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Employee performance reviews are key to offering helpful feedback to managers and employees.
But not knowing what to say or write can make the process downright painful — especially when you’re on a deadline.
If you do annual performance reviews, it’s important to get it right. This is key to boosting employee engagement.
In this post, we’ll share 100 of the most useful performance review phrases you can use during your next round of employee reviews.
If you’re a manager, these are great ways to communicate with your reports. If you’re an employee, these can work equally well for your self-evaluation.
That being said, let’s jump right in.
Why Worry About Phrasing for Your Performance Review?
Many of today’s performance reviews aren’t nearly as effective as they could be. Let me explain.
Fast Company reports that 74% of younger workers walk out of performance reviews unsure of what their managers actually think of their performance. Think about that!
This mirrors the fact that, according to our own research, 79% of employees don’t think their organization’s review process is all that good to begin with.
No matter how good your performance reviews are, you could almost certainly do better.
Effective Performance Review Phrases for Your Next performance Review
If you want more inspiration, these performance review examples are based off the book Effective Phrases for Performance Appraisals.
When you include these in your performance reviews, you’ll communicate positive and constructive feedback more clearly — which is exactly the kind of useful communication employees need.
Keep in mind that these are starter phrases and you should be specific when you’re writing any feedback for reviews.
READ MORE: 10 EXAMPLE PARAGRAPHS FOR PERFORMANCE REVIEWSPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Achievement
Creating a positive work environment and fostering positive attitudes start with acknowledging the achievements of your peers and subordinates. The following phrases could help with that:
Achieves optimal levels of performance and accomplishment with / for …
Provides strong evidence of [specific accomplishment]
Excels at developing programs / strategies that have delivered X results
Improved production by X% through [specific task]
Exceeded the original goal of X by X% through [specific task]Performance Review Phrases Examples about Administration
Whether you have a proper team or a one-person department whose job description entails looking after the administrative tasks, use the following phrases to evaluate their performance:
Continuously examines administrative effectiveness and seeks better procedures such as [tasks]
Develops successful administrative strategies such as [task] that led to [results]
Establishes effective systems for information retrieval through [task]
Improves administrative support systems through [task]
Keeps documents organized via [task] to avoid duplicate information
FREE DOWNLOAD: THE MANAGER’S HANDBOOK FOR EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENTPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Coaching
The ability to coach and guide others says a lot about a leader. Here are some phrases that could potentially help you review that quality:
Shows a sincere interest in employees and the solutions to their problems
Lends support and guidance to employees by [task]
Uses sound coaching techniques to solve disciplinary problems
Provides continuous coaching
Is highly respected by employees for sharing concerns, problems, and opportunities
DOWNLOAD NOW: 3 HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEMPLATES FOR PERFORMANCE REVIEWSPerformance Review Phrases Examples about
The ability to clearly communicate is a management skill that’s a must for every employee along the chain.
In reality, this is an umbrella term that includes oral, written, non-verbal, and listening skills.
Here are some useful phrases that could help you express your feedback regarding this area:
Effectively communicates expectations
Excels in facilitating group discussions
Keeps meetings action-oriented by task
Effectively communicates upward, downward, and laterally
Enforces company policies and values without creating negative reactionsPerformance Review Phrases Examples about
Are your employees getting along and cooperating on projects? Is everyone being a model team player?
Use these phrases to report on these qualities:
Encourages collaboration with the team
Shares ideas and techniques
Builds strong relationships with others by [task]
Displays a harmonious and cooperative spirit by [task]
Gladly shares expertisePerformance Review Phrases Examples about Creativity
Establishing a culture of out-of-box thinking can go a long way in ensuring business success – regardless of your industry.
Use these phrases to evaluate the creative-mindset of your employee/manager:
Seeks creative alternatives such as [examples] that drove [results]
Clever and imaginative when confronted with obstacles
Is continuously experimenting to drive [results]
Initiates and executes creative ideas such as [example]
Seeks new ideas and approachesPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Delegating
Are your managers doing a good enough job at delegating tasks and dividing the load? These phrases could help:
Empowers employees with the authority and resources to achieve X results
Helps employees gain visibility through [task]
Encourages employees to solve their own problems
Delegates to match personal strengths
Delegates with clearly defined responsibility and authority
READ MORE: THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GREAT LEADERSHIPPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Improvement
If your teams/individuals aren’t showing any improvement — whether in terms of hitting a KPI or how they interact with each other — you should be concerned.
Consider using these phrases to evaluate this area:
Develops continuous improvement methods
Conceives of totally new strategies
Continues to grow and improve
Devises improved means of accomplishing results
Is continuously planning for improvementPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Innovation
Innovation, whether in terms of business strategies or coming up with a new product, is important if you want to keep your business relevant.
Here are some performance review phrases you can use to gauge the quality of innovative thinking in your employees:
Develops innovative strategies such as [example] …
Seeks innovative solutions
Fosters a curiosity for innovative possibilities
Promotes innovation by [example]Performance Review Phrases Examples about
How are your employees working together as a team? Would you say that you are satisfied with the level of dependability in your workplace?
You can express your feedback through the following phrases:
Recognizes the needs of others and reaches out to lend a helping hand
Establishes effective working relationships
Builds on mutual dependence and understanding
Promotes the company culture among peersPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Learning Ability
The ability to learn new skills and grasp complex concepts is a necessary quality for successful teams.
To find out where you stand in this department, consider throwing in the following phrases to your reviews:
Displays an ability to learn rapidly and adapt quickly to changing situations
Shares learning experiences with peers
Promotes a learning culture
Committed to continuously learning through [example]
Responds quickly to new instructions, situations, methods, and proceduresPerformance Review Phrases Examples about
Being able to manage a team is more than just giving pep talks and delegating tasks. It involves a whole lot of other things as well, such as supporting your team, making difficult discussions, and offering both positive and negative feedback.
