A Guide to Writing Effective Performance Review Summaries

Writing a performance review summary comes with many challenges. You need to create a concise review that accurately reflects an employee’s company performance. And when writing a review, it’s essential to strike a balance between positive feedback and improvement suggestions.

You can make it a less stressful experience by taking the time to brainstorm, draft and review employee performance. We’ve laid out some tips to make writing your review summary a piece of cake. Check them out!

Four men discussing something that's written on a piece of paper.
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

What is a Performance Review?

A performance review analyzes all the different aspects of a particular person’s character to assess their capacity and performance in a specific job. 

It’s not a way to unload criticisms. Rather, it’s an honest evaluation of employee performance, opportunities for future growth and development, and so on.

A manager needs to take their evaluation of a given employee seriously because this will affect their career. Use it to celebrate the positives and highlight the areas where improvements can be made.

Benefits of Conducting a Performance Review

A performance review won’t only benefit employees but also your entire company. Here are some of the many benefits of writing an honest performance review for your employees.


To perform at their best level, employees need to receive honest feedback about how they can improve. Effective feedback gives you the best output from your reports.

According to a study, 72 percent of respondents believe their performance would improve if managers provided better corrective feedback.


The common notion that employees dread performance reviews isn’t entirely true. A study found that nearly 34% of full-time employees preferred to get more feedback from their manager.

Performance reviews are an excellent opportunity to show employees that you’re invested in their growth and success.


Employees who feel satisfied and valued in the workplace will be encouraged to stay longer. Gallup found that frequent, strengths-based feedback may decrease turnover by nearly 15 percent!

Career Development

Through a performance review, managers can discuss career goals and how the company can support employees. When 37 percent of employees say they would leave their jobs if they weren’t offered more opportunities for career advancement, these conversations are essential. You can have action items for your employees to pursue their career goals and ensure they feel supported and encouraged.

Tips for Writing a Performance Review Summary

1. Collect peer feedback

Managers should give employees honorable criticism and recognition. And it greatly helps to collect feedback from their peers. This will provide you with a wider perspective and can be an effective way to learn more about their performance.

2. Provide specific examples

It’s important to cite specific examples of when an employee excelled or struggled rather than make generalizations. This shows them that you pay attention to what they do in the workplace.

You can say, “You stepped in and guided your team through the project when your team leader Nick was sick.” This carries a lot more impact than saying, “You always make it a point to help team members.”

3. Don’t skip the positives.

The goal of performance reviews is to improve employee performance. And while you may be tempted just to hand out constructive criticism, it’s also essential to give them a pat on the back. Try to provide positive feedback. If they’ve done something commendable, let them know.

4. Remember to listen

It is important that performance reviews are conversational and not simply a means to hand out criticism and evaluation.

Try asking them how they feel about their work performance. What are the things they think they need to work on? What are the goals they want to achieve? Keep open communication, so your employees don’t feel unheard during reviews.

Performance Review Samples

There are many employee qualities that you can evaluate in a performance review. Here are some of these qualities, along with some sample reviews.


Professionalism refers to the competence or skill expected of a professional. In the context of performance reviews, professionalism means exhibiting high ethical and moral standards, focusing on commitment and fairness.

  • Develops professional relationships with individuals who benefit the company and contribute to the organization’s growth.
  • How he behaves with his fellow employees and his job is highly professional.
  • Ensures to gather proper information about various aspects of his job to stay updated with the company’s needs

Communication Skills

Workplaces are built on a culture of proper communication, and employees must have good communication skills. When giving feedback about their communication skills, you can say:

  • He is a good listener with excellent communication skills and uses them to advise his team about any issue that may arise.
  • Is capable of speaking frankly with colleagues and team members without being too authoritative.
  • Having the ability to provide input to his team members has earned him their respect, helping him prevent potential problems from arising.


Employees with high aspirations must possess leadership and the ability to manage teams. These are also qualities most companies are looking for in an employee.

  • A leader who commands respect by treating his team members with the same level of respect.
  • He is approachable and makes his team members feel at ease if they have problems, improving intra-team relationships.
  • Team members feel confident as he leads with inspiration.

Stress Management

Burnout or stress plays a major role in attrition in professional settings today. In such a situation, it becomes critical that employees cope with the stress that comes with their job.

  • Has a good deal of experience dealing with stressful situations and can develop suitable solutions with minimal assistance.
  • He sets an example by making sure that he never loses his composure when it comes to the most stressful situations.
  • Has the ability to think of innovative solutions to crises.

Time Management

Most companies place a lot of emphasis on punctuality and the ability to manage your time to accomplish goals.

  • Sets a great example to others by always being punctual in meeting project deadlines.
  • Effectively takes charge of keeping a schedule for breaks and keeping the company’s schedules in order.
  • He exhibits excellent time management skills and is well-suited to handle all the work assigned to him within a stipulated time frame.

Wrapping Up

Reviewing employee performance is a crucial step in building a healthy company culture. It can also help employees utilize their strengths effectively and understand where they can improve.

With these helpful tips for writing a performance review summary, you’ll be able to write an honest and professional review for your employees.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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