June 2010  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

June Savings: 20% off Write for Work!

Feedback from Write for Work reviewers has been very encouraging, and we're confident you'll be equally excited about the upcoming release of our program ancillaries. Now, with the end of the fiscal year approaching, we're offering extra motivation to devote your remaining budgets to Write for Work. Use code WFWJUNE to receive a 20% discount on all Write for Work purchases made in June!

Writing Employee Evaluations

At some point in your career, you may have to write an evaluation of an employee’s work. The purpose will not be to dig for failures, but rather to examine and provide a total picture of the employee’s role in the corporate structure. Remembering that the most effective criticism is constructive, consider the following points.

  • The requirements of the employee’s job: Review the job description and mark areas where the employee might better conform to those specifications.
  • The employee’s strengths and weaknesses: Be specific. Include any dates and project names, if possible, of your employee’s best work, as well as times when he or she missed the mark. This will create a balanced report.
  • Background information: If possible, check current performance against past evaluations. If there is a marked decrease in performance, consider outside events that may have affected the employee’s performance, such as personal problems or illness. If the employee has completed a self-assessment, examine it to determine the employee’s awareness of his or her own strengths and weaknesses on the job.
  • Employee responsibility: Evaluate the employee’s punctuality, attendance, and level of effort put into daily tasks and correcting any problems.

In your evaluation, you may need to offer specific suggestions for improvement. Use concerned but neutral wording, avoiding inflammatory or harassing language.

The most important goal is to keep your evaluation professional yet genuine. Consider yourself in the employee’s position and write what you know would be most helpful. Emphasize the pluses, and offer suggestions for correcting areas of concern. Your goal is to encourage the employee and position him or her to improve performance as necessary.

For solid help with all of your workday writing, refer to Business and Sales Correspondence and Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace, just two of the handy business-writing materials from UpWrite Press.

That Little Extra

Does your office have an employee kitchen? Remember, it might be maintained by the cleaning staff, but that doesn’t give you a license to leave messes behind. Clean up your own dishes, and if you use the last of something (dish soap, paper towels, coffee), either replace it or report it to someone who will. Never eat someone else’s food without permission, even if it’s not marked. Oh, and be a sport—bring a treat for everyone now and then. Courtesy is not only the right thing, it’s also the thing that will endear you to fellow workers and make your workplace more pleasant in general.


June Writers' Forum Topic

Here's your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we'll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Consider audiobooks, electronic readers such as the Kindle, and now the iPad. Reading has undergone a revolution, but has it been a good change? What is your feeling about the electronic reading revolution? Is it helpful to you, or do you prefer the “good old days” of books and magazines? How do you view the future of reading?

E-mail your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write "June Writers' Forum" in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

We Want to Hear from You

This is your chance to be part of the UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you’d like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas, and you could see your name in Writing eTips or The Mid-Month Mini.

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