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How To Write Overall Performance Review Comments

Kate William

9 min read

No one likes being judged. Unfortunately, one needs to put themselves to scrutiny while at a job. Why? Because their performance can be evaluated, which will be made available in the form of overall performance review comments. It can be uncomfortable for most employees as many of them are wary about getting a poor performance review, even when they might have slogged the whole year for the company. 

But performance reviews can also be great for the employees as they can give them an objective view of how well they are faring at the organization. Correct employee performance evaluation can result in increasing performance as well as increasing engagement with the organization. 

What is an annual performance review, and why are they important?

An annual performance review is the evaluation of the employee, and it outlines how effectively they have been meeting the organization’s goals.

Before moving ahead, we must keep in mind that it is important to host a 360-degree feedback survey for your employees to gather valuable feedback from them. The survey builder from SurveySparrow enables you to create engaging, conversational surveys for your team. Try it now for FREE!

Getting back to the topic, the overall performance review comments will tell the employee the areas where they have been good and the places where improvement is required. The overall performance review phrases are written in such a way that it looks at the employee objectively.

The employee overall performance comments comprise notes related to performance across various key competencies or KPIs. The manager can use these overall performance comments to offer clear examples of how they can better their output. 

How to write overall performance review comments?

The overall appraisal comments mentioned on the document should be more than just a few lines; they should be specific and detail-oriented. Let us look at what a manager needs to keep in mind while writing overall performance review comments. 

1.  Offer them a SWOT analysis of their performance:

A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is a technique used to help organizations when drafting a business strategy. The same can be applied to individuals who are looking to improve their performance. The manager can write the positive things about the employee under Strengths and areas that need improvement under Weaknesses. 

Under Opportunities, the manager can outline things like undergoing training or taking certification courses to help them go further ahead in their journey. Under Threats, the manager can write about things adversely impacting their output currently or something that they foresee in the future. A SWOT analysis gives an employee 360-degree feedback. 

2. Review previous performance:

If the employee has been with you for many years, you can get the overall performance review comments of the past years. It will give you an idea as to how they were performing earlier. If there was a marked improvement or a decline, you could talk about that and see why it happened. Apart from providing yearly feedback, the organization or the manager should also provide regular feedback to the employees. It could be overall comments on goal achievement or even a casual remark on how they could accomplish something specific. When you provide regular feedback, it will eventually improve the overall performance review comments you give.

3. List out areas that need improvement:

Your employees might not be able to see the areas they are not doing great work; it is your responsibility to make sure that you tell them in your overall performance review comments. Help them build relevant skill sets to ensure that they are up to the task of achieving them. 

Some of the areas for improvement could include time management, being a team player, properly communicating with all the stakeholders, being open to feedback, etc. List down all the things in your overall performance review comments that will improve their performance. 

4. Make sure you give constructive feedback:

Negative reinforcement will not give you the desired results. Even if it does, your employee is going to have a torrid time working with you. Also, do not just dole out positive comments alone. The employee needs to know the negative aspects of their performance too. 

By providing constructive feedback, you will convey both the positive and less-than-desirable aspect of their work. To give constructive feedback on your employees’ overall performance review comments, you need to focus on the various aspects of their job objectively. There is no room for any bias to creep in. You should not dwell on the personal attributes of your employees, and that is how you will be able to provide constructive feedback. 

5. Be transparent:

Your employees need to know that the overall performance review comments they received are honest and straightforward. If you cannot address your employee’s poor performance on time, it is a loss to both the employer and the employee. 

Make sure that you are transparent and unbiased in all your dealings with the employees. As soon as you figure out that an employee performs below expectations, you should have a mechanism to address it. Let your employee know what you are expecting from them and show them how they can accomplish it. 

6. Choose the right words:

Words are extremely powerful. You need to choose your words carefully when writing overall performance review comments. No matter what kind of performance review you plan to give, positive or negative, ensure that it motivates the employees to take the right action. 

If there are things that are not worth addressing in your overall performance review comments, then leave them be. A 500-word review is not necessarily better than a 100-word review. 

7. Set SMART goals for them:

You can write down the goals for your employees on your overall performance review comments. Instead of giving them vague or unrealistic goals, you can help your employees set SMART goals. 

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. The goal should be specific to know what they are hoping to accomplish and give them the necessary resources to make it possible. By keeping your goals measurable, they will know how far they have come and what precisely they need to do to keep progressing. The goals should be achievable and not something lofty and unrealistic. 

8. Provide examples:

When you write overall performance review comments, ensure that you provide ample examples for them to understand what you expect from them. By offering examples of how things are managed, you will convey to the employee the exact process they need to follow to get things done. When you go out of your way to offer examples of how you want them to accomplish something, your employees will know that you are there to support them. 

9. Strive for growth:

The manager’s overall performance review comments should not be just points on the negative things and don’t always have to be only critical feedback either. The manager should write the overall performance summary comments by keeping the growth of the employee in mind. 

Even if the employee has fallen short of their goals, the review needs to focus on the future, and how best you want them to perform. Have a growth mindset and do know that the potential of people can always increase. With the right kind of support, everyone can punch above their weight to meet their goals. 

10. Be professional:

When writing overall performance review comments, it is pivotal that you are professional about it. Even if there are no personal issues between the two, you cannot let that hamper the sanctity of this exercise. This exercise is not the time for you to get even with whatever grouse there is between you two. 

