How to Write a Performance Appraisal or Review

Mary Cullen

Table of Contents

Tips for employees to present information to receive a strong performance evaluation, tips for employers to write a meaningful performance evaluation.

January is often the month that performance metrics are determined for the year. Whether writing an annual review or quarterly job performance review, t here are two sides to consider when writing a performance evaluation:

  • Presenting your information for evaluation - the work of the employee.
  • Evaluating performance - the work of the manager.

Despite its apparent complexities, writing performance appraisals is a fairly easy task. Here’s a look at four business writing training guidelines to help both managers and individual employees write relevant and accurate performance appraisal reports.

Keep the Audience in Mind

Appraisal reports are written for senior management in your organization. Put yourself in your manager’s position and consider: What does your boss want in this appraisal report? What good will this information do for him or her? How will the report help in assessing the employee’s performance?

The first step towards drafting an effective performance review is to keep your target audience in mind. There’s a famous business cliché that says, “What counts is what's counted.” This should be your focus. Analyze all indices and factors that seem relevant for the employee appraisal.

Remember, your manager will be evaluating your performance based on your job description and goals. Be certain you include specific information about your job description and annual goals since that is the primary measure your manager will use. 

Stay Relevant When You Write Performance Appraisals

As an employee, you need to address all the core areas of interest to your manager on a timely basis. The core interest will always be your job description and annual goals. Address your achievements about your specific job description and goals before introducing any ancillary work you achieved.

For example, if your position is an accounting manager and your primary job description is reviewing the finances for specific deals and your annual goals include 90% accuracy in deal forecasting. Do not focus most of your performance evaluation document on the wonderful new software program you developed for your team. While that software program is commendable, you must give your manager achievements directly related to your job description and annual performance goals. 

Keep Track of All Achievements

By the time January rolls around, you’ve likely forgotten about the training course you took in August or the email you received in February that raved about your work. 

Create a tracking document that lists all your achievements and completed development opportunities as they occur. These achievements should be in line with the performance indices used in your appraisal report. Whenever you receive any recognition email or acknowledgment for your hard work, add it to your tracking document and save the email. Note any training you completed, conferences you attended, or any relevant innovations you created as they happen. This will provide accuracy and reliability to your performance appraisal report and help you assemble accurate, relevant facts.

Pro Tip : Keep a log of your colleagues' achievements, also, if your company does a 360 review.

Use Sp ecific, Mea surable, C onfiden t La nguage in Your Performance Ratings

Performance appraisal reports are very specific in nature. They determine increments to your salary, bonuses, perks, or even a better position. Therefore, it is important that you use the right tone, with accurate sentences and specific verbs to describe your performance.

Use evocative words that specifically summarize your achievements. Instead of relying on long and unending sentences, use short and precise words and phrases. Avoid jargon and business clichés that don't really mean anything specific, such as "passionate marketer" or "committed team member." Instead, be specific about your actual accomplishments. 

Tools such as Jargon Grader will help you will receive helpful feedback that allows you to weed beaten-to-death phrases from your writing and Grammarly will identify any basic errors. 

Choose one strong evocative verb, instead of verbs that need modifiers, when summarizing your work.

  • Instead of “ worked on cost of living impact to hiring,” be more specific. “I calculated the cost of living on hiring success.”
  • Instead of "He walked slowly into the room, late as usual ," write, "He slinked into the room."
  • Instead of "We held a meeting to discuss ," write, "We debated the issue." When selecting what to highlight, review your SMART Goals to ensure your achievements specifically align with past performance review goals.

To accurately measure employee performance in a performance review, it is critical to link the business goals of the employee's key work to specific attributes .

Let’s apply this to the important skill of business writing.

For this key particular skill, we need to link the business goals of the employee's key documents to specific writing attributes . Telling an employee that they need "better report writing" or "more clear email" is too vague and impossible to measure. Without accurate measurements in the performance evaluation, skill gains cannot be tracked. 

Instead, approach it more strategically:

  • Define the goals of the documents your employees need to write.
  • Assess the sub-skills required for these documents.
  • Evaluate if these identified sub-skills actually support the overall document goals.

Document Goals for Future Performance

What is the desired outcome for the employee's documents? 

First, identify the key documents the employee needs to write and then assess the requisite skills for each of these major documents. For example, if an employee needs to write spec documents for vendors, the end goal of these spec documents is likely to receive vendor RFPs that accurately respond with solutions that match your company's specs and needs. Or, if employees need to write reports on the status of critical company equipment, the end goal of these status reports is likely to keep your executive team informed about key equipment or perhaps request funding for needed repairs.

As you consider the individual performance of each employee, it's important to ensure your employee feedback aligns with the key performance indicators of growth for each department.

The first task in crafting employee business writing goals is defining the real business purpose of each document. Don't move immediately to syntax and language, which is a very common mistake.

Performance Review Examples for Writing Skills

Every business document requires five core requisite skills:

  • Audience awareness
  • Appropriate content
  • Content logically organized
  • Content logically sequenced
  • Syntax and grammar that is clear, correct, and engaging

Let's apply these requisite skills to the employee who needs to write spec documents:

  • Sub-skill = audience awareness - Do the spec documents accurately address an identified reader (i.e. the employee understands when a vendor is unfamiliar, familiar, interested, disinterested, experienced, or less experienced)? In essence, the employee is able to critically assess both the project and the vendor's current understanding.  
  • Sub-skill = appropriate content - Do the spec documents provide complete yet non-redundant information, based on vendor needs? For example, a vendor who has never worked with your company likely needs more background information than a vendor who has successfully completed a similar project before.  
  • Sub-skill = logical organization - Are the spec documents logically organized? Is the information logically grouped, and tiered? Can the vendor visually identify significant information and delineate what is essential from background information?  
  • Sub-skill = logical sequencing - Do the spec documents start at an orienting summary, move logically through the information, and close clearly and logically?   
  • Sub-skill = language and syntax and format - Is the grammar correct in the spec documents? Is the language clear? Is the tone professional and well-matched to your company and vendor? Is the document easy to skim and absorb for busy readers?

This same process can be applied to customer service emails, quarterly performance reports, business justification documents, or any key documents you or your employees write.

The first objective is to identify the desired business outcome of key documents, and then break down the requisite skills into measurable components. 

Do the Identified Writing Skills Support Document Goals?

Goals must be linked to document outcome, with the skills broken down, or there is no real way to measure the progress or identify the skill gaps to track and measure employee writing skills in a performance evaluation.

Without the skill gaps clearly identified, any performance management,  training, mentoring, or writing evaluation will be hit or miss.

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How to Write a Performance Appraisal

Last Updated: December 23, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Michael R. Lewis . Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor in Texas. He has over 40 years of experience in business and finance, including as a Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. He has a BBA in Industrial Management from the University of Texas at Austin. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 67,365 times.

Performance appraisals, also called performance reviews, are used to evaluate an employee's work at their job. Many performance appraisals are completed by the employee's manager, though some employers may ask employees to appraise their own work or others' work and complete a self-evaluation. Whether you're writing a review of your employees' work or your own work, learning how to write a performance review can help you clarify the roles and responsibilities of everyone at your place of business.

Preparing to Review an Employee's Performance

Step 1 Update that position's description.

  • It would be unfair to the employee to evaluate them based on outdated position descriptions.
  • Recognize the work that employee has done and the work they're expected to do this year, not in years past.
  • Update the description to include any special skills or knowledge required to do the work and/or any specific tools or equipment needed.

Step 2 Identify expectations based on job roles/functions.

  • Accountability: This covers whether the employee is reliable and consistent. Accountability may include punctuality, ability to meet deadlines, respect for the organization and its employees, and ability to meet or exceed performance expectations.
  • Production standards: These should be objective, measurable accomplishments performed within specific time frames. For example, a person picking stock in a distribution center might be expected to pick 100 pieces an hour.
  • Job knowledge: This may include the employee's professional skills, ability to assist coworkers, and willingness to continue developing their knowledge and abilities. Required knowledge might also include operating, maintaining, and instructing others with special tools and equipment.
  • Communication: This may include communication skills, or it may cover an employee's ability to work collaboratively and seek feedback from other employees.
  • Interpersonal relations: This generally deals with how the employee treats their colleagues, and whether the employee is tactful and respectful of others.
  • Customer service: If the employee's position involves customer service, you may want to include evaluations on patience, approachability, reliability, and the employee's commitment to following up with customers as needed.

Step 3 Review last year's performance appraisal.

  • Look into performance reviews for the past three years, especially noting whether such reviews have been performed by other people. Note any employee comments about past reviews.

Step 4 Document the employee's performance.

  • In order to complete a performance appraisal, you will need to decide on some type of measurable, quantitative method of documenting and evaluating performance.
  • Any time an employee commits an infraction, it needs to be documented in that employee's personnel file. These infractions should be reviewed and compiled during that employee's performance appraisal.
  • Tie any performance praise or infraction reprimand with specific rules and policies at work. Make sure all rules and policies are enforced equally for all employees.

Step 5 Get feedback from the employee and their co-workers.

  • Ask an employee's coworkers how that individual performs at work, both independently and in collaboration with others.
  • You should specifically ask about both the accomplishments of that employee and any areas that their colleagues believe need improvement.
  • Remember that co-workers' comments are always subjective and often based upon their relationship with employee. Rather than relying upon single interviews, indicate the use of 360-degree appraisals.

Step 6 Give your employee regular feedback between performance reviews.

  • The employer should have written history of any reviews and feedback, with evidence that the employee understands the reason for a negative comment and the expectations for improvement.

Evaluating an Employee's Performance

Step 1 Choose an appraisal format.

  • Open-ended: Rather than using a rating scale, an open-ended appraisal is an open-ended written evaluation that can include any thoughts that the appraiser chooses to include. This format is preferable if you only manage a small number of people.
  • Remember that these responses need to be based on observation of results, not speculation of motive or attitude.
  • Checklist: The checklist appraisal is generally used by managers with a large number of employees to evaluate. It consists of a list of performance appraisals and a numerical ranking of how a given employee performs in each category (for example, on a scale of 1 to 5).
  • Ranking employees in groups against others can be an effective way to recognize low performance. Many company automatically terminate the lowest 10 percent if no improvement is made.

Step 2 Consider what's actually been achieved.

  • As you assess an employee's performance, you'll need to distinguish between that employee doing their job and actually accomplishing things for the company.
  • Make a point of praising good work on the employee's part, but have concrete accomplishments to praise.
  • You should especially praise good work if the employee is doing the work of multiple people. Many employees get saddled with extra work after downsizing, yet they never get recognition for that extra effort.
  • Focus on the entire reporting period (most likely a year). Focusing on one bad incident from the last month and ignoring the last 11 months of flawless work is unfair and unhelpful for most employees.

Step 3 Justify each part of the evaluation.

  • Dedicate time to each individual objective being reviewed. Be honest and fair in your assessment, and don't play favorites among your employees.
  • Support every score on the evaluation, whether good or bad, with written comments and feedback.
  • Make sure your criticism (if any) is constructive. It's not helpful to tell someone they're bad at doing something; instead, tell them how to improve that aspect of their job.
  • As a manager, ask and focus on how you can help employee reach goals. In other words, be people-oriented to achieve high standards, rather than process-oriented.
  • Focus on each employee's strengths and weaknesses, and be sure to give your employee new performance goals for the coming year.
  • Let employees know that improvement can lead to benefits like a salary increase or a promotion to a better position.

Step 4 Set SMART goals and objectives for the position.

  • Specific goals should use exact language and target the precise aspects of performance that need improvement. For example, instead of saying "Make better sales calls," you might suggest that the employee work on their tone and pitch with customers.
  • Measurable goals should be easily tracked. You should have a clear indication of what needs to be done, how much change needs to be made, and when it needs to happen by.
  • Attainable goals are realistic and feasible for an employee to accomplish. Rather than expecting an employee to single-handedly turn the company around, you should expect that employee to improve their sales numbers, for example.
  • Relevant goals link the employee's performance with quantifiable results that relate to their function in the workplace. For example, a customer service employee may be asked to increase the number of disgruntled callers they're able to keep as customers.
  • Time-bound goals have a specific start and end date. For example, a time-bound goal might be to improve customer satisfaction ratings within the next six months.

Step 5 End the review on a positive note.

