23 Performance Evaluation Phrases To Use in a Review

Updated March 10, 2023

Workplace performance evaluations provide employees with feedback on how well they're performing and areas 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:

1. Attendance

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

2. Communication

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

3. Productivity

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

  2. Descriptive phrases

  3. Strengths and weaknesses

  4. Employee potential

  5. Constructive feedback

  6. Goals

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

6. Goals

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 a 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.


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