Providing performance review phrases to employees on how they are doing in their roles is an important part of every manager’s role. In many companies, supervisors are expected to periodically provide employees with a formal written performance review. No matter what type of employee review form your company uses, narrative feedback is likely to be needed. While finding the right words to use can be challenging, the example sentences provided here can help you get started.

Positive performance review

One aspect of employee performance review phrases involves providing positive feedback on things that each team member does particularly well. Praise should be specific and related to key components of success at work. Feel free to use the phrases listed here as appropriate, or use them as a starting point to think of other ways to convey the meaning you would like to share.

Positive Performance at Work

Rather than just telling employees how well they are performing, identify specific strengths that deserve praise.

Consistently meets or exceed work standards or performance review requirements

Delivers high quality work in a timely manner

Excellent attention to detail that results in work that is consistently error free

Displays exceptional mastery of skills and job requirements

Excellent Communication

Try this sample text to express your appreciation for an employee’s communication skills:


Proactive in communicating concerns to co-workers and management

Demonstrates willingness to hear feedback and contributions from co-workers and management

Displays strong professional communication skills in person, over the phone and in writing

Clearly communicates needs and expectations to internal service providers

Excellent troubleshooting


Examples of phrases focusing on praising employees for their problem-solving skills include the following:




Seeks unique solutions to challenging situations

Able to look beyond the surface to identify root causes of problems

Open to new ways to solve problems

Able to identify and resolve issues effectively

Be a team player

Consider these things to commend employees for going the extra mile when it comes to being team players:


Prioritizes team needs and interests over individual goals

Ensures team members participate in projects by soliciting input and feedback from each person

Collaborates effectively with other team members

Consistently offers assistance to less experienced team members

Corrective Feedback / Focused on Improvement


Of course, nobody is perfect. In addition to praising employees for areas in which they excel, the performance review appraisal process also requires providing feedback with a focus on improving performance review. Remember that this kind of feedback needs to be constructive, which means it should lead to a conversation about how employees can improve, rather than just leaving them feeling criticized.

Work performance below par

When an employee’s performance review is not up to par, it is important to clearly communicate the deficiency and provide a path to correction. Consider opening the subject with words like this:




Error rate in excess of acceptable standard for X hour to Y hour work

Volume of work completed not consistent with required A – B production ranges

Response time above expectations based on working time

Customer experience reports indicate deviation from company requirements

Ineffective Communication

When an employee needs help in the area of ​​communication skills, try these phrases as a starting point for developing corrective feedback:


Needs to be proactive in keeping team members informed of project progress

Make sure the tone is conducive to building professional relationships when communicating with co-workers

Be diligent in keeping management updated on how work is progressing

Need to develop presentation skills to facilitate meetings effectively

Ineffective problem solving

When employees seem to be able to follow instructions and take orders but cannot find unique solutions, they may need to develop stronger problem-solving skills. Consider feedback phrases like these:


Need to show initiative in identifying solutions when things don’t go according to plan

When pointing out problems, you need to make an effort to identify and suggest potential solutions

Investigate possible reasons for problems that arise, rather than asking for help right away

Actively participate in problem solving rather than asking management or team members to fix things for you

Being too oriented to me

When an employee’s behavior is such that the phrase ‘team player’ cannot be used to describe it, the employee may be more ‘me-oriented’ than is appropriate for the work environment. Instead of telling the person to be a better team player, consider offering suggestions to shift your focus from ‘I’ to ‘we’.


Would benefit from a more collaborative approach to projects and tasks

Consider using more inclusive language to incorporate coworkers into department or team work-related conversations

You could ask co-workers for input and really listen to what they have to say, even if you think you already know the answer.

Consider what is best for the team before approaching work in your preferred way

Preparing to provide effective feedback to employees

These are just a few phrases to help you start providing your employees with powerful and effective performance review reviews. To be meaningful, the information you share with your employees when it’s time to assess their performance needs to be thoughtful and focused on your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the specific demands of the job. If you need additional help as you prepare to assess your employees, it may be helpful to review some sample completed employee assessments. While every employee’s situation is unique, taking a look at fully-filled forms can make the task you’re about to take on seem a lot less daunting.

Performance review appraisal is one of the most important processes for your career. After all, it is through it that you will obtain the necessary information to improve the results you deliver to the company and obtain approvals from your leadership to support your next promotion.


On the other hand, this can be a very uncomfortable moment for the most diverse professionals. Those who are evaluating do not always have the preparation and maturity to provide adequate feedback. It is still common to see leaders who judge and criticize their employees in this important learning moment.



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