Career Development

32 Performance Review Phrases By Skill (With Examples)

July 23, 2021

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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