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Performance reviews provide a great opportunity for HR managers and business owners to point out what their team members are doing right. It can also be an excellent time to boost employee empowerment. However, review time can also present a number of challenges. This is especially true if one of your employees needs to make major improvements in certain areas. It can be useful to have some starter performance review phrases handy to help you conduct a professional and in-depth review that provides valuable feedback and avoids hurt feelings or defensiveness.
50 Valuable Performance Review Phrases
Dependent on your performance appraisal method and set of objectives, these phrases could easily help you become comfortable with giving necessary feedback. Divided into categories depending on what skills or goals you are reviewing, here are 50 of the most valuable phrases that can be customized for your own appraisals.
• Improved production on (x) goal set out at beginning of review period • Exceeded production expectations on (x) goal set out at beginning of review period • Tends to take initiative to gather the information and tools needed to get a project completed on time and above expectations • Sets measurable goals and continually strives to attain them • Struggles to match the results of his/her teammates when it comes to (x)
• Exceeds expectations in arriving on time for meetings and conferences • Improved attendance at non-mandatory training and meetings • Has not met goals set out for arriving on time as set out at beginning of review period • Completes deadlines in a timely manner • Respects the time of others by arriving at team meetings on time
• Has greatly improved on hitting production goals on (x) since last review • Has not displayed consistent productivity improvement since last appraisal • Exceeds output expectations set out for his/her department • Makes a large contribution to the overall success of his/her department through excellent productivity • Consistently falls below others on the team regarding work output
• Displays improved listening skills in meetings with colleagues and managers • Excels at communicating project expectations to those he/she manages • Needs to work on fully understanding a situation before making defensive explanations • Effectively communicates with team members on projects and delegates when necessary • Builds company morale and cooperation through effective group facilitation
• Effectively collaborates with other team members to get projects finished efficiently • Shows improvement delegating tasks to others when overwhelmed • Excels at sharing knowledge and tips with new team members to help them become part of the team • Could work on helping team members complete tasks for overall success of project • Has a tendency to make others feel hesitant asking him/her for help as they do not know the reaction they will get
• Shows ability to come up with new solutions for problems when old ways of thinking are ineffective • Tends to shut down instead of finding new ways of working when expectations are not met • Displays improvement in taking on new tasks or changing workflow when situation requires • Rigidly sticks to traditional methods of project management even when results do not warrant it • Consistently uses constructive criticism to improve his/her skills and work processes
• Shows curiosity for new ways to thinking and communicating to improve projects and customer satisfaction • Continually pushes for more responsibility and shows willingness to put in extra hours • Is continuously striving to improve skills and production • Lacks the initiative to willingly take on more complicated tasks or projects • Tends to wait for projects to be handed to him/her rather than requesting more responsibility
• Needs to work on talking to employees on their level without being condescending • Clearly understands strengths of team members and delegates accordingly • Displays a strong worth ethic that effectively motivates team members to excel • Promotes a culture of learning and understand that team members respond well to
• Appears to be hesitant when it comes to taking creative risks that are outside the box • Has a vision for the future of the company and applies creative ideas to help implement it • Always contributes fresh ideas at team meetings and on projects • Fails to reward those under his/her management for innovative ideas or suggestions • Strives to always take new information into account and adjust plans accordingly
• Has displayed capability to solve complex problems independently, but tends to defer to others on the team • Shows creativity and initiative when tackling complicated problems • Tends to make excuses and blame others on team when problems arise instead of working to solve them • Recognizes problems when they are at early stages and implements solutions proactively • Empowers those he/she manages to solve problems on their own
Giving employee performance reviews is never easy, though they are certainly necessary. They are also convenient for both your staff and supervisors to come together and find common ground. Keep in mind that these phrases are valuable for employees who are exceeding expectations and for those who might be falling short. All employees should be given goals to work towards during performance reviews.
You must also realize that all employees have room for improvement. By using some of the above performance review phrases, you can make employee appraisals a positive and empowering event. They can also help you navigate cross-cultural differences effectively and provide gentle guidance while still maintaining chúng tôi will find that your employees will feel better about their performance and even strive for greatness, as these valuable phrases will certainly give them confidence.
© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business and Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision for Nonprofit Staff.
