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Appraisal Letter Format, Sample Guidelines, and How to Write Them

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appraisal letter format

Dearest Appraisal Letter writers,

If you like evaluating individual performances correctly, it’s evident that you have big plans to finish the appraisal letters you’ve wanted to complete for the past few days.

So, instead of plain old information, we’re giving you appraisal letter samples and appraisal letter formats that work.

It will help you produce letters that employees will read and appreciate.

For those who have no idea of the format for an appraisal letter, let’s have a look at the details.

What is an Appraisal Letter?  

It’s a way an employer can show an employee that their work is being recognized.

The letter talks about strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement. Usually, the appraisal process occurs once or twice a year. 

Depending on that, appraisal letters are rolled out and provided to the relevant employees.   

All top performers love appraisal letters. They’re a testament that people in power are noticing their hard work.

The letter also mentions important details like current salary, hike in percentage and other details including bonuses, etc. 

The objective of the appraisal process is to evaluate performance and reward the deserving people in the organization.

It helps in setting up future goals and tasks. An appraisal letter is the final proof of appreciation in the process and is sent by the management and HR. 

What is an appraisal letter format for employees?  

89 percent of HR leaders believe peer feedback and check-ins benefit their organizations by fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.   

Most organizations today rely on feedback before the appraisal season.  

An appraisal letter is thus an excellent way to recognize and motivate employees for their hard work and achievements. To create a more engaging format for the letter, follow these guidelines:  

  • Use the company’s letterhead and include the date and the employee’s name, designation, and department.  
  • Start with a subject line stating the letter’s purpose, such as “Performance Appraisal Letter” or “Annual Performance Review.”  
  • Begin the letter with a salutation, such as “Dear (Employee Name)” or “Greetings (Employee Name)”.  
  • Express your appreciation and praise for the employee’s performance, highlighting their accomplishments and contributions to the company’s goals.  
  • Mention the employee’s new salary, revised CTC, increment percentage, and the effective date of the revision. Also, include any promotion or bonus they have received, if applicable.  
  • Provide constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement, focusing on the areas where the employee needs to work on or develop their skills. Be specific and clear, and avoid any negative or harsh language.  
  • End the letter positively, outlining the expectations and goals for the next appraisal cycle. Encourage employees to continue their excellent work and express their confidence in their potential.  
  • Close the letter with a courteous sign-off, such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards,” followed by your name, designation, and signature.   

When to write an Appraisal Letter 

In appraisal letter is fundamental to talent management and the HR process. It is a formal document that evaluates an employee’s performance and achievements during a specified period—and provides feedback and guidance for future improvement. 

There are several purposes for writing an appraisal letter, including: 

when to write appraisal letter

  • Annual Performance Review: The most common reason for writing an appraisal letter is to review performance annually. The process usually takes place once a year, at the end of the fiscal or calendar year.
  • Probationary period evaluation: Probation period evaluation happens at the end of the employee’s probationary period which is 3 to 6 months. In this letter, the employee’s performance during probation is evaluated, and feedback and recommendations are provided. 
  • Promotion or salary increase: Writing an appraisal letter is a common practice for promotions and salary increases. Employees are congratulated for their accomplishments and informed of their new position, salary, or benefits in this letter. Also, it outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the new role.  
  • Employee Resignation or Termination: An employee resignation or termination appraisal letter is a document that evaluates the performance of an employee who is leaving the company, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The employee’s supervisor or manager usually writes it, and it may include feedback, appreciation, criticism, or suggestions for future career development. 
  • Special Recognition or Awards: Recognizing and rewarding employees is crucial to elevating company culture. A letter of appraisal serves the same purpose. It usually happens when the employee has done something extraordinary or outstanding that deserves recognition and appreciation.   

How to write your Appraisal Letter   

Writing a letter might seem straightforward. But if you want your letters to make an impact, then there are certain things that you can include that’ll help your cause. 

The prerequisites of appraisal letters include gathering data and performance metrics, self-assessment by the employee, and setting objectives and goals. When done right, appraisal letters help employees and employers equally.   

