47 Useful Performance Review Phrases By Skills (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 November 2022

Published 13 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Performance reviews are an effective tool for actively engaging employees, regardless of their rank in an organisation. You can use performance reviews to provide actionable feedback to help people improve their skills and become more effective at their jobs. If you're in a management or leadership role, knowing the right performance review phrases can help you communicate effectively with employees and boost their performance. In this article, we discuss performance reviews, their importance and the right phrases to use when writing them.

What is a performance review?

A performance review is an exercise that involves a superior assessing an employee's achievement on the job. The primary aim of performance reviews or performance evaluations is to provide feedback to help employees identify their strengths and weaknesses so they can better deliver job duties and responsibilities. Because of the subjective nature of performance reviews, they can occasionally lead to disagreements between leaders and the employees under review. For this reason, the language of the report has to be professional to ensure that it motivates the person being assessed to take action.

Read more: Steps and Examples on How To Write a Performance Review

What are the benefits of performance review phrases?

Here are some benefits of using the right phrases when writing a performance review report:

Properly identify and monitor employee performance goals

Using the proper phrasing can help you identify, track and maintain employee performance goals. It can help you and the employee being assessed have a deeper understanding of the core strengths and weaknesses required to deliver work duties. Having a good understanding of tasks means that employees can better focus their energies on goals that matter most to company objectives. It also makes it easier to track progress and correct when there are lapses.

Related: 8 Performance Review Questions (Plus Sample Answers)

Prevent miscommunication

Using the right phrasing when writing performance review reports can prevent miscommunication and misinterpretations that can lead to conflict. By providing clear instructions, employees know your expectations and what they can do to achieve higher performance. That way, all parties can focus on doing their job instead of worrying over disagreements that may arise from a poorly worded performance appraisal.

Related: How to Conduct an Effective Staff Appraisal (Plus Benefits)

Improve engagement

A well-written performance review report is an effective way of enhancing employee engagement. It provides you with the opportunity to inform your team members of the things they're doing well and constructively provide feedback about areas that need improvement. With proper communication, you can increase the chances an employee takes the right action needed to improve.

Related: 8 Positive Feedback Examples for Employee Performance

47 useful phrases for a performance review

The effectiveness of a performance review can depend on the way you phrase the report. Whether you're discussing an employee's strengths or weaknesses, it's important to use phrases that can have a positive impact on the person under review. Here are some of the common performance review phrases for a variety of skills:

Communication

In every role and industry, communication skills are vital for collaborating with colleagues, completing tasks, providing feedback and learning on the job. Here are examples of phrases you can use to evaluate an employee's communication skills:

1. "Constructive communicator who can explain complex topics in easy-to-understand language for non-tech colleagues"

2. "Confident and eloquent speaker who goes directly to the point in team meetings and client presentations"

3. "Effectively communicates with team members, clients and management"

4. "Excels in communicating expectations and enforcing industry and company guidelines and policies via written instructions"

5. "Effective in facilitating small and large meetings and discussions"

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Adaptability

Adaptability is an important trait for employees to have, especially if they work in a dynamic industry where technology and trends change fast. Here are phrases you can use to appraise an employee's ability to adapt:

6. "Adapts quickly to fast-changing work environments"

7. "Enthusiastically adjust their schedule to complete high-priority tasks"

8. "Responds quickly when tasks require higher performance, professionalism and dedication"

Related: Adaptability Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

Punctuality

Punctuality is an important factor during performance evaluations. Most employers require their employees to be punctual at work, as this is vital for discipline and achievement of work duties. Here are examples of phrases you can use to describe an employee's level of punctuality during a performance appraisal:

9. "Arrives at work on time every day and finishes assigned tasks before leaving"

10. "Has excellent attendance records and adheres strictly to the attendance rule"

11. "Recommend for Employee of the Month for excellent punctuality at work and meetings"

Related: How To Praise Someone Professionally (36 Ways You Can Do It)