Strongly Suggested Pre-Reading
How to Ensure Strong Employee Performance Management
Sections of This Topic Include
Also considerEmployee Performance ManagementRelated Library Topics
Guidelines to Conduct Employee Performance Appraisals
Yearly performance reviews are critical. Organization’s are hard pressed to find good reasons why they can’t dedicate an hour-long meeting once a year to ensure the mutual needs of the employee and organization are being met. Performance reviews help supervisors feel more honest in their relationships with their subordinates and feel better about themselves in their supervisoral roles. Subordinates are assured clear understanding of what’s expected from them, their own personal strengths and areas for development and a solid sense of their relationship with their supervisor. Avoiding performance issues ultimately decreases morale, decreases credibility of management, decreases the organization’s overall effectiveness and wastes more of management’s time to do what isn’t being done properly. Conduct the following activities.
1. Design a legally valid performance review process
Patricia King, in her book, Performance Planning and Appraisal, states that the law requires that performance appraisals be: job-related and valid; based on a thorough analysis of the job; standardized for all employees; not biased against any race, color, sex, religion, or nationality; and performed by people who have adequate knowledge of the person or job. Be sure to build in the process, a route for recourse if an employee feels he or she has been dealt with unfairly in an appraisal process, e.g., that the employee can go to his or her supervisor’s supervisor. The process should be clearly described in a personnel policy.
2. Design a standard form for performance appraisals
3. Schedule the first performance review for six months after the employee starts employment
Schedule another six months later, and then every year on the employee’s anniversary date.
4. Initiate the performance review process and upcoming meeting
Tell the employee that you’re initiating a scheduled performance review. Remind them of what’s involved in the process. Schedule a meeting about two weeks out.
5. Have the employee suggest any updates to the job description and provide written input to the appraisal
6. Document your input — reference the job description and performance goals
7. Hold the performance appraisal meeting
State the meeting’s goals of exchanging feedback and coming to action plans, where necessary. In the meeting, let the employee speak first and give their input. Respond with your own input. Then discuss areas where you disagree. Attempt to avoid defensiveness; admitting how you feel at the present time, helps a great deal. Discuss behaviors, not personalities. Avoid final terms such as “always,” “never,” etc. Encourage participation and be supportive. Come to terms on actions, where possible. Try to end the meeting on a positive note.
8. Update and finalize the performance appraisal form
9. Nothing should be surprising to the employee during the appraisal meeting
Any performance issues should have been addressed as soon as those issues occurred. So nothing should be a surprise to the employee later on in the actual performance appraisal meeting. Surprises will appear to the employee as if the supervisor has not been doing his/her job and/or that the supervisor is not being fair. It is OK to mention the issues in the meeting, but the employee should have heard about them before.
Why We Hate the Performance Review
© Copyright Sheri Mazurek
Most employees in companies today are all too familiar with the concept of the performance review. Just the mention of this often dreaded occurrence of discussion with one’s supervisor where they get to critique every move you’ve made during the year while you sit ideally by is sure to send negative feelings throughout the mind’s of employees everywhere. The performance review generally has a similar effect on managers and supervisors as well. So why is this performance review so dreaded and loathed by many? A few of the reasons are listed below.
Employees – Why They Hate the Performance Review Process
Employees are often forced to write a self evaluation prior to the meeting as well. Unfortunately, these usually only serve as annoyance to employees because the majority of the time it is ignored by the supervisor any way.
Managers – Why They Hate the Performance Review Process
Managers often dread the discussion of the employee performance review assuming the discussion will turn into a battle with the manager left to convince the employee that their ratings are accurate. Managers usually assume employees think they perform better than they actually do.
Managers are busy with tasks and goals of their own . Taking the time to thoroughly review a whole year’s worth of performance is time consuming. They often rush through the forms because the HR department has a deadline they are struggling to meet?
The forms are too complicated, long, short or don’t cover what is really important to success in this department.
So, What’s the Answer to Overcoming Negativity Around the Performance Appraisal?
Here’s a few tips to get you started:
Set clear expectations. Provide them on the first day of employment.
Provide feedback all year. Create a culture where performance discussions are a regular part of the work day and review meetings are held at frequent intervals such as monthly.
Ask first, tell later. Begin a performance discussion by asking the employee to rate their chúng tôi them provide examples of where they have met and exceeded the expectations.
Do not complete the form until you have the discussions. Do monitor performance all year and have examples ready to discuss.
Guarantee no surprises at the annual meeting. If you are waiting for annual meeting to discuss performance, you lost your chance to be effective.
Numerous Resources About Conducting Employee Performance Reviews
Additional Perspectives on Conducting Employee Performance Appraisals
10 Key Tips for Effective Employee Performance ReviewsSelecting from Among Publicly Available AssessmentsHow to Evaluate and Appraise employee performance (also with free template)The Performance Appraisal SolutionPreparing for performance appraisal discussions – Part IConducting performance appraisal discussions – Part IIConcluding performance appraisal discussions – Part IIIPerformance Appraisals: A Quick Guide For ManagersBeyond Constructive Criticism-Methods to Evaluating PerformancePerformance Appraisals: Are You Playing Games?
