How to Write Overall Performance Comments (With Examples)

Write Effective Overall Performance Comments

Giving someone feedback is always a tricky situation. You want to be honest, but you also don’t want to hurt their feelings. The same problem arises when you have to give someone feedback on their performance.

You want to be honest, but you also don’t want them to feel bad. In this blog post, we’re going to teach you how to write effective overall performance comments (with examples).

We’ll also give you some tips on how to give good interview feedback to the recipient so they feel happy about the feedback they receive.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Table of contents
What is an overall performance review?
What an effective overall performance comment looks like
How to write an effective performance comment?
1. Be clear and concise
2. Use examples
3. Avoid using “you” statements
4. Avoid using overly general comments
5. Use positive language
6. Avoid using absolute words
7. Avoid using judgmental language
8. Never write anything negative
9. Must be enthusiastic
10. Have a clear purpose
11. Share specific feedback
Things to avoid when writing performance comments

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What is an overall performance review?

Overall performance generally refers to how well employees perform their job duties and responsibilities. This can include factors such as productivity, quality of work, creativity, teamwork, and customer service.

When writing employee evaluation comments, it is important to use specific examples to illustrate the employee’s strengths and achievements.

For example, you could say something like, “John has been an excellent performer in his role as a customer service representative. He is always polite and helpful to our customers and has consistently achieved high satisfaction ratings”.

Again, when commenting on improvement areas, be specific and use examples. For example, you might say, “John could improve his productivity by taking more breaks during his shift and focusing on one task at a time for enhanced time management”.

Overall, annual performance review phrases should be positive and constructive.

By providing specific examples of what the employee is doing well and where they can improve, you can help them to understand your expectations and continue to perform at a high level.

What an Effective Overall Performance Comment Looks Like

An effective overall performance comment is clear, concise, and specific. It should provide positive and negative information but always be respectful.

The goal of an effective overall performance comment is to help the person being reviewed understand what they are doing well and where they need improvement.

For example, an ineffective overall performance comment might say something like:

“You’re a great worker.”

The reason being, that this isn’t specific and doesn’t provide any helpful information for growth. Instead, an effective overall performance comment would say something like:

“I’ve noticed that you’re always the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. You’re clearly very dedicated to your job.

However, I’ve also noticed that you tend to take on too much work, and as a result, your quality of work suffers. I think it would be beneficial for you to learn to say ‘no’ more often and delegate some of your work to others”.

As you can see, the latter comment is much more specific and provides both positive and negative appraisal comments. It also offers suggestions for improvement.

performance review comments, performance evaluation, employee performance

How to Write an Effective Performance Comment?

Writing an effective overall performance comment doesn’t have to be difficult. Just keep things simple and follow these tips:

1. Be clear and concise

The best positive comments are clear and to the point. They get straight to the point without beating around the bush. Your

For example:

“I’ve noticed that you’re often late for work. Please try to be on time more often.”

When being clear and concise, it’s also important to be:

  • Specific: This way, the employee knows exactly what they need to work on.
  • Constructive: Try to focus on the positive and what the employee can do to improve rather than dwelling on the negative.
  • Objective: This means avoiding any personal biases or judgments.

2. Use examples

When possible, use specific examples to back up your claims. For example, “I noticed that you were late for work three times this week. On Monday, you came in at 9:05 am, on Wednesday you came in at 8:58 am, and today you came in at 9:03 am”.

Using examples is a great way to make your point without sounding too harsh or critical. However, ensure that you’re only using recent and relevant examples.

3. Avoid using “you” statements

When giving feedback, avoid using “you” statements. For example, instead of saying, “You didn’t do a good job” try, “The task wasn’t completed effectively”.

This will help the recipient feel as though you’re giving them constructive criticism rather than attacking them.

However, there are some instances where “you” statements may be appropriate. For example, if you want to praise someone for a job well done, you might say, “You did a great job”.

So it depends on the context in which you’re using “you” statements. If you’re trying to be constructive, avoid them. But if you want to give praise or make a direct request, feel free to use them.

4. Avoid using overly general comments

When you provide constructive feedback with effective communication skills, always avoid making overly general comments. For example, instead of saying, “You need to be more organized”.

