Areas of improvement to consider when writing a performance review

There is a huge number of areas, which can demonstrate how well an employee performs. Some of these are tangible, such as promptness and ability to follow the rules. Others are intangible, such as attitude and willingness to learn. Considering each of the areas below when writing employee appraisals will help you determine better how effective a person is when evaluating his or her job performance.

  • Adherence to company policies. If an employee consistently breaks the rules, this could be a cause for concern as to their ability to follow proper procedures.
  • Attendance and punctuality.Obviously, these are areas that can be documented in an appraisal, but it is always important to consider how well they are managed.
  • defines attitude as a “settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person’s behavior.” Attitude shows in what manner a person tends to interact with others, how he/she behaves when facing an obstacle in their work and their behavior in numerous other situations.
  • Communication skills.This applies to both verbal and written skills.
  • Cooperation and teamwork.Does the employee work well with others, share responsibility and do his/her best to be a part of the whole rather than a “lone wolf”?
  • Customer service, both on the phone and in person.Is the employee pleasant and professional, helpful, willing to serve or does resentment come across in tone of voice or body language?
  • Effectiveness and productivity. Is the amount of work, quality of work and accuracy sufficient?
  • Human relations.This includes how well the employee interacts with co-workers, managers and customers.
  • Initiative.How well does the employee demonstrate a desire to work, to learn, to accomplish new tasks, to meet new challenges?
  • Job Knowledge.Does the employee demonstrate a solid knowledge of what it takes to do his/her job or seek out training to learn new skills as needed?
  • Kindness and courtesy.These are key areas that affect how an employee deals with everyone around him/her, and it relates directly to attitude and human relations skills.
  • Personal hygiene and neatness.This is crucial for employees who meet the public on a regular basis, but it is also important for those who deal with managers, or co-workers.
  • Reliability.Does the employee complete assignments as directed and in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Self-management.How well does the employee focus, manage his/her time, avoid distractions, etc.?
  • Willingness to accept criticism or feedback.Is the employee capable of handling criticism or does he/she get defensive when receiving it?


All of these areas of employee performance are important to consider when doing an appraisal. Create a checklist to follow as you work through an evaluation process and encourage others who might evaluate employees to use one as well. While poor performance in any specific area may not be cause for dismissal, it is certainly an indication of where an employee needs to improve.

Recognizing such needs can help human resources personnel and managers to provide timely and effective feedback and training to help an employee improve his/her job performance on every level.

Whilst this was just a checklist of areas, once you manage to identify an area of improvement of a particular employee, you may need to provide a more detailed information about it. For this purpose, you are welcome to use these samples of performance review phrases where you can find a huge variety of phrases about employees’ strengths and weaknesses. You can also create a combination of several phrases to make your description unique and relevant to a particular person.

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