Employees can use the following phrases to evaluate the management capabilities of their supervisors:
Provides team with support through [example]
Collaborates with individual team members to establish a development path
Holds employees accountable for their own results
Provides team with the resources needed to attain results
Provides support during periods of organizational change
READ MORE: THE SMART GUIDE TO PERFORMANCE REVIEWSPlanning
How good are your teams at planning ahead and looking at the big pictures?
Make sure that you evaluate this area properly by using the following phrases:
Develops workable action plans
Creates flexible plans to meet changing opportunities
Effectively puts plans into action
Excels in developing strategic alternatives
Formulates strategies, tactics, and action plans to drive X resultsPotential
Managers need to realize the hidden potential of their subordinates and give credit where it’s due.
Here are a few phrases that could help you discover that potential in your company’s next performance review:
Is capable of distinguished performance in a higher-level position
Has reached the level for promotional consideration
Can handle bigger projects and assignments
Is enhancing growth potential through additional education and trainingProblem-Solving
Not every employee is a problem-solver. It requires a combination of creative thinking, a proactive mindset, and the ability to remain calm under pressure.
You can use these performance review phrases to rate the problem-solving skills of your employees:
Displays a practical approach to solving problems
Develops creative solutions
Turns problems into opportunities
Effectively solves problems rather than symptoms
Is skilled in proposing optional solutions
READ MORE: 50 SELF-EVALUATION PHRASES FOR YOUR NEXT PERFORMANCE REVIEWPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Productivity
At the end of the day, employee productivity is what REALLY impacts your bottom line. To make sure that everyone’s meeting the expectations, use these phrases to evaluate their performance:
Exceeds normal output standards
Continuously produces more than expected
Is an important contributor to the successes of the department
Makes a substantial contribution to the continued operation and growth of the organization
Consistently exceeds performance goals
READ MORE: 12 WAYS TECHNOLOGY CAN INCREASE PRODUCTIVITYPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Project Management
These apply mostly to supervisors who lead projects. But a few can also be used for evaluating the performance of certain employees who step up:
Completed X project with X results
Sets realistic timetables to keep projects on target
Is transparent with a project’s progress
Makes effective use of all available resources when given a project
Clearly establishes project goals and objectives
READ MORE: 10 WAYS TO MEET YOUR GOAL WITH EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENTPerformance Review Phrases Examples about Supervisory Skills
These apply only to managers and supervisors — not subordinates:
Gives consistent recognition to employees
Maintains a work situation which stimulates the growth of individual employees
Makes certain that employees have a clear understanding of their responsibilities
Is readily available for support to employees
Recognizes and deals with signs of employee burnout
DID YOU KNOW: ONLY 22% OF EMPLOYEES BELIEVE THEY ARE VERY TRANSPARENT, COMPARED WITH 40% OF MANAGERS?Performance Review Phrases Examples about
Time is the most crucial resource for any professional.
Are your employees making full use of this immensely important resource? Use the following phrases to find out:
Consistently meets all deadlines
Prepares meeting agendas that are concise and time-saving
Keeps meetings on schedule
Respects the time of others
Makes effective use of discretionary timePerformance Review Phrases Examples about Vision
Last, but not least, are your managers and their subordinates passionate enough towards achieving your company’s vision?
Use the following phrases to find out:
Excels in living the organization’s values
Promotes strong support of the company’s mission and vision
Is able to turn visions into actual action plans
Demonstrates an ability to transfer vision into execution
Excels in contributing to the company’s goals
These words mean nothing unless you attach specific examples and data to them.
Now you have the template and phrases to get started, it’s time to reevaluate your performance review process and make sure it’s truly effective.
When review cycles have a 12-month lag, it’s easy for managers to focus on what’s fresh in their minds.
But this brushes aside any positive or negative behavior that has gone unaddressed.
Lisa Mullen, Manager of Corporate Human Resources at Halogen Software, believes that the review process should be a year-round activity.
“Managers should take the opportunity to discuss and record milestones, accomplishments, successes, and challenges as they occur, when the details are fresh.”
Globoforce highlights the importance of crowdsourcing feedback:
80% of employees see crowdsourced feedback as more accurate
80% of peer-reviewed employees get a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses
Employees want to be evaluated by people other than their direct managers, and multiple viewpoints allow you to get a better understanding of an employee’s performance.
That’s why you should use a tool like TINYpulse to keep a pulse on your employees and get comprehensive feedback from their peers, collaborators, and external stakeholders on an ongoing basis.
If you’re not sure what performance review process works for you, ask your employees!
Cindy from Wheelhouse DMG shares how she uses TINYpulse to crowdsource ideas to design their performance review process, which became a huge success for the company.
“And, the feedback we collected afterwards, after reviews were done, is ‘This is so much easier, much better lift,’ and the whole process felt better for everybody.”
—Cindy Larson, Director of People and Operations at Wheelhouse DMG
Workplace performance evaluations provide employees with insight as to how they’re perceived, what they’re doing well and where they can improve. You can use a wide variety of phrases in your evaluations, and understanding which ones to use will help those on your team learn what’s expected of them and how to perform better in the future. In this article, we review some common performance review phrases and what to include in an employee evaluation.