Try “It would be helpful if you created a to-do list each day”. This way, the recipient knows exactly what they need to do to improve.

When avoiding general communication appraisal comments, make sure to:

  • Be as specific as possible: Suppose you want to give feedback that an employee needs to be more organized. It would be helpful to say something like, “I noticed that you didn’t create a to-do list today. In the future, it would be helpful if you created a to-do list each day”.
  • Use “I” statements: It can be tempting to use “you” statements when giving feedback. However, this can come across as confrontational or accusatory. Suppose, rather than saying, “You didn’t do X”. Try, “I noticed that you didn’t do X”.
  • Focus on the behavior, not the person: When giving feedback, it’s important to focus on the behavior, not the person. For instance, rather than saying, “You are lazy”. Try, “I noticed that you didn’t take the initiative to work on that project”.

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5. Use positive language

When critiquing someone’s performance evaluations, always use positive language. This means using phrases like “you did a great job” or “you’re making progress” instead of “you’re doing better” or “you need to improve”.

Because when you focus on the positive, the person is more likely to continue doing what they’re doing (or at least be open to hearing your suggestions for improvement).

On the other hand, if you use negative language, the person is more likely to get defensive and less likely to listen to what you have to say.

6. Avoid using absolute words

The absolute words like “always” or “never” can make your comment seem biased. Try to use more neutral language. These words can also make your comment seem like a criticism, even if it’s meant as constructive feedback.

Using absolute words can make your feedback sound like criticism, even if it’s meant to be constructive. It can also make you seem biased. So instead try some more neutral language instead.

For example, instead of saying, “you never pay attention to detail”. You could say, “I noticed that you might have missed some details in your work”.

7. Avoid using judgmental language

Judgemental language is a language that communicates a value judgment about someone or something. It often takes the form of criticism but can also be expressed in terms of praise.

For instance, rather than saying, “you are lazy”. Try, “I have noticed that you didn’t take the initiative to work on that project”.

Well, for one, it’s important to avoid making value judgments about others in the workplace. Not only is it unprofessional, but it can also lead to conflict and hurt feelings.

Additionally, besides having active listening skills, using judgmental language can make it difficult to have an open and honest conversation about someone’s performance.

Instead of saying:

“You’re lazy.”

Rather say:

“You didn’t take the initiative to work on that project.”

When writing performance evaluation comments, it’s important to use language that is objective and free of any judgment. This will help ensure that the conversation is productive and focused on improving performance management.

8. Never write anything negative

Imagine you are on the receiving end of an employee performance review. It’s easy to get defensive and react negatively when you hear constructive criticism or positive note that you don’t agree with.

But if you want to be taken seriously and respected by your boss, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and an open mind.

First, nobody likes a Negative Nancy (or Ned). Second, when you’re negative, it puts your boss on the defensive and makes it harder for him or her to listen to what you’re saying. Third, a positive attitude shows that you’re willing to work hard and improve.

So how do you stay positive while still being honest?

Here are a few tips:

  • Talk about what you’re doing well and what you enjoy about your job. This will help put your boss in a positive mindset before you start talking about areas of improvement.
  • When discussing areas of improvement, use “I” statements and avoid finger-pointing. For example, say, “I think I could improve in XYZ area” instead of “You need to give me more training in XYZ”.
  • Be specific and give concrete examples. This will help your boss understand what you’re trying to say and how you can improve.
  • Offer creative solutions. If you have ideas on how to fix the problem, share innovative solutions! This shows that you’re invested in making things better.

9. Must be enthusiastic

Enthusiastic comments are those that make it clear that the reviewer is glad to be writing them. They bring a sense of warmth and energy to the comments, which can help encourage employees.

Because when people feel appreciated, they tend to work harder. So if you can find a way to be enthusiastic in your employee comments, it may just lead to improved performance from your employees down the line.

Here are a few example phrases that you could use to start off an enthusiastic comment for improved written communication skills:

  • I’m so pleased with your progress this quarter.
  • I’m thrilled to see how much you’ve grown since you joined the team.
  • It’s been a delight to see your hard work paying off.

10. Have a clear purpose

When writing performance appraisals, it’s important to have a clear purpose in mind. Such as:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with your comments?
  • Are you providing constructive feedback on someone’s progress?
  • Are you trying to identify areas of improvement?
  • Or are you simply trying to praise someone for a job well done?

