For any organization that’s dependent on teamwork and employees pulling together (by which mean every organization), feedback is critical. While feedback should be given and received on an ongoing basis, employee performance reviews offer an especially valuable opportunity for improvement.
Strangely, the inability to know what to say or write when it comes to performance assessments can create more problems than it solves. You may find yourself asking, “what should I write in a performance review?” or, “what should I say in a performance review?” as you strategize. A loss for words stymies many business leaders and managers—especially when there are deadlines involved in the process.
Ace your employee review with our performance evaluation survey template!
Employee engagement and the employee experience tie in closely with your reviews. There’s no other choice but to get it right every time; otherwise, costly employee churn will result. This article outlines one hundred engaging review phrases for your application at relevant review sessions, so you can learn how to write impactful performance review phrases that will give you actionable data. Use them selectively and with due consideration. They work well for both managers and employees in an organizational environment that believes in a spirit of mutual growth and development.
Performance review phrases examples, employee performance reviews, and employee engagement integrate closely to create transparency, encouragement, and cohesive teamwork.
Why Worry About Phrasing for Your Performance Review?
The fact is, too many of today’s performance reviews fall short of expectations. One study showed that 74% of new and young workers leave performance reviews uncertain of the managers’ sincere thoughts. Despite the conversations, they feel “in the dark”. Fortunately, this can be quickly rectified by focusing on how you phrase the performance review and feedback.
Of course, it’s much easier to build and work with your phrasing when you have examples to model after. That’s why we explore self-performance review and manager performance review examples to better understand what phrases garner the responses most helpful to your employees.
Effective Performance Review Phrases that work to keep staff motivated and recognized
Enhancing your performance reviews circles back to positive and constructive communication, delivered through structured employee feedback sessions. They are the pillars of a healthy work environment. To begin with, identify the different areas of employee performance you will need to evaluate, to understand the various facets of feedback you need to provide.
To make it easier, I’ve categorized the key employee performance evaluation phrases into several focus sections.
One can interpret achievement in many ways. Here are some phrases with the word used very specifically.
1. X achieves the highest performance levels when it comes to…
2. X provides compelling evidence that he/she… [state the accomplishment]
3. X develops programs/strategies that have delivered stellar results
4. X advanced production performance by ZZ% through [specific task]
5. X exceeded the original goal of [state the task] by ZZ%
These are powerful indicators of how employees work alone, in teams, with management, and with customers. They can show how strong employees function and do well at tasks without direct supervision or influence. You can learn the ways your employee tracks and achieves their goals over the course of their workday, helping them better understands what works for them, and—as their employer—how you can help them continue to achieve success. Monitoring how people achieve is just as important as what achievement looks like to them.
There’s hardly a task or project that doesn’t require administration. These skills are always in focus to keep things running as they should. They span across every activity, and these phrases address admin talents when relevant in different ways.
6. X consistently analyzes administrative proficiency and creates improved procedures such as [state the tasks]
7. X built new and practical administrative plans such as [state the task] that resulted in impressive results, such as (state results)
8. X effectively facilitated systems for retrieving information through [state the task]
9. X is pivotal in bolstering administrative support systems through [state the task]
10. X is extremely well organized in maintaining documents through [state the task,] thus bypassing the duplication of information
Coaching and guiding subordinates and peers are qualities indicative of leadership abilities. Here are some quotes that demonstrate an employee’s interest in helping others solve problems:
11. X supports and guides his colleagues and subordinates constructively in [state the task]
12. X employs effective coaching methods to resolve disciplinary issues
13. X delivers with a consistent and result-centric coaching style
14. Employees respect X’s sincere concern for helping them resolve problems and capture opportunities
Every employee working with others or closely in a team format must develop good oral, written, non-verbal, and listening communication skills. Some useful phrases to create good feedback are as follows:
15. X demonstrates strong abilities in communicating expectations
16. X participates and substantially contributes to group discussions
17. X keeps meetings moving toward focused goals
18. X has a sound ability to communicate on even complicated matters
19. X adheres to company policies and principles while keeping all participants positive
Cooperation lies at the root of sound teamwork and project accomplishment. How well do your employees get along and fit in with the ideal team-player profile? Use the following phrases to reflect on these attributes:
20. X promotes team collaboration
21. X contributes ideas and technologies freely for the team benefit
22. X works in unison with his peers and team members by (state the task)
23. X believes in and demonstrates a spirit of cooperation by (state the task]
24. X clearly has no problems with sharing his expertise in (state the field)
Thinking out-of-the-box is a valued talent that can help businesses in every industry., when it appears the following quotes are quite expressive:
25. X regularly looks for creative options such as [state the examples] that drive [state the results]
26. X demonstrates astute and imaginative thinking when facing obstacles
27. X has no limits in experimenting to derive better solutions when it comes to driving [state the tasks]
28. X triggers and follows through on creative ideas such as [state the examples]
29. X is unafraid of exploring new ideas and approaches to (state the tasks)
A primary function of managers is to delegate work to others and divide the workload. These phrases should help to express delegating attributes when noted:
30. X encourages employees by giving them the authority to grow and achieve
31. X assists employees expand their visibility through [state the task]
32. X pushes and supports employees when it comes to solving job issues
33. X accurately divides responsibilities to match competency levels
34. X shows authority in delegating responsibility to his/her team
Advancement in one’s job is a crucial consideration. You should be on top of that all the time, and feedback should be a primary focus if employees improve between reviews. Consider these phrases as “improvement “ constructs:
35. X is strong on constructing improvement methodologies
36. X thinks of new tactics and methods consistently
37. X noticeably grows and improves performance
38. X designs better ways of making things happen in (state the task)
39. X’s planning for improvement has contributed substantially to performance
Innovative endeavors and ideas are pivotal in many aspects of a business. When employees actively contribute in this sphere, the company should notice it. Here are terms that are innovation-centric and can connect closely to employee motivation.