Related: How to Prepare for a Performance Evaluation
Examples of employee performance evaluation phrases
You can use different words in your performance review to describe a team member’s contributions to the company. Here are some examples of employee performance evaluation phrases:
Maintaining good attendance is an important part of employee performance. Here are some examples of phrases used in performance evaluations for various industries:
Maintained good attendance throughout the year
Respectful of their co-workers’ time by arriving at team meetings on time
Consistently arrived on time to company-wide meetings and training sessions
You might use these phrases in your review depending on how well an employee communicates:
Maintained good communication with team members and clients
Lacks leadership skills and the ability to effectively communicate when managing their team
Does not display active listening skills with customers
The more productive your team is, the more work you’ll get done. Here are some phrases you might use in your evaluation that pertain to productivity:
Achieved steady growth in the number of sales this month
Displayed an innovative way of approaching the project
Avoided high-priority tasks and assignments
Effectively trained other staff members in the new company style guide
Successfully acquired new accounts on a consistent basis
Showed initiative in learning new technologies and software in the workplace
Collaborated effectively with others through project completion
4. Attitude and demeanor
It’s beneficial to have a positive attitude in the workplace. In regards to the way your team members conduct themselves, you can use phrases like these in your performance evaluation:
Maintained a positive attitude and demeanor despite unforeseen problems
Supported team members effectively and efficiently
Showed willingness to learn new skills and techniques in the workplace
Displays a productive attitude when problems arise
Lacked confidence in presenting ad campaign to relevant parties
Succumbs to stress quite frequently
Unwilling to work overtime hours
5. Time management
Good time management skills can have an impact on overall work performance. Here are some examples of time management performance evaluation phrases:
Utilized great time management skills when considering the project management plan
Shows up to work on time
Failed to meet project deadlines
Related: Time Management Skills: Definition and Examples
What to include in a performance evaluation
The purpose of a performance evaluation is to show your team members where they excel and where they can improve. In order to create an effective performance evaluation, take into consideration the following components:
1. Performance analysis
Every performance evaluation should include a section explaining how someone has met or failed company standards. The more descriptive the analysis, the better they will be able to understand it and use it to strengthen their place in the company.
2. Descriptive phrases
To help an employee benefit from a performance review, you should use descriptive language. The more specific, the better. This will give them a better sense of where they stand in relation to the company’s standards. Descriptive words will also help your team members pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. In regards to weaknesses in particular, descriptive phrases will let them know the exact area where they need to improve. For example, if your evaluation includes the phrase, “failed to meet project deadlines”, they will know they need to work on their time management skills in the future. Refer to the phrases above when adding descriptive language to your review.
3. Strengths and weaknesses
Evaluations should include both strengths and weaknesses. The phrases you use should be either positive or negative to ensure clarity. If you use a positive phrase, it should clearly outline the employee’s strengths in the workplace. If you use a negative phrase, however, it will detail potential areas for improvement. It’s important to note that a fair review will help them keep their morale high. Though you should be honest in your critiques, you should do your best to balance any negative attributes with positive ones.
4. Employee potential
Along with descriptive performance analysis, an evaluation should include an area detailing an employee’s potential at the company. Helping them understand their potential can keep them motivated to rise above any poor critiques. This will also help them know what they need to do to meet the company’s standards and expectations.
5. Constructive feedback
It’s important to provide positive, constructive feedback that your team members can take into consideration. Detailing how they can improve, for example, is a great way to set them up for success. Detailing their strengths and weaknesses is not only beneficial for them individually, but it helps your team and company, as well. Make sure to maintain open communication with your employees and give them the opportunity to respond to your suggestions for improvement.
Related: Best Practices for Giving Constructive Feedback
In addition to an evaluation, you should also go over personal goals with your employee. Discuss what you’d both like to see them achieve in the future, and allow them the time to improve. Setting goals will give them something to work toward and hopefully grant them a better evaluation in the future.
Performance evaluation examples
Here are two examples of performance evaluations using descriptive phrases:
Positive performance review example
Kennedy exceeded expectations this year in her role as lead graphic designer. She utilized good communication skills when speaking with clients and her team. Kennedy works well under pressure and maintains a positive attitude when problems arise. She contributes innovative and creative ideas that surpass company expectations.
Negative performance review example
Though Anthony displays a passion and talent for reporting, his inability to work effectively as part of a team hinders his success. Unfortunately, he often fails to meet deadlines and lacks consideration for others. In the coming year, we’d like Anthony to display good time management skills and be an effective member of the reporting team.
100 Performance Review Phrases and Comments for 2023 – Download PDF Here
As a manager, it’s important never to be lost for words during a performance review.
Reviews can be a daunting task for everyone involved. Employees might feel like their behavior and personality are being put on trial. Meanwhile, managers might struggle to give feedback that addresses the areas in need of improvement while also balancing coming across as constructive and positive.
Overall, common performance review phrases might seem like a cookie-cutter approach to performance conversations. However, knowing what to say and how best to phrase your feedback can make a significant difference in how your employees react in the moment and in their future performance.How to Use Performance Review Phrases Using Generic Performance Review Comments: An Example
“Jane has used more than her allotted sick days in this review period”.
While this is a simple yes/no question, it doesn’t say much about the reason for Jane’s absence. After all, every manager knows there’s a stark difference between an employee that has to go to the hospital regularly and no-call-no-shows.Performance Review Phrases for Specific Areas of Performance Setting Your Performance Review Up for Success
For example, if you’re conducting a performance review where you want to emphasize your employee’s performance in a certain area, then you would start the meeting by using phrases like “successful”, “admirable”, “impressive”, or “achievement”.
This can be particularly useful in a situation where an employee has performed well in certain areas, but you need to discuss where they can improve in others. The “no sandwich” technique – in which you present a negative surrounded by two positives – can work brilliantly with this method, as it will help you to highlight their strengths and make them feel more confident that they can improve on their weaknesses.Performance Review Phrases and Comments to Avoid Cliché Phrases
Just as you don’t want to see candidates including “good team player” and “a clear communicator” on their resumé, using cliché phrases during your performance review tells your employee that you don’t care enough about their development to spend more than a few minutes preparing for their performance review meeting.