Knowing your purpose will help you write comments that are focused and effective. It will also help you avoid writing comments that are vague or ambiguous.

So take a few moments to think about your purpose before you start writing your appraisal comments. It may just make all the difference in the world.

11. Share specific feedback

Feedback is always more valuable when it’s specific, and the same is true for employee performance reviews.

For example, if you want to praise an employee for their customer service skills, don’t just say, “you’re good with people”. Instead, share a specific instance where they went above and beyond, or mention what it is specifically about their interactions that you enjoy.

Conversely, if you need to give constructive criticism, avoid generalities like “you need to work on your communication”. Instead, provide a specific example of what could be improved, and offer suggestions for how to go about making that change.

Specificity provides employees with actionable steps to improve their performance and helps them understand exactly what it is that you’re looking for.

By being as specific as possible in both the positive feedback and negative feedback you give, you’ll help your employees to understand what they’re doing well and where they need to continue to grow.

performance review, performance reviews, performance review comments

Things to Avoid When Writing Performance Comments

When writing performance comments, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid. Here are a few examples:

  • Using general comments such as “Good job!” or “Keep up the good work!”
  • Making assumptions about an employee’s understanding of their own performance
  • Focusing on one specific event or project rather than looking at the big picture
  • Using vague language that could be interpreted in different ways
  • Being overly critical or negative in your comments

Instead, use specific, positive language to help the employee understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Also, avoid making assumptions about an employee’s understanding of their performance; always allow them to ask questions or clarify any points you raise.

Finally, focus on the big picture rather than getting bogged down in the details of one specific event or project.

What do you write in overall performance?

When writing an overall performance review, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

First, aim to be clear and concise. It’s important to be specific when describing both the good and the bad aspects of an employee’s performance.

Additionally, avoid using generalities or making assumptions about an employee’s understanding of their performance.

1. Key steps to keep in mind

Regarding what to actually write, starting by listing out a few key points you want to make can be helpful.

From there, you can flesh out each point in more detail. For example, you might want to mention an employee’s strong work ethic, ability to meet deadlines, or willingness to take on new tasks.

On the other hand, you might want to point out areas where an employee needs improvement, such as their attitude towards co-workers, attendance record, or work quality.

2. Make use of examples

It can also be helpful to include specific examples to illustrate your points.

For instance, if you’re mentioning an employee’s strong work ethic, you could describe a time when they went above and beyond to complete a project.

On the other hand, if you’re mentioning an employee’s need for improvement in their attitude, you could describe a specific instance where they were rude or uncooperative with co-workers.

In general, it’s important to strike a balance between positive and negative comments. You don’t want to focus solely on the negative aspects of an employee’s performance, as this could come across as unfair or overly critical.

At the same time, you also don’t want to sugarcoat things by only mentioning the positive. Ultimately, you’re looking to provide a well-rounded assessment of an employee’s performance that includes both strengths and weaknesses.

What should I write in a performance review comment?

When it comes to writing performance review comments, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • >First, be specific. General comments like “good job” or “great work” are not as helpful as more specific ones.
  • Second, focus on the future. In other words, don’t just dwell on what the person did well in the past, but also comment on what you hope to see from them in the future.
  • And lastly, be positive. No one likes getting a negative performance review, so try to focus on the person’s strengths and how they can continue to improve.

With that said, let’s take a look at some examples of effective performance review comments.

Example 1:

I’ve been very impressed with your work so far. You always meet deadlines and your attention to detail is excellent. I’m looking forward to seeing even more great work from you in the future.

Example 2:

You’ve made some real progress since you started here. Your customer service skills have improved a lot, and I can tell you’re working hard to improve. Keep up the good work!

Example 3:

I know you’re new to this position, but you’ve already shown so much promise. You’re quick to learn, and you have a real talent for problem-solving. I’m confident you’ll be a real asset to this team.

As you can see, each of these comments is specific, focuses on the future, and is positive in nature.

By following this formula, you can write performance appraisal review comments that are both helpful and motivating for your employees.


Conclusion paragraph: Thank you for reading our guide on how to write effective overall performance comments.

We hope that you found it useful. If you have any questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at JustFeedback.

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