  • It's typically easier to take critical feedback if the review ends with something positive.
  • Think about everything that employee has done over the last year, including how that employee interacts with other colleagues, to find something positive you can praise.

Step 6 Follow up with quarterly or mid-year reviews.

  • You can follow up with employees through formal performance appraisals, or informally through a one-on-one conversation with each employee (if this is feasible).
  • Praise improvements and corrective changes the employee has made. Give them credit for all their hard work.
  • Point out any performance aspects that have not improved with your recommendations or have gotten worse since last year's review.

Completing a Self-Evaluation

Step 1 Give yourself enough time to reflect and plan a response.

  • You should never rush through a self-evaluation. That appraisal may end up in your personnel file, or it could be reviewed when you're up for a promotion, so make it count.
  • You shouldn't need weeks and weeks to plan a response, but you may want to take at least a day or two to look back on everything you've done in the last year.

Step 2 Assess your work honestly.

  • Avoid false modesty and take credit for your achievements.
  • By the same token, though, make sure you don't inflate your performance assessment either.
  • Try to frame your shortcomings as learning experiences. For example, you might say, "I lost three customers this year; however, in the process, I learned more efficient ways of keeping customers satisfied with our performance, which will help keep future customers with us."

Step 3 Acknowledge how you meet your responsibilities.

  • If using an open-ended format, spend a few sentences addressing what your position entails. Then address how you actually meet (or fail to meet) those responsibilities, and suggest ways you might improve your work.
  • For example, you might start by writing a sentence or two on what's typically expected from your position. Then spend the rest of the paragraph talking about how you meet, fail to meet, or exceed those expectations.
  • If using a structured or checklist format, your evaluation should already include some general markers of what's expected of your position (usually included in the questions). Rate your work based on how well you actually meet those expectations.
  • Include performance competencies for both your professional skills and your behavior in the workplace, no matter what format you're using.

Step 4 Identify areas that could use improvement.

  • If you're not sure about how to write about areas of improvement for yourself, ask a trusted colleague or manager how to proceed with this part of the evaluation.
  • The key is to write about your shortcomings as a learning experience. For example, instead of saying "I lose a lot of clients," you might say, "One area in need of improvement is managing ongoing client relationships. I've learned from experience that ______ is the best approach."
  • Talk about specific instances where you struggled with a project but managed to learn something valuable (ideally after succeeding with that project).

Step 5 Use the self-evaluation as an opportunity.

  • Talk about the aspects of your current position that you find most exciting.
  • Suggest some different ways that you can focus more time and attention on the things that excite you.
  • Ask about being included in meetings that deal with those exciting job elements, or request time and/or funding to enroll in some type of continued education or training opportunities.
  • For example, you might say, "Because of my interest in _____ at my current position, I think I might find working in _____ highly rewarding. I believe my skills could significantly help the _____ department.
  • Use these discussion points to subtly hint that you'd like to take on more responsibility at your workplace. Over time, taking on more responsibility could lead to a promotion or a raise.

Expert Q&A

  • Remember that performance appraisals have a great impact on an employee, including raises and future promotions. Be as fair and generous as possible during the appraisal process, and make sure your employees have the opportunity to correct performance issues before they become a problem. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Involve the employee in setting goals for that individual. Listen to their suggestions and concerns, and convey your own thoughts and concerns. Although you may have to revise their ideas, most employees have a good grasp of their abilities and their shortcomings. This is also true of the appraisal process; they know their strengths and weaknesses better than you. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Michael R. Lewis

To write a performance appraisal, make sure to focus on the employee’s strengths, as well as their weaknesses, and support each point with written feedback. If you need to be critical, make your criticism constructive by telling the employee how they can improve in specific areas. For example, instead of saying "make better sales calls," you could suggest that they work on their tone and pitch when speaking with customers. Then, end your appraisal on a positive note since it’s easier to take critical feedback if the review ends with something positive. For more advice from our Business reviewer, including how to write a performance appraisal of your own work, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • What is a performance appraisal?

The purpose of a performance appraisal

  • How to organize a performance appraisal process

Performance appraisal examples

  • Performance appraisal methods

5 Modern method of performance appraisal

What is a performance appraisal.

A performance appraisal is the periodic assessment of an employee’s job performance as measured by the competency expectations set out by the organization.

The performance assessment often includes both the core competencies required by the organization and also the competencies specific to the employee’s job.

The appraiser, often a supervisor or manager, will provide the employee with constructive, actionable feedback based on the assessment. This in turn provides the employee with the direction needed to improve and develop in their job.

Based on the type of feedback , a performance appraisal is also an opportunity for the organization to recognize employee achievements and future potential.

The purpose of a performance appraisal is two-fold: It helps the organization to determine the value and productivity that employees contribute, and it also helps employees to develop in their own roles.

Benefit for organization

Employee assessments can make a difference in the performance of an organization. They provide insight into how employees are contributing and enable organizations to:

  • Identify where management can improve working conditions in order to increase productivity and work quality.
  • Address behavioral issues before they impact departmental productivity.
  • Encourage employees to contribute more by recognizing their talents and skills
  • Support employees in skill and career development
  • Improve strategic decision-making in situations that require layoffs, succession planning, or filling open roles internally

Benefit for employee

Performance appraisals are meant to provide a positive outcome for employees. The insights gained from assessing and discussing an employee’s performance can help:

  • Recognize and acknowledge the achievements and contributions made by an employee.
  • Recognize the opportunity for promotion or bonus.
  • Identify and support the need for additional training or education to continue career development.
  • Determine the specific areas where skills can be improved.
  • Motivate an employee and help them feel involved and invested in their career development.
  • Open discussion to an employee’s long-term goals.

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How to organize a performance appraisal process

Conducting a performance review with an employee requires skill and training on the part of the appraiser. The negative perception that is often associated with the performance appraisal is due in part to a feeling of being criticized during the process.

A performance appraisal is meant to be the complete opposite. Often, the culprit is in the way the appraisal is conducted via the use of language.

The way the sender of a message uses language determines how the other person interprets the message once received. This can include tone of voice, choice of words, or even body language.

Because a performance appraisal is meant to provide constructive feedback, it is crucial that appropriate language and behavior are used in the process.

Human Resources (HR) are the support system for managers and supervisors to be trained in tactfully handling the appraisal process.

The performance appraisal process:

  • The assessment process is usually facilitated by Human Resources, who assist managers and supervisors in conducting the individual appraisals within their departments.
  • An assessment method should be established.
  • Required competencies and job expectations need to be drafted for each employee.
  • Individual appraisals on employee performance are conducted.
  • A one on one interview is scheduled between the manager and employee to discuss the review.
  • Future goals should be discussed between employee and manager.
  • A signed-off version of the performance review is archived.
  • Appraisal information is utilized by human resources for appropriate organizational purposes, such as reporting, promotions, bonuses or succession planning.

Let’s take a look at one example of a Manager speaking to an employee during a performance appraisal. Below are three versions of the same example.

Compare the difference in language and behavior and how it can change the end-result:

1. An appropriate appraisal example with mixed feedback

“We can start the review by looking at how each project went for you this quarter. Does that sound OK? First, every project you have worked on in the last four months has met the expected deadline and were all within their budgets. I see one project here was even early. They were all implemented successfully. Well done. You have succeeded in the criteria expected of a Project Manager here at ABC Company. Let’s take a look at a few areas where you might be able to develop your project management skills further. In Project A, B, and C, a few team members expressed that they were unsure what to begin working on in the first few meetings and felt that they were engaging in their tasks a bit late. When they tried to express this in later meetings, they felt there was hostility towards them. For upcoming Projects D, E, and F, is there anything that can be done to get team members up and running more quickly? Could more detailed task planning be completed prior to the project kick-off?”

Debrief : This example removes the errors from the first example and puts them in a more constructive light.

  • The appraisal begins by involving the employee and making them feel like a valued part of the process.
  • The appraiser focuses on measurable outcomes, such as each individual project, instead of broad, baseless generalizations.
  • Positives are the focus of the assessment.
  • Areas for improvement are offered in a constructive and neutral format by referring to specific events in the employee’s day-to-day tasks.
  • The employee is given the opportunity to problem-solve the situation and contribute to their own sense of self-development.
  • Constructive solutions are offered so the employee has a clear idea on what they can do better next time.

2. An inappropriate negative appraisal example

“Let’s talk about some of the problems. You are never proactive when it comes to the start of a new project. Things are left too late and there are often complaints. I have heard that your attitude has been less than positive during project meetings. You seem to have things going on at home right now, but they shouldn’t be intruding on your work.”

This example is extreme, but it conveys most of the errors that can occur in a performance review.

  • The appraisal begins with a negative. It has been shown that starting with the positives can set the tone for the appraisal and helps employees feel more receptive to feedback.
  • The appraiser speaks in a negative, accusatory language and bases the assessment on assumption instead of measured facts. An appraisal needs to be based on measured facts.
  • The appraiser makes the discussion personal; a performance review should remain focused on the contributions of the employee to the job and never be about the individual as a person.
  • Phrases like “ you are ” or “ you always ” are generalizations about the employee; a performance appraisal needs to be about specific contributions to specific job tasks.

3. An appropriate appraisal example for underperformers

“I wanted to talk to you today about your performance during the last quarter. Looking at the completed project schedules and project debriefs here, I see that each of the five projects was kicked off late. Team members reported having trouble getting the resources and information they needed to start and complete their tasks. Each project was delivered a week or more late and had considerable budget creep. Project A was over by $7000. Project B was over by $9,000, for example. These budget overages were not authorized. I think we really have potential to turn this around and I really want to see you succeed. The role of Project Manager requires you to kick-off projects on-time, make sure your team members have the resources they need, and it’s crucial that any budget issues or delays are discussed with myself or the other Manager. For the upcoming projects this month, I’d like you to draft a project plan one week prior to any project kick-off. We can go over it together and figure out where the gaps might be. Did you have any suggestions on how you might be able to improve the punctuality of your projects or effectiveness of how they are run?”

Debrief : This example deals with an employee who seems to be struggling. The appraiser unfortunately has a lot of negative feedback to work through, but has successfully done so using appropriate language, tone and examples:

  • The feedback does not use accusatory language or tone, nor does it focus on the person. This is especially important at the start of a performance review when the topic is being introduced. Being accusatory can make an employee feel uncomfortable, upset or defensive and set the wrong tone for the rest of the review. Comments should remain focused on the employee’s work.
  • The comments are constructive and specific. The appraiser uses specific examples with evidence to explain the poor performance and does not make general, unsubstantiated comments. Making general, broad comments like “Your projects have a lot of problems and are always late” are unfair as they cannot be proven. The tone also creates hostility and does not help the employee to solve the problem.
  • The appraiser offers a positive comment about improving the situation and also a specific solution to improve the performance. The point of a performance review is to motivate and help an employee, not cut them down.
  • The appraiser asks for the input of the employee on how to solve the problem. This empowers the employee to become more involved in their skill development and ends a negative review on a positive note.

4. The inflated appraisal example

“I don’t think we have too much to talk about today as everything seems just fine. Your projects are always done on time and within budget. I’m sure you made the right decisions with your team to achieve all of that. You and I definitely think alike when it comes to project management. Keep up the great work.”

Debrief : This example appears like a perfect performance appraisal, but it’s actually an example of how to inappropriate:

  • The feedback glosses over any specifics regarding the employee’s actual work and instead offers vague, inflated comments about everything being great. Feedback needs to refer to specific events.
  • Any mention of trouble on the team is ignored. A performance review needs to discuss performance issues before they become serious later on.
  • The appraiser compares the employee to himself. This could be referred to as the “halo effect”, where the appraiser allows one aspect of the employee to cloud his or her judgement.
  • Nobody is perfect; every appraisal should offer some form of improvement that the employee can work towards, whether it is honing a skill or learning a new skill.

Performance Appraisal Methods

There are many ways an organization can conduct a performance appraisal, owing to the countless different methods and strategies available.

In addition, each organization may have their own unique philosophy making an impact on the way the performance assessment is designed and conducted.

A performance review is often done annually or semi-annually at the minimum, but some organizations do them more often.

There are some common and modern appraisal methods that many organizations gravitate towards, including:

1. Self-evaluation

In a self-evaluation assessment, employees first conduct their performance assessment on their own against a set list of criteria.

The pro is that the method helps employees prepare for their own performance assessment and it creates more dialogue in the official performance interview.

