If you’re anything like me, one of the hardest parts about being in management is putting together performance appraisals or annual reviews. Even when I knew colleagues were performing well and I was excited to tell them about a raise, the work that goes into crafting a useful appraisal can be a lot.
That’s why appraisal examples and review templates are so useful. They help inspire your feedback and give you a head start.
So, let’s take a look at some appraisal examples, along with phrases you can use to write your next performance review. I’ll also touch on how you can use Venngage to quickly and easily assemble a review that will set your employees up for success.
Click to jump ahead:
- Appraisal and review phrases
- Performance appraisal examples
- Self-appraisal examples
- Manager appraisal examples
- Employee appraisal examples
- Senior manager self-appraisal examples
- Performance appraisal FAQs
Appraisal and review phrases
For me, the biggest difficulty in putting together appraisals, assessments and reviews was finding exactly the right words to say to get my point across — and I’m a professional writer — so chances are this is also a struggle for you.
Here are some phrases that may work depending on your end goals. But remember, you should always add specifics. So if you’re praising someone’s strength under fire, give a specific example of when they did that.
- Highly organized and excellent at time management.
- Collaborative with others and available to assist when needed.
- Not easily frustrated when faced with a hurdle or setback.
- Accepts constructive criticism and strives to improve performance.
- Asks questions to clarify or resolve issues before they become major problems.
- Develops innovative solutions to problems and works to avoid issues in the first place.
- Unable to adapt to change or embrace new tasks, technology or processes.
- Unwilling to provide assistance to others who may be struggling.
- Interrupts during meetings or ignores teammates when they are speaking.
- Struggles to deliver work on time and to expected level of quality.
- Fails to communicate or ask for assistance when it’s needed.
- Refuses to cooperate with requests from other departments.
Looking for more performance review phrases? Check out the section on useful performance review phrases here.
Performance appraisal examples
According to Gallup, traditional methods of giving feedback are so useless they may make employees’ performance worse rather than improving it. In fact, this happens about one-third of the time, Gallup estimates.
How can you avoid that? By following these performance appraisal examples.
Update this basic template with the competencies your employees must have and then use it as a performance appraisal tool by assigning a value from 1-4, depending on how well they’re doing in each area. This performance appraisal example was designed for both quarterly and annual evaluations, so it’s quite versatile.
Make your quarterly performance reviews visually engaging by using this template, which relies on some eye-catching pie charts and lets you assign a numerical value to your employees’ performance appraisal.
Not every example of poor performance needs to be an emergency. Use this performance matrix to establish some parameters and step in only when an individual’s performance reaches the intervention area of the matrix.
Using visuals for performance management can help take advantage of the brain’s natural inclination toward visual communication. Read all about this approach in our guide to effective performance management through visual comminucation.
Not every company uses self-appraisals as part of their formal or informal feedback process. But for good managers, having their employees fill this out can be helpful, provided some ground rules are established.
For example, if you’re using self-appraisals as part of an annual review, you must make clear to the individual that their own assessment likely won’t be part of their formal record kept by HR. That said, self-appraisals can be a valuable tool for understanding the areas where team members feel strongest and weakest.
This annual self-evaluation template gives employees a chance to not only talk about their past year’s performance, but to look ahead. Yes, the annual review period is mostly about summing up the past year and giving out raises, but it can also be a time to reflect on where you want to go, not just where you’ve been.
And from a business perspective, helping your employees develop new skills could even make them stay with your company longer.
Venngage makes it easy to customize templates and turn them into exactly what you need. Update the colors, fonts and questions on this self-assessment to make it perfect for your organization, and make unique ones for each department or job.
Make sure you and your team members are on the same page with this self-assessment form. Have each of your team members rate their performance in each job-related activity as well as their opinion about how important the task is to their overall performance.
Manager appraisal examples
Ultimately, in most organizations, it’s the manager’s assessment of performance that really matters, so most performance appraisal and review templates will fall into this category. It’s easy to customize these templates for your specific organization and its unique needs. (Make sure the forms you use are cleared by your HR team.)
What you say and how you rate your employees should not come as a total shock to them, as you should be providing them with regular formal and informal feedback. If you’re doing it well, then a manager appraisal like this one could simply be a formality or something they can look back on to chart their progress.
Give your employees quarterly feedback with this simple appraisal template. Update the specific areas you’ll be assessing as needed, but remember that even when an employee is having a tough time, being overly negative can be counterproductive.
One thing I really like about this particular template is that it forces the manager to find positivity.
Encourage some healthy rivalry within your department by using this microlearning infographic as an appraisal tool. Have your employees compete with each other to see how many new systems or tasks they can learn, or make it altruistic by having them tally up their volunteer time each month to see how they’re giving back to the community.
Employee appraisal examples
Employee appraisals don’t necessarily have to tie directly to performance or the annual review period. Check out these general employee appraisal examples to see if they could apply for you.
Employee evaluations shouldn’t just talk about a person’s specific job duties and whether they did them well enough. Soft skills and interpersonal relations are also important when it comes to job success, so consider a template like this one that has space for all those factors.
Take a unique approach to employee appraisals by creating a matrix-style evaluation for each of your team members. This type of visualization establishes at a glance where the person ranks when it comes to their performance in various tasks.
This simple quarterly performance review is an excellent way to give regular feedback outside of the annual evaluation structure. And because it’s in a gray color palette, it should be easier on your office printer.
Senior manager self-appraisal examples
A company’s expectations of those in management roles will be different from what’s expected of lower-level employees, so consider using these senior manager self-appraisal templates for those in high-level roles.
Not everyone is cut out for a leadership role, but you can help ambitious employees understand what’s expected of senior managers in your organization with this leadership readiness checklist. Simply customize the statements (and the math at the end) to make them relevant for your organization and help you find the cream of the crop.
Just because someone hasn’t formally been in a management role, doesn’t mean they haven’t done the sorts of tasks managers do. When considering someone for a promotion, have them fill out this senior manager self-appraisal to find out what experience they have with the specific tasks you need done by your managers.
Leadership styles vary from person to person, and there are times when each leadership style may be appropriate. Share this infographic with those you’re considering for management roles and have conversations about which styles feel natural to them.
Performance appraisal FAQ
What should I write in my appraisal?
A good employee appraisal is direct, honest, constructive — and above all, not personal. Remember that the performance appraisal process is about getting the best work possible from each person, and so what you write should be geared toward each individual. Consider not only how they’re performing, but what types of feedback they’ve responded to in the past.
How do I write sample appraisal comments for myself?
Self-assessments are difficult. Many people have a tough time tooting their own horn. As a general rule of thumb, keep your appraisal comments positive, but not overly so. Be honest and constructively critical with yourself, but strive to be future-looking to give your employer a sense of your career or personal ambitions.
Performance appraisals can help motivate your team and correct poor work
Remember to tailor your appraisals to each individual. This is your chance to provide specific, constructive feedback to help your team members grow and improve. So though formal appraisals can be tricky, they’re an important part of running a business.
And remember, if you’re short on time or not sure where to start, Venngage offers many performance appraisal templates to give you a running start.