5 examples of helpful employee appraisal comments

By Robert Half on 9 May 2022

5 examples of strong employee appraisal comments

  1. Communication
  2. Teamwork and cooperation
  3. Time management
  4. Accountability
  5. Leadership
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

Employee appraisals come once a year, and often bring a lot of nervous energy to the office.

Also referred to as performance reviews, employee appraisals are necessary and can be powerful tools to create employees that flourish and thrive—if conducted correctly.

But here’s the thing: most managers and companies aren’t conducting them correctly at all.

In response to an online survey of over 48,000 participants, only 13% of employees and managers thought their organisation’s performance appraisal system was useful. Tellingly, only 17% believed their appraisals were always open, honest, and meaningful.

That’s a striking number of missed opportunities and potentially unhappy employees.

Why are employee appraisals important?

So, why do they matter?

Employee appraisals, when done right, can provide employees a way to gauge their own performance as well as share valuable information on how their managers should manage them.

When employees don’t know whether they’re doing a good job, it can be detrimental to their mental health, as well as to their companies and teams.

This is particularly important for employees who work remotely or from home; the more clarity an employee has about their performance, the more inspired they are. The same is true in reverse: less clarity often means less inspiration.

How to make valuable employee appraisal comments

Armed with this knowledge, how can managers conduct employee appraisals in a constructive, positive manner?

The first and most important point is this: instead of a one-way monologue, employee appraisals should be a two-way conversation.

This approach is especially true when formulating employee appraisal comments; emotional intelligence and empathy is key to delivering a positive review.

Related: What is the impact of a bad performance review?

Important skills to assess with employee appraisal comments

Managers can do that by providing clear, specific, actionable comments in response to their current performance.

The most important skills you can assess might include:

1. Communication

Communication skills involve the ability to convey information effectively and efficiently. Developing these skills are essential regardless of your field and role.

Positive feedback:

  • You have a good ability to listen to others.
  • You’re very good at convey your own ideas and opinions in a collaborative and insightful way.
  • You are often quick to respond and always reply to emails in a timely manner.

Constructive feedback:

  • You might benefit from trying to consider things from different points of view.
  • You should try to frame your comments and feedback in a more positive way.
  • You might try to learn how to listen actively when your teammates are working with you.

2. Teamwork and Cooperation

Teamwork skills refer to the ability to work well within groups of employees.

Positive feedback:

  • You always demonstrate a strong desire to help your colleagues.
  • You are a wonderful advocate for your teammates.
  • You have a great way of building rapport with your colleagues.

Constructive feedback:

  • Collaboration is important in a team environment. You might benefit from sharing ideas with others.
  • Building positive relationships is key to success at work. It would be helpful for you to focus on building a good rapport with your team.
  • Different opinions and viewpoints are valid. It would be beneficial for you to consider different perspectives as important as your own.

3. Time management

Time management is the ability to organise time and prioritise tasks.

Positive feedback:

  • You’re always on time.
  • You consistently deliver projects to deadline.
  • You often look for more efficient ways to complete your work.

Constructive feedback:

  • It would be helpful for you to take time before you begin a project to plan deadlines.
  • You would benefit from tools that would help you to organise your time more efficiently.

4. Accountability

Being accountable means taking responsibility for your obligations and owning up to mistakes.

Positive feedback:

  • You don’t hesitate to admit when you’ve made mistakes.
  • You always admit you’ve made an error quickly so colleagues can make corrections.

Constructive feedback:

  • It would be better for you to own up to your mistakes before your colleagues act on false information.
  • No one’s perfect, and it would be beneficial to accept that you’ll make mistakes so your teammates can learn from them.

5. Leadership

Leadership refers to the ability to manage and lead a team.

Positive feedback:

  • You’re very good at building a cohesive, positive team environment.
  • You’re a very motivating manager, and your employees trust you.

Constructive feedback:

  • It would be of great benefit to your team to conduct more frequent one-on-one meetings.
  • Your team would be much more productive if you provided clearer direction and guidance.

Rather than an opportunity for negativity, performance reviews—and your employee appraisal comments—are your chance to work together to improve your staff members’ experience at work.

They should be more than just discussions of past mistakes.

Instead, take the time to plan a positive, forward-thinking conversation, and collaborate on how you can both do better.

Learn from Robert Half’s expert recruiters so you can build a talented team of employees or advance your career. Operating in over 300 locations worldwide, our recruitment agency in Hong Kong can provide you with assistance where and when you need it.

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