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Tips for Writing Performance Narratives

The supervisor must prepare a written narrative outlining the employee's accomplishments for each element. The narrative should:

  • Include examples of performance where appropriate;

  • Be brief and specific;

  • Avoid adjectives and adverbs that are not objective;

  • Use clear, concise statements or bullets;

  • Avoid writing in third person;

  • Describe accomplishments with regard to quantity, quality, timeliness, and manner of performance or other measure of performance;

  • Use language that lay reviewers will understand versus highly technical language; and

  • Avoid statements that describe your personal beliefs or philosophies; focus on specific challenges and results achieved.

Narratives should address the breadth, scope, and/or impact of achievements, and can include items such as:

  • Innovation in approach and results obtained;

  • Flexibility, adaptability, and resourcefulness, despite the presence of obstacles;

  • Program efficiencies or other measurable improvements gained that promoted effectiveness and mission achievement;

  • Favorable feedback and evaluations from customers, stakeholders, and others, including staff;

  • Flexibility and adaptability in responding to changing priorities;

  • Initiation of significant collaborations, alliances, and coalitions;

  • Invitations to serve on or lead workgroups, consortiums, etc., or other indicators of stature and expertise;

  • Accolades and recognition received; and/or

  • Other indicators demonstrating excellence in meeting agency strategic initiatives and individual management and program outcomes that contributed to the success of program goals.