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Blog/Guides/How to Write Impactful Performance Review Comments With Examples

How to Write Impactful Performance Review Comments With Examples

Article index


  • Why performance reviews are important
  • The qualities of effective performance review comments
  • Examples of employee evaluation comments


No matter what business you’re in, employees need constructive criticism to know they’re working efficiently. The quality of your performance review process could help you get the best out of your staff and improve employee retention, or it could hinder your workers from reaching their potential. Reviews communicate your business’s needs and help workers set goals to make measurable improvements.

Performance management is vital because it gives you a feel for the contributions your employees are making. Evaluating everyone’s efficiency, either face-to-face or in writing, can give you clues as to what’s working and what’s not. It also helps stakeholders improve operational deficiencies.

Great performance reviews increase employee engagement. In this article, we’ll go over why performance reviews are significant and what you should consider when conducting them. We’ll also give you a few examples of performance review phrases that you can use.

Why Performance Review Comments Matter

While giving an employee a letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F) can help them see what they’re doing wrong or right, it doesn’t give them specific guidance on how they can improve. Personalized comments are more beneficial because they give your staff insight into precise actions they can take to do their jobs better. The more specific your comments are, the better your results will be.

For example, if you’re a project manager for a software company and you give one of your programmers a “C” grade for their dependability, you’re telling them they have displayed an average level of competence. Comments like the ones below can offer more targeted advice:

  • You come in on time every day and are always available during working hours.
  • You have trouble meeting agreed-upon deadlines, which causes project delays.

The programmer now knows that you appreciate their punctuality and attendance, but they also know exactly what to work on. Going forward, they’ll make a greater effort to meet deadlines and put more thought into deciding how long specific tasks will take to complete.

Performance Review Comments Should Be Individualized

The best performance reviews are personally tailored. If you’re evaluating a worker’s performance, it’s only fair that you have examples to back up your assessments. Individualized comments help employees see exactly how their work is being perceived. Keep detailed records of performance and behavior throughout the year. Here are some examples of things you might want to keep track of:

  • Mark clocked in over five minutes late seven times in February.
  • Jill failed to meet deadlines for three separate assignments.
  • John had four clients call in to rave about his customer service.
  • Amy came up with solutions that helped increase the online conversion rate by 15%.

You might not want to wait until the end of the year to have employee reviews. They can be more productive if you hold them quarterly, or even at the end of each project. Narrowing the scope of your review lets you see how employees respond to your directions.

If you wait until the end of the year, you run the risk of overloading your staff rather than giving them a small, manageable list of things to focus on. Don’t let your employees make the same mistakes throughout the year — help them get better throughout it.

Performance Review Comment Examples

Before you start a performance evaluation, you’ll need a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) by which to judge performance. You’ll use this list to structure your review. All of your performance comments should be related to one of your KPIs, like communication, teamwork, or problem-solving.

In the next few sections, we’ll go over several effective performance review comments you can use for workplace KPIs. Constructive feedback (both positive and negative) can be crucial in helping an employee maintain their performance in areas they excel and adjust their performance in areas they need to improve.

Comments About Leadership

Even leaders need direction. A mid-level manager or supervisor should have the ability to get the most out of the members of their team and guide them to success. Leaders must possess management skills like focus, vision, and decisiveness to keep a project moving forward.


  • You treat all team members equitably without showing favoritism.
  • You foster healthy working relationships by conducting effective team-building events.
  • You make yourself available to answer questions and address concerns.
  • You make sure your employees have the training and resources they need.
  • You give credit where it’s due, which increases morale.
  • You promote honesty within your team.
  • You hold employees accountable while emphasizing solutions.

Needs Improvement:

  • You show favoritism to certain members of your team.
  • You don’t promote positive relationships within your team.
  • You often don’t take into account what employees need to complete tasks.
  • At times, it’s difficult for members of your team to reach you for guidance.
  • You don’t allocate credit to those who deserve it.
  • At times, you don’t share crucial project details with your team.
  • You don’t hold your employees accountable for...

