Performance Review Phrases: 101 Top-Notch Expressions for 2024 Evaluations

Boost your 2024 performance reviews with our curated list of 101 powerful performance review phrases. Evaluate actions, and deliver meaningful feedback.

In this article we have summarized positive and negative performance reviews phrases examples. Some examples are included below:

  • Sets well thought-out goals and continuously strives to achieve them
  • Significantly improved on xx since last appraisal
  • Is a natural leader who creates inclusive culture in the company and enables other to grow alongside him/her
  • Does not show leadership qualities and can be more supportive
  • Effectively communicates with colleagues, supervisors, partners and customers
  • Effectively collaborates with people in (and outside of) the team to successfully reach targets

Employee performance reviews are fundamental for your employees' engagement. It can significantly improve performance of your business as we discussed in previous blogs. It is important that performance reviews become an ongoing conversation between a manager and a direct report to be effective. And most importantly, reviews should be honest and personalized to every employee. This post discusses 70 performance review phrases that you can use for every function in your business. We produced a short video discussing these performance review phrases:

👉 Download here our free performance review phrases PDF and share it with your team members.

Key Areas to address in employee performance reviews

There are common areas to address when providing feedback to your employees in order to improve their performance. Especially for an inexperienced manager (or employee conducting a self-assessment), it can be difficult to conduct a meaningful performance review. Thus providing example phrases can be a good source of inspiration. We've created a useful list to keep in mind when conducting a performance review.

But please remember; you should use this list as an inspiration and always adjust these review phrases to a specific team member. You do not want your employees feel the performance reviews are generic. Generic reviews can give an impression you did not care enough to devote time to provide them with personalized constructive feedback, which could have a negative impact on their engagement. This is a list of useful performance review example phrases to help you conduct your review. Download a pdf version of this article with a list of all phrases here.

The areas to address in your performance review should cover:

- Achievements

- Productivity

- Communication skills

- Teamwork

- Creativity and Innovation

- Flexibility and Problem-solving

- Adaptability and Resilience

- Customer Focus and Satisfaction

- Continuous Learning and Development

Areas to Address in Performance Review phrases

Achievements review phrases

Setting goals and objectives is a key to maintaining performance of every employee. The performance review should address this area not only to improve their performance of your employees but also to strengthen their accountability to your business.

Positive comments:

  • Sets well thought-out goals and continuously strives to achieve them
  • Works autonomously and uses own initiative to attain objectives and overcome challenges
  • Improved xx by xx%
  • Has a positive, results-driven attitude
  • Is able to make informed decisions based on considered research

Areas of improvement:

  • Struggles to achieve set goals and reach objectives because of xx
  • Lacks understanding of xx and could benefit from xx
  • Makes uninformed decisions based on assumptions and needs to consider more data
  • Tends to blame others and needs to take responsibility for their own actions
  • Lacks focus in xx and can improve by xx
  • Productivity

Performance review phrases achievement

Productivity review phrases

The success of your business depends on the productivity of your employees. Productivity is also a good indicator of their engagement and not addressing an issue could cause difficulties with developing and retaining talent.

Positive comments

  • Significantly improved on xx since last appraisal
  • Positively contributes to overall performance of the department/company through consistent and high-quality work
  • Continuously strives to improve profits, productivity and performance targets
  • Excels in identifying glitches, flaws or imperfections at the earliest possible chance
  • Shows strong organizational and time-management skills

Areas of improvement

  • Has not improved xx since last performance review
  • Struggles to finish tasks and reach the team standards
  • Reluctant to up-skill and gain xx expertise
  • Shows lack of commitment in xx
  • Seldom takes initiative without being asked to

Performance review phrases productivity

Leadership review phrases

Employees care about career progression and personal and professional development and leadership play an instrumental role in those areas. Moreover, developing leaders has been identified as one of major challenges for today’s businesses so why would you not make your best to help to close the leadership gap?

Positive comments

  • Is a natural leader who creates inclusive culture in the company and enables other to grow alongside him/her
  • Motivates colleagues and direct reports to do their best
  • Successfully shows appreciation for individual achievements and builds an atmosphere of trust and positivity in the team
  • Proved themselves to be an asset to the organization
  • Embodies the company mission and strengthens company culture

Areas of improvement

  • Does not show leadership qualities and can be more supportive
  • Tends to micromanage which can prevent others from expressing their ideas
  • Uses position to impose power and control over others
  • Fails to show appreciation and recognize achievements of team members and direct reports
  • Does not act as a source of inspiration to others

Performance review phrases leadership

Communication review phrases

Communication skills are essential for any function and can have significant effects on overall performance of an individual and the business in general. As a manager you should ensure to provide constructive feedback on this area as supporting your employees to develop these skills and feel comfortable in voicing their ideas and opinions can be a game changer for your team.

Positive comments

  • Shows active listening skills
  • Effectively communicates with colleagues, supervisors, partners and customers
  • Clearly communicates ideas and thoughts in team meetings and conferences
  • Is a constructive communicator and is capable of discussing difficult issues effectively and to the point
  • Shows ability to build up on company culture through group facilitation and collaboration

Areas of improvement

  • Needs to improve oral/written communication skills
  • Struggles to accept feedback and constructive criticism
  • Lacks ability to effectively communicate ideas and thoughts to team members
  • Refrains from asking questions even when issues need to be clarified
  • Uses unprofessional manner/language when communicating with colleagues

Performance review phrases communication

Teamwork review phrases

Effective collaboration and team work proved to have positive effects on a business performance and developing innovative ideas.