40. X innovated numerous strategies such as [state examples]
41. X’s innovative capabilities come to the fore under the most adverse conditions
42. X never seems to run out of finding innovative solutions
43. X reflects a steadfast curiosity for innovative possibilities
44. X promotes innovative thinking by [state examples]
Teamwork energizes performance in practically every company in all industries. Lack of teamwork initiates employee churn and instability. Express your teamwork feedback by using the following phrases:
45. X understands everyone’s needs and never hesitates to lend a helping hand
46. X has a consolidated sound team and working relationships
47. X gives a new meaning to the term synergy
48. X relies on mutual dependence and appreciation of team challenges
49. X never ignores the importance of the company culture when working with his peers
The inability to learn new technologies in the current digital age can create severe job obstruction. Fast learners should be commended. Consider including the following phrases in your reviews:
50. X shows the ability to learn quickly alongside the flexibility to change when needed
51. X can impart learning experiences effectively with others
52. X believes in and furthers the company’s learning culture
53. X shows commitment to the principle of continuous learning through [state the examples]
54. X’s responsiveness to new instructions, situations, methodologies, and procedures is impressive
A core review aspect lies in an employee’s management prowess. It boils down to the ability to manage a team at all levels. It converges on delegation, teamwork, dealing with conflict, and providing employee feedback (i.e., good and bad). The subordinates can apply the following phrases to evaluate their supervisor’s management capabilities:
55. X always gives the team the necessary support by [state the example]
56. X works closely with team members to create personal development paths
57. X insists on employees being accountable for their unique results
58. X supports the team with the tools and input needed for improving results
59. X accommodates organizational change easily and organizes his team well.
Planning goes hand in glove with management capability. However, it impacts jobs at all levels. When it does, reviews can follow phrases that read like this:
60. X understands the full meaning of workable action plans
61. X builds comprehensive plans that match changing circumstances
62. X is an action-person but sticks to well-thought-out planning
63. X stands out as a planner of groundbreaking strategic alternatives
64. X designs strategies directed at driving toward better results
All companies look for management and employee potential. They place it on a priority pedestal and view it as the lifeblood of the business. When potential is evident, there are ways to let employees know you’ve noticed it:
65. X has performed notably in his/her new management position
66. X transcended to the required level, warranting promotional consideration
67. X is moving up to bigger projects, responsibilities, and assignments
68. X efforts to acquire greater experience and skills for advancement are noticeable
69. X has developed enhanced growth potential through higher education and professional training
Genuine, self-motivated, problem-solvers are a rare breed. It depends on creative thinking merging with the ability to remain calm under pressure. Use these performance review phrases to rank the problem-solving talents and abilities of your employees:
70. X demonstrates a methodical approach to problem-solving
71. X is never short of creative solutions
72. X converts severe problems into compelling opportunities
73. X practically resolves core issues instead of surface symptoms
74. X has proposed numerous optional solutions that have worked well
Productivity is the biggest contributor to ROI and revenue. Employee productivity under the microscope deserves the following feedback phrases:
75. X beats expected output standards hands-down
76. X always exceeds production expectations
77. X is integral to the achievements of the department
78. X substantial contributes to the ongoing continuation and viability of the division/ project/ organization
79. X never ceases to outdo set targets and performance goals
Numerous companies and industries focus on project completions on time and without undue hassle. Project management is at the fore of these activities, and reviews using the following are in play:
80. X finished the Y project with outstanding results
81. X stays on course and on schedule to keep projects on target
82. X is a transparent and cooperative project’s manager
83. X keeps all the moving parts in sync and moving seamlessly in his/her/their managed projects
84. X is clear and definitive in outlining project goals and objectives
Managers and supervisors are consistently under review for their unique skills. The following gives good guidance when reviews come around.
85. X delivers consistent employee recognition
86. X demonstrates a work situation that motivates employees and keeps them engaged
87. X effectively clarifies and defines employee responsibilities and duties
88. X readily provides employee support when needed most
89. X affords recognition when it’s due, anticipates and manages employee burnout extremely well
Time is a limited resource, influencing profits, and revenues in every respect. Time consciousness is an essential ingredient in every project and organization. How well do your employees manage their time? Use the following phrases to let them know:
90. X shows diligence in meeting all deadlines
91. X shows time-consistency in meeting agendas
92. X knows everything about keeping meetings on schedule
93. X understands the meaning of punctuality and using time effectively
94. X Makes use of his/her discretionary time to the maximum effect
Vision is a very important construct for growth in the strategy of a business. The following last six phrases apply:
95. X fully appreciates the organization’s values
96. X supports and lives the company’s mission and vision every day
97. X transforms visions into action plans with foresight and fortitude
98. X has repeatedly transformed his/her visions and the company’s into action
99. X contributes consistently to the company’s goals
100. X sees things that most of the managers missed to create valuable insight
These phrases are of little use in a vacuum. As an HR manager, you should connect them to specific examples and data. The content above is a template and framework for your employee review program. Companies like Sogolytics can step in to add the professionalism you require to drive it home. They will help you to make employee reviews a living thing that pushes your overall employee contingent to greater heights and commitment.
Reviews are integrative and by nature include everyone in the company, from the top down. Don’t underestimate how important the review arena is to maintain work levels and ascending to unimagined goals. SogoEX will help you make it all the way by smoothing out the rough edges and filling in all the gaps around the foundation provided here.
Ready to take the next step? Get started with our Employee Performance Evaluation Survey Template!