58 Performance Review Examples That Motivate Your Staff

by Katie Sawyer, 9 minutes read
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Undergoing a performance review can be stressful to workers. They think the worst and feel uneasy about what problems you'll bring up. 

And it's no easier as a manager. Trying to provide helpful feedback, while still motivating your team to become better can be challenging. 

However, performance reviews are necessary to your company's success. They allow employees to see where they stand against their peers and provide valuable feedback to improve performance.

Keep reading to learn tips on how to provide an effective performance review. 

What is a performance review?

A performance review is when a manager evaluates and writes a "review" of an employee's work and attitude. It's a way to communicate your expectations to employees and help them grow professionally.

A good performance appraisal will include specific goals for improvement, so it's vital to:

  • clearly state the employee's strengths.

  • demonstrate the employee's weaknesses.

  • highlight areas for growth.

  • give clear direction for future professional development.

The purpose of the review is to evaluate current performance and set new performance goals for a certain time period, such as the next 12 months.

Why performance reviews matter

Employees work best when they work under strong leadership. But what does it mean to be a strong leader? Managers should know their employees and how to motivate them to become the best workers possible. 

This requires understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and how to motivate them to overcome challenges and hone the skills they excel in. 

TheState of Employee Feedback report shows that businesses see higher employee engagement when managers give regular feedback. Here's a look at the numbers:

  • 50% of companies find it more important to implement performance management programs

  • Over 85% of highly engaged organizations use one-on-one meetings between employees and managers

  • Over 54% of highly engaged organizations have monthly or quarterly one-on-one performance conversations

  • 63% of engaged and highly engaged companies say employee recognition programs are important, and half of organizations say they saw positive ROI as a result.

So not only does employee feedback improve engagement and retention rates, it can help your bottom line.

How to provide constructive feedback in your performance review

To provide thoughtful feedback to employees, consider all areas of their position. For example, if you have a team of housekeepers, don't just judge their cleaning skills. Review how well they respond to challenges with guests, communicate with co-workers, and manage time when cleaning rooms.

Here are several tips for giving constructive employee feedback:

  • Be honest: Don't sugarcoat your comments. If there are areas of improvement, let them know (respectfully), so they can fix them.

  • Give praise where it's due:Showing gratitude proves you value the worker (especially if you have a lot of criticisms in their performance review). 

  • Provide suggestions: Don't just criticize. Offer tips to improve on the issues they're struggling with, so they can make adjustments. 

  • Use concrete language: Avoid vague terms that leave room for misinterpretation. Be clear and concise about what you mean, so your employees know exactly what to do to become better workers. 

Helpful hospitality and retail performance review phrases

You want your employees to walk away from your performance review invigorated, not troubled or stressed. So here are several ways to phrase your feedback to ensure workers move forward with confidence. 


Your employee needs to adapt quickly to changing situations. This is especially critical in fast-paced environments like restaurants, hotels, and retail shops. To assess your employee's ability to adjust to change, you can provide feedback like: 

"Quickly adapted to new cleaning standards to meet COVID requirements."

"Responded positively to changes in customer service expectations during this pandemic."

"Adjusted their approach to accommodate guest preferences while maintaining high-quality cleanliness."


Effective communication is essential for success in any workplace. Your employee has many opportunities to demonstrate effective verbal and written communications throughout the day. Here are some examples of appropriate statements regarding your employee's communication abilities:

"Respectful to guests and can communicate professionally."

"Responds promptly to requests for assistance from managers and co-workers."

"A great listener and provides valuable feedback to co-workers and managers."


A leader sets an example for others to follow. Leadership skills are vital for employees to demonstrate, even if they're in a non-leadership role. So it's good to evaluate how well your employees lead others through difficult times. For instance, consider these statements as part of your evaluation: 

"Helped lead our team by providing direction and guidance during challenging circumstances."

"Demonstrates leadership qualities such as motivating peers during times of stress."

"Can work effectively under pressure and handle multiple tasks at once."

Quality control

A business is only as great as the quality it provides. But you need a team that values this just as much as you do. Evaluate your employees for attention to detail and consistently to determine their ability to maintain quality. Consider using one of these phrases to describe your employee's quality control efforts:

"Enforces standards of cleanliness and sanitation."

"Works diligently to improve overall product quality."

"Tests food items before they're served to customers."


A business can't run if its workers are consistently absent or late. If your employee misses too much time at work, they may lose out on promotions and raises. Therefore, it's important to note when attendance issues arise during evaluations. Use one of these phrases if you notice poor attendance: 

"Arrived to work late [x amount of] times within a 30-day period."

"Misses [x number of] days due to unexcused absences."

"Fails to meet expectations related to punctuality."

Or if their attendance is exceptional, then you can provide feedback like:

"Attends regularly scheduled meetings and events."

"Always shows up when expected, especially during busy seasons."

Leadership skills

Retail and hospitality employees need to lead effectively within the company. They also need to take the initiative and make decisions that benefit the entire group. These qualities are necessary if your business wants to grow and prosper. Use these samples to give constructive feedback about your retail employee's leadership skills:

"Assists co-workers in completing assigned duties at the front desk."

"Participates actively in planning activities for guest events."

"Provides input into strategic initiatives at our store location."