Some Contrary Perspectives on Employee Performance Reviews
Performance Appraisal Lessons from 13 Years in the TrenchesEvaluation Program Sample ReportsA Cost-Benefit Case for Scrapping Performance AppraisalsOnce You Scrap Performance AppraisalsWhy We Hate the Performance ReviewPerformance Appraisal – Free HR Employment Policy and training pack for downloadPerformance Review Rushed?
Perspectives on Conducting Employee 360 Degree Performance Reviews
360 Degree Feedback Survey Software Deployment Tips & Resources: How to GuideBouncing Back from a Negative 360-Degree Review360-DegreeFeedback.com – Your Guide to 360 Information and Resources360-DegreeFeedback.com – Your Guide to 360 Information and Resources
Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Employee Performance Appraisals
Library’s Career Management BlogLibrary’s Human Resources BlogLibrary’s Leadership BlogLibrary’s Supervision Blog
For the Category of Supervision:
To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.
Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.
Related Library Topics Recommended Books
Workplace performance evaluations provide employees with insight as to how they’re perceived, what they’re doing well and where they can improve. You can use a wide variety of phrases in your evaluations, and understanding which ones to use will help those on your team learn what’s expected of them and how to perform better in the future. In this article, we review some common performance review phrases and what to include in an employee evaluation.
Related: How to Prepare for a Performance Evaluation
Examples of employee performance evaluation phrases
You can use different words in your performance review to describe a team member’s contributions to the company. Here are some examples of employee performance evaluation phrases:
Maintaining good attendance is an important part of employee performance. Here are some examples of phrases used in performance evaluations for various industries:
Maintained good attendance throughout the year
Respectful of their co-workers’ time by arriving at team meetings on time
Consistently arrived on time to company-wide meetings and training sessions
You might use these phrases in your review depending on how well an employee communicates:
Maintained good communication with team members and clients
Lacks leadership skills and the ability to effectively communicate when managing their team
Does not display active listening skills with customers
The more productive your team is, the more work you’ll get done. Here are some phrases you might use in your evaluation that pertain to productivity:
Achieved steady growth in the number of sales this month
Displayed an innovative way of approaching the project
Avoided high-priority tasks and assignments
Effectively trained other staff members in the new company style guide
Successfully acquired new accounts on a consistent basis
Showed initiative in learning new technologies and software in the workplace
Collaborated effectively with others through project completion
4. Attitude and demeanor
It’s beneficial to have a positive attitude in the workplace. In regards to the way your team members conduct themselves, you can use phrases like these in your performance evaluation:
Maintained a positive attitude and demeanor despite unforeseen problems
Supported team members effectively and efficiently
Showed willingness to learn new skills and techniques in the workplace
Displays a productive attitude when problems arise
Lacked confidence in presenting ad campaign to relevant parties
Succumbs to stress quite frequently
Unwilling to work overtime hours
5. Time management
Good time management skills can have an impact on overall work performance. Here are some examples of time management performance evaluation phrases:
Utilized great time management skills when considering the project management plan
Shows up to work on time
Failed to meet project deadlines
Related: Time Management Skills: Definition and Examples
What to include in a performance evaluation
The purpose of a performance evaluation is to show your team members where they excel and where they can improve. In order to create an effective performance evaluation, take into consideration the following components:
1. Performance analysis
Every performance evaluation should include a section explaining how someone has met or failed company standards. The more descriptive the analysis, the better they will be able to understand it and use it to strengthen their place in the company.
2. Descriptive phrases
To help an employee benefit from a performance review, you should use descriptive language. The more specific, the better. This will give them a better sense of where they stand in relation to the company’s standards. Descriptive words will also help your team members pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. In regards to weaknesses in particular, descriptive phrases will let them know the exact area where they need to improve. For example, if your evaluation includes the phrase, “failed to meet project deadlines”, they will know they need to work on their time management skills in the future. Refer to the phrases above when adding descriptive language to your review.
3. Strengths and weaknesses
Evaluations should include both strengths and weaknesses. The phrases you use should be either positive or negative to ensure clarity. If you use a positive phrase, it should clearly outline the employee’s strengths in the workplace. If you use a negative phrase, however, it will detail potential areas for improvement. It’s important to note that a fair review will help them keep their morale high. Though you should be honest in your critiques, you should do your best to balance any negative attributes with positive ones.