The con is that the process is subjective, and employees may struggle with either rating themselves too high or too low.

2. Behavioral checklist

A Yes or No checklist is provided against a series of traits. If the supervisor believes the employee has exhibited a trait, a YES is ticked.

If they feel the employee has not exhibited the trait, a NO is ticked off. If they are unsure, it can be left blank.

The pro is the simplicity of the format and its focus on actual work-relate tasks and behaviors (ie. no generalizing).

The con is that there is no detailed analysis or detail on how the employee is actually doing, nor does it discuss goals.

3. 360-degree feedback

This type of review includes not just the direct feedback from the manager and employee, but also from other team members and sources.

The review also includes character and leadership capabilities.

The pro is that it provides a bigger picture of an employee’s performance.

The con is that it runs the risk of taking in broad generalizations from outside sources who many not know how to provide constructive feedback .

4. Ratings scale

A ratings scale is a common method of appraisal. It uses a set of pre-determined criteria that a manager uses to evaluate an employee against.

Each set of criteria is weighted so that a measured score can be calculated at the end of the review.

The pro is that the method can consider a wide variety of criteria, from specific job tasks to behavioral traits. The results can also be balanced thanks to the weighting system. This means that if an employee is not strong in a particularly minor area, it will not negatively impact the overall score.

The con of this method is the possible misunderstanding of what is a good result and what is a poor result; managers need to be clear in explaining the rating system.

5. Management by objectives

This type of assessment is a newer method that is gaining in popularity. It involves the employee and manager agreeing to a set of attainable performance goals that the employee will strive to achieve over a given period of time.

At the next review period, the goals and how they have been met are reviewed, whilst new goals are created.

The pro of this method is that it creates dialogue between the employee and employer and is empowering in terms of personal career development.

The con is that it risks overlooking organizational performance competencies that should be considered.

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Ivan Andreev

Demand Generation & Capture Strategist

Ivan is a dedicated and versatile professional with over 12 years of experience in online marketing and a proven track record of turning challenges into opportunities. Ivan works diligently to improve internal processes and explore new possibilities for the company.

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How to Conduct a Great Performance Review

  • Frank V. Cespedes

how to write the appraisal report

What to do before, during, and after the meeting.

The purpose of performance reviews is two-fold: an accurate and actionable evaluation of performance, and then development of that person’s skills in line with job tasks. For recipients, feedback has intrinsic and extrinsic value. Across fields, research shows that people become high performers by identifying specific areas where they need to improve and then practicing those skills with performance feedback.

Dissatisfaction with performance appraisals is pervasive. They are seen as time-consuming, demotivating, inaccurate, biased, and unfair. A McKinsey survey indicates most CEOs don’t find the appraisal process in their companies helps to identify top performers, while over half of employees think their managers don’t get the performance review right. A Gallup study is more negative: Just one in five employees agreed that their company’s performance practices motivated them.

how to write the appraisal report

  • Frank V. Cespedes is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and the author of Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World That Never Stops Changing (Harvard Business Review Press, 2021).

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  • 15 types of employee performance review ...

15 types of employee performance reviews (with templates and examples)

Team Asana contributor image

An employee performance review is a meeting between a manager and their employee to discuss how the team member is pacing toward organizational goals. Though simple in design, there are many ways to create a more effective process that brings your reviews to life. See the top 15 performance review templates to measure success and improve your review skills.

Measuring success is a key piece to leading an effective team. After all, you can’t improve until you know what skills you need to build. 

You can measure success in different ways—from peer reviews to self reviews and different performance evaluations in between. To figure out the right review style for your team, we’ve put together 15 employee performance review templates to measure job performance effectively.

What is a performance review?

An employee performance review is an evaluation where managers, peers, or other stakeholders assess a team member’s job performance over time. While the performance review process differs depending on the period you evaluate and who is leading the review, there are a few key pieces to a successful review. 

Your performance review process should include:

Employee strengths: Always include feedback and praise regarding the team member’s strengths, such as effective problem solving and communication skills. This offers insight into what the employee is doing well.

Employee weaknesses: It’s also valuable to discuss any weaknesses or areas of opportunity for the team member. Areas of focus could include the ability to work in a team setting or when and how to share ideas more effectively. This is an opportunity for the team member to gain insight into where they have room to improve.  

Rating system: To determine areas of improvement, your performance review should include a system to gauge each employee’s skill level in pre-set categories. A common example is rating employees based on standards such as: consistently exceeds expectations, often exceeds expectations, consistently meets expectations, needs development. You might use these ratings to evaluate the employee across different categories, like strategic mindset, communication skills, and team collaboration.

Review period: During the performance review process, you will measure an employee’s performance relative to a set period. Each organization does this slightly differently, but common periods include annually, bi-annually, or quarterly. 

Set goals: Clear SMART goals give employees a sense of where they can improve and what they should focus on in the future. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. This helps to clearly define performance expectations for your employees. 

Every performance review will have the above elements, but there are other considerations to keep in mind—such as individual skills—that can’t be easily measured. These skills could include your ability to brainstorm in a team setting or support team members for the good of the organization. 

How to give constructive feedback

Before you dive into the structure and style of various performance reviews, you must understand how to give constructive criticism effectively. Constructive criticism focuses on providing helpful feedback supported by specific examples. This gives team members the context they need to understand why they received the feedback they did.

To give effective feedback , be sure to do the following. 

Notify the employee before you meet

If you don't have a lot of experience giving feedback, it can be tempting to launch into a feedback session and get it over with as soon as possible. But in fact, the opposite is true. The more time you give your team member to prepare to receive the feedback, the more valuable the session will be. That’s because team members who are notified in advance can get into the right mindset to receive feedback openly without becoming defensive or passive. 

Be sure to let the employee know about the feedback session before you sit down for the official conversation. If possible, tell the employee what the feedback will be about. For example, you might say “During our quarterly performance review next week, I’d love for you to walk through your three proudest accomplishments from the last quarter and three things you want to focus on during the next quarter. Then, I’ll share the same thing. Together, we’ll come up with next steps and focus areas for you to dive into in the coming months.” This will give them time to prepare for the meeting and prep any relevant questions on their end.

Communicate in private

It’s easy for constructive feedback to accidentally turn into a negative experience if you share it in a group setting. No matter the type or style of performance review, make sure you’re communicating feedback in a private one-on-one setting. This ensures the employee doesn’t feel targeted in a group setting. 

If the type of performance review style you’re using includes feedback from more than one person—for example, peer reviews—it’s your responsibility as the team manager to aggregate that feedback and present it to your team member in private. Keeping the feedback session between you and your team member gives them a chance to process the feedback on their own time.

Offer actionable feedback

To ensure your feedback is constructive, always pair it with data-backed insights and actionable next steps. Doing so creates transparency around why the employee got a specific review based on their work. Offer specific feedback with details around what's been working well, what they can improve, and how to get there.

For example, imagine your team member has missed some important deadlines. You want to share that feedback with them so they can prioritize hitting their due dates in the coming months. In this example, it's significantly more valuable if you can include specific examples of due dates they missed. That way, you and your team members can refer to specific instances, work to figure out what went wrong, and then come up with concrete action items and processes they can implement in the future.

Document feedback in writing

Be sure to document constructive feedback in writing. You can do this in a feedback system or a tool like Asana . This way, you and the employee can look back on past performance and measure objectives accordingly.

This goes for positive as well as constructive feedback. Oftentimes, we overlook documenting positive feedback since, well, it’s positive. But keeping track of the team member’s major wins is a great way to increase team morale while reducing impostor syndrome and burnout .

Time-oriented employee review templates

Now that you have a few feedback best practices in your toolkit, let’s take a look at the first type of employee performance review: time-oriented review periods.

1. Annual performance review

Review frequency : Once a year. 

An annual performance review measures a team member’s accomplishments over a year’s time. Overall performance may focus on core competencies as well as individual goals relative to performance management. 

An annual review is a great way to analyze performance history over the course of a year. Be sure to write the performance review down in a shared space. Documenting work in a central source of truth allows you and your employee to review what they did over the course of the year. This creates transparency around expectations and milestones . 

2. Mid-year performance review

Review frequency : Twice a year. 

A mid-year performance review measures a team member’s accomplishments bi-annually. This is a great option for teams who want to create transparency around performance.

That’s because giving team members an opportunity to see where their performance lands every six months allows them to gauge their performance and implement changes where needed. On the other hand, positive performance also gives team members a sense of what they’re excelling at. 

3. Quarterly performance review

Review frequency : Four times a year. 

Take transparent communication one step further with a quarterly performance review. A quarterly performance review evaluates a team member’s success four times a year, and gives your employee a more consistent opportunity to turn weaknesses into strengths. 

Just as other performance review styles, it’s also important to focus as much time and energy on positives as you do on constructive feedback. Both encourage good performance.

Quarterly performance review

4. Year-end performance review

A year-end performance review measures a team member’s success against the financial success of the company. This review is commonly scheduled alongside the evaluation of long-term company goals and is used frequently for operations and marketing teams. This is because their work is closely aligned with financial revenue goals. 

While each company starts and ends their financial year on different timelines, it’s common for a year-end review to happen around the end of the calendar year.

5. 30-60-90 performance review

Review frequency : Once a month for the first three months of employment.

A 30-60-90 day performance review measures a new team member’s success. Often paired alongside a 30-60-90 day plan , this method reviews the new team member against job expectations after their first, second, and third months in the role. 

This review is a great way to give new team members a baseline of how they're meeting their role expectations. It also creates transparency around areas where they should focus more energy and time perfecting skills. Employee onboarding is tricky, and your team members may need to adjust their expectations, focus areas, and priorities as they learn more about the role. Without doing a 30-60-90 review, a new employee might not get a performance review for their first 6+ months working at a company—so they have very little understanding of how they're performing. 

As a manager, one of the most valuable things you can do for new team members is to provide multiple feedback sessions often to show that you're involved, engaged, and invested in your new team members' growth.

Team-oriented performance review templates

As a manager, you have a unique understanding of how your team member is performing in their role. But you can’t always see everything they’re doing. Employee performance review templates centered around team goals are a great way to gather feedback from other members of the team. Use these in combination with more traditional manager feedback to get a holistic review of an employee’s performance. 

6. Self evaluation review

Review frequency : Annually, bi-annually, or quarterly. 

A self-evaluation is where a team member evaluates their own performance. This gives you a better understanding of how each team member views their skills. It’s important to know that a self evaluation isn’t used to take work off your plate. Instead, it has its own benefits such as giving the team member a chance to communicate their viewpoint. 

Oftentimes you will then provide your employee feedback on the self-evaluation, using a physical or digital form. This creates balance between manager vs. employee viewpoints to ensure both are aligned. This is done during a one-on-one meeting where you’ll both chat about your feedback to perform a holistic performance review. 

7. Peer review

Review frequency : Annually or bi-annually.

Oftentimes, annual or biannual reviews will also have a peer review component. This gives peers an opportunity to answer questions and evaluate their coworkers—most commonly in written form. To use this feedback, collect the peer feedback, your feedback, and any self-review feedback during an annual or biannual review period. 

The main value of a peer review is giving team members an opportunity to see their value and areas of opportunity from other perspectives. Depending on the size of your team and your relationship with the team members, you may not have insight into everything each team member does. Peer reviews are an opportunity for team members to share that perspective with you, so you have a more holistic picture of the employee's performance.

8. Team performance review

A team performance review is where a group of individuals rate the performance of the team as a whole. Hearing multiple opinions from different individuals can help you understand the group’s needs, as well as identify where growth opportunities lie. This type of review is most valuable for managers. 

You can do this by asking each team member to fill out a self-assessment and answer questions about the team and the team’s goals. For example, you might ask:

How well did the team work together as a group?

Name one example of good team collaboration in the last period. 

Name one example where team collaboration was less effective in the last period.

How comfortable are you communicating feedback to your peers? What about your manager? 

What improvements could be made to enable better team collaboration?

Performance review templates

If none of the above performance review templates felt quite right, take a look at general employee performance review templates that work for most situations and teams. 

9. Simple performance review

A simple performance review focuses on performance phrases rather than numbers. This is because it’s crucial to give team members context about how they’re doing. Providing a rating without context can be confusing to team members and hinder their growth. 

A simple performance review helps keep expectations as clear as possible, without confusing the employee. Overall, it’s the best style when looking for a basic yet effective way to communicate performance.  