"Develops strong working relationships with clients and vendors."


An employee who works hard and produces quality work is great. But how well do they work on a team? Teamwork helps employees achieve goals more efficiently. It also builds trust among all parties involved. When evaluating collaboration, look at whether or not your employee works cooperatively with others. Some ways to phrase feedback include:

"Cooperates with fellow workers when completing tasks, such as taking inventory."

"Shares the right information freely with co-workers."

"Respects the opinions of others."

Customer service

Alt text = customer service performance review

To keep customers happy, employees need to be polite and professional. Your employee may even want to learn basic customer service techniques such as smiling, saying "thank you," offering help and asking relevant questions. Here are some sample comments to make about an employee's customer service abilities:

"Shows courtesy toward guests."

"Greeting guests warmly upon entering the establishment."

"Offers complimentary water during mealtime."

"Asks guests if there is anything else he/she could offer."


Productivity is one of the best indicators of job satisfaction. Employees who feel productive have higher morale and tend to stay longer. Productive employees can complete projects quickly while still maintaining quality standards. To evaluate productivity, consider using feedback like:

"Maintains a well-stocked store, even when the floor is busy."

"Works well under pressure."

"Keeps track of inventory levels accurately."

Problem solving

If your employee encounters problems while performing daily duties, they must solve those issues promptly. They should take responsibility for resolving any issues encountered. The following statement describes someone who solves problems effectively:

"Identifies potential problem areas before they become major obstacles."

"Sees problems early enough to prevent them from becoming serious challenges."

"Seems to have a knack for finding solutions to common problems."

Time management

Managers need to know whether employees manage their own schedules efficiently. Time management involves planning ahead, so work gets done at its optimum level. It also means being organized and efficient. Managers should look for ways to encourage effective time management behaviors among their employees. Some possible feedback includes:

"Makes sure all tasks get completed on time."

"Enforces strict adherence to hotel policies."

Interpersonal skills

An essential part of managing a successful workplace includes developing interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal skills involve communicating effectively with customers, clients, vendors, suppliers, and fellow workers. Here are some ideas for feedback:

"Treats guests courteously and professionally."

"Gives compliments frequently."

"Respects privacy rights of others."

Needs improvement

Evaluating an employee's performance is identifying needs improvements. When you notice something wrong, it may mean there's room for growth. Your goal as a manager is to identify strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and develop plans to improve specific aspects of your employee's performance.

Some ways to offer feedback when an employee needs improvement includes:

"Performs job optimally, but needs to show up on time."

"Provides excellent customer service, but needs to work on speed using the register."

"Is a great team player, but needs to improve knowledge of products."


A coachable person is easier to grow personally and professionally over time. As a coach, you teach workers to think critically, analyze situations, and overcome challenges. So you'll want to evaluate employees based on their ability to follow instructions. You can use feedback like:

"Can listen carefully without interrupting."

"Admits mistakes and takes responsibility for actions."

"Asks questions to gain more knowledge."

"Seeks advice from supervisors and mentors."

"Accepts constructive criticism."


A motivated employee works harder and is more likely to stick with your company. You can evaluate a worker's motivation level by analyzing their work ethic. You can offer the following feedback based on your findings:

"Works hard despite difficult circumstances."

"Doesn't complain or blame other people."

"Stays focused on a task until finished."

"Has the initiative to learn new techniques."

"Looks forward to future opportunities."


There are different ways employees can show creativity in the workplace. For example, a front desk associate might be creative by offering suggestions that increase efficiency. A salesperson could be creative by coming up with innovative marketing strategies. And a hotel chef could be creative by creating unique recipes. Here are several ways to offer feedback about a worker's creativity:

"Can come up with unique approaches to solving problems."

"Thinks creatively to meet deadlines."

"Finds different methods to complete tasks."

"Uses imagination to create new business ventures."

How do you write a quick performance review?

The following steps can help you create effective reviews that focus on areas of strength while highlighting any deficiencies or problems:

  1. Determine which behaviors, traits, and skills you would like to address about the employee. For example, communication skills, productivity, or punctuality.

  2. Write down each and give positive or negative feedback about them.

  3. Describe the problem (or positive feedback) in more detail. What does this behavior look like? How often does it happen? Is it always negative or just sometimes? 

  4. If possible, offer solutions rather than simply describing the issue. Suggest ways to change the situation. For instance, instead of saying, "You're not organized enough," suggest, "We could schedule regular time together to go over daily tasks." 

Example performance review template

Here's a template for writing an employee performance review: 

Performance Evaluation Template

Date: _________________________________________________________________

Employee Name: ____________________________

Job Title: _______________________________

Position Description: _____________________________________

Supervisor’s Comments: ______________________________________

Employee’s Comments: ____________________________________________

Areas for Improvement: ____________________________________________

Name: ___________________________________________

Date: __________________

Offer motivational employee feedback

It's not easy providing employee feedback, especially when you have to bring awareness to issues. But by focusing on both the good and bad, you can balance out your worker evaluations. 

This way, youremployees feel valued and confident in working harder to improve. 

By using the above techniques, you'll find that employee evaluations become easier and less stressful for everyone. If you need a way to keep your workers organized and productive, thentry Deputy for free today.