How to Write Performance Comments on Job Reviews

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Performance reviews are a vital part of the employee-supervisor relationship. They let employees know that their accomplishments didn't go unnoticed, but also make them aware of the areas where improvement is needed. However, it can be difficult to find the right words when writing performance comments on job reviews. Choosing statements that are constructive and helpful creates the best possible interaction between employee and supervisor. This can also increase employee productivity and job satisfaction.

Review the employee's past reviews. Look at what strengths and weaknesses were noted in the prior reviews. This will help familiarize you with the individual's individual track record and past performance evaluation information.

Look at the employee's performance since the last review. This will help you find out how and when the employee's performance has changed, and whether it was positive or negative. Identify past accomplishments or attributes the employee was lacking or that she has improved since her last review. This will show that you are noticing her progress and growth. Also look for new accomplishments or struggles that weren't mentioned in previous reviews.

Write at least five positive comments, and touch on them during the review. Using past reviews and current notes on productivity, timeliness and number of deadlines met, find where the employee succeeds and make a note of it. By telling the employee where he or she is successful, you are acknowledging the person's skills and accomplishments. Write this praise with no qualifiers of any kind, and if applicable, mention whether the employee has special talents in the areas mentioned that could lead to other opportunities. This is the best opportunity you have to make the employee feel good about the year's accomplishments.

Write at least five ways for the employee to improve--and do so in the context of an opportunity for improvement and growth, not just a cold list of negatives. An example: "John showed great attention to detail in presenting the December report; we know he has the kind of ability to turn in that kind of performance a little more consistently." Additionally, look for new areas or tasks that may have become a problem since the employee's last review. Identifying areas of improvement, along with suggesting ways to improve, helps the employee see where he or she can contribute more to the organization.

Decide together how to meet future goals, which can help you in preparing future written comments. By making suggestions on how to continue achieving successes, along with ideas on how to improve in certain areas, the employee will know that he has a support system willing to help him be productive and efficient. Put all goals in a constructive, positive light and be sure that the employee knows you value the individual's work and contributions to the company.

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