Center a performance review around goals and use examples to back up data. Without that, it can be challenging for team members to understand exactly how they can improve and meet expectations.

Simple performance review

10. Goal setting review

Review frequency : Annually or bi-annually. 

Goals setting reviews focus on a team member's expected objectives. These goals can focus on an employee's professional objectives and how they align with the company's long-term strategy. For example, as a team lead , your goal over the next quarter might be to streamline cross-functional communication. This aligns with the company’s goal to create greater transparency across all departments.

Goal setting reviews should follow the SMART goal acronym to ensure they are specific and measurable enough to evaluate. SMART stands for s pecific, m easurable, a chievable, r ealistic, and t ime-bound. 

11. 360 performance review

A 360 performance review measures an employee’s performance from the perspective of all relevant team members. This includes self-feedback, peer feedback, manager feedback, and employee feedback about the manager if applicable. 

This type of review is particularly useful for managers who want feedback from their direct reports. Use this review template if you want insight from the people you work closely with, regardless of how their role relates to yours.

12. Professional development review

A professional development review measures a team member’s personal goals. This is important when you’re looking to evaluate a team member’s career trajectory. It ensures they’re meeting their role’s needs and developing personal objectives such as growing their leadership skills. 

By connecting job and personal goals, the employee can better understand how their role is supporting their career development. For example, imagine your employee shared that they eventually want to grow in a leadership position. Part of their professional development plan is to identify areas where they can get involved in a more strategic role. During your professional development feedback session, you can review the concrete steps they took towards that goal and outline additional next steps they can work towards.

13. Performance improvement review

Review frequency : Only when an employee is underperforming.  

Before using a performance improvement review, make sure you have an improvement plan in place. It’s important to communicate the expected performance goals ahead of time so the individual has a chance to meet their expectations. Once objectives are clear, you can use a performance improvement review to measure the team member’s success against previously defined expectations.

An improvement review measures your team member’s success based on a previously established performance plan. Use an improvement plan to clearly define expectations on how an employee can work to meet those objectives. Put a performance plan into place when an individual is underperforming based on their job description. 

14. Compensation check-in

A compensation check-in is a review of a team member’s performance to evaluate the merit of a raise. This type of review doesn’t guarantee a promotion, but it can  help create transparency around the expectations associated with an annual raise.

To do this effectively, be sure to provide examples of work where the employee went above and beyond their job description. This will create transparency around performance and promotion trajectory. 

15. Excelling feedback review

Review frequency : Only when an employee is excelling in their role.  

On the opposite end of the spectrum, use an excelling feedback review to measure and detail an individual’s successes. This review template gives the employee additional context about how their excellent work has positively impacted the team or company. This is why it’s commonly used in unison with a compensation check-in.

Taking a moment to acknowledge this performance can help boost employee morale , giving you both a moment to reflect on what went well. 

Sample performance review example

Now that you understand the 15 most popular employee review templates, it’s time to craft one of your own. We created a sample performance review to give you an idea of what a general review template might look like. 

Employee name: Daniela Vargas

Review period: Q4

Date of review: January 1

Employee rating: Often exceeds expectations

Strengths: Daniela had an excellent quarter. She excelled in team collaboration by stepping up to help team members brainstorm solutions in order to meet deadlines. It’s clear that Daniela really cares about her work and her teammates and embodies Apollo Enterprises’ core values. 

Opportunity: While Daniela excelled in collaboration, I believe she could improve her thought leadership. There are opportunities for Daniela to learn new skills by attending workshops and keeping up with industry news which she can then bring back to the team. 

Learn one new industry skill a month in Q1. 

Lead two team meetings to share thought leadership by the end of Q2. 

Employee performance review example

While you can use this sample as a starting point for your own effective performance review process, remember to put your own team flare into it. 

Boost collaboration with performance review templates

A performance review is an excellent way to measure a team member’s performance. It offers transparency around expectations and serves as an opportunity to communicate honestly with your team. 

Making the process as transparent as possible is the best way to foster honest feedback and the desire to improve performance. Communication is at the center of an effective review process. 

From giving feedback with context to streamlining collaboration, Asana can help. Improve your communication not only during a performance review but every day with Asana’s team communication software. 

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Performance Appraisal Phrases

Performance Appraisal Phrases: 200 Helpful Phrases For Employee Performance Reviews

  • Employee Management

Performance reviews can be difficult for everyone, manager and employee alike.  But you can avoid that stress by structuring your performance reviews to inspire greatness instead of dread. One of the best ways to do that is to use performance appraisal phrases.

These simple yet descriptive sentences help your employees understand what they’re doing well and what they still need to work on. But what are the best performance appraisal phrases?

The management experts at Sling have put together a list of 100 extremely helpful phrases for employee performance reviews. We’ve organized them alphabetically by skill and then divided each skill into strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can quickly and easily find a phrase to fit your needs.

Effective Performance Appraisal Phrases

1) Always on time (or even early) for meetings and conferences.

2) Prompt and on time for the start of each workday.

3) Respects others by arriving at work and at meetings on time.

4) Adheres to the schedule  whenever possible.

5) Never been a no call, no show employee .

6) Achieved perfect attendance over X (weeks, months, years).

7) Inspires others to improve their attendance.

8) Does not deviate from the attendance policy outlined in our employee handbook .

9) Begins each day on time and ready to go.

10) Very reliable about being at work on time.

11) Does not meet company standards for attendance.

12) Is frequently late to work.

13) Often exceeds the maximum number of vacation days.

14) Has not met attendance goals set at previous performance review.

15) Disrespects others by regularly arriving late to meetings.

16) Frequently returns late from scheduled breaks.

17) Does not follow the attendance policy.

18) Unreliable about reporting to work on time.

19) Poor attendance frequently affects coworkers.

20) Does not hold others to the company’s high attendance standards.

Employees with a good attitude during performance appraisal

21) Has a cheerful attitude that benefits her teammates.

22) Looks for the positive in every situation.

23) Quick with a smile and a joke to lighten the mood during stressful times.

24) Does not let difficult circumstances get him down.

25) Positive attitude helps others on her team keep their motivation high.

26) Always reports to work cheerful and ready to get to work.

27) Maintains a steady and positive attitude that inspires others.

28) Frequently has a smile for others.

29) Attitude reflects enjoyment of the job.

30) Builds an atmosphere of trust with others on the team.

31) Negative attitude in some situations has a tendency to cause problems.

32) Gets upset easily.

33) Needs to work on accepting constructive criticism.

34) Let’s non-work topics provoke her/him.

35) Too easily switches from positive to negative attitude.

36) Allows stress and pressure to get the better of him/her.

37) Erupts into anger over minor issues.

38) Displays of negative emotion affect others on the team.

39) Needs to bring poor attitude under control.

40) Refuses to keep inflammatory comments to himself/herself.

Customer Service

Coffee drinker enjoying good customer service

41) Excellent at customer service .

42) Deals easily with all types of customers .

43) Takes great pride in helping each and every customer.

44) Skillfully overcomes client objections.

45) Does not let a customer’s negative attitude get him/her down.

46) Handles difficult customer service situations very well.

47) Customer satisfaction rating: High

48) One of our best customer service team members.

49) Understands how to make a real difference in customer experience.

50) Stays calm and rational in the face of angry customers.

51) Does not listen well to customers.

52) Very effective on the phone, but does not handle face-to-face service well.

53) Does not seem to understand why customer service training is important.

54) Does not know how to deal with a difficult customer.

55) Has consistently low marks on customer satisfaction surveys.

56) Does not take pride in resolving customer complaints.

57) Too frequently passes the complaining customer on to someone else.

58) Needs to learn how to handle customer requests in a more efficient manner.

59) Does not listen to customers well.

60) Poor skills in handling face-to-face complaints.



61) One of our most dependable team members.

62) Very reliable in all situations.

63) Willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

64) Known for dependability and willingness to work hard.

65) A loyal and trustworthy employee.

66) Consistently demonstrates that he/she cares about his/her job.

67) Always performs at or above expectations.

68) Can always be counted on to complete tasks in a timely and accurate manner.

69) Ready to get the job done no matter how much work is involved.

70) Motivated to finish tasks and assignments on time.

71) Unwilling to work beyond scheduled hours .

72) Work results are inconsistent and frequently need to be reviewed.

73) Not a dependable employee.

74) Does not demonstrate a willingness to do what it takes to get the job done right.

75) Does not produce consistent results.

76) Content with leaving work for others to finish.

77) Work results are inconsistent.

78) Reliability is questionable.

79) Is not willing to help employees with their work.

80) Does not care what managers and coworkers think of him/her.


81) Accepts constructive criticism and works to improve.

82) Shows ability to come up with new solutions to common problems.

83) Is willing to change the way he/she works for the betterment of the team.

84) Shows initiative and flexibility when starting a new task .

85) Capable of handling a variety of assignments.

86) Able to identify new and more efficient methods.

87) Calm under pressure.

88) Willing to admit he/she is wrong.

89) Quick to adapt to alternate points of view.

90) Handles change well.

91) Tends to shy away from activities where the process is unknown.

92) Does not excel at projects that require a degree of flexibility.

93) Gets agitated when the plan changes.

94) Uninterested in new responsibilities.

95) Sticks to traditional methods even if a new approach is better.

96) Shuts down when expectations aren’t met.

97) Doesn’t look for new ways of working when things don’t go according to plan.

98) Unwilling to admit he/she is wrong.

99) Does not accept constructive criticism well.

100) Resistant to trying new techniques.

Interpersonal Skills

A restaurant worker displaying good interpersonal skills

101) Has strong relationships with coworkers.

102) Is easy to get to know.

103) Actively converses with teammates and wants to hear about their lives.

104) Wants to get to know and understand other employees.

105) Finds it easy to connect with coworkers.

106) Makes people feel important.

107) Makes people feel appreciated.

108) Can work with a variety of personalities.

109) Relates well to those around him/her.

110) Connects easily with others.

111) Does not work well with others.

112) Strong, direct personality can turn people off.

113) Teammates do not enjoy working with him/her.

114) Seen as unapproachable by coworkers.

115) Gives an impression of superiority to teammates.

116) Strong personality frequently causes rifts with coworkers.

117) Displays superior attitude toward all.

118) Coworkers do not like being on his/her team.

119) Fails to recognize the needs of others.

120) Does not establish effective working relationships.

121) Always willing to help a coworker.

122) Makes team members feel comfortable in voicing their opinions and ideas.

123) Understands strengths of coworkers and delegates effectively.

124) Keeps team engaged and on track.

125) Shows appreciation for a job well done.

126) Motivates team members to work hard.

127) Promotes a culture of learning and understanding.

128) Actively listens and responds to what his/her coworkers say.

129) Excellent example for others to follow.

130) Backbone of his/her team.

131) Needs to improve in ability to talk to coworkers without being condescending.

132) Does not inspire teammates to work hard.

133) Does not plan for the future.

134) Does not treat other members of the team as equals.

135) Overanalyzes problems when a quick decision is necessary.

136) Unclear when assigning goals and activities.

137) Rarely gives recognition for a job well done.

138) Fails to keep confidential information.

139) Frequently derails team with unnecessary work.

140) Does not listen to team members.


141) Exceeded expectations on goals set during last performance review.

142) Takes initiative to understand what needs to be done.

143) Excels at developing strategies that deliver results.

144) Sets appropriate goals and strives to accomplish them.

145) Is consistently a top performer among teammates.

146) Clearly communicates drive and desire to others.

147) Always at the top of the performance-rating scale.

148) Puts high value on doing a good job.

149) Willing to assist others and help them do good work.

150) Wants to improve at everything he/she does.

151) Did not meet performance goal set at last performance review.

152) Does not take initiative unless prompted.

153) Is typically toward the bottom of performance ratings.

154) Does not reach out to go beyond what is expected.

155) Is not known to make significant contributions to the success of the team.

156) Is not able to clearly communicate goals to others.

157) Does not see the value in doing a good job.

158) Not proficient at developing successful strategies.

159) Is not concerned with improving his/her skills.

160) Lacks drive to improve.

Example of teamwork in a business

161) Proven team player.

162) Encourages teammates to work together toward a common goal.

163) Willing to offer assistance and advice at any time.

164) Promotes a team-centered workplace.

165) Is sensitive and considerate of coworkers’ feelings.

166) Shares ideas and techniques.

