A performance report is a valuable business tool. It allows you to document and track employees' performances. It is important to write these reports carefully, as they can be catalysts to encourage more positive or negative behavior from employees. A well-written performance report combines information, analysis, honesty and tact.

Center your report around multiple observations for which you have data. It is important to keep notes on employees prior to writing the report and then pull information from those notes in order to compile the report. Make sure that the observations were firsthand and not hearsay. An example of a firsthand observation might be a note that you wrote and filed when you noticed an employee arriving 30 minutes late to work on a specific date.

Write about behaviors that are specifically related to the work being done. Work-related behaviors include interactions with colleagues, attention to detail, quality of paperwork, overall attitude and punctuality.

Center your report on behavior that has been discussed verbally with the employee. Your comments should not be a total surprise to the worker.

Focus on the positive, but be sure to objectively list any negative occurrences as well if necessary. You might write something such as, "Mr. Jones maintains positive interactions with his co-workers. He stays late if necessary in order to complete a job. He has had some problems with arriving at work on time, as evidenced by observations made on June 11, 20 and 27."

Be concise and specific. Cite examples of specific incidences. Refrain from rambling. A poor example of this would be something such as, "Ms. Smith isn't doing well at work. She just seems like a poor fit for the position. I don't know what the future may hold if she can't...." A better example would be, "Ms. Smith has had grievances filed against her by two different co-workers on multiple occasions concerning her insulting and disrespectful speech."

Link the performance report to previous reports. Indicate areas that may have improved, worsened or stayed the same. For instance, you might write, "Last quarter Mr. Thompson's production numbers were 75 percent lower than what the company considers to be acceptable. However, since his last evaluation, his production has improved drastically and now meets company standards."

Communicate appreciation for positive areas of behavior. You might write something such as, "Ms. Brown's positive attitude influences those around her and makes the workplace a better environment."

Provide feedback on how you would like to see weaker areas improve. Link the report to future goals. For instance, you could write, "Mr. Hartzog has failed to deliver his weekly lesson plans on four occasions. During the next semester, the adminsration would like to see him turn his lesson plans in by Friday of each week."

Write the report when you are in a positive frame of mind. Be sure to review the report at least several hours after writing it in order to catch any possible revisions that need to be made.

Encourage employees to communicate with you about a report once they have received it if they so desire. Use the analysis as a chance to collaborate together positively toward personal improvement, as well as improvement for the company as a whole.