If the Characters from Parks and Rec Received Performance Reviews

Parks and Recreation is a beloved and binge-worthy workplace comedy with memorably quirky characters. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out on Netflix.

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The show’s setting—in the Parks and Rec department of a small town in Indiana—got us thinking: What would performance reviews look like for these characters? What are their professional strengths and weaknesses? What feedback would they get from their coworkers? (This is assuming that Ron Swanson actually cared about conducting performance reviews.)

What feedback would the characters from Parks and Rec get from their coworkers? Click To Tweet

Leslie Knope

Position: Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department

Strengths: Leslie is extremely ambitious, takes initiative, and always goes the extra mile. She’s passionate about her work and is a model of Pawnee’s positive values. Without her leadership, many of the department’s great successes would never have come to fruition.

Weaknesses: Leslie often struggles to establish boundaries and find a healthy work/life balance.

Peer-to-Peer Feedback: “Leslie has a lot of qualities I find horrifying. But the worst one by far is how thoughtful she can be.” – Ron Swanson

Ron Swanson

Position: Director of the Parks and Recreation Department

Strengths: He has a stern exterior, but he genuinely cares about his employees. Ron has an eye for talent and understands where people will fit best within the team.

Weaknesses: Major philosophical differences—Ron doesn’t believe in the core mission of the Parks and Rec department. Or the government in general.

Peer-to-Peer Feedback: “As far as your qualifications, you’re Ron Swanson.” – Leslie Knope

Tom Haverford

Position: Administrator

Strengths: Tom has an entrepreneurial spirit. He’s creative, not afraid to think outside the box, and has a flair for marketing and promotion.

Weaknesses: He might not be in the right position. Tom lacks interest in his actual job and shows a lack of effort in day-to-day tasks.

Peer-to-Peer Feedback: “He doesn’t do a lot of work around here. He shows zero initiative. He’s not a team player. He’s never one to go the extra mile. Tom is exactly what I’m looking for in a government employee.” – Ron Swanson


April Ludgate

Position: Assistant to Ron Swanson

Strengths: The model of efficiency, April has no time for unnecessary meetings or small talk. She’s level-headed and isn’t overly attached or sentimental about her work.

Weaknesses: Her communication skills are lacking. She said it best in her self-assessment: “I hate talking to people about things.” She also doesn’t like or care about her job.

Peer-to-Peer Feedback: “Now I know I’m not going to find someone who’s both aggressively mean and apathetic. April really is the whole package.” – Ron Swanson

Andy Dwyer

Position: By day, shoeshinist. By different time of day, possum tackler. And by night? Does whatever he wants, no job.

Strengths: Dives in headfirst to whatever task is assigned, whether that involves solving a case (as Burt Macklin), scanning files on the fourth floor, or filling in for Freddy Spaghetti.

Weaknesses: Unclear about the specifics of his job. Andy needs guidance on goals and expectations.

Peer-to-Peer Feedback: “I guess I kind of hate most things, but I never really seem to hate you.” – April Ludgate

Ben Wyatt

Position: Assistant City Manager

Strengths: Ben is pragmatic. He’s great with numbers and always keep projects under budget. Ben is straightforward and willing to tell the truth, even if it’s hard to say.

Weaknesses: He’s a nerd. And he doesn’t do well in TV or radio interviews, especially when Ice Town comes up.

Peer-to-Peer Feedback: “Ben is gonna be running my campaign because he’s a super genius. And he’s got a tight, compact little body like an Italian sports car.” – Leslie Knope

Donna Meagle

Position: Office Manager

Strengths: Donna is very confident. She doesn’t care what people think about her and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Knows how to treat herself.

Weaknesses: Spends too much work time on social media.

Self-Assessment: “We’re not big on hospitality. The Meagles are a cold people.”

Jerry Gergich

Position: Unclear

Strengths: Jerry is actually a decent painter, pianist, and notary public.

Weaknesses: He can’t do anything right when it comes to his job. And he lost Li’l Sebastian. Also, it’s unclear what his actual name is—Larry? Terry? Garry?

Peer-to-Peer Feedback: “Jerry’s face is the symbol of failure.” – Leslie Knope

“Jerry’s face is the symbol of failure.” – Leslie Knope Click To Tweet

Chris Traeger

Position: City Manager

Strengths: Detail-oriented, contagious enthusiasm, always able to find the positive in a situation. Invested in the health and well-being of his employees.

Weaknesses: Struggles to deliver bad news, which can leave employees (and Ann Perkins) unclear about the reality of a situation.

Self-Assessment: “If I had to have anybody tell me that I had cancer, I would want it to be me.”


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