Performance appraisal time is often very stress filled. It seems like the deadlines are always looming, that human resources picks the worst possible time to have performance evaluations, and that you just can’t seem to find the right words for each employee’s performance review. Finding the right phrases to describe every employee in every performance appraisal category is also a big challenge to tackle. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone, we can help! These performance review sample phrases illustrate how you can say the same thing in multiple ways, always finding the right phrases to describe your staff and help them with professional development.

Words that Work: Great Performance Review Examples

For many managers, there are no more stressful time of year than annual review time. The performance review season can get the best of us! Beyond the paperwork and meetings, the art of providing performance review comments can be particularly tricky. If you come off as too negative, you may lose a chance to create a positive work relationship with your employee.  Not honest enough in your feedback? Then you may miss out on a much needed coaching opportunity.

The best type of performance management relies heavily on the type of constructive criticism you provide your staff. So if you are stuck on how to make this time count, we have some great tips on how to ace your performance appraisals.

Getting Started

One of toughest tasks in the performance evaluation process is just getting started. It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of creating a document that could have lasting effects on your team. You don’t need an elaborate best practices document or a long process for your annual performance review but instead a tool like this one to generate great reviews. These phrases help provide constructive feedback to your staff.

Trust us – you’re not alone. In fact, although virtually every business uses some type of review process, very few managers are trained to conduct reviews effectively. The good news, however, is there is a few simple rules that you can use to write the next great employee evaluation.

  • Make sure your statements are fact-based supported by documented incidents
  • Don’t make it personal. Make sure your statements are performance and not personality based.
  • Opt for language that conveys measurement-oriented evaluations.
  • Be sure to make multiple drafts before settling on a final one to present.
  • Look for other employee evaluation examples that you find well-written for inspiration

Performance Appraisal Phrases

An essential part of employee feedback is choosing your words carefully for maximum impact. As the boss, you are given the task of shaping your worker’s development so that they can grow with your organization. This means that you must often work to offer performance review phrases to ensure that they meet the position’s guidelines as well as provide praise and encouragement.

In terms of drafting a potentially critical evaluation, try to use words that convey