Creativity and innovation

Being creative is a vital attribute for employees whose work involves solving problems. Here are examples of phrases to describe an employee's creativity and problem-solving skills in a performance review:

12. "Takes the initiative when there's a need to solve a complex problem preventing the achievement of tasks"

13. "Excels at developing creative ways to improve team and company performance"

14. "Efficiently uses creative thinking and problem-solving skills to boost team performance"

Administration

Many employees have administrative tasks they may perform besides other duties. You can use these phrases to evaluate an employee's administrative skills:

15. "Enhances the record-keeping process by creating a new filing system that's more efficient and time-saving"

16. "Effectively assesses administrative efficiency and recommends strategies for improvement"

17. "Creates and improves administrative practices through training and enforcement"

18. "Develops new cost-cutting measures to streamline the administrative process"

Collaboration

Effective employees excel at cooperating and collaborating with team members to deliver on projects. Here are examples of phrases you can use to highlight these qualities in a performance review:

19. "Enthusiastic about collaborating and sharing insights with team members"

20. "Nurtures and builds cordial relationships with teams and colleagues"

21. "Has a cooperative temperament"

22. "Willing to share ideas and expertise and new ways of solving problems"

Read more: What Is Collaboration? (With Benefits, Types and Tips)

Delegating

It's important for employees to know how to delegate effectively. Doing this improves leadership skills and ensures people complete tasks that align with their strengths. Here are phrases to highlight these qualities when appraising an employee:

23. "Enhances employee performance by pairing them with the tasks that match their skills"

24. "Gives employees more responsibilities, allowing them to solve their own problems"

25. "Improves employee leadership skills by giving them the authority to make decisions"

26. "Helps employees gain confidence in their abilities by giving them positions of responsibility"

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills can help employees work together more effectively as part of a team. It can improve cooperation and job satisfaction by assuring people they can depend on others in their organisation. Here are ways to provide feedback on an employee's interpersonal skills:

27. "Creates genuine working relationships with teammates"

28. "Identifies the emotional state of others and helps when needed"

29. "Adept at creating synergy with team members during projects"

30. "Has an in-depth understanding of human nature, which helps reduce conflict"

31. "Practises emotional intelligence and champions organisational culture among colleagues"

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definition and Examples

Improvement

One primary aim of performance evaluations is to help employees improve. Improvements can be in the form of new skills, the ability to meet deadlines or greater collaboration among teams. Here are examples of phrases to express improvement in a performance appraisal:

32. "Continuously upgrades skills and competencies for improved performance"

33. "Generates new methods of achieving tasks and solving problems"

34. "Dedicates time, effort and resources to professional development"

35. "Motivates and helps team members to upgrade skills and qualifications"

Management

Management is a vital skill for employees, especially those with leadership roles. Being able to provide support and motivation, constructive feedback and making tough decisions are some management skills of successful employees. Here are ways to appraise this skill in an employee:

36. "Supports team with up-to-date training and clear instructions"

37. "Works with team members to create a dynamic strategy for achieving higher performance"

38. "Delegates responsibly and holds employees accountable for results and failures"

39. "Offers honest feedback to help employees improve on their weaknesses"

40. "Understands the challenges of employees and provides the resources they need to accomplish goals"

Related: Management Skills: Definition and Examples

Coaching

Employees with leadership traits know how to coach new staff and junior team members to become more efficient at their tasks. Here are examples of phrases you can use to qualify this trait during a performance review:

41. "Takes a genuine interest in the professional development of team members"

42. "Provides professional and personal support and guidance to help employees achieve improved performance and career goals"

43. "Offers opportunities to help employees grow"

44. "Adept at using a wide range of coaching methods to improve organisational efficiency"

Problem-solving

The ability to solve problems can make an employee more productive and increase their contribution to the attainment of company objectives. Here are ways to highlight this quality during an employee performance assessment:

45. "Excels at analysing problems and solving them creatively"

46. "Knows how to leverage the skills and experiences of team members to solve complex problems"

47. "Understands how to troubleshoot, solve and document problems for easier resolution in the future"

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