Employee Appraisal Comments

40 Specific, Meaningful Employee Appraisal Comments

Zach ParkesLeaders, Performance Reviews & 1-on-1s


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Employee Appraisal Comments

40 Specific, Meaningful Employee Appraisal Comments


Performance Appraisals Can Be Difficult

Let’s be honest, performance appraisals aren’t typically something that an employee, or even their manager look forward to. But why is this the case?

From the perspective of an employee, it’s fairly obvious. Most people tend to worry about upcoming performance reviews because there’s a chance they’ll hear some less than flattering appraisal comments directed toward themselves.  

Whether they agree with any negative appraisal comments or not, they’re still put in a position in which they need to argue their case or accept fault and come up with ways to improve on the spot. Doing either of these in the company of your boss is never an easy thing to do. 

From a manager’s perspective, things are a little different. While a manager should certainly be open to feedback on their own performance, they are far less on the spot than the employee that they are speaking to. Manager’s may dislike conducting performance appraisals for a variety of other reasons.  

Maybe it’s for the simple reason that performance appraisals can be quite difficult. Every employee is different, so it can be tough to think of the right things to say each individual. Perhaps they struggle to deliver negative appraisal comments, even when they know it’s necessary. There’s an art to getting your point across in an appropriate manner without discouraging an employee. 


Specific, Meaningful Employee Appraisal Comments

No matter how you look at it, it’s in everyone’s best interest to come into a performance appraisal prepared. While it’s definitely important to personalize each review for the particular employee, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a handy appraisal comments bank to help you get started and then tailor the comments!  

You’ll notice that these appraisal comments are quite specific - they are intended to be!  

We’ve included three "Positive" examples, and two "Needs Improvement" examples for each topic.  

Note that all "Needs Improvement" comments are phrased in a constructive way. 

If you're short on time, you can download all 40 specific, meaning appraisal comments in a convenient PDF by clicking below.

40 Specific, Meaningful Employee Appraisal Comments

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Leadership Appraisal Comments

Positive Examples

  • You serve as an exemplary role model by consistently demonstrating a commitment to upholding company values, and encouraging others to do the same.

  • You effectively provide guidance for your team when necessary, while also holding employees accountable for their individual responsibilities.

  • Your team is engaged and achieving their goals.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • Your team may benefit from an increased frequency of acknowledgment of goal achievement. You can also offer periodic on-the-spot informal recognition.

  • Your team may be able to benefit from additional guidance and direction.

Teamwork Appraisal Comments 

Positive Examples

  • You demonstrate a strong ability to balance a willingness to help others on the team and carry out of your own direct responsibilities.

  • Your ability to both listen to others and contribute your own ideas is a great demonstration of your teamwork skills.

  • Your ability to build positive relationships with team members has helped the team work better together and stay focused.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • You should be conscious of the fact that other members of your team may have perspectives that differ from your own.

  • An increased willingness to share knowledge and collaborate may provide mutual benefits to you and your team.

Communication Appraisal Comments 

Positive Examples

  • You have a strong ability to listen to others and provide valuable insights framed in such a way as to be collaborative.

  • You present your opinions and instructions in a clear and objective manner, without coming across as self-serving.

  • You remain constructive and open to ideas and compromise in situations where opposing ideas and opinions are being discussed.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • You may benefit from an increased focus on explaining your insights to others who may not be as experienced as you are.

  • As part of a collaborative culture, you should be willing to engage in a constructive conversation with others who may not share the same view as you.

Problem Solving Appraisal Comments 

Positive Examples

  • You demonstrate an admirable ability to turn problems into learning opportunities.

  • You are consistently willing to view problems as challenges, as opposed to roadblocks and work with others on solutions.

  • You exhibit an ability to come up with innovative solutions to unexpected problems.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • You may benefit from considering multiple potential solutions before taking action.

  • When unexpected problems arise, and they are inevitable, you position this as a negative to others in both your attitude and responsiveness.

Goal Setting & Achievement Appraisal Comments 

Positive Examples

  • You consistently meet or surpass your goals and take pride in your performance.

  • You are able to set goals that are both ambitious and attainable and then execute on these effectively.

  • You demonstrate a willingness to seek help and make use of any necessary resources in order to achieve your goals.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • You may benefit from focusing more on your specific goals for the year and work to achieve them, without getting sidetracked.

  • You need to reach out to me for help in time that goals you are not achieving can be rejigged or alternate solutions brainstormed.

Organization & Administration Appraisal Comments  

Positive Examples

  • Your ability to absorb and effectively categorize new information is a testament to your exceptional organizational skills.

  • Your high level of organization is evidenced by how efficiently you are able to complete your many tasks with tight deadlines.

  • You continue to seek out new ways to increase administrative effectiveness.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • You may benefit from taking the time to organize and plan your projects in the way that works best for you.

  • You may see an increased efficiency in your workflow if you organize your time and weekly tasks more intuitively, possibly using Outlook.

Time Management Appraisal Comments 

Positive Examples

  • Your ability to prioritize tasks by importance and make the best of the time that you have is exceptional.

  • You consistently find ways to make the best use of your time and meet deadlines in a very busy role.

  • You are mindful of both your own and others' agendas and time constraints.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • You may benefit by adhering to a better prioritization process and using our technology tools to help schedule.

  • You may need to put more consideration and planning into the limited time others have to support you, rather than waiting until their assistance is a rush on your project.

Professional Development Appraisal Comments 

Positive Examples

  • You are open to and enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn new skills.

  • Your positive attitude toward the adoption of new protocols has a positive influence on those around you and the changes needed.

  • You accept responsibility for mistakes and use them as an opportunity to learn and develop.

Needs Improvement Examples

  • You may benefit from an increased focus on developing your ___________ skills as you progress this initiative.

  • You may benefit from participating/leading a cross-functional team as part of your professional development.

Final Thoughts

Every workplace is different, and so is every employee. It’s important to personalize appraisal comments for each employee in order to maximize effectiveness. It’s also critical that you’re able to phrase negative appraisal comments in a constructive way. This appraisal comment bank isn’t meant to be a fix all solution, but it should help you get on the right track! Feel free to take it to go!

40 Specific, Meaningful Employee Appraisal Comments

Download PDF

Send download link to:

I consent to receive future White Papers, blog updates & other marketing communications from SpriggHR.

Performance Appraisal Software Solutions

Assisting with appraisal comments is just one of many things that we do to make performance management simple and effective. We've love to show you everything that Sprigg can do in a free demonstration!

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There's an easier way...

Do you know what’s even easier than scouring the internet for appraisal comments and thought starters? Having them built in to your performance management platform!  

Sprigg comes equipped with a variety of appraisal comment banks, thought starters, and questions that can be used to kick start a performance review. You’ll find helpful phrases not only for managers and leaders, but for employees too! 

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