You should avoid using cliché phrases wherever possible because they don’t say anything about an employee’s performance. You might think that David is a good team player, but what, specifically, makes him a good team player? Does he collaborate well with the team, come up with good ideas, or does he have a great personality that helps keep everyone happy and upbeat?Passive Voice
This is a trickier one to get in the habit of, particularly because you probably don’t realize that you’re using the passive voice in the first place. If you’re not sure what the passive voice is, here are some examples:
Active Voice: “David played football”
Passive Voice: “Football was played by David”
When you use the active voice, you’re saying that the person you’re talking about performed an action, and you’re centering the person. However, with the passive voice, you’re saying that the action was performed by that person, and you’re making the sentence about the action.
Here are some examples of active vs. passive voice in the quality of work performance review phrases:
Active Voice: “Lea saved the company $200,000 by identifying inefficiencies in the payroll system”
Passive Voice: “$200,000 was saved by Lea identifying inefficiencies in the payroll system”
To avoid the passive voice, you need to give feedback by centering your employee in the language that you use. In the first example, you’re clear that it’s Lea that directly saved the company money, but when you use the passive voice, you’re only suggesting that Lea had some contribution to the process.
By ensuring that you use the active voice, you’re conveying through your language that you recognize the importance of your employee to a specific action, and you’re giving them credit for that certain action happening in the workplace. In addition, you’re also communicating that they’re an active member of the team and not simply a cog that responds to workplace events.Comparisons
No-one likes being compared to someone else, particularly in a manner in which they’re made to feel lesser or unimportant. While you might think that comparing your employee to a model team member or a coworker in a similar situation might be helpful, the results can harm not only productivity, but also morale, confidence, and mental health.
In the modern workplace, managers need to take care to promote individuality and understand that each of their team members will take different paths to achieve their goals and to complete tasks. You must also remember that you don’t understand everything that’s going on in your employees’ lives. One employee might be a high achiever, but they could be at risk of burnout, while another is slower to hand in work but has a higher rate of accuracy and attention to detail.
Comparing employees to their colleagues also breeds unhealthy competition in the workplace. While healthy competition can help to promote productivity and even collaboration, unfairly comparing one employee to another can create rifts in teams and even promote taking shortcuts on tasks to get ahead.
With that in mind, you need to be aware that negative performance review phrases – that is, phrases that are construed as solely negative by the employee – often feature these comparisons. Regardless of whether your intentions are good, you should take care to focus only on the employee whose performance you’re reviewing, and not mention the performance of their colleagues.Top Performance Review Phrases and Comments for 2023
Now that you know what the best practices are for performance reviews and key things to avoid, the following examples will help you to better understand how to conduct an effective performance conversation with your employees.
If you want to grab the following examples and save them for later use, you can download our effective phrases for performance appraisals pdf here.Achievements
Recognizing an employee’s achievements is a proven way to help reduce employee turnover, particularly within the first six months of employment. Not only that, but 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they felt that they were more appreciated at work, meaning recognizing your employees’ achievements can help your team become more profitable and productive.
Needs Improvement PhrasesProductivity
According to Gallup, 85% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work, which results in an estimated $7 trillion loss of productivity each year. However, recognizing an employee’s work through regular performance reviews can lead to employees being 4.6 times more likely to perform at their peak.
Needs Improvement PhrasesTeamwork and Collaboration
75% of employers rate teamwork as being extremely important in the workplace, particularly as research shows that strong workplace communities have the power to reduce employee turnover and improve internal communication. With that in mind, performance review phrases for teamwork are important to note, but as mentioned earlier, you have to be wary of comparing your employee to their coworkers.
Needs Improvement PhrasesProblem-solving and Creativity
Despite a 2010 survey finding that CEOs value creativity as the top marker for future success, only 35% of employees say that they can be creative multiple times throughout the year. Given that 75% of employees think that their creative potential is wasted at work, your performance reviews need to highlight your employees’ creative skills and celebrate where their creativity has helped to solve problems for the business.
Needs Improvement PhrasesCommunication Skills
In a 2023 study, a lack of communication and miscommunication was attributed to increased levels of stress, project failure, poor company morale, lost sales, and missed performance goals. Having strong communication skills is often demanded by job descriptions, but it also needs to be reviewed regularly during the performance management process to keep teams working at peak efficiency.
Needs Improvement PhrasesAttitude and Behavior
A negative employee is more likely to be disengaged at work and is at a higher risk of quitting than someone with a more positive attitude. However, given that employees with bad attitudes can also drag the morale of the team down with them, you need to give employees feedback about how their attitude and behavior is affecting their work, colleagues, and even career development in your organization.
Needs Improvement PhrasesLeadership
While the phrase “employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers” is nearly a cliché, it’s also true – 79% of employees report leaving their job because of a lack of appreciation. Not every employee will be reviewed on their leadership skills, however if you’re looking to promote someone to a supervisory or management position and want to evaluate their skills before they move into a new position, then these skills should be discussed during performance reviews.
Needs Improvement PhrasesImprovement and Goal-setting
According to a psychological study from 1990, goal-setting has the potential to motivate employees towards a higher level of performance, as well as increase overall levels of effort at work. While every good performance review should include managers and employees working together to set goals, it’s helpful to give employees feedback on their attitude towards improvement and those goals to drive performance.
