There are no grades in the reference. A "very good" reference can, however, be recognized by certain formulations. What matters.
Many formalities are important for an employer’s reference. This starts with the paper. A company letterhead should be used for the reference and the paper should be of good quality. Of course, there should be no creases, tears, or grease stains, and of course no spelling or grammatical errors. It is also clear that the reference should not be sent by e-mail.
Formalities also include that the date of entry and exit of the employee is indicated. A description of the company in two or three sentences is often useful.
Contents of the reference
Contentwise the employer’s reference must contain an evaluation-free, but correct description of tasks, career in the enterprise and if necessary. Management responsibility included.
With the evaluation it depends above all on two ranges: Performance and social behavior. A rating from "very good" to "poor" is conceivable here. However, the grades "sufficient" and "poor" are rarely given in practice, because otherwise the employer has the burden of proof.
Template for a very good reference
1) Evaluation of performance
This section deals with questions such as what expertise does the employee have? Does he have a quick apprehension? Or: How does he behave in stressful situations?
One focus of the performance appraisal is the way of working. These include, for example, diligence, teamwork and goal orientation. In addition, the results of the work are also of great importance. This includes points such as quality and speed. If the employee had leadership responsibility, this aspect must also be evaluated.
Typical formulations for a very good grade are here
- always to our fullest satisfaction
- completed tasks with utmost accuracy
- Very good judgment and thinking skills
- Knows very well
2) Evaluation of social behavior
Social behavior must also be described and evaluated. A typical formulation is: "Mr. Muller’s behavior towards superiors, work colleagues, employees and customers was…". A very good evaluation corresponds, for example, to the appreciation of the behavior as "always exemplary". Possible is also: "From superiors, colleagues and customers Mr. Mueller was equally estimated and respected."The superior should always be in the first place.
The right closing formula rounds off a very good reference
In addition to the performance appraisal, the final regret, thank you and wish formula is also important at the end. A typical formulation for the grade "very good" is, for example:
"We regret Mr. Muller’s departure, thank him for his cooperation and wish him continued success and all the best for the future."
However, employment law experts recommend not overdoing it with praise for performance. Otherwise, the impression may arise that the employee is to be dismissed. For the further application this can be disadvantageous.