  • Keep things professional and focus on the performance of an employee.  
  • Be polite because people matter.  
  • Keep it brief and concise.   
  • Name and contact details of the employee.  
  • Full of personal insights and feedback.  
  • Current designation and salary of the employee.  
  • Revised designation and salary of the employee.  
  • Full of positive and constructive feedback.  

The world is moving towards digital documents. When it comes to appraisal letters, select an automated tool that helps you send personalized appraisal letters to hundreds of people at a go. 

Here are a few tips for writing an appealing performance letter for an employee;   

tips to appraisal letter

1. Clarity and Conciseness:

 Provide clear, concrete examples to convey accomplishments and opportunities for development, facilitating an open assessment. 

2. Balanced Approach:

A balanced approach would highlight opportunities for growth while acknowledging accomplishments to give a fair and comprehensive evaluation of the person’s performance. 

3. Constructive Language:

To encourage improvement, use language that is both positive and constructive. Pay attention to certain acts and behaviors for a more thorough evaluation. 

4. Goal Setting:

Establish attainable, quantifiable goals for the future that will encourage ongoing professional growth. 

5. Development Opportunities:

Identify training or skill-enhancement possibilities to assist in the professional development and promotion of the staff members. 

6. Personalized Feedback:

Address specific areas for growth and acknowledge the individual’s unique contributions while customizing comments to their strengths and weaknesses.   

Common Mistakes to Avoid during appraisal   

Some of the common mistakes that can avoided are as follows; 

  1. Lack of Specific Examples: Avoid vague assessments by providing concrete examples of achievements and improvement areas. Enhance the appraisals with credibility and clarity. 
  2. Failing to Address Employee Concerns: Overlook the potential negative impact of unresolved concerns by actively addressing and acknowledging employee feedback or grievances during the appraisal process. 
  3. Making it a One-way Communication: Steer clear of a unilateral dialogue by encouraging employees to share their perspectives. Foster open communication for a more comprehensive and collaborative appraisal.
  4. Using Negative or Harsh Language: Prevent demotivation and resentment by choosing constructive language. Emphasize improvement areas without resorting to harsh comments that may lower their morale.
  5. Inadequate Documentation: Guard against incomplete records by maintaining thorough documentation of performance metrics and incidents, ensuring a reliable basis for the appraisal and future decisions. 

Structure of Appraisal Letter  

The correct structure of an appraisal letter is as follows:

appraisal letter structure

  1. Header Information: Include the employee’s name, job title, and evaluation period to provide a precise reference for the appraisal. Ensure accuracy in the date and other relevant details. 
  2. Introduction: Begin with a brief introduction while setting the right tone for the appraisal. Mention the letter’s purpose and express appreciation for the employee’s contributions. 
  3. Evaluation of Performance: Break down the evaluation into specific sections, covering accomplishments, areas for improvement, and any goals achieved. Use quantifiable data and examples for a thorough and objective assessment. 
  4. Conclusion: Summarize key points, reiterate overall performance, and emphasize the importance of continuous improvement. Include a forward-looking statement indicating expectations for future growth. 
  5. Signature and Acknowledgment: End the letter with the evaluator’s signature and date. Encourage the employee to acknowledge receipt through a signature or a formal response, promoting accountability and clarity in the appraisal process. 

Appraisal letter format / Sample Appraisal letter  

Sample : 1 Performance Appraisal Letter

Date

Employee Name

Company logo

Designation

Department

Company Name

Subject: Performance Appraisal Letter

Dear {Employee First Name <space> Last Name},

Following your performance review during the current review cycle, we’re excited to promote you as [details of the position].

The revisions will come into effect from [date]. Your performance this year has exceeded expectations, and your growth can be an example to others looking to take their careers forward.

The details of your revised designation, benefits, and remuneration are given below: / A separate email containing the details of your revised salary and benefits will be sent shortly.

We hope you continue your progress with the same dedication and commitment.