Needs Improvement PhrasesOrganizational Skills
It’s estimated that office workers lose an average of 40% of their workday due to disorganization, which is why performance management reviews should address organizational skills if managers want to improve an employee’s productivity. While some organizational strategies will have to come from a managerial level, such as organizational apps or better internal processes, employees should also be encouraged to improve their own organizational skills through the performance management process.
Needs Improvement PhrasesTechnical Skills
Many organizations rely on their employees having a physical competency with certain types of machinery or software. Not only do employees legally have to be trained and/or qualified to operate certain forms of machinery, but some optional qualifications and training provided for software and other practices can improve performance. While organizations that require technical skills should already be tracking these in performance reviews, it’s also a good idea to keep on top of optional training to help your employees perform at their best.
Needs Improvement PhrasesPerformance Review Phrases for High Achievers
High performers might, at first, seem like the easiest performance management review you’ll conduct through this period. However, as mentioned above, you can’t always tell what’s going on with your employee behind the scenes. While someone who’s a high performer deserves praise for their achievements, there’s a fine line between praising their work and reinforcing negative behaviors like cronyism, arrogance, competitiveness, or even a work obsession that’s leading to burnout.
It can also be difficult to know what to say when you perceive that a high-achieving employee doesn’t have any weaknesses or anything they need to improve upon. Unfortunately, not every company has the capability for high-achieving employees to move upwards in their careers, and it can be difficult to set goals for them that don’t include something they’re already achieving.
As always, a performance review should be a conversation between you and your employee, so it’s important to have documentation of any areas that need improvement in case they don’t perceive their own weaknesses. You also need to make sure that you’re continuously challenging them, which is why it’s important to keep setting them new goals and milestones, even if your organization can’t move them upwards. Otherwise, you risk losing them to a new organization that promises that challenge.Performance reviews with Profit.co
Profit.co’s performance management module allows HR administrators and managers to conduct customizable, detailed, and efficient performance reviews.
Profit.co supports two types of performance reviews- standard reviews, and affinity-based reviews.
Standard reviews- also called conversation and feedback reviews- allow HR administrators to customize a collection of open-ended questions answered by both managers and reviewed employees.
Affinity-based reviews are reliant on competency rating scales to help quantify employee skills and attributes.Top Performance Review Phrases: In Summary
Managers need to keep in mind that all of their employees are individuals and have different beliefs, drives, and motivations. So, every performance conversation should be individualized to each employee to help them get the most out of their manager’s feedback. Managers need to avoid using meaningless cliché phrases and comparing their employees to their coworkers, as well as using the passive voice throughout the meeting and their performance reports.
In combination with those efforts, these performance review phrases will help you to elevate your performance conversations by ensuring that your employees get personalized and actionable feedback.
100 Performance Review Phrases and Comments for 2023 – Download PDF Here
Effective performance reviews are a key part of employee engagement, and they can significantly improve the performance of your business. It can be useful to have some effective performance review phrases to help you conduct an in-depth review that provides valuable feedback on skills and goals that are important to your business’ success. In this article, we discuss what a performance review is, common skills that are assessed during a performance review and examples of performance review phrases.
What is a performance review?
A performance review, also called a performance evaluation or performance appraisal, is an assessment where supervisors review an employee’s performance at work. Throughout the performance review, a supervisor will identify employee’s strengths and weaknesses, set goals and offer feedback for future performance. Many organizations conduct reviews annually and others conduct performance reviews quarterly, monthly or even weekly.
Performance reviews may help employers to:
Give feedback to employees on their current performance and make organization expectations clear.
Identify strengths and weaknesses of individual employees and teams as a whole.
Help team members develop as employees and people.
Allocate promotions or pay raises appropriately.
Explain individual and organizational goals.
Use it as a goal-setting opportunity.
12 common performance review skills
Many performance reviews are categorized by skills and goals with phrases that correlate to each category. Here are 12 common performance review skills:
Examples of effective performance review phrases
The phrases you use in a performance review makes a difference in the overall effectiveness of the review. An effective review should discuss an employee’s strengths and areas of improvement in a way that is constructive and motivating. Divided into categories depending on what skills or goals you are evaluating, here is a list of common performance review phrases for each skill:
1. Creativity and innovation
There are two ways that creativity are essential in the workplace: creative thinking and creative problem-solving. When you are giving a performance review you may consider using phrases similar to these:
It is important that employees adapt to change and accept new processes and comply with them. Here are some phrases that may apply to an employee’s adaptability:
Communicating effectively with supervisors, colleagues and clients is essential throughout various industries. Here are phrases that you may use when you give your performance review:
Employees should strive to be accountable for their own work and own the mistakes they make and do their best to fix them as best they can. This saves time and displays an employee’s integrity. Here are some phrases that you may apply to a positive review of an individual’s accountability.
