of your reviewers.

Step 5

Go over the points you're appealing in the main body of the letter. Explain why you don't agree, and use the specific instances you recalled to back up your position. Mention areas you have done well in or improved in since your last review to strengthen your stance.

Step 6

Ask someone who is not involved in the review to read over your letter before you submit it. You want to avoid emotional or defensive wording, and another person may catch something you didn't.

Warnings

  • Do not attack your employer or the reviewers in your letter. State facts only.

About the Author

Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.

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