One of the trickiest roles of being a manager is doing a performance review on employees. While the exercise is meant to assess how an employee is performing on the job, sometimes the use of wrong comments can cause more problems than good. Positive feedback may end up sounding insincere while criticism can be overrated. This can damage the purpose of doing the reviews in the first place.

Employee comments on performance review are statements that managers and supervisors use to explain how employees have performed for a particular duration. Its aim is to give feedback to workers so that they can keep up the good work or improve.

Due to the sensitive nature of giving comments, managers should try their best to give the best employee comments in appraisal, whether in praising or criticizing. This may require additional effort, but it may make the dreaded exercise much easier.

How to give the best comments on appraisal

Use of measurable comments. For instance, general terms such as excellent or good may not be quantifiable and could mean different things. However, words like demonstrates, excels and communicates can give more meaning.

Using clear comments that focus on behavior and results especially when giving criticism. Instead of giving vague comments, use specifics. For instance, telling an employee ?your work is bad? is not clear which tasks are wrong. It is better to use a more specific comment such as ?there are errors in the report?. This way, an employee knows the areas to improve. Using specifics is also important when giving criticism. For instance, if an employee has poor performance, the remarks should be more specific on areas that need improvement with concrete examples.

Use examples when reviewing employee intangible traits such as dependability, judgment or cooperativeness. Evaluating these traits can seem personal. However, focusing on examples of positive or negative behavior can help reduce bias when you are giving comments on these qualities. Avoid comments that can be termed as personal, too negative or that may erroneously send the wrong message. In most cases, employees detest evaluations especially if they are just a formality for criticism in the organization. Using a wrong comment can kill an employee?s morale, reduce productivity or even result in lawsuits. When giving comments on appraisal, remember that the purpose is to assess performance so that relevant action can be taken. You should not be guided by emotions, anger or fear during the exercise.

Sample employee comments

Comments on employee cooperativeness: Has good working relationships with colleagues