“Takes ownership in the company’s success and accepts responsibility for oneself and contribution as a team member”
“Admits mistakes and errors and informs others when unable to keep a commitment”
5. Attendance and punctuality
Attendance and reliability are important factors in evaluating individual performance because consistent attendance and punctuality are requirements at most workplaces. While considering your employee’s attendance and punctuality performance, you may write down these sample phrases:
6. Productivity and quality of work
It is essential that employees remain productive during work hours to contribute to the goals of the company while producing high-quality work. Productivity is also a good indicator of an employee’s engagement. Here are some phrases that you may consider when you give a performance review:
Providing effective feedback on performance reviews includes mentioning employee achievements. Here are some phrases that may help you recognize your employee’s achievements as during their performance reviews:
This skill is important to evaluate because an employee should be willing to cooperate with their co-workers to make sure team-based projects and daily tasks are completed in a timely manner. When each person relies on input from others to complete a task, the workflow continues at a steady pace and this can only be achieved through cooperation. Try considering these phrases when you give a performance review:
“Displays a cooperative spirit by performing xx task to contribute to xx project”
“Promotes cooperation well to ensure colleagues work as a team to meet deadlines”
9. Coaching and training
Coaching is the process of assisting employees in improving performance that focuses on closing the gap from where one is to where they want to be. Employees should be coachable so that they can perform at an appropriate level for their job role. Here are phrases that assess coaching and training ability:
“Accepts coaching in various job duties and applies training to improve xx ability”
“Asks for more training when xx processes aren’t clear or understood”
Each employee will likely have a few areas that they can improve in. It is important to give them specific feedback on areas they may struggle in. This way they can develop a plan to improve their performance. These phrases identify common areas of improvement:
11. Interpersonal skills
Good interpersonal skills combine multiple skills that are often prerequisites for many jobs. Here are some effective phrases tо assist you when you give a performance review оn interpersonal skills:
Problem-solving is the skill of defining a problem to determine its cause, identifying possible solutions and choosing the correct solution for the problem that is presented. Here are problem-solving phrases that will make your employee aware of their problem-solving abilities:
These simple yet descriptive sentences help your employees understand what they’re doing well and what they still need to work on. But what are the best performance appraisal phrases?
The management experts at have put together a list of 100 extremely helpful phrases for employee performance reviews. We’ve organized them alphabetically by skill and then divided each skill into strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can quickly and easily find a phrase to fit your needs.Effective Performance Appraisal Phrases Attendance Strength
1) Always on time (or even early) for meetings and conferences.
2) Prompt and on time for the start of each workday.
3) Respects others by arriving at work and at meetings on time.
4) Adheres to the whenever possible.
5) Never been a no call, no show employee.
6) Achieved perfect attendance over X (weeks, months, years).
7) Inspires others to improve their attendance.
8) Does not deviate from the attendance policy outlined in our employee handbook.
9) Begins each day on time and ready to go.
10) Very reliable about being at work on time.Weakness
11) Does not meet company standards for attendance.
12) Is frequently late to work.
13) Often exceeds the maximum number of vacation days.
14) Has not met attendance goals set at previous performance review.
15) Disrespects others by regularly arriving late to meetings.
16) Frequently returns late from scheduled breaks.
17) Does not follow the attendance policy.
18) Unreliable about reporting to work on time.
19) Poor attendance frequently affects coworkers.
20) Does not hold others to the company’s high attendance standards.Attitude
21) Has a cheerful attitude that benefits her teammates.
22) Looks for the positive in every situation.
23) Quick with a smile and a joke to lighten the mood during stressful times.
24) Does not let difficult circumstances get him down.
25) Positive attitude helps others on her team keep their motivation high.
26) Always reports to work cheerful and ready to get to work.
27) Maintains a steady and positive attitude that inspires others.
28) Frequently has a smile for others.
29) Attitude reflects enjoyment of the job.
30) Builds an atmosphere of trust with others on the team.Weakness
31) Negative attitude in some situations has a tendency to cause problems.
32) Gets upset easily.
33) Needs to work on accepting constructive criticism.
34) Let’s non-work topics provoke her/him.
35) Too easily switches from positive to negative attitude.
36) Allows stress and pressure to get the better of him/her.
37) Erupts into anger over minor issues.
38) Displays of negative emotion affect others on the team.
39) Needs to bring poor attitude under control.Customer Service
41) Excellent at customer service.
42) Deals easily with all types of customers.
43) Takes great pride in helping each and every customer.
44) Skillfully overcomes client objections.
45) Does not let a customer’s negative attitude get him/her down.
46) Handles difficult customer service situations very well.
47) Customer satisfaction rating: High
48) One of our best customer service team members.
49) Understands how to make a real difference in customer experience.
50) Stays calm and rational in the face of angry customers.Weakness
51) Does not listen well to customers.
52) Very effective on the phone, but does not handle face-to-face service well.
53) Does not seem to understand why customer service training is important.
54) Does not know how to deal with a difficult customer.
55) Has consistently low marks on customer satisfaction surveys.
56) Does not take pride in resolving customer complaints.
57) Too frequently passes the complaining customer on to someone else.
58) Needs to learn how to handle customer requests in a more efficient manner.
59) Does not listen to customers well.
60) Poor skills in handling face-to-face complaints.Dependability Strength
61) One of our most dependable team members.
62) Very reliable in all situations.
63) Willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
64) Known for dependability and willingness to work hard.
65) A loyal and trustworthy employee.
66) Consistently demonstrates that he/she cares about his/her job.
67) Always performs at or above expectations.
68) Can always be counted on to complete tasks in a timely and accurate manner.
69) Ready to get the job done no matter how much work is involved.
70) Motivated to finish tasks and assignments on time.Weakness
71) Unwilling to work beyond scheduled hours.
72) Work results are inconsistent and frequently need to be reviewed.
73) Not a dependable employee.
74) Does not demonstrate a willingness to do what it takes to get the job done right.
75) Does not produce consistent results.
76) Content with leaving work for others to finish.
77) Work results are inconsistent.
78) Reliability is questionable.
79) Is not willing to help employees with their work.
80) Does not care what managers and coworkers think of him/her.Flexibility Strength
81) Accepts constructive criticism and works to improve.
82) Shows ability to come up with new solutions to common problems.
83) Is willing to change the way he/she works for the betterment of the team.
84) Shows initiative and flexibility when starting a new task.
85) Capable of handling a variety of assignments.
86) Able to identify new and more efficient methods.
87) Calm under pressure.
88) Willing to admit he/she is wrong.
89) Quick to adapt to alternate points of view.
90) Handles change well.Weakness
91) Tends to shy away from activities where the process is unknown.