167) Builds strong relationships with others by (insert behavior here).

168) Willing to cooperate with coworkers.

169) Takes on more work to help the team excel.

170) Always looking for new ways to help the team.

171) Needs to improve teamwork skills.

172) Does not view workplace as a team environment.

173) Always wants to work alone on projects.

174) Coworkers are hesitant to ask him/her for help.

175) Does not work well with others during group projects.

176) Blames others when problems arise.

177) Is frequently insensitive to coworkers’ feelings.

178) Plays everything very close to the vest.

179) Does not share well with others.

180) Often a divisive element within the team.

Time Management

181) Respects the time of coworkers.

182) Uses time effectively to get the job done.

183) Keeps presentations on schedule.

184) Regularly meets all deadlines.

185) Works hard to stay organized and on time.

186) Driven to complete tasks on time.

187) Very reliable when it comes to time management.

188) Can always depend on him/her to manage time well.

189) Can identify what needs to be done first in order to save time.

190) Sensitive to the constraints of coworkers’ projects.

191) Frequently misses deadlines.

192) Is regularly late from break.

193) Does not have a strong concept of how long a task will take.

194) Meetings and presentations tend to exceed allotted time.

195) Takes up the valuable time of others with too much small talk.

196) Disregards the importance of being on time.

197) Does not show a desire to improve time-management techniques.

198) Unreliable in finishing tasks by allotted deadline.

199) Frequently exceeds mandatory due dates.

200) Does not manage time well.

Build Strong Relationships With Performance Appraisal Phrases And Sling

Periodic performance reviews are a powerful tool for improving the way your employees work. But more than that, a performance review done well forges a strong employee/employer relationship .

It’s that relationship that can motivate your team to do their best even during the most difficult project. That’s the recipe for success.

One of the best ways to build strong relationships is through good communication. The better you communicate with your employees the stronger your team will be. The Sling app can help.

We built the Sling suite of tools to:

  • Streamline communication
  • Simplify the scheduling process
  • Track labor costs
  • Build employee engagement
  • Organize work hours
  • Remove the difficulties in finding substitutes
  • Keep your team members on task throughout the day

Regardless of the industry, Sling can keep you and your team members organized and focused on the project at hand. That will translate to more positive performance reviews throughout the year.

And when you’re organized, everything runs more smoothly. Sling even helps with that.

The on-board artificial intelligence (A.I.) keeps track of time-off requests, work preferences, and other employee information. If you double-book an employee or schedule them for a time they can’t work, the Sling A.I. will notify you and prompt you to make the necessary change.

These are just a few of the benefits Sling can bring to your business.

Experience the myriad ways the Sling app can make your managerial job easier by signing up for a free trial today.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

See Here For Last Updated Dates: Link

This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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Tips for Writing a Great Appraisal Report

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Tips for Writing a Great Appraisal Report

Monday, July 23, 2018 in Member Insights , Business Tips

Members of ISA can give a wide range of answers when asked why they joined the organization. Popular answers are for networking, continued education , and taking advantage of name recognition. The less exciting but basic truth is that most of us joined ISA to learn how to write an appraisal report.

During the Core Course, students are instructed in what the required elements of a report are according to ISA and USPAP standards. Students practice developing the report by determining intended use and objective use, appropriate values to seek, and which markets to use. Checklists to help members include necessary information are provided, and students are required to present a successful report properly using these lessons in order to earn designations. Subsequent courses help members stay up to date on changes. Anyone with the designation of Member or above has all the information they need to write a good appraisal report - but do we all always follow through?

ISA does require that certain essential elements be included in reports created by members. After these elements are met, there is little direction in how they are expressed within the report. Here are a few common pitfalls (assuming the correct intended use, objective and approach to values are used) and how to avoid them:

  • Adding confusing extra information . State the facts. In an effort to include required elements pertinent to the appraisal assignment, extra elements not needed for the intended use are sometimes included. This extra information can be confusing and misleading to the reader.
  • Boilerplate boredom . I know it is easy to feel you've written the same report a hundred times but beware getting lazy with boilerplate text. Every assignment is individual, and nothing is more embarrassing than including information within a template that doesn't apply to the current client.
  • Presenting correct information in a confusing manner . Following the order of items as they appear in the checklist might seem to cramp your individual creativity, but in reality, following the order helps you present information in a cohesive manner which makes it less confusing to your reader.
  • Writing as if your client is a professional appraiser . Remember that your client, even if they are a collector or an attorney, is probably new to appraisal terminology. Make sure you fully define each concept within the cover document so that your reader understands what you are telling them. I suggest reading the completed report through your appraiser eyes to make sure it is compliant then through your client's eyes to make sure it is understandable.
  • Making grammar and spelling mistakes . Make sure you properly edit your work or hire someone who can. Misspelled words and poor grammar dilute your report and give your readers the idea that you don't know what you are talking about even if you are an expert.
  • Improper placement of the USPAP certification . ISA standards do not specify where the USPAP Certification must fall in the cover document. USPAP does require that it is signed by the appraiser/appraisers performing the appraisal. Put the statement in a place in your report where it is easily read and where your signature is affixed. It is fine to put the statement at the end of your cover document above the signature for the entire document. If anywhere else, it must have its own signature.
  • Incomplete descriptions of items in the body of the report . Remember the rule of thumb that the reader should be able to pick out the item by your description whether or not a photo is included. Write the descriptions so that every intended user for the report can understand what you are describing. If you include a lot of descriptive terms that may be new to your user, include a glossary.
  • Missing out on the bottom line . Your client is looking for the bottom line, don't hide it. Make sure you clearly express the values sought, markets analyzed along with their conditions, and make sure your values are easy to find.

In order to be seen as the professional you are, make sure that your report is a carefully prepared product. Never fail to check and re-check your final report no matter how anxious you are to collect the balance and move to the next project. Word of mouth is still the best advertising for your services and you want all those words said about you to be positive.

- Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP

From the ISA Now Blog

Hiring an ISA personal property appraiser provides many benefits. There are numerous reasons to seek a professional appraisal, including planning insurance coverage, charitable donations, probate of an estate, or simply determining the value of your tangible assets. The ISA credential tells the public, clients, and business experts that ISA members are appraisers. It says that our professionals are in compliance with national standards, maintain high ethical principles, and have been trained to produce appraisal reports of the highest caliber.

Art authentication can be tricky business. The International Society of Appraisers Core Course in Appraisal Studies teaches, “Authentication is a matter of informed and reasoned opinion, explaining, “Authentication is rarely definitive or absolute…. It is subject to revision as additional information becomes available…. It is subject to disagreement among experts.”

There are a few changes to the new 2024 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), effective January 1, 2024. It is your responsibility as an ISA Appraiser to educate yourself in the changes to USPAP.

Voting for ISA's 2023-2024 Board of Directors has ended and we would like to congratulate our recently elected members.

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Blog Human Resources

21 Engaging Performance Review Examples [+ Tips From an HR Manager]

By Victoria Clarke , Oct 12, 2023


Performance review season can be a daunting period for both management and employees.

One-sided conversations, mixed messages and wordy documents leave both parties feeling like they have the same, stressful conversation each time.

But if you take the right approach, quarterly or annual performance reviews are an awesome opportunity to reinforce solid habits, redirect poor traits and drive professional growth for your employees. My trick? Venngage’s free Online Performance Review Generator .

In this post, I’ll give you tips from my own experience as an HR manager to make the performance review process a lot more painless, plus human resource templates you can customize now.

Performance review examples and advice:

What is a performance review, how to write a performance review, performance review examples and templates, performance review examples for managers, performance review examples for employees, self performance review examples.

  • Quarterly performance review examples
  • Annual performance review examples

Simple performance review examples

  • Useful performance review phrases
  • What’s the purpose of a performance review?

A performance review is a regulated assessment in which managers evaluate an employee’s work performance to identify their strengths and weaknesses, offer feedback and assist with goal setting.

The frequency and depth of the review process may vary by company, based on company size and goals of the evaluations. It could be annually:

how to write the appraisal report

Or quarterly, to name a few:

how to write the appraisal report

Watch this quick, 14-minute video for performance review tips, templates and best practices:

This quarterly performance review example has sections for both achievements and areas of improvement. It also has a section for core values, as this must be a key performance indicator at this company. Different companies will have different measuring sticks for success.

how to write the appraisal report

Q: Can I customize the performance review templates in this post?

A: Yes, you can! All the templates are easy to edit. Some templates are free, some are paid.

Click any template and you’ll be asked to sign up for free. You’ll enter our online editor. Edit the text, apply your brand colors, add pages, upload your logo and more. Share a link for free.

Upgrade to our Plan for Professionals to download in PDF or PowerPoint format and access premium features and templates, such as real-time team collaboration and one-click branding.

Having an employee-friendly performance review process can not only make or break the development of your employees but also disrupt the relationship between managers and their reports.  

Beyond creating a robust performance review strategy and performance review form, managers must also consider their delivery of the appraisals. Communicating a performance review effectively is the final touch to executing a constructive, celebratory and effective review process.

how to write the appraisal report

When creating an effective assessment, it’s important to include the following:

  • Calculate an overall rating for the employee; although a manager will be highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses of an employee’s behavior , it will aid the employee’s morale to communicate how the employee averaged on this rating scale.
  • Ensure the employees are engaged in their own reviews; thus, be sure to include the employees’ goals and developments toward reaching such goals in the assessments .
  • Celebrate employees improvements; highlighting an employees’ developments are a powerful way to impact employee engagement and boost overall team performance .
  • Company culture and values; dedicate a section of the assessment to evaluate how employees align with the company’s core values thus contributing to a positive company culture .

Based on my involvement in building out our own effective performance review process at Venngage, I suggest taking the following steps into consideration when constructing a performance review:

1. Set expectations early

Early in an employee’s career with a company, managers should communicate the details of their review process including the expectations. It should be included in your employee handbook , for example.

In this way, managers set and communicate clear expectations of the key job functions and competencies of the role when an employee joins the company. The information presented in performance reviews should align with this define as well as use familiar language and terms. This strategy will work to eliminate any potential confusion or surprises for both parties.  

2. Don’t make it personal

Feedback is about actions and behavior, not the person.

When writing a performance review, it helps to take a look at the issue(s) you’ve included and ensure that they apply to actions and behavior of the employee rather than the personal attributes of said employee.

This will also help to regulate the information mentioned in the review, to guarantee it is relevant and appropriate information.

3. Beware of biases and limitations

While there may be a general ‘right’ way of doing things, there are often multiple — and equally good — ways to reach the same end goal.  

Please ensure your review is not biased or limited in favor of your personal work style and beliefs. Try to consider the various aspects of the employees role and experience that may impact their decision to pursue alternative methods or working habits. Be empathetic towards these factors when writing your review.

4. Be specific

The information presented in the review should be task-focused, clear and to the point.

General comments will leave an employee feeling confused and in the dark as to what aspect of their work needs to be corrected or how they can pursue improvements.  

Failing to be direct in your messaging will impact the way your message is received and create further confusion about what the expectations are. Managers should be specific on what behaviors of their employees they are celebrating and what actions require improvements.

4. Offer guidance

Managers play a critical role in understanding the career goals of their employees and crafting development opportunities to help their reports achieve their goals.  

It is important as a manager to offer your advice and expertise to your employees to help further their development.

If, as a result of the feedback given, the employee (or yourself) may feel as though they need additional training, consider the benefit of workshops, mentoring or coaching.  

Be sure to use performance reviews as a way to guide employees whether it is toward further greatness or for areas requiring some improvement.  

5. Follow up

Follow up in writing and check in continuously to ensure improvement.

Both managers and employees should receive a copy of the review to refer back to moving forward.

Whether reviews are scheduled annually or quarterly, they should be a continuous topic of discussion for both managers and employees. When writing a review, ensure that the review is clear and specific. Being mindful of this will help to ensure the employee can easily refer back to the form on their own after the meeting.

how to write the appraisal report

Related: How to Write a Performance Review That Inspires Growth (With Examples & Templates

To conduct an effective performance review, it’s important to deliver a positive and solution-focused message. This will be less discouraging to the employee.

This performance review example  shows how you can offer constructive feedback, while also praising the employee’s efforts. The majority of the sections focus on the employees’ achievements and strengths.

Suggested areas of improvement are positioned in the middle, letting managers cushion criticism with praise.

how to write the appraisal report

This appraisal example shows how managers can give constructive feedback to their employees by giving them clear direction on what things to keep doing and what actions to take in future.

