Hassan Ud-deen, B2B content marketer and copywriter at Totara, shares 18 performance review phrases all managers need to know.
Creating appraisals that convert feedback, be it negative or positive, into productive performance reviews is a nuanced process. As a manager, you’ve got to:
- Share opportunities for improvement
- Give fair praise where it’s due
- And show support for employee goals
That’s a lot to think about and communicate, isn’t it?
Fortunately, we’ve included 18 must-know performance review phrases to help you write your next appraisal.
1. Performance Review Phrases For Flexibility
In a volatile world where digital evolution and industry shifts are expected, flexibility is essential. Employees should be able to accept emerging processes, develop new skills and adapt to change. This creates a resilient and future-ready workforce.
Below are review phrases you can use to describe an employee’s adaptability:
- “Willing to change the way they work to benefit other team members”
- “Readily adapts to internal or external changes”
- “Capable of handling a variety of assignments”
2. Performance Review Phrases For Communication
Communication supports employee engagement, which in turn promotes better performance and employee retention. It also benefits your organization from an operational perspective; clear communication clears bottlenecks, allows for efficient problem solving and nurtures trust between employees.
Use these phrases to review an employee’s communication skills:
- “Excels in group discussions and collaborative problem solving”
- “Clearly communicates with colleagues at all levels”
- “Can discuss difficult issues and communicate an effective solution”
3. Performance Review Phrases For Accountability
Accountability is a key trait that deserves to be highlighted in any performance review. It shows that an employee owns their work, is proactive about correcting mistakes and summons their best effort in every task.
Use the following performance review phases to describe an employee’s accountability:
- “Often delivers work that doesn’t need corrections or guidance”
- “Acknowledges errors and informs others when unable to uphold a commitment”
- “Learns from both mistakes and high-quality deliverables”
4. Performance Review Phrases For Attendance And Punctuality
Consistent attendance and punctuality are must-haves for a high-performing workplace. Use these sample review phrases to summarize an employee’s attendance and punctuality:
- “Always on time for work, including meetings and conferences”
- “Has a strong attendance record and is punctual with deliverables required”
- “Shows up on time for work and completes projects without breaching due dates”
5. Performance Review Phrases For Productivity
An employee’s productivity reflects their level of engagement and alignment with your organization. It can also provide insight into how they are coping with a new workload or their eligibility for a potential promotion.
Consider these phrases when you summarize an employee’s productivity in a performance review:
- “Completed X project and achieved X results”
- “Displays strong time-management, organizational and problem-solving skills”
- “Consistently reaches targets and achieves project goals”
6. Performance Review Phrases For Areas Of Improvement
Regardless of how well each employee performs, there’s always something to improve. That being said, managers should avoid deliberately searching for negative feedback or weaknesses.
Constructive feedback should only be provided if it affects key operations. It should also be followed up with actionable steps to improve.
For example, if an otherwise productive employee is slowing down projects by not communicating with the others, a manager might assign an action that encourages the employee to share a daily summary with the rest of the team.
Try the following performance review phrases to communicate areas of improvement:
- “Appears intimidated by new challenges and the prospect of searching for new solutions”
- “Needs to work on developing professional relationships with peers”
- “Focuses more on what can’t be done, rather than the solutions to complete tasks”
The Right System For Performance Management And Effective Reviews
In most companies, performance review feedback is noted, briefly discussed in a meeting, and locked away to never see daylight again. This is a fatal flaw in the performance management process. Feedback must be recorded in your performance management system.
Totara Perform is a performance management system that enables you to record feedback and much more. Monitor performance over time, identify skills gaps, conduct accurate appraisals and align employee goals with organizational growth.
Hassan Ud-deen is a B2B content marketer and copywriter at Totara. He works with brands like Hubspot, QuickBooks and Neil Patel to develop apex content.