Examples of Performance Appraisals in the Workplace

HR Managerin bei der Personalauswahl

When hearing the term “staff appraisals”, people likely think of annual employee performance reviews – an anxiety-inducing process for many. But appraisals are typically more frequent check-ins, allowing for timely, actionable evaluations. And they don't have to be stressful and nerve-wracking, as long as managers know the best ways to relay feedback.

In this article we will offer some examples and suggestions to help employers manage performance appraisals for their staff.

Start from the top with our performance review template today.

Examples of Performance Appraisals 

Choosing the right way to frame feedback during an appraisal can be tricky. You want to strike a balance between being honest and helpful but also inspiring motivation instead of dread. 

In this section, we’ll offer managers and employers some suggestions for how to offer feedback during an appraisal based on some of the most common working “habits”. Here are examples of phrases you can use depending on if the area is a positive (strength) or negative (weakness) for the employee.

Creativity & Innovation 

Positive: Consistently finds innovative ways to tackle challenges. Inspires other team members to think creatively. Uses his/her creativity to improve every deliverable.

Negative: Rigid mindset does not enable creative thinking. Does not foster a creative or innovative work environment for his/her team. Lacks imagination to come up with innovative solutions.


Positive: Always on time or early for meetings. Starts each day on time and ready to work. Sticks to the schedule whenever possible.

Negative: Is frequently late to work at the beginning of the day. Does not follow the company’s attendance policy. Poor attendance negatively impacts coworkers.


Positive: Has proven themselves to be a team player. Willing to offer advice and help to teammates at any time. Is considerate of others’ feelings and needs.

Negative: Does not treat the workplace as a team environment. Always wants to complete projects alone. Coworkers are hesitant to ask him/her for help or advice.


Positive: Understands strengths and weaknesses of his/her team. Keeps team engaged and working toward mutual goals. Provides a great example for others to follow.

Negative: Does not inspire or motivate team members to work hard. Does not listen well or treat others as equals. Lacks clarity when assigning tasks and goals.

Time Management 

Positive: Uses time effectively to complete projects. Consistently meets all deadlines. Respects his/her coworkers’ time.

Negative: Frequently submits work late. Does not have a solid understanding of how long a task will take. Tends to exceed allotted time during meetings and presentations.

Communication Skills

Positive: Effectively communicates with coworkers and managers. Responds to emails/messages/requests in a timely manner. Communicates his/her weekly progress to improve transparency.

Negative: Tends to become defensive during difficult conversations. Frequently takes several days to respond to emails. Does not communicate respectfully with coworkers.


Positive: Exceeded expectations on goals during [time period]. Consistent top performer on the team. Develops effective strategies to deliver positive results.

Negative: Did not meet production goal defined during the last performance review. Does not try to go above and beyond. Is typically near the bottom for performance ratings.

Customer Experience 

Positive: Excels at creating a positive customer experience. Keeps calm when speaking with angry customers. High customer satisfaction rating.

Negative: Does not listen well to customers or help them overcome issues. Too often chooses to pass a customer complaint on to someone else in the team. Receives consistently low ratings on customer surveys.

Problem Solving

Positive: Approaches new challenges with a positive attitude and a plan. Utilises all members of the team to solve problems. Excels at finding innovative solutions to hard problems.

Negative: Becomes easily discouraged by large problems. Lacks the long-term planning needed to solve problems. Tries to tackle challenges alone rather than involving the team.

Work Ethics

Positive: Fosters an environment with high ethical standards for all team members. Consistently does the right thing even when it’s difficult. Ensures all deliverables are aligned with company values and guidelines.

Negative: Encourages other team members to mislead customers to win a sale. Does not act in accordance with company values. Often stretches the truth when speaking with managers.


Positive: Always looks for the positive in any situation. Positive attitude improves the motivation of everyone on his/her team. Helps to lighten the mood during stressful times.

Negative: Switches too easily from a positive to a negative attitude. Negative attitude can affect others on the team. Needs to better control poor attitude.

Flexibility ​​

Positive: Adapts to new situations and challenges easily. Willing to change style of working for the benefit of the greater team. Capable of handling a range of assignments at once.

Negative: Does not excel at projects requiring flexibility. Unwilling to admit when he/she is wrong. Resistant to unknown processes or trying new techniques.

Put Employee Performance In Focus


Top talent demands development. Make it a point of focus with Personio’s Performance Management software. Schedule automated cycles, document feedback, and more. Find the whole story by clicking below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Performance Appraisal Examples

What Are Some Examples of Performance Appraisals for HRM?

There are many types of performance appraisals in human resource management (HRM). Here are a few examples:

  • 360-degree – Collects feedback on the employee from a 360-degree view of all the people who work with them, from subordinates to supervisors to customers

  • Graphic rating scale – Rates workers on a numbered scale for their role’s desired traits and behaviours 

  • Ranking – Ranks each employee based on certain factors with high performers at the top and low performers at the bottom

  • Checklist – A more black/white appraisal method where employees either receive a checkmark or don’t for the specified factors

  • Grid – Some organisations may choose to use the 9 box grid approach to plot their employees in a grid to help map out the state of their workforce.

What Is the Best Performance Appraisal Method?

We've already detailed some of the best templates for performance reviews.

That said, the best performance appraisal method may depend on the company or employee, but one approach that is highly recommended is the 360-degree appraisal.

This method collects feedback on the employee from a whole range of people who work with them: superiors, peers, subordinates, and even customers. 

What Are the Goals of a Performance Appraisal?

The goals of a performance appraisal may vary, but common objectives include:

  1. Improve productivity

  2. Motivate employees

  3. Provide feedback and promotion opportunities

  4. Improve employee confidence

  5. Help employees set goals

  6. Record progress or regression

  7. Provide data to aid in management decisions

  8. Help managers to be better coaches

Boost Employee Performance With Better Appraisals

Performance appraisals require planning, nuance, and intentional language.

Employees should feel supported and managers should feel prepared so the whole organisation can benefit. 

To learn more about tracking all your performance cycles and building ones that match your organisation’s culture, values and processes today, speak with an expert today.

14 days of Personio. For free.

personio software free trial