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Performance reviews are a powerful tool to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. They are a constructive mechanism to evaluate past performance as well as to give feedback to improve future performance. Effective performance reviews are also the principal drivers of employee engagement. When managers add in positive phrases in the feedback form, it boosts employee morale and increases their engagement at work.
Despite all these benefits of performance reviews, they are invariably are a daunting process for all. Managers feel the need to give a fair assessment of employee performance and give thoughtful feedback by asking performance review questions during their 1:1s. But there is a risk that the employees might consider it an intensive and biased evaluation of their performance. So, companies must adopt a considerate approach to reviewing performances.
Performance reviews take place in three forms in an organization - evaluation by self, team members, and managers. However, the one common thing in all these reviews is the significant impact of the words and phrases different reviewers say or write on the performance evaluation report. Every person needs to be mindful while framing their feedback and comments.
This article is a handy, go-to reference manual for employees and managers to facilitate the performance review process. We have compiled a list of 60 skill-wise performance review phrases for all the three categories of reviewers.
Performance review phrases to use in a self-evaluation
- I have consistently managed to keep high scores on our performance-rating scale over the past few reviews.
- I've taken initiatives and executed continuous improvement methods to streamline less productive processes and exceed performance goals.
- I value the team's time and strive to prepare concise and time-saving meeting agendas.
- I demonstrated strong time management skills and teamwork when I took over my teammate's work while she was on leave. I also managed to complete my own work on time.
- I displayed leadership skills when I led the product team through a feature release.
- I worked on a new update that was solely responsible for the 15% rise in engagement on our website.
- During the holidays, I displayed adaptability while I worked with changes in work arrangements, structures, and schedules without impacting my performance and deliverables.
- I worked on a PR project that lead to the company featuring in three publications and also getting several sales leads.
- I set up several follow-up calls with the marketing team, which led to us hitting our Q1 target.
- I planned a successful work event that proved to be a great opportunity for company branding and brought us several leads in terms of job applicants.
Areas of improvement
- I know I need to speak up more during our daily stand-ups. I'm going to have meeting notes planned in advance so I can contribute more freely.
- I take time to spot my mistakes, thereby missing out on reaching my quality goals. I plan to audit my work before publishing it so as to avoid this.
- I struggle with handling difficult customers and resolving their queries and complaints. To work on this, I am going to practice mindfulness and reaching out to colleagues when I feel overwhelmed.
Performance review phrases to use as a manager
- I'm impressed with how you followed up on my expectations on the performance goals we set during the previous review.
- You've shown that you are self-driven and committed to delivering high-quality work on time.
- One of the things I appreciate about you is that you took ownership of the project and fixed the last-minute issues. Please keep up the good work.
- You excel at creating detailed and visually wonderful decks. I know you love the creative process - I'd love for you to take the lead on these.
- Your time management skills are impressive - the recent deliverable was set to go live three days in advance. This gave the team breathing room to append last minute requests.
- You're very cordial to work with and you've recently received stellar reviews from our clients.
- Applies problem-solving skills to provide constructive and innovative solutions to issues.
- I admire the fact that you're always willing to tackle complex problems head-on; your practical and analytical approach to problem-solving is appreciated by the team.
- You always remain calm during difficult client-facing situations. The clients really appreciate your clear communication skills.
- I've noticed that you are great at spotting oversights and errors. You also offer tangible solutions to rectify the mistakes on time.
- Plenty of people have mentioned your eagerness to learn new things and openness to work on challenging projects.
- Your passion for upskilling and keeping yourself updated on the trends in your industry are commendable. The team learns a lot from you on a daily basis.
- You are super transparent while briefing the relevant stakeholders on your work progress. This helps them raise red flags without delay when needed.
- Your dedication to responding to customer queries is impressive. Is this a process you'd be interested in in taking over in the future?
- The new joinee admitted that you helped them with onboarding and resolving their doubts about the role. Would you be interested in mentoring them?
- Your ideas for streamlining work processes are creative, out of the box, and super useful.
- Several teammates have lauded your punctuality in when it comes to your deliverables.