While Felicia did not meet her goal, her manager acknowledges that the goal was set deliberately high and that 74 percent of the goal still has significant impact.

This employee review form also points to specific positive behavior, such as self-education, teamwork and a strong work ethic.

There are also specific recommendations for improvement, such as putting together a plan to get more press mentions and scaling her experiments.

Another way to do a performance review, or kick off the process, is to use a quadrant. Both the employee and manager can plot where they think the former falls on certain key values and build out discussion points from there.

You can change “get it done/get it right” in the employee review template below to “uphold core values/contribute to company culture” for example.

how to write the appraisal report

Performance reviews are a crucial part of effective management, offering an opportunity to provide constructive feedback and set the stage for future growth.

To conduct a successful performance review as a manager, preparation is essential. Collect and review performance data well in advance, considering both quantitative metrics and qualitative observations.

how to write the appraisal report

Make sure to prioritize clear and open communication. Create a comfortable and respectful environment for the discussion, allowing the employee to share their perspective and concerns.

Offering specific examples of both strengths and areas for improvement is critical, as vague feedback can lead to misunderstandings.

how to write the appraisal report

Additionally, focus on setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals for the future, collaboratively establishing an action plan that aligns with the company’s objectives and the employee’s career aspirations.

how to write the appraisal report

Finally, follow up on the action plan throughout the year, providing ongoing support and feedback to ensure continuous improvement. Consistent and well-structured performance reviews contribute to employee development, job satisfaction, and overall team success.

Performance reviews for new employees are critical in setting the tone for their growth and integration into the organization.

For new employees especially, they may be nervous or unsure of what to expect for their first performance review. That’s why, it’s important for managers to create a welcoming and comfortable environment.

Start by acknowledging their achievements and progress since joining the company. Recognizing their early contributions can boost their confidence and motivation.

how to write the appraisal report

Additionally, focus on clear communication. Outline expectations and performance standards specific to their role. New employees should leave the review with a clear understanding of their job responsibilities and how their work aligns with the company’s goals.

It’s also crucial to discuss their career development. New employees often seek opportunities for advancement and growth. Use the review to explore their long-term goals within the company, and explain how their role fits into the larger career path.

how to write the appraisal report

Finally, emphasize ongoing support and mentorship. New employees benefit from regular check-ins and guidance to help them acclimate and succeed in their roles.

In a self-performance review, employees assess themselves using the same rubric as their managers would and submit them to HR and/or their manager prior to their official review meeting.

The benefits of doing self-assessments have made them a common part of the employee review throughout many companies.

Self-assessments are an encouraging opportunity for employees to share their thoughts about their job, goals, desired responsibilities and aspects of either their role or environment that they may be struggling with.

Set employees up for success in the self-assessment process by giving them a robust employee evaluation form with thoughtful questions, and HR tools to automate this process and make it more convenient.

Annual self-evaluation employee review template

This first example is perfect for a thorough annual review. The targeted questions prompt the employee to reflect on their achievements and shortcomings, while also rating themselves on specific skill sets required for their job.

how to write the appraisal report

The above employee self-assessment example allows for multiple sign-offs, plus a section to list colleagues who can back up the employee’s statements.

Yearly performance self-evaluation templates

A yearly performance self-evaluation isn’t just a great chance for employees to assess their past performance.

It’s also a way for employees to plan for their professional future as they can see where their strengths lie and what skills they need to build to move up in the company. An annual self-evaluation can also build an employee’s case for their compensation review.

This employee self-evaluation form is broken into sections that cover all these factors: about your job, achievements, goals and professional development .

how to write the appraisal report

This yearly performance self-evaluation template has space to expand on goals met and alignment with core values, as well as skills they’d like to build in the future:

how to write the appraisal report

Self-assessment employee review forms

Many performance reviews are incredibly detailed. Sometimes, a higher-level overview is all that’s needed.

Quadrant evaluations, like the template below, are a great way for employees to do an assessment and for managers to quickly add their own evaluation, without getting into the weeds.

Employees can add what’s being evaluated in the easy-to-edit template below (instead of get it done/do it right). The employee adds an icon where they think they fall in the quadrant, and the manager does the same, with room on the last page to further break down the evaluation.

Sounds tough? Our real-time collaboration feature (part of the Business Plan ) lets both manager and employee work on the same doc online, leave comments, share private links and more.

how to write the appraisal report

The self employee review form below lets the employee write out their job description. That way, they can reference their deliverables in the Goals Achieved and Areas of Excellence sections and directly demonstrate their impact on the organization:

how to write the appraisal report

This self-performance review example gives employees the chance to reflect on their achievements on a quarterly basis.

This way, employees can demonstrate meeting quarterly goals. It can also give them a chance to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and have a chance to act on them before their big annual review:

how to write the appraisal report

Self-assessments also help enlighten managers of how employees understand their place within the company’s organization and culture.  

The information disclosed in self-assessments should serve as a major element of official performance reviews in order to ensure that both a two-way conversation occurs and that the needs of both parties are being met moving forward. Looking for a better way to enhance employee engagement, to avoid quite boring meetings? Try out the top 14 inspiring games for virtual meetings , to learn how to add a live poll, word cloud, spinner wheel or even live Q&A sessions to elevate your presentation!

To make for the most effective self-assessments, employees should be sure to consider how their managers’ perceptions of their performance varies from their own.  

With this in mind, the information shared in a self-assessment can guide or pivot a manager’s perception and assessment of an employee’s performance .

Quarterly employee performance review templates

Quarterly reviews are important because they provide multiple opportunities for employees to receive helpful feedback on how to improve as the year progresses.

This quarterly performance review example reflects on specific areas of improvement, such as scaling her experiments and developing content partnerships.

performance review examples

Quarterly reviews from Q1 to Q3 serve as a means of providing specific, deliberate feedback to employees so they know exactly how to improve on their goals and skills.  

This enables the final, annual evaluation conducted at the end of Q4 to serve as a final assessment that will have the most weight in determining how the employee will excel into the next year, discretionary bonuses, salary increases, etc.

Quarterly reviews offer a documented and tracked record of an employee’s progress throughout the year.

This means that each quarter should be assessed using the same rubric throughout the entire year. This will aid in ensuring an accurate representation of an employee’s development is recorded.

That means, if you use the below employee review template in Q1, you should also use it again in Q2 and Q3:

performance review examples

Quarterly employee review template

This quarterly review template is a more condensed version of the example above.

If you’d like to keep your quarterly reviews short and to the point, this template will suffice. Employers can then use the expanded version above for their annual review.

how to write the appraisal report

If you want a template that’s filled with useful information on the types of performance review phrases you can use for a quarterly review, you can edit the one below:

how to write the appraisal report

Employee self-evaluation sample answers

It’s also important for employees to comment and reflect on their reviews.

They can both point out specific milestones that were missed:

  • I generated five new leads and, as a result, I exceeded my sales quota by 20%
  • I wrote a blog post based on original research that doubled our organic traffic in June

And also to acknowledge areas of improvement:

  • I recognize that I need to form new content partnerships. I plan to do so in Q3 by putting together a list of 10 potential targets based on past linkbuilding partners and sending a customized pitch email.

how to write the appraisal report

Annual performance review templates

At large organizations, there may not be enough resources in order to devote the time needed to conduct quarterly performance reviews for every employee.  

This is also true in the case of a supervisor who has a large number of direct reports working for them whereby time management is their main issue.  

In these situations, an annual performance review would work best, especially if the employees being evaluated are experienced in their line of work and have been with their company for a long time.

Annual employee performance review templates

In this employee review template, staff are evaluated on only four factors: ability, goals, areas of improvement, and core values:

Annual evaluations are typically geared towards determining employee raises and discretionary bonuses.

Regular one-on-one meetings between direct reports and managers throughout the course of the year would be a great way to supplement this process.

This annual employee review template can simply include scores (out of 100 etc.) in each box. Or put notes in each section to explain the overall performance score.

how to write the appraisal report

This being said, annual appraisals would need to take a more general approach to evaluating employees than just providing a summary of their performance over the year.

The following employee review template takes a graphic approach and neatly summarizes overall performance using a score out of 100 for factors such as adaptability and project quality:

how to write the appraisal report

Employee evaluation examples

Aside from the categories in the template above, there are a number of other factors that employers can use to evaluate performance.

Common performance review skills:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Quality of work
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability
  • Punctuality and attendance
  • Self-education and learning
  • Accountability

Even if you want to do a basic performance review, you should always include:

  • Elements of the employee’s strengths.
  • Areas for which the employee can develop.
  • How the employee contributes/could contribute to the company’s core values and culture through performance and actions.

This performance review mind map shows the basics for setting up a simple yet effective performance review–from setting specific goals to soliciting employee feedback.

how to write the appraisal report

A simple performance review should still reflect the goals of your business’s performance review management system —and this will vary by company.

It’s important to understand the purpose of your assessment before determining what information will be required to assess in order to meet the goal.

For example, some smaller companies may use performance reviews throughout the year to track employees’ development and growth.

While other, larger companies may use performance reviews to summarize employee performance, help to calculate the priorities of the new year, adjust compensation or establish bonus amounts.

An HR checklist can come in handy to streamline the process.

Simple employee review template

Each of these simple employee review templates are easy to edit in our online editor. Customize the text to match your own criteria, add your brand colors, upload your logo, add or delete pages and then share a private link or download in PDF or PowerPoint formats ( Business Plan only ).

This template uses quadrants to see how employee and manager evaluations match. Or only use it for self-assessments or manager assessments.

Simple Multilevel Employee Performance Evaluation Infographic Template

Simple performance review template

This more traditional performance review template focuses only on big categories, like meeting goals, areas of excellence and areas of improvement.

how to write the appraisal report

Simple employee review form

The below form is an even more condensed version of the above. Use it for a quarterly review to keep things focused or even for an annual review to help you and your report stick to the most important points. Change the text to include your own categories of evaluation.

how to write the appraisal report

Useful performance review phrases

Grappling with what to say at your next performance review? Choosing the right words is important to make the review as constructive as possible, not to mention motivating for your employee. Here’s a list of effective performance review phrases for managers and employees.

Performance appraisal comments for managers:

  • She replies to calls, emails and instant messages in a timely manner (within 24 hours etc.)
  • He has a talent for thinking outside the box.
  • She tends to be risk-averse and prefers traditional approaches to creative ones.
  • She maintains a culture of transparency in her team and encourages knowledge-sharing across all teams in the department.
  • He consistently gives reports the training and resources needed to meet their goals.
  • He is biased and openly favors some employees over others on his team.
  • She is skillful in communicating difficult decisions and messages to her team.
  • She creates chaos and miscommunication in her team by consistently communicating different messages to different reports.
  • You embody a “win together lose together” philosophy.
  • Your ability to reflect, plan and act is the key to your excellent performance.
  • He uses his seniority to try to dominate and/or intimidate reports.
  • He excels when working alone but has trouble working collaboratively with a team.
  • He consistently meets his deadlines and prioritizes top goal work.
  • She consistently focuses on lower-value work instead of high-lever activities.

Performance review phrases for employees:

  • Can you tell me more about what you mean?
  • I want to be sure I understand (your expectations).
  • Let me give you a little more context here.
  • What would it look like if I was performing at a top level?
  • What would I need to do to score higher on this?
  • Let’s discuss my goals and priorities for the the next quarter/year.
  • Is there a way to get more frequent feedback about my performance between evaluations?
  • How will I know if I’m on track between evaluations?

If you want to see a list of common skills you can comment on for your employees, check out this section .

What’s the purpose of a performance review?

At Venngage, our people are at the core of everything we do as a business—whether it’s developing new features on our tool, growing our international reach or meeting customer needs.