92) Does not excel at projects that require a degree of flexibility.
93) Gets agitated when the plan changes.
94) Uninterested in new responsibilities.
95) Sticks to traditional methods even if a new approach is better.
96) Shuts down when expectations aren’t met.
97) Doesn’t look for new ways of working when things don’t go according to plan.
98) Unwilling to admit he/she is wrong.
99) Does not accept constructive criticism well.
100) Resistant to trying new techniques.Interpersonal Skills
101) Has strong relationships with coworkers.
102) Is easy to get to know.
103) Actively converses with teammates and wants to hear about their lives.
104) Wants to get to know and understand other employees.
105) Finds it easy to connect with coworkers.
106) Makes people feel important.
107) Makes people feel appreciated.
108) Can work with a variety of personalities.
109) Relates well to those around him/her.
110) Connects easily with others.Weakness
111) Does not work well with others.
112) Strong, direct personality can turn people off.
113) Teammates do not enjoy working with him/her.
114) Seen as unapproachable by coworkers.
115) Gives an impression of superiority to teammates.
116) Strong personality frequently causes rifts with coworkers.
117) Displays superior attitude toward all.
118) Coworkers do not like being on his/her team.
119) Fails to recognize the needs of others.
120) Does not establish effective working relationships.Leadership Strength
121) Always willing to help a coworker.
122) Makes team members feel comfortable in voicing their opinions and ideas.
123) Understands strengths of coworkers and delegates effectively.
124) Keeps team engaged and on track.
125) Shows appreciation for a job well done.
126) Motivates team members to work hard.
127) Promotes a culture of learning and understanding.
128) Actively listens and responds to what his/her coworkers say.
129) Excellent example for others to follow.
130) Backbone of his/her team.Weakness
131) Needs to improve in ability to talk to coworkers without being condescending.
132) Does not inspire teammates to work hard.
133) Does not plan for the future.
134) Does not treat other members of the team as equals.
135) Overanalyzes problems when a quick decision is necessary.
136) Unclear when assigning goals and activities.
137) Rarely gives recognition for a job well done.
138) Fails to keep confidential information.
139) Frequently derails team with unnecessary work.
140) Does not listen to team members.Performance Strength
141) Exceeded expectations on goals set during last performance review.
142) Takes initiative to understand what needs to be done.
143) Excels at developing strategies that deliver results.
144) Sets appropriate goals and strives to accomplish them.
145) Is consistently a top performer among teammates.
146) Clearly communicates drive and desire to others.
147) Always at the top of the performance-rating scale.
148) Puts high value on doing a good job.
149) Willing to assist others and help them do good work.
150) Wants to improve at everything he/she does.Weakness
151) Did not meet performance goal set at last performance review.
152) Does not take initiative unless prompted.
153) Is typically toward the bottom of performance ratings.
154) Does not reach out to go beyond what is expected.
155) Is not known to make significant contributions to the success of the team.
156) Is not able to clearly communicate goals to others.
157) Does not see the value in doing a good job.
158) Not proficient at developing successful strategies.
159) Is not concerned with improving his/her skills.
160) Lacks drive to improve.Teamwork
161) Proven team player.
162) Encourages teammates to work together toward a common goal.
164) Promotes a team-centered workplace.
165) Is sensitive and considerate of coworkers’ feelings.
166) Shares ideas and techniques.
167) Builds strong relationships with others by (insert behavior here).
168) Willing to cooperate with coworkers.
169) Takes on more work to help the team excel.
170) Always looking for new ways to help the team.Weakness
171) Needs to improve teamwork skills.
172) Does not view workplace as a team environment.
173) Always wants to work alone on projects.
174) Coworkers are hesitant to ask him/her for help.
175) Does not work well with others during group projects.
176) Blames others when problems arise.
177) Is frequently insensitive to coworkers’ feelings.
178) Plays everything very close to the vest.
179) Does not share well with others.
180) Often a divisive element within the team.Time Management Strength
181) Respects the time of coworkers.
182) Uses time effectively to get the job done.
183) Keeps presentations on schedule.
184) Regularly meets all deadlines.
185) Works hard to stay organized and on time.
186) Driven to complete tasks on time.
187) Very reliable when it comes to time management.
188) Can always depend on him/her to manage time well.
189) Can identify what needs to be done first in order to save time.
190) Sensitive to the constraints of coworkers’ projects.Weakness
191) Frequently misses deadlines.
192) Is regularly late from break.
193) Does not have a strong concept of how long a task will take.
194) Meetings and presentations tend to exceed allotted time.
195) Takes up the valuable time of others with too much small talk.
196) Disregards the importance of being on time.
197) Does not show a desire to improve time-management techniques.
198) Unreliable in finishing tasks by allotted deadline.
199) Frequently exceeds mandatory due dates.
200) Does not manage time well.Build Strong Relationships With Performance Appraisal Phrases And Sling
Periodic performance reviews are a powerful tool for improving the way your employees work. But more than that, a performance review done well forges a strong employee/employer relationship.
It’s that relationship that can motivate your team to do their best even during the most difficult project. That’s the recipe for success.
One of the best ways to build strong relationships is through good communication. The better you communicate with your employees the stronger your team will be. The Sling app can help.
We built the Sling suite of tools to:
Simplify the scheduling process
Track labor costs
Build employee engagement
Organize work hours
Remove the difficulties in finding substitutes
Keep your team members on task throughout the day
Regardless of the industry, Sling can keep you and your team members organized and focused on the project at hand. That will translate to more positive performance reviews throughout the year.
And when you’re organized, everything runs more smoothly. Sling even helps with that.
