Performance appraisal strengths and weaknesses

Filling out a form as you evaluate each employee provides a permanent record for both you and them. You can make the form as detailed or as open-ended as you want, depending on how much feedback you want to gather, but there are two essentials for an employee evaluation form: strengths and weaknesses.

employee performance review form
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Giving an employee positive feedback is among the best ways to keep them engaged. Employee engagement is one of the top three challenges identified by HR professionals. But it’s not enough to just tell an employee that they’re doing a good job. To keep employees motivated and to reinforce positive behavior, you need to give employees six feedback positives for every feedback negative.

Including strengths in the performance appraisal tells employees that you notice and appreciate their contributions. Elaborating on those strengths and identifying specific areas where employees can improve helps them evaluate their own performance and understand how to improve their skills.

Here are some of the most common employee criteria to evaluate in a performance appraisal.


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Working well with clients, managers, coworkers, and others is a fundamental skill. Teamwork is crucial to completing tasks. Getting along well with colleagues makes for a cohesive and enjoyable work environment.

A pleasant workplace is important. Working alongside others, no matter what the industry, is how we achieve big goals, find creative solutions to problems, and make a positive contribution to the organization. On the other hand, not working well with others ruins team morale and makes it difficult for coworkers to effectively collaborate and solve problems.

Evaluating employees’ teamwork skills helps you gauge the contribution of each individual and determine if they are meeting their responsibilities. Evaluating this skill regularly ensures employees are living up to the standards that you set for them.


Your employees need to be able to successfully perform their jobs in quickly changing circumstances. Handling change and embracing new procedures is useful in many circumstances, and it’s indispensable during a crisis.

Evaluating adaptability is important in determining whether an employee will embrace new technology, new responsibilities, and ever-changing customer needs to align with an evolving company culture. Those who are rigid and resistant to change undermine productivity and lower morale. 

Interpersonal skills

Not every employee is bubbly and happy. However, their ability to relate to their peers, managers, and direct reports is an important skill to evaluate in a performance appraisal. 

Everyone on your team needs to foster strong working relationships with coworkers, clients, and vendors. These traits help create the positive working environment teams need to be productive. Evaluating an employee’s interpersonal skills will help you determine whether to assign them strictly technical tasks or tasks that require them to communicate well and build relationships.  

Job knowledge

Evaluate each employee for the knowledge, expertise, and skills pertinent to their job. This will deepen your insight into that person’s strengths and the training they need to be well-rounded teammates. A typical analysis will include knowledge of facts, rules, and procedures, as well as what the job requires and how to do it.

Evaluating these skills helps you pinpoint what additional training an employee needs. It also helps you identify who the best performers are, so you can reward them accordingly. Finally, evaluating job knowledge can help you gauge employee leadership capabilities. This is how you make sure you have the right person in the right position and optimize the talent you have to minimize your weaknesses.

Attention to detail

When an employee shows strong attention to detail, they’re completing tasks thoroughly and accurately. They help the entire organization avoid mistakes, like ordering too much product or paying a supplier late. 

Review each employee for these traits because mistakes can be costly. Cherish your employees who are organized and double-check their work.


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Communication is essential in order to present and understand information quickly and accurately. Strong communicators can express themselves effectively in both the written and spoken word. They get their points across in a way their peers can understand. They’re good at listening to others and incorporating their feedback.

An employee should communicate well with everyone she/he contacts

This skill is especially important because it’s a part of everything that goes on with your business. Poor communication skills often lead to costly misunderstandings and loss of both time and money. When evaluating this skill, take into account how an employee communicates verbally, visually, nonverbally, and in writing. Employees who communicate effectively help build a more positive and effective work environment.

There are a number of performance appraisal strengths and weaknesses that companies can — and should — evaluate in their employees. By consistently evaluating employee performance, you can vastly improve both performance and company morale.

This article is originally published on Jun 26, 2020, and updated on Apr 29, 2022.

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