With a people-focus within our company, we are passionate about continuous learning and improvement, self-reflection, creating great customer experiences , owning our jobs, teamwork and making our office feel like a second home

It should come as no surprise that our leadership team spends a considerable amount of time at the end of each quarter conducting performance reviews with each of their direct reports.

how to write the appraisal report

Here are some things we’ve learned about how to conduct effective performance reviews:

  • Make it clear at the beginning of a new hire’s employment how and when employees will be evaluated. This should be part of your onboarding process  and is especially important if you’re managing a remote team .
  • Allow employees to prepare for their review by completing a self-assessment prior to their appraisal, then allow the employee to walk their manager through the reasoning behind their self-assessment.
  • Deliver a positive and solution-focused message (whenever possible), this will result in a less discouraging message.

how to write the appraisal report

To make the most of the actual review conversation with your employee, it’s important to avoid:

  • General, vague feedback; be specific on which behaviors you want your employee to continue, stop and explore.
  • Making it personal; feedback is about actions and behavior , not the person.
  • Loaded language; focus on asking what and how , not why . Enquiring why someone acted the way they did is akin to searching for a ‘motive’ and may come across as accusatory.

how to write the appraisal report

Create a performance review strategy before writing an employee’s review

Having an employee-friendly performance review process can not only make or break the development of your employees and but also disrupt the relationship between managers and their reports.

That’s why it’s crucial to create a robust performance review strategy and employee evaluation form before implementation to ensure the process is both constructive, celebratory and effective. This will even help you in the future if you choose to write a letter of recommendation for the employee as you’ll have all his performance reviews to reference.

By considering the six steps above when writing a performance review, you’ll have completed the final step in executing an employee-friendly review process.

The satisfaction gained from an increase in employee engagement and people power will make the effort expended on administering performance reviews entirely worthwhile, and ensure you have more effective reviews moving forward.

Take notes of the effective performance review phrases you can use during any of review sessions, as well as creating a visually appealing assessment using Venngage performance review templates. It’s free to get started.

You might also like:

  • 10+ Employee Evaluation Templates to Sail Through Review Season
  • 21 Essential Human Resources Poster Examples
  • How to Write an Effective Incident Report [Templates]

How to Write an Employee Performance Appraisal Report

by Jordyn McMahon

Published on 19 Dec 2018

Employee reviews and appraisals are some of the hardest meetings to have, and writing the report can create conflict or fear. Rather than being a manager who instills negative feelings in his employees, you can write your appraisal in such a way that the employee feels prepared to meet new challenges or fix current issues.

Decide on criteria for reviewing. Any manager that goes into a review completely subjectively will be respected less, and All Business notes that many employees already find written reviews to be "artificial and unfair." A good idea is to think about the role of the employee under review, create categories regarding that role (punctuality, work ethic, ability to meet deadlines, etc.) and use a numeric scale to rate the employee's effectiveness. For instance, for each of the categories above, make a numeric scale (from one to five) and circle which number best fits. For punctuality, if the employee is always on time, he would receive a 5; mostly on time, a 4; average punctuality a 3; less than desirable punctuality, a 2; and consistently late, a 1. Provide employees with their own copies of the report.

Prepare a report based on current conditions--in other words, how the employee is currently performing. Rehashing the first few weeks of the employee's work history--often the most difficult and awkward--will make the employee feel despondent and unmotivated. Compliment the ways the employee is contributing, note where she can perform better, and recommend ways that the employee can contribute further in the future. For example, you might say, "You have really grown in your Excel skills, and I'd like to add on some work with Visio now."

Evaluate based on your own observations, not hearsay. Office gossip is not an accurate indicator of an employee's performance. For instance, saying, "I hear that many of the employees see you with personal email sites open," would cause the employee to feel upset and vulnerable. Only bring up a point if you have witnessed it yourself.

Use specific examples for your employee review. In any observation--whether positive or negative--be sure to have an example to back it up. For instance, if you want the employee to note his punctuality, say, "I appreciate the days you make it into the office by 8:30. Perhaps if you are going to be later, you could give a phone call." Employees will not grow unless they can understand what they did right or wrong in a specific scenario.

Encourage the employee under review to indicate her goals for the next year. This type of positive reinforcement makes the manager-worker relationship feel more reciprocal and motivates the employee to achieve more than she already has. Ask, "What do you feel you are capable of adding on to your duties?" or recommend a new task yourself, "I think that you are ready to move into increased client invoicing responsibility."

Self-Appraisal Comments by Employee: 110 Skill-Based Examples

By Editorial Team on February 7, 2024 — 13 minutes to read

When you engage in self-appraisal, you’re taking time to reflect on your performance, strengths, and areas where you can improve. Think of it as a self-driven progress report. You get to showcase what you’ve done well and identify skills that might need a bit more attention or development.

As you write your self-appraisal, consider organizing your thoughts by skill. For example, you might assess your communication abilities, technical know-how, problem-solving skills, or teamwork capabilities. Under each, you’ll list positive aspects and then honestly point out where there’s room for growth.

Honesty in self-appraisal helps you and your supervisors understand your career trajectory and plan for any needed support or training. It’s a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.

Self-appraisal is a chance for candid self-reflection and a stepping stone to your personal and professional development. By being honest and specific in your comments, you set the stage for meaningful conversations with your supervisor and make strides toward your career objectives.

Examples of Positive Self-Appraisal Comments

Communication – I clearly articulate my thoughts during team meetings. – I listen actively to colleagues and provide thoughtful feedback. – I effectively translate complex ideas into understandable concepts. – I maintain open lines of communication with my supervisors and peers. – I use email and messaging tools proficiently to keep everyone informed.

Teamwork – I collaborate well with team members to achieve common goals. – I willingly share my expertise to help others. – I respect different viewpoints and strive for harmonious relationships. – I contribute constructively to team discussions. – I reliably fulfill my role within team projects.

Problem-Solving – I approach challenges with a positive attitude. – I apply creative thinking to generate innovative solutions. – I analyze issues thoroughly before making decisions. – I remain calm and effective under pressure. – I use a methodical approach to troubleshoot and solve problems.

Adaptability – I adjust quickly to new software and tools. – I handle unexpected shifts in workload with ease. – I readily accept changes in procedures or policies. – I demonstrate flexibility in taking on new responsibilities. – I successfully balance multiple tasks and deadlines.

Time Management – I prioritize tasks efficiently to meet deadlines. – I organize my schedule effectively to maximize productivity. – I consistently complete assignments on or ahead of schedule. – I set realistic goals and manage my workload to achieve them. – I avoid distractions and remain focused on my work.

Creativity – I propose original ideas during brainstorming sessions. – I introduce fresh perspectives that enhance projects. – I design innovative solutions to improve workflows. – I apply creativity to solve routine problems in novel ways. – I exhibit originality in my approach to my duties.

Attention to Detail – I meticulously review my work to minimize oversights and ensure quality. – I double-check data and calculations to maintain high accuracy in my reports. – I am observant of all project requirements to ensure every task is complete and up to standard. – I focus intently on complex tasks to reduce the likelihood of errors. – I pay close attention to client specifications to achieve higher satisfaction rates and deliver tailored services.

Leadership – I inspire my colleagues with my vision and dedication. – I delegate tasks effectively, playing to each team member’s strengths. – I offer guidance and support when I see teammates struggling. – I provide constructive feedback to help others grow. – I set a positive example through my work ethic and attitude.

Customer Service – I handle customer inquiries with patience and empathy. – I go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction. – I build strong relationships with clients through excellent service. – I address customer concerns promptly and professionally. – I anticipate customer needs and work proactively to meet them.

Technical Skills – I stay up-to-date with industry-relevant technologies. – I apply technical knowledge to optimize work efficiency. – I troubleshoot technical issues quickly. – I demonstrate proficiency in using specialized software for my role. – I share technical insights with colleagues, enhancing the team’s capabilities.

Personal Development – I actively seek feedback to improve my performance. – I embrace learning opportunities to advance my skills. – I reflect on my experiences to improve future outcomes. – I set personal goals that align with the organization’s mission. – I take initiative to learn from successes and setbacks.

Examples of Self-Appraisal Comments Indicating a Need for Improvement

Time Management – I could work on prioritizing tasks better to meet deadlines efficiently. – Managing my schedule more effectively may help me avoid last-minute rushes. – Consider setting reminders for important deadlines as a way to stay on track. – Balancing my workload could prevent instances of work spilling into personal time. – I sometimes miss deadlines; creating a to-do list might help keep me focused.

Communication – Sometimes my messages are not clear; practicing concise communication could be beneficial. – I should try to actively listen during meetings to improve my understanding of assignments. – I could work on being more open to feedback to enhance team collaboration. – Strengthening my email etiquette might improve my professional correspondence. – Enhancing my non-verbal cues can help with in-person communication clarity.

Teamwork – Regularly participating in team activities would show more commitment to group goals. – Offering help to team members could increase our collective productivity. – Understanding and aligning with team objectives can improve group dynamics. – Seeking to contribute more ideas during brainstorming sessions would be valuable. – Cultivating trust amongst the team may help with smoother project execution.

Problem-Solving – Working on developing more creative solutions to challenges would benefit the team. – Approaching problems with a positive attitude may help in finding resolutions quicker. – Increasing my adaptability can improve my response to unforeseen issues. – I could benefit from considering multiple perspectives when faced with hurdles. – Taking initiative to resolve conflicts could improve the overall team atmosphere.

Technical Skills – Regular practice might improve my proficiency with our software tools. – Staying updated with the latest industry technologies may help me perform tasks more effectively. – Participating in professional development can bolster my skillset and performance. – I could benefit from more training to enhance my technical capabilities. – Applying new strategies and tools could increase work efficiency and accuracy.

Leadership – Practicing decisiveness can make my leadership more impactful. – I may focus on improving delegation techniques for a more balanced workload. – Employing motivational strategies can inspire better team performance. – Developing stronger mentorship qualities could help in guiding junior team members. – I should cultivate the ability to provide constructive criticism to foster team growth.

Adaptability – Being more receptive to change can help with organizational transitions. – Working on how I handle unexpected situations could improve my resilience. – Becoming resourceful in times of uncertainty will be beneficial to my growth. – Practicing flexibility with my work approach could lead to more innovative outcomes. – Improving my stress management techniques might help me adapt more readily.

Creativity – I should try to incorporate fresh ideas regularly to enhance project innovation. – Experimenting with new methods could lead to more dynamic results. – Broadening my horizons can contribute to a more varied approach to problem-solving. – Sharing creative insights during meetings might spark valuable team brainstorming. – Dedicating time to explore artistic endeavors can enrich my originality.

Attention to Detail – Minimizing oversights in my work may prevent future mistakes. – Double-checking my data could ensure greater accuracy in reports. – I should be more observant regarding project requirements to ensure completeness. – Improving focus during complex tasks might reduce errors. – Paying closer attention to client specifications can lead to better satisfaction rates.

Customer Service – Enhancing my empathy can lead to better customer relations. – Developing stronger problem resolution skills could improve customer experience. – Being more patient with clients may help in understanding their needs fully. – Making an effort to exceed customer expectations can foster loyalty. – Building on my product knowledge might provide more comprehensive support.

Personal Development – I should actively seek feedback to continuously improve my performance. – Embracing learning opportunities would help me to advance my skills further. – Reflecting on my experiences could lead to improved outcomes in future projects. – Setting personal goals that align with the organization’s mission may increase my contribution to our success. – Taking initiative to learn from both successes and setbacks could enhance my professional growth.

Balancing Self-Assessment

When you’re writing self-appraisal comments, finding the right balance between recognizing your strengths and acknowledging areas for improvement is key to crafting a reflective and constructive assessment. You want to be honest about your capabilities while also showing that you understand and are proactive about your personal development.

  • Positive: “I consistently communicate project updates clearly and promptly to the team, ensuring we all stay on the same page.”
  • Needs Improvement: “I plan to improve in handling difficult conversations and giving constructive feedback.”
  • Positive: “I have successfully met all project deadlines this quarter, effectively managing my time and prioritizing tasks.”
  • Needs Improvement: “I need to enhance my ability to estimate the time for task completion better to improve scheduling accuracy.”
  • Positive: “I actively contribute to team discussions and support my colleagues, which has helped us collaborate more effectively.”
  • Needs Improvement: “I aim to seek more opportunities to lead projects and foster a stronger leadership presence within the team.”
  • Positive: “I approach problems with a solutions-oriented mindset, which has led to several process improvements in my department.”
  • Needs Improvement: “I’m working on expanding my approach to include more creative solutions to unexpected challenges.”
  • Positive: “I am proficient with the latest version of our CRM software, which has increased my efficiency in managing customer data.”
  • Needs Improvement: “I am dedicated to learning more about advanced data analysis tools to better contribute to our team’s strategic decisions.”

