Companies often tie rewards such as bonuses and merit increment to a
person’s rating in a performance appraisal. From an employee’s
perspective, it’s thus about highlighting as much achievements as
possible, and downplaying weaknesses or areas where improvement is
However, there is of course no such thing as the
perfect employee. Most companies require employees and their managers to
indicate at least a couple of areas of improvements, and plans on how
to achieve those goals in the next review period.
As such, it is
important to write “areas of improvement” in such a way that it does not
have a negative impact on you professionally.
Here are 3 areas of improvement or development plans that you can live with, or even put you in a good light.
of Improvement # 1: Improve soft skills such as presentation or
negotiation skills. Everyone needs to improve their soft skills, and
highlighting this has no impact on your professionalism.
Improvement # 2: Increase proficiency in internal systems – most
large companies have complex internal systems to say the least. Wanting
to improve your proficiency in using internal systems does not affect
your professional work (unless of course you’re in fact responsible for
Area of Improvement # 3: Improve cross group
collaboration – again, most large companies struggle with cross group
collaboration particularly those with complex matrix reporting
structures . Your desire to improve collaboration implies you’re a team
These development plans are generic, and can be included
in your performance feedback regardless of industry, company or role
David Russell (author for Phrases For Performance Appraisals)