Once again, congratulations on your success and cheers to more good work in the future.

We wish you the best, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Yours Sincerely,

Authorized Person Name,

Designation,

Sample 2 :  Recognition and Awards Appraisal

Dear {Employee First Name <space> Last Name},

Thank you for your outstanding contributions to (specific project/task). Your exceptional dedication, innovative approach, and exemplary performance have significantly elevated the standards of excellence within our team.Your efforts have not only exceeded expectations but have also positively impacted our overall success. We are pleased to present you with the (Name of Recognition or Award) for your exceptional achievements.

We commend your commitment to [mention specific achievements] and appreciate your positive influence on your colleagues. Your work embodies the values and vision of our organization.

Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition. We look forward to your continued success and contributions to our shared goals.

Yours Sincerely,

Authorized Person Name,

Designation.

Sample : 3 Salary Increment Appraisal 

DateEmployee Name

Company logo

Designation

Department

Company Name

Subject: Salary Increment Appraisal

Dear {Employee First Name <space> Last Name},

I trust this message finds you in good health. It is with great pleasure that I inform you of the positive outcome of the recent evaluation of your performance.

Your dedication and remarkable contributions to [mention specific achievements or projects] have not gone unnoticed. As a gesture of our appreciation, we are pleased to announce a salary increment of (percentage or amount) for you. The following adjustment will be effective from (date).

This salary increment reflects our commitment to recognizing and rewarding the exceptional efforts of our team members. We acknowledge your value to our organization and believe this adjustment appropriately aligns with your contributions.

Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, and we eagerly anticipate your continued success with (Company Name).

Thank you for your ongoing dedication and hard work.

Yours Sincerely,

Authorized Person Name,

Designation.

To summarize. 

A good appraisal will elevate the bond between you and your employees and show them their hard work is appreciated. 

We all care about being recognized; if employees are recognized, they will give it back to the company in the form of positive results.  

Make it a ‘praise letter.’   

FAQ:   

1. What is an appraisal letter?  

A performance appraisal letter is a formal letter provided by the company during the annual review cycle of an employee. The purpose of this is based on the assessment of their performance and contribution of an employee towards the organization.  

2. When do employers typically provide appraisal letters to employees?  

The frequency of appraisal letters may vary depending on the company and its policies. Some companies issue appraisal letters annually, but others may do so quarterly or half-yearly. All the employees in a company receive appraisal letters to evaluate their performance and provide feedback.  

 3. What should be included in an appraisal letter?  

An appraisal letter should have the following: 

  • Date and company’s letterhead 
  • Employee’s name, designation, and department 
  • Subject of the letter 
  • Salutation 
  • Introduction 
  • Assessment 
  • Summary 
  • Closing remark 
  • Signature 

4. Is there a standard format for writing an appraisal letter?  

No, there is no universal format for writing an appraisal letter. 

 5. How often are appraisal letters typically given to employees?  

Appraisal letters may vary depending on the company and its policies, either annually or on a quarterly or half-yearly basis. 

 6. What is the purpose of an appraisal letter?  

 An appraisal letter is essential for: 

  • Acknowledging and rewarding the employee’s  
  • Identifying the employee’s strengths and weaknesses 
  • Providing constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement 
  • Setting future goals and expectations 
  • Motivating and encouraging the employee to continue growth.  

7. What should I do if I receive a negative appraisal letter?  

Schedule a follow-up meeting after receiving a negative appraisal letter from the manager. Take it as constructive criticism, and remain calm till you get a clear clarification from the manager.  

 8. Can I request a review or revision of my appraisal letter?  

Yes, you can request a review or revision of your appraisal letter if you are dissatisfied with the feedback, recognition, or salary increment you received.  

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    Meet the author

    Parismita Goswami

    Content Writer

    A writer, poet and cinephile by passion. Parismita is Content Writer at Keka. She shares her interest in having good conversations over tea, traveling, exploring and reading. When she is not experimenting with her culinary art, you can typically find her introspecting or taking a cozy corner.

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