Positive comments

  • Effectively collaborates with people in (and outside of) the team to successfully reach targets
  • Efficiently delegates tasks across the team
  • Effectively shares knowledge and provides support to team members
  • Brings positivity and enthusiasm to the organization and creates an inclusive culture
  • Motivates colleagues to collaborate to reach common goals

Areas of improvement

  • Could try to help and support team members more for the success of the project
  • Other members of the team feel they could behave in more approachable manner
  • Should work on developing and maintaining professional relationships
  • Fails to encourage a team-centered work environment
  • Is not willing to share information with the team

Performance review phrases teamwork

Creativity and Innovation review phrases

Creativity and Innovation did not become a buzz word for no reason. Implementing change and developing new creative and innovative processes, services and products is a way to retain success of your organization.

Positive comments

  • Shows curiosity and initiative to find new ways of thinking to improve projects and company performance
  • Is able to come up with imaginative solutions to challenges faced by the team
  • Is continuously striving to innovate processes and improve task/project outcomes
  • Has a vision for a future of the company and applies creative thinking to implement it
  • Continuously suggests fresh ideas in meetings and on projects

Areas of improvement

  • Lacks the initiative to take up more complex tasks and implement creative thinking
  • Struggles to think outside of the box and take creative risks
  • Struggles to develop unconventional paths to seek solutions
  • Does not encourage creative solutions in his/her team
  • Is afraid of making a wrong decision and implement change

Performance review phrases creativity and innovation

Flexibility and Problem-Solving review phrases

Flexible autonomous workers are a must-have to succeed in today’s dynamic society. Facing challenges, solving problems and an ability to work independently deserves pride and a lack of it requires actions.

Positive comments

  • Shows strong analytical thinking and an ability to improve processes when old ways are ineffective
  • Displays an ability to take on new challenges and up-skill
  • Is able to use constructive criticism to improve and grow
  • Displays the capability to independently solve complex problems
  • Is able to emphasize with the customers/users and deliver value to them

Areas of improvement

  • Sticks to old methods and shows little effort to implement changes even if the results are poor
  • Struggles to come up with new possible solutions when expectations are not met
  • Tends to blame others and make excuses when problems occur
  • Does not strive to develop new skills, and does not manage to focus on their goals and responsibilities
  • Struggles to effectively overcome new challenges and find solutions to new issues

Performance review phrases Flexibility and problem solving

Adaptability and Resilience

  • Demonstrates a remarkable ability to adapt to changing circumstances and maintain a positive attitude.
  • Consistently shows resilience in the face of challenges and setbacks, bouncing back quickly and learning from experiences.
  • Proactively seeks out opportunities to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities to adapt to evolving business needs.
  • Maintains a calm and composed demeanor during times of change, uncertainty, or high pressure.
  • Effectively navigates ambiguity and remains focused on goals even when faced with incomplete information or shifting priorities.
  • Embraces change as an opportunity for growth and innovation, actively contributing ideas and solutions.
  • Displays a high level of emotional intelligence, managing own emotions and supporting others during challenging times.
  • Quickly learns and applies new technologies, processes, or methodologies to enhance adaptability.
  • Demonstrates flexibility in working across different teams, functions, or projects as needed.
  • Serves as a role model for resilience and adaptability, inspiring and mentoring others to develop these qualities.

Customer Focus and Satisfaction

  • Consistently puts customers first, going above and beyond to understand and meet their needs.
  • Proactively seeks out customer feedback and uses it to drive improvements in products, services, or processes.
  • Demonstrates deep empathy and excellent active listening skills when interacting with customers.
  • Takes ownership of customer issues and follows through until a satisfactory resolution is achieved.
  • Builds strong, long-term relationships with customers based on trust, responsiveness, and exceptional service.
  • Effectively communicates with customers, setting clear expectations and providing timely updates.
  • Collaborates with cross-functional teams to develop innovative solutions that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Stays up-to-date on industry trends and best practices to continuously improve the customer experience.
  • Consistently receives positive feedback and high satisfaction ratings from customers.
  • Goes the extra mile to turn challenging customer situations into opportunities to strengthen relationships and build advocacy.

Continuous Learning and Development

  • Actively seeks out opportunities to expand knowledge, skills, and expertise through training, workshops, or self-study.
  • Consistently applies newly acquired knowledge and skills to improve job performance and contribute to team success.
  • Proactively shares knowledge and insights with colleagues, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.
  • Embraces feedback as an opportunity for personal and professional development, actively seeking out and acting on constructive input.
  • Sets ambitious yet achievable learning goals and creates a clear plan to reach them.
  • Demonstrates a growth mindset, viewing challenges and setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve.
  • Takes initiative to mentor or coach others, helping them develop new skills and reach their full potential.
  • Actively participates in cross-functional projects or assignments to gain exposure to new areas and broaden perspectives.
  • Stays current with industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies, and applies this knowledge to drive innovation.
  • Continuously reflects on own strengths and areas for improvement, and takes proactive steps to address development needs.

In addition to these general skills, individuals' technical and function-specific skills should be assessed in a performance review. Every performance review should be followed up by a one-to-one meeting to discuss any arising questions and discuss actions for career development and potential future training.

But again, make sure you only use these phrases as guidance for writing an effective review. Use concrete examples and data to make it truly meaningful and actionable for every employee.

Get a free copy of our PDF Performance Review Guide below:

Performance Reviews Phrases guide

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