The on-board artificial intelligence (A.I.) keeps track of time-off requests, work preferences, and other employee information. If you double-book an employee or schedule them for a time they can’t work, the Sling A.I. will notify you and prompt you to make the necessary change.
These are just a few of the benefits Sling can bring to your business.
Experience the myriad ways the Sling app can make your managerial job easier by signing up for a free trial today.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit chúng tôi today.
Effective performance reviews are key to employee engagement and can provide valuable feedback on skills and goals important to your business’ success. In this article, we discuss what a performance review is, common skills assessed during a performance review and examples of performance review phrases.
What is a performance review?
A performance review, also called a “performance evaluation” or “performance appraisal,” is an assessment where supervisors review an employee’s work performance. During the review, a supervisor identifies the employee’s strengths and weaknesses, sets goals and offers feedback for future performance. Many organizations conduct reviews annually while others have them quarterly, monthly or even weekly.
Performance reviews may help employers:
Give feedback to employees on their current performance and make organization expectations clear
Identify strengths and weaknesses of individual employees and teams as a whole
Help team members develop as employees and people
Allocate promotions or pay raises appropriately
Explain individual and organizational goals
Use it as a goal-setting opportunity
Effective performance review phrases
Many performance reviews are categorized by skills and goals with phrases that correlate to each category. The 12 common skills usually incorporated into performance reviews are listed below along with effective phrases for each skill
The phrases you use in a performance review impact its overall effectiveness. An effective review should discuss an employee’s strengths and areas of improvement in a way that is constructive and motivating. Depending on what skills or goals you are evaluating, here is a list of common performance review phrases for each review skill:
Creativity is essential in the workplace for creative thinking and problem-solving. When you are giving a performance review, you may consider using phrases similar to these:
1. “Applies creative thinking to implement a vision for the company”2. “Continuously suggests new ideas in meetings and on projects”3. “Shows initiative with developing new ways of thinking to improve projects or company performance”
It is important that employees adapt to change and accept and comply with new processes. Here are some phrases that may apply to an employee’s adaptability:
3. “Willingly adjusts their schedule to be available when needed”4. “Quickly adapts to changes in the performance of required duties”5. “Responds well to change in various situations”
Communicating effectively with supervisors, colleagues and clients is essential throughout various industries. Here are phrases that you may use when you give your performance review:
6. “Effectively communicates with colleagues, supervisors, partners and customers”7. “Clearly communicates ideas and thoughts in team meetings and conferences”8. “Is a constructive communicator and is capable of discussing difficult issues effectively and to the point”
Employees should strive to be accountable for their work, own up to the mistakes they make and do their best to fix them as best they can. This saves time and displays an employee’s integrity. Here are some phrases that you may apply to a positive review of an individual’s accountability.
9. “Takes ownership in the company’s success and accepts responsibility for oneself and contribution as a team member”10. Admits mistakes and errors and informs others when unable to keep a commitment”
Attendance and reliability are important factors in evaluating individual performance because consistent attendance and punctuality are requirements at most workplaces. While considering your employee’s attendance and punctuality performance, you may write down these sample phrases:
11. “Exceeds expectations in arriving on time for work, including meetings and conferences”12. “Has good attendance and doesn’t violate the standard attendance policy”13. “He begins each day fully refreshed and prepared for any challenges”
It is essential that employees remain productive during work hours to contribute to the company’s goals. Productivity is also a good indicator of an employee’s engagement. Here are some phrases that you may consider when you give a performance review:
14. “Positively contributes to the overall performance of the company through consistent and high-quality work”15. “Continuously strives to improve profits, productivity and performance targets”16. “Shows strong time-management and organizational skills”
Providing effective feedback on performance reviews includes mentioning employee achievements. Here are some phrases that may help you recognize your employee’s achievements during their performance reviews:
17. “Sets well-thought-out goals and continuously strives to achieve them”18. “Improved xx by xx%”19. “Made an effective system to streamline xx work processes by doing xx”
Cooperation is important to evaluate because an employee should be willing to cooperate with their co-workers to make sure team-based projects and daily tasks are completed in a timely manner. When each person relies on input from others to complete a task, the workflow continues at a steady pace which can only be achieved through cooperation. Try considering these phrases when you give a performance review:
20. “Displays a cooperative spirit by performing xx task to contribute to xx project”21. “Promotes cooperation well to ensure colleagues work as a team to meet deadlines”
Coaching is the process of assisting employees to improve performance. Employees should be coachable so that they can perform at an appropriate level for their job role. Here are phrases that assess coaching and training ability:
22. “Accepts coaching in various job duties and applies training to improve xx ability”23. “Asks for more training when xx processes aren’t clear or understood”
Employees typically have an opportunity for improvement. It is important to give them specific feedback regarding those areas so they can develop a plan to improve their performance. These phrases identify common areas of improvement:
24. “Struggles to effectively overcome new challenges and find solutions to new issues”25. “Should work on developing and maintaining professional relationships”26. “Tends to focus more on what can’t be done instead of what can be done”
Good interpersonal skills combine multiple skills that are often prerequisites for many jobs. Here are some effective phrases tо use when you giving a performance review оn interpersonal skills:
27. “Works effectively within a team environment to achieve specific tasks or projects”28. “Develops constructive working relationships with internal and external stakeholders”29. “Is an effective team player as demonstrated by their willingness to help out and contribute as required”
Problem solving defines a problem to determine its cause, identifying possible solutions and choosing the correct solution. Here are problem-solving phrases that will make your employee aware of their abilities:
30. Displays the capability to independently solve complex problems”31. Breaks a problem down before analyzing it in a more detailed manner”32. Knows how to collaborate with others effectively to find solutions to problems”
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