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An official website of the United States Government.

Frequently Asked Questions Employee Relations

Do I have to wait for the annual performance appraisal to tell an employee that his or her performance is unacceptable?

No, you should not wait. In fact, good managers provide their employees with performance feedback throughout the appraisal cycle. The Office of Personnel Management reinforces this in its regulations where it states that employees need to be notified of unacceptable performance, "At any time during the performance appraisal cycle that an employee's performance is determined to be unacceptable . . . ." Notice also that the Governmentwide regulations only call for a determination, not a formal rating of record. Check with your agency on your internal policy regarding whether or not a full performance rating needs to be prepared before you inform an employee of unacceptable performance. Remember, regardless of whatever agency requirements apply, no employee likes to feel "sandbagged" at appraisal time, so confront the poor performance as soon as you become aware of it.

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