Comments About Attendance

Different jobs require varying degrees of attendance and punctuality. Sometimes, poor attendance can cause problems within an organization. An employee who has trouble showing up on time can miss out on or interrupt meetings, miss important office updates, and be unavailable to meet client needs. If the behavior goes unnoticed, it can encourage other employees to be late or absent, as well.


  • You arrive on time and ready to work every day.
  • You give adequate notice when you need time off.
  • You always call ahead and communicate if you’ll be late or absent, and you always have a good reason for it.
  • You never take more than your allotted lunch break or leave for the day early.
  • Co-workers and customers can depend on you to be available during business hours.

Needs Improvement:

  • You are late or absent from work more often than is acceptable.
  • You wait until the last minute to schedule time off.
  • You don’t communicate emergencies or situations that will affect your work attendance.
  • You often abuse your lunch break by taking more than the allotted time.
  • You often leave the office early.
  • Co-workers and customers have difficulty reaching you during business hours.

Comments About Teamwork

Collaboration is an essential part of many productive work environments. By working together, teams can accomplish far more than most individuals. While many employees are great team players, some find it difficult to collaborate with others.


  • You offer teammates support and are always there to help them complete tasks.
  • You show respect for the views of your co-workers while sharing your own opinions.
  • You always put the needs of the team above your personal needs.
  • You contribute to the team without trying to take control of it.

Needs Improvement:

  • You don’t support your teammates or offer assistance when they need you.
  • You are quick to put down the views of your co-workers in favor of your own.
  • You prioritize your own needs over those of the team.
  • You sometimes come off as controlling to your co-workers.

Comments About Communication Skills

Clear communication within a workplace allows employees to move projects through the stages of development quickly and efficiently. Organizations that don’t communicate effectively lose valuable time clarifying information and correcting errors.


  • You have great interpersonal skills as a communicator. Others have no problem understanding you.
  • You always give directions in an easy-to-understand format.
  • You listen closely to make sure you understand the needs and opinions of others.
  • You don’t shy away from delivering sensitive information tactfully.

Needs Improvement:

  • Your communication can be convoluted and difficult to understand.
  • You give complicated instructions to co-workers without clarifying them.
  • You don’t put effort into listening to or understanding the needs of co-workers.
  • You have trouble delivering difficult information.

Comments About Time Management

If you work in a high-pressure environment, it may seem like there’s never enough time to get everything done. Employees need to be able to prioritize their time constructively to make sure important tasks and projects get completed.


  • You prioritize critical tasks over non-critical ones, even when they’re difficult.
  • You always find a way to meet deadlines.
  • You effectively use your time to meet the demands of a tight schedule.
  • You know when to seek assistance to complete tasks in a timely manner.

Needs Improvement:

  • You complete easier tasks first, even when difficult tasks are more urgent.
  • You have difficulty meeting deadlines.
  • You often misuse your time, which puts you behind schedule.
  • You often take on more work than you can handle instead of delegating tasks or asking for help.

Comments About Problem-Solving

An employee who can come up with creative ideas and solutions to problems in the workplace is valuable. Workers with strong problem-solving skills are resilient and innovative. They can turn a business’s biggest challenges into strengths.


  • You meticulously research each problem to determine its causes and develop solutions.
  • You come up with creative solutions to workplace issues but break them down into practical steps.
  • You show great adaptability that allows you to maintain a positive attitude when problems arise.

Needs Improvement:

  • You try to come up with surface-level solutions for problems before understanding their root causes.
  • You propose lofty solutions to problems that are difficult to implement.
  • You get flustered easily when problems arise, which carries over into your interactions with peers.

We’re Here to Help You With Your Job Search

Performance appraisals can be nerve-wracking, even when you’re the one giving the reviews. Unfortunately, they’re a necessary part of maximizing a company’s efficiency. By being proactive and planning each review, you deliver the maximum benefit to your employees and your business as a whole.

Whether you’re a job seeker looking for your next opportunity or a company seeking the right fit for your organization, Joblist offers curated jobs based on a wide range of skills and competencies. We’re also great at connecting employers with the best talent. Take a look at our quiz page to see what we can do for you.

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