It’s important that you illustrate your self-appraisal comments with specific examples. This not only provides clarity but also demonstrates that you have a thoughtful understanding of your own work performance. While you praise your strengths, also express a willingness to address weaknesses as opportunities for growth. This balance showcases your professionalism and commitment to personal development.

What To Include in Final Comments for a Performance Appraisal

  • Reflect on Achievements: Summarize key accomplishments during the appraisal period. Highlight any projects, targets, or goals you successfully met or exceeded.
  • Acknowledge Challenges: Mention any challenges faced and how you overcame them. This demonstrates resilience and a willingness to tackle difficulties.
  • Discuss Professional Growth: Talk about any new skills or knowledge you acquired, and how they have contributed to your professional development.
  • Express Gratitude: Thank your supervisor and colleagues for their support and guidance. Acknowledging others fosters a positive work environment.
  • Set Goals: Outline your goals and objectives for the next period. This shows initiative and a commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Seek Opportunities: Express interest in opportunities for further growth, such as training, workshops, or new projects.
  • 1. “This year has been incredibly rewarding as I was able to exceed the sales targets by 15%. I look forward to building on this success and am eager to take on new challenges that come my way.”
  • 2. “I appreciate the opportunity to have worked on the (…) project, which has significantly enhanced my project management skills. Thank you for the support and I am excited about applying these skills to future projects.”
  • 3. “The past year presented numerous challenges, especially with the shift to remote work. However, with the team’s support, I adapted quickly and maintained high productivity levels.”
  • 4. “I am grateful for the constructive feedback provided during this appraisal. It has given me a clear understanding of where I can improve, and I am committed to working on these areas.”
  • 5. “I’ve enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues this year and learning from their diverse perspectives. I believe our team efforts have resulted in some outstanding achievements.”
  • 6. “Thank you for recognizing my contributions to the customer service improvements. I am passionate about this aspect of our work and look forward to enhancing our processes even further.”
  • 7. “Over the past year, I have dedicated myself to professional development, completing several advanced training courses, which have already had a positive impact on my work.”
  • 8. “I am thankful for the leadership opportunities I was given this year, and I am keen to continue developing my leadership skills to contribute more effectively to our team’s success.”
  • 9. “I value the open communication and support provided by management, which has greatly helped in achieving my performance goals. I am looking forward to another year of growth and achievements.”
  • 10. “As I reflect on the past year, I am proud of the progress we have made as a team. I remain committed to further improving my performance and supporting our collective goals.”

Actionable Steps After Self-Appraisal

After you complete your self-appraisal, identifying precise actions to take will help you improve and advance professionally. Here’s what you can do next:

  • Set Specific Goals : Use the feedback you’ve given yourself to set clear, measurable goals. For instance, if you recognized a need for better time management, a goal could be, “I will break down projects into daily tasks and set deadlines for each.”
  • Create an Action Plan : Write down the steps you’ll need to take to reach these goals. If you’re aiming to enhance your communication skills, you might plan to take a course or read relevant books.
  • Seek Feedback : Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from your manager or peers. They can provide vital insights that may align with or differ from your self-assessment, giving you a more rounded view of where you stand.
  • Schedule Follow-Ups : Make regular checks on your progress. You might set monthly or quarterly reviews to ask yourself, “Am I closer to achieving my goals?”
  • Find a Mentor or Coach : Sometimes, guidance from someone experienced in your field can be invaluable. They can offer personalized advice and strategies that you might not have considered.
  • Focus on Continuous Learning : Skills can always be refined or expanded upon. Look for learning opportunities, whether that’s workshops, online courses, or conferences, to keep developing both professionally and personally.

The goal is to transform the insights from your self-appraisal into tangible improvements, so make sure your actions are directed, consistent, and monitored over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i describe my personal development in self-appraisal comments.

Describing personal development is about acknowledging your growth areas and the steps you’ve taken to improve. You could say, “I recognized time management as a challenge and have implemented a new scheduling system that improved my productivity.” The key is to express a clear understanding of the skill you’ve improved and how it has made a difference.

Could you provide examples of how to comment positively on a performance review?

Yes, positive comments should reflect both your impact on the company and your commitment to your role. An example might be, “I take pride in my role and this year I’ve successfully managed 5 large projects to completion, exceeding our team’s goals.” Another would be, “My dedication to customer satisfaction is shown through my 98% positive service rating.”

What are effective teamwork-related self-appraisal comments?

For teamwork, pivot on both your ability to collaborate with others and the outcomes. A teamwork-focused comment might read, “I thrive in team settings, as demonstrated by leading our group to a successful product launch ahead of schedule.” Or, “My support in cross-departmental cooperation has boosted the efficiency of our joint projects.”

How should I frame my self-performance review goals?

When setting goals in your review, aim for clarity and a connection to the company’s objectives. You might say, “In the coming year, I aim to advance my technical skills to contribute to our team’s innovation initiatives.” Make sure your goals reflect a commitment to personal growth and align with your role and department aims.

  • Self Evaluation Examples [Complete Guide]
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  • 31 Professionalism Self Evaluation Comments Examples
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Standard Valuation Services

Standard Valuation Services

Commercial real estate appraisals and business valuations

Appraisal Reports: Everything You Need to Know

By: Adam Smith

If you’re a property owner, determining the accurate value of your properties is crucial for making the smartest financial decisions and planning for your future.

An appraisal report can help you understand the value of your commercial and residential properties. In this article, we’ll focus on explaining the former.

Here’s what an appraisal report is, the types of appraisal reports, and how to get started with the right appraisal report that best suits your needs.

Why Might I Need An Appraisal Report?

Anyone with a need to understand the value of a property might find themselves in need of an Appraisal Report.

commercial properties

A local real estate broker may help you determine if a small repair will add value. 

However, in many cases, such as lending, determining an asking or offer price, or when considering a major renovation, you may wish (or be required) to have a commercial appraisal report completed by a professional real estate appraiser. 

Lenders, Property Owners, Investors, Business Operators, and others use these reports to guide their financial decisions and business planning.

What Is An Appraisal Report?

An Appraisal Report, according to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP, is “ any communication, written or oral, of an appraisal or appraisal review that is transmitted to the client or a party authorized by the client upon completion of an assignment.”

Many people think of an appraisal report as a document written by an “appraiser,” which provides the value of a property. The truth is, an appraisal report is only one possible product of the entire appraisal process, but more on that later.

An appraisal report is most often found in the form of a document that summarizes or states the steps taken and information considered in the development of an opinion of value. 

An Appraisal Report can take many forms, determined by its intended use and the needs of the client.

What Form Does An Appraisal Report Take?

Just as USPAP has a definition for an Appraisal Report, it also provides the definition of an Appraisal; “ the act or process of developing an opinion of value.”

That’s a pretty short definition, but an accurate one. In order to develop an Appraisal Report, an appraiser must complete an appraisal. The appraisal is a process starting with the engagement of the appraiser to complete the assignment and is comprised of all the steps taken to develop the final opinion of value and deliver a completed report. 

These steps range from conducting basic and in-depth research and visiting a property, to gaining an understanding of the neighborhood and market area in which the property is located, to investigating and understanding the trends of buyers and sellers. All of this is an effort to provide the client with the most reasonable and credible estimate of value for the subject property.  

So, an Appraisal Report is the oral or written report by an appraiser which conveys the results of an appraisal process. An appraiser cannot simply declare the value of a property without first completing the Appraisal Process. But once the process is complete, the appraiser can confidently deliver the completed Appraisal Report.

What Types Of Appraisal Reports Are There?

There are presently only two recognized “forms” of Appraisal Report; the Appraisal Report and the Restricted Appraisal Report .  

These forms are not defined by the actual form utilized or the number of pages of a report, but rather by the depth of reporting within the report. 

An Appraisal Report will summarize the appraisal process and data considered, while a Restricted Appraisal Report may simply state much of the information.

While an Appraisal Report may have more than one intended user, a Restricted Appraisal Report will be restricted to a single intended user, and it is often understood or assumed that the intended user will have adequate knowledge of the subject property to fully understand the reasoning and conclusions that lead to the final value opinion.

An Appraisal Report must include adequate content so that any reader may understand the nature of the subject property and all of the data and methods employed that lead to the final value opinion.

What Type Of Appraisal Report Do I Need?

This is a question that will be answered by both the client and appraiser. Once the appraiser understands the intended use and intended user(s) of the Appraisal Report, the form can be decided upon. 

appraisal calculation

The Restricted Appraisal Report

Property owners who are curious about the market value of their property, or want to know if the value will be affected by a change such as building an addition, adding a garage, etc., might require only the Restricted Appraisal Report, since the intended use of the report can be achieved with this brief format.

The Appraisal Report

Lenders who may be considering providing a loan for the purchase of a property and who might need to understand their position should the borrower default will want the more detailed Appraisal Report. Whenever there is more than one intended user, such as a loan with multiple banks participating or a loan insured by the Federal Government, a Restricted Appraisal Report will not be allowed and the Appraisal Report format must be used.

In short, the needs of the client, the number of intended users, and the client’s understanding of the subject property and market area all factor into the decision as to which appraisal report format is used. 

Keep in mind that regardless of the report format, a full and complete appraisal process must be conducted and the process is mandated and regulated by many different government agencies and client requirements.

What Will I Find In An Appraisal Report?  

As stated earlier, an Appraisal Report is comprised of statements or a summary of the steps taken to arrive at the final opinion of value. USPAP provides guidance to appraisers as well as regulations that ensure appraisers complete a fair and unbiased analysis. 

Letter of Transmittal

A typical appraisal report includes a letter of transmittal which outlines the subject and assignment, identifying the client, subject property, type of value being estimated, pertinent dates and will identify the appraiser. 

Summary of Appraisal Results

Next, the report will provide a summary of the appraisal results, usually followed by an explanation of how the report meets:

  • Necessary regulatory standards
  • The scope of the appraisal process
  • Neighborhood and market area analysis
  • Description of the property site and improvements (including such things as Zoning, whether the subject property is situated in a flood plain, or is affected by any factors within or outside of the site itself)

There will be a discussion of the current real estate tax position of the property and an opinion of the Highest and Best Use of the subject property.

approach to commercial value

Appraisal Approach to Value

All of the previous steps lead up to the development of the selected appraisal approaches to value. Any or all of the three approaches to value (Cost, Sales, and Income) may be employed by the appraiser in the development of the final value opinion. The resultant values as derived by the development of the selected approaches to value will be reconciled and the final value opinion stated.

Exhibits such as photographs, maps, charts and tables, historical documents related to the project, and other documents may be included in part or in whole within the report or in an Addendum. 

Certification of Value

Lastly, the report will include a Certification of Value, indicating the names and level of involvement of all persons signing the Appraisal Report or providing significant appraisal assistance to those who sign, and will typically include the appraiser’s license information and qualifications or resume.

How Do I Get An Appraisal Report For My Property?

A great real estate appraiser will be able to answer all of your questions as well as ask you questions pertaining to your particular appraisal project. 

Together you will determine how an appraisal can help you and the type of Appraisal Report that will best meet your needs. 

Appraisers must be ethical, competent, knowledgeable of all regulatory standards, and familiar with your property type and the market area surrounding your property before they can accept an appraisal assignment. 

The right appraiser will be happy to provide you with his/her qualifications, answer all of your questions and assist you in engaging appraisal services as well as being accessible and transparent during the appraisal process. 

If you would like to get started or learn more about the appraisal process or the services that Standard Valuation Services can provide to you, please reach out to us today and we’ll be happy to assist.

Want to learn more? Get The 2021 Property Owner’s Appraisal Guide here free!

commercial appraisal guide

621 Plainfield Road, Suite 201 | Willowbrook, Illinois 60527 P: 630.792.1330

Standard Valuation Services provides commercial real estate valuations with unparalleled customer service. Our high-touch approach provides clarity for our clients, allowing them to make sound decisions and lead their teams confidently.


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    An Appraisal Report, according to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP, is " any communication, written or oral, of an appraisal or appraisal review that is transmitted to the client or a party authorized by the client upon completion of an assignment." Many people think of an appraisal report as a document written by an "appraiser," which ...

  24. How to Build a Strong Real Estate Appraisal Report

    1. Title Page. The title page should clearly identify the subject of the appraisal report. The title page will typically identify (1) the property address, (2) the definition of value and (3) the "as of" valuation date. 2. Letter of Transmittal. The letter of transmittal typically includes the following information: date of letter and salutation