The performance review section of the WBLP includes boxes for writing goals and comments.

An important part of any summer job experience or an after-school job or internship is the formal and informal mentoring received from supervisors.   Here are some thoughts about effective advice and feedback.

Good advice and feedback….

  • Is honest and realistic
  • Recognizes what is going well as much as what needs to be improved
  • Is focused on work-related situations
  • Focuses on results and outcomes
  • Does not “label” the person
  • Does not make predictions about future success or failure
  • Focuses on how the person can improve
  • Makes the person feel at ease
  • Is given in private as opposed to a public setting
  • Helps the person to engage in problem solving
  • Maintains dignity
  • Is factual — and helps the intern or employee to connect the facts with ideas about future improvement

When writing goals and comments:

  • Be brief and clear
  • Combine positive and corrective feedback
  • Focus on future actions and opportunities to learn and improve

When giving feedback verbally:

  • Ask questions to help the participant think about solutions
  • Briefly explain your workplace’s expectations and point out the reasons for these
  • Suggest simple strategies, using “I’ statements or “you might try” rather than “you should” or “you shouldn’t”
  • Describe ways that you or other co-workers or staff have solved a similar problem or approached a similar situation
  • Ask questions about the future – is there anything the student/intern/employee would like to learn or explore next?

For example:

  • “It’s important for us to get all the prep work done before the lunchtime rush, so that lunchtime goes more smoothly.”
  • “All staff need to be here by 8:30 so that we’ll be ready for customers by 9:00.”
  • “You can try taking an earlier bus in order to be sure to arrive at 8:30.”
  • ”If a customer is angry about something, you can often defuse the situation by sympathizing with their frustration. You might read [a company handbook or a recommended book] for ideas about dealing with customer complaints.”
  • “Have you noticed any particular situations in which the campers [children] have the most trouble?”
  • “What did you like best and least about this summer?”
  • “Did you learn anything this summer about what you do or don’t want to do in your future career?”
  • “Will you be taking any classes related to [career topic] this year?”

For ideas about what to write, see the tips and examples on the website at

You might also get ideas for setting goals from the optional rubric worksheet.  (Read more....)