No matter what kind of feedback you are providing in your overall performance review comments- positive or negative, the language and tone should be kept professional. Treat it like any other task and give it the attention it deserves despite the personal equation between you and the employee. 

Ensure that the overall performance review comments are written down without any grammatical errors, ensure proper sentence structuring, spell-check and so on. Due diligence with all these things is a sign that you are taking this exercise seriously. 

11. Write down the accomplishments:

When writing overall performance review comments, you should highlight the accomplishments of the employee. While the review is supposed to be objective, you should also ensure that you validate the achievements of the employee by providing ample examples of how they have met some of their KPIs. 

Ask your employees to keep a list of their achievements, both daily and weekly, to know the kind of positive impact they have on the workforce. They should also know and be told openly how valuable they are to the company. 

12. End on a positive note: 

Regardless of employee appraisals, the manager should ensure that the performance review ends on a positive note. There should always be a silver lining at the end of the tunnel; that’s how the performance review should end. 

At the end of the overall performance review comments, make a few positive comments about the employees based on their performance. Do remember that the main objective of this exercise is to improve the performance of the employee, assess where they stand right now and see if you can provide adequate resources to put them in a position to accomplish the goals in the next quarter/year. 

Examples of effective performance review comments:

Here are a few examples of effective overall performance review comments for different aspects of employee KPIs.

1. Attendance:

It is a touchy topic because certain things an employee cannot do anything about, like bad weather or a sick body. But an effective performance review will help manage issues with it too. Below are a few comments.

“You always come on time, take the scheduled breaks as mandated and follow the timings perfectly well.”

“He meets all the company standards of time for attendance.”

“You exceed the time allocated for your lunch breaks.”

“You often attend the meetings later than the scheduled time.”

“Occasionally leaves work early.”

2. Communication skills:

Without proper communication, things can go wrong. When there is seamless communication between departments and colleagues, everyone will be happy to be a part of the workforce. Here are a few review comments.

“You are extremely good at communicating your needs.”

“The time that you take to communicate the requirements of a project, and the documentation is not up to the mark, which makes it difficult for your peers to follow.”

“You need to improve your email communication.”

“Your direct and impersonal attitude while talking to peers is making them feel bad.”

3. Problem-solving ability:

For anyone who is the higher up in an organization, they get paid to solve problems. That’s what makes them an asset. Here are a few overall performance review comments on this factor.

“You explain your thoughts clearly without any ambiguity.”

“She always finds the best solution to a problem.”

“He doesn’t look at the problem holistically, and it affects the outcome more often than not.”

“You need to be mindful of the different outcomes that we might have to face based on your decisions.”

4. Coaching:

As you go higher, you will be expected to take care of your subordinates so that you can show them the right way. It is a reasonable expectation by companies that you will prepare worthy employees to take your space once you leave the organization. Here are some review comments:

“You show a sincere interest in the performance of your team and provide solutions to the issues that they face.”

“She uses sound coaching methods and can get the best out of everyone who reaches out to her.”

“He is highly respected by his peers and subordinates for always being ready to provide a helping hand.”

5. Creativity:

Every job requires a level of out-of-the-box thinking to make the best use of any given situation. Here are a few overall performance review comments to talk about the creativity of employees.

“You are good at coming up with innovative solutions that provide us with a different perspective.”

“Your proactive participation in coming up with ideas that make the office a better place to work is commendable!”

“You have been able to initiate and execute new ideas such as [insert ideas] that have created marked improvements in the workplace.” 

6. Delegation:

You cannot do all the work, so you need to delegate a lot of it. Let us look at some of the review comments that you can use for delegation.

“You provide employees with the right resources when you expect them to achieve certain results.”

“You encourage employees to take more work and solve problems by always finding the right person to do it.”

“When you delegate a job, you ensure that you give them ample support to get the task done without any hiccups.”

7. Interpersonal skills:

Gone are the days when businesses worked in silos. It is not the case anymore- open offices are the in-thing because it promotes information sharing and inter-dependability. 

Here are a few comments for it:

“You can create great synergy among everyone at the office.”

“Your ability to promote the company culture is well-respected.”

“You work extremely well with others, and people feel positive when they work with you.”

“Your ability to make everyone around you feel comfortable is a great asset to the organization.”

8. Learning ability:

When you are working at a job, it is pivotal that you are always on the prowl to learn more. The business expects you to put in efforts to see you improving daily. Let us look at some review comments. 

“He is always looking at opportunities to learn more.”

“You always put yourself in a position where you can learn a lot.”

“You take challenging tasks just because it will satisfy your curiosity to learn more.”

“She responds quickly to learn new things. She is always ready to handle new projects or even learn new technologies that will assist in her job.”

“He promotes a culture of learning by continuously sharing his learning experiences through [insert examples]” 

Wrapping Up…

Writing overall performance review comments is no easy task. No matter how well-formulated and reasonable they are, many employees will have differing opinions about how they are being rated. It does not mean that performance reviews are ineffective. Absolutely not. The importance of performance reviews is immense, and it calls for constant communication between both parties. The better formulated these performance reviews are, the benefits are enormous. 

If you are looking to collect employee feedback about the overall performance review comments on their performance appraisal, you can use a tool like SurveySparrow to get the job done. Doing employee engagement surveys at regular intervals will put you in a position to understand their needs and wants. 

Businesses looking to send regular feedback by using an online survey tool can get in touch with us. The SurveySparrow team will be more than happy to take care of your survey needs. 

 

Kate William

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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