Areas of improvement
- I encourage you to set an alarm a few minutes before a meeting starts so you can come on time.
- I've noticed that you find it difficult to work in stressful situations and end up taking impulsive decisions. My ask is that you reach out to a teammate if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about your approach to a situation.
- You send urgent emails after work hours, typically late into the night. This makes your teammates stressed and is not a healthy habit.
- You seem to lose your patience easily with the new hires. I'd recommend for you to stay calm and take some time out to understand their point of view.
- The other day when I asked you to end your sales calls on a friendlier note, you said you were friendly enough. I worry that this comes across as defensive and may discourage your teammates to be open with you or give you suggestions.
- My feedback is that you should take notes during our daily stand-ups so as to not forget tasks assigned to you.
- I understand that you own this project, but I think you should be more flexible when your teammates come up with ideas that are practical. Being open to continuous feedback is a must for an agile team like ours.
- Before you send out emails to clients, I think it might help to have a senior team member review it.
- A feedback that I want to see you incorporate is taking the time out to prepare your quarterly result presentations. They tend to be scattered and don't represent the efforts you and your team have put in.
Performance review phrases to evaluate a teammate
- You did really well when you created that content roadmap strategy. This helped the rest of the team visualize the direction in which the company is aiming to go with respect to content.
- I admire that you communicate clearly, and the way you send detailed meeting notes. It makes it easy to collaborate with you and there's no need to follow-up afterward.
- Your positive attitude at work is infectious - when you commended me for my work on our Slack channel last week, it made me feel recognized and part of the team.
- I appreciate that you're a team player. When you helped me deal with the number of sales calls over the holidays, I was very grateful.
- In our previous brainstorming session, you voiced your support for my idea. It made me feel encouraged to speak out more and continue advocating for my views.
- Your conflict management skills are exemplary. You helped resolve the team's differences when it came to our processes.
- I appreciate that you don't hesitate to give constructive feedback. When you pointed out the error in my code before I sent it for review, it saved me a lot of time.
- Your proactiveness keeps me accountable. It helps me plan ahead and prioritize my work more effectively.
- Thanks for letting me know that I sound aggressive when it comes to defending my point of view in our meetings. It helped me identify an issue that I wasn't even aware of to begin with.
- You're a great listener. I bounce ideas off you and that helps me come up with more creative solutions to my designs.
- Last week when you took the campaign project off my plate, it made me feel supported.
Areas of improvement
- One area of improvement I would point out is your punctuality when it comes to your deliverables. The team has to follow up multiple times and it ends up hampering our timelines.
- In our last meeting, you struggled to stay focused and didn't contribute to the conversation. It would be great if you could engage with us more and help with brainstorming.
- You seem to have low confidence when it comes to executing specific team tasks. In our PR campaign project, you relied on instructions and help from the team.
- Me and the team would appreciate it if you would be more open to listening to our suggestions. New perspectives can be very valuable.
- I know you prefer to work in a silo, but if you need help, don't hesitate to ask the team for it, so that you can avoid burn out.
- A feedback point I'd like to bring up is how you edit people's content. It would be great if you could explain why you updated something, rather than changing it without any comment.
- An area for improvement is the way you prioritize your tasks. In the last two weeks, you've taken on two more projects, which is great, but it leads to a backlog in your existing work.
- I would love to see you take initiative during our weekly team calls. It'll help ease the burden off me.
- You could be more attentive when you interact with our clients. In our previous event, you missed out on several opportunities for networking because you were focusing too much on the presentation.
- I would appreciate if you took ownership of your mistakes. This would help us avoid the blame game and also make the resolution a lot smoother.
There you have it. This is an exhaustive inventory of performance review phrases that you can use next time you evaluate yourself, your employees, or your teammates. The only thing to consider is that these are generic and initiatory phrases. Refine them by adding more data and details according to the skills, roles, and performance you review.
Hopefully, these phrases will help you with the kind of feedback you want to incorporate in your next 1:1. Productive feedback and employee engagement are closely linked. If you aspire to take your 1:1s and employee engagement to the next level, check out Mesh’s intuitive tool that drives coaching and development.