4. Employee potential
Along with descriptive performance analysis, an evaluation should include an area detailing an employee’s potential at the company. Helping them understand their potential can keep them motivated to rise above any poor critiques. This will also help them know what they need to do to meet the company’s standards and expectations.
5. Constructive feedback
It’s important to provide positive, constructive feedback that your team members can take into consideration. Detailing how they can improve, for example, is a great way to set them up for success. Detailing their strengths and weaknesses is not only beneficial for them individually, but it helps your team and company, as well. Make sure to maintain open communication with your employees and give them the opportunity to respond to your suggestions for improvement.
Related: Best Practices for Giving Constructive Feedback
In addition to an evaluation, you should also go over personal goals with your employee. Discuss what you’d both like to see them achieve in the future, and allow them the time to improve. Setting goals will give them something to work toward and hopefully grant them a better evaluation in the future.
Performance evaluation examples
Here are two examples of performance evaluations using descriptive phrases:
Positive performance review example
Kennedy exceeded expectations this year in her role as lead graphic designer. She utilized good communication skills when speaking with clients and her team. Kennedy works well under pressure and maintains a positive attitude when problems arise. She contributes innovative and creative ideas that surpass company expectations.
Negative performance review example
Though Anthony displays a passion and talent for reporting, his inability to work effectively as part of a team hinders his success. Unfortunately, he often fails to meet deadlines and lacks consideration for others. In the coming year, we’d like Anthony to display good time management skills and be an effective member of the reporting team.
Key Words to Include in an Employee’s Performance Appraisal
By Ken Lloyd
One of the most effective ways to enhance the impact of the appraisals you provide to employees is to select words that have a strong positive emotional charge. You may think that as long as you somehow get your message across, your word choice isn’t all that important. The truth is, some words hit home far more quickly and compellingly than others.
A person’s name is one of the most powerfully charged words that she knows. If it wasn’t the first word she ever heard, it’s certainly among the very earliest. When someone hears her own name, she reacts. By saying your employee’s name before providing her with feedback, you’re improving her readiness to listen carefully to your next words – and to act on them.
Numerous studies have found the word “achievement” to be one of the premier sources of employee motivation. When employees hear the word “achievement” in your feedback, they’re better able to sense the significance of their accomplishments.
The word “build” is literally and figuratively one of the most constructive words to use in the performance appraisal process. It has a strong positive connotation – the word “build” inherently assumes that something positive is going to be designed, created, and brought to life.
In light of the compelling and memorable impact associated with the word build, you should include it across the broad spectrum of employee performance – for example, when you’re talking about building productivity, output, relationships, knowledge, skills, strengths, teamwork, performance, and profits.
There is no question that employees aspire to experience growth at work. However, growth is such a slow process that many employees aren’t sure whether it’s happening at all. In fact, because growth occurs in such minuscule snippets, some employees can miss it altogether.
By working with your employees each day, you can see growth when it occurs. In fact, you probably see more of your employees’ growth than anyone they know. That fact, in combination with the role that you play as their manager, provides you with extra insight and credibility when it comes to recognizing their growth.
The word profit has a strong emotional impact for employees at all levels of a company. As a result, it’s a very important word to use in the appraisal process. In fact, when profit is minimized in performance appraisals, it’s likely to be minimized in other ways as well.
Every employee remembers his first promotion with pride, and simply hearing the word “promotion” brings back at least a hint of those positive feelings. Plus, promotions have long been found to be a strong source of employee motivation. The result is that both of these factors contribute to the long-lasting positive emotional charge associated with the word “promotion.”
When providing positive feedback, you may be tempted to focus on numbers, dates, facts, and figures. However, the best way to make this type of information memorable and motivational is to include the word “success” in the process.
By including “success” as you review your employees’ successful attainment of hard numbers, your words will have a more compelling impact. Although your feedback will still have its share of rates, ratios, and percentages, such data will be wrapped in a motivational package that gives your employees a strong sense of recognition and personal competence.
In light of the large amount of ground that you have to cover in performance appraisals, one powerful word that you can easily overlook is “thanks.”If you forget to use it, you’re losing a valuable and cost-effective opportunity to raise an employee’s spirits, morale, and sense of self-worth.
Some managers give the word “yes” a good deal of play but then undo all its power and effectiveness by attaching one little word to it – namely, the word “but.” When employees hear “Yes, but . . .” the word “yes” becomes a prelude to a rejection. As a result, that “yes” may as well be “no,” which is another word to avoid in the appraisal process.
About the Book Author
Ken Lloyd, PhD, is a nationally recognized consultant, author, and columnist who specializes in organizational behavior, communication, and management coaching and development.
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