These tips were taken from the Air Force Reserve Command Performance Report Writing Guide.
Top Performance Report Writing Mistakes
- No records review -- for EPRs/OPRs you need to know where the ratee has been and is in regard to levels of responsibility -- need to know how much effort is needed to write an effective report. This is critical for effective feedback -- never give counseling without it -- makes ratee feel you care
- Poor utilization of space -- fill up the form -- if you don’t have enough to write, give the ratee more to do -- cut words, not meaning -- abbreviate where possible -- don’t use unnecessary words (eliminate “a,” “an,” “the”)
- Weak or unrelated Job Description -- responsibilities in Job Description should relate to accomplishments -- if you can’t fill this space, your troop may be underutilized
- Listing Job Descriptions as Accomplishments -- don’t repeat what was said in Job Description as accomplishments and don’t list in Accomplishments what should have been listed in Job Description -- this only says the member did his job or they didn’t do much at all
- Inappropriate use of numbers -- don’t use dollars when they are unrelated to what the person did, e.g., “toured $55M facility” -- dollar signs draw attention for a reason -- use them appropriately -- don’t try to measure the unmeasurable, e.g., “boosted morale 33%”
- No mission impact -- bullets lack significance to mission and purpose as to why it was written -- that’s the bottom line -- what have you done for your Air Force?
- Glittering generalities -- says the member was great, the best, truly exceptional but fails to tell how -- absolute waste of space if not supported -- use sub bullets to tell why
- High Tech Jargon -- write the report so anyone from any AFSC can understand the report -- it’s hard for the board to score what it can’t understand, and you never know who’s on the board
- Best material misplaced -- strongest stuff should go to the bottom line -- eyes naturally go to the bottom of the report -- reviewers often look for the indorser’s comments first
- Report imbalanced with on/off duty accomplishments -- don’t take up too much space for off duty accomplishments and community involvement -- don’t use off duty material in indorsements
- Weak action verbs -- watch for mundane verbs such as met, maintained, sustained, supported, etc. -- words can show that a member just did his or her job or they can really tell a story -- choose wisely -- try to convey accomplishments that go beyond collecting a paycheck
- Spelling, alignment, spacing errors -- spell check the report -- make sure bullets are lined up -- double check all spacing -- show you and your organization care about the person you’re rating
- Pride of authorship -- always seek advice, counsel, and feedback on how to write the best possible report -- be open to suggestion
Getting Started on the EPR or OPR
Ask yourself what the ratee did, how it was accomplished, and what was the result? What were the ratee’s contributions to the mission, base, and the local community?
- Did the member initiate, develop, implement, or follow through with a new plan, project, or program?
- Did the member chair any meetings, committees, or subcommittees related to duty performance?
- Did the individual volunteer for any projects, additional duties, community involvement, or extracurricular activities?
- What recognition (awards, letters of appreciation, etc.) did the individual receive?
- How did the individual save money, time, or resources in the office?
- What type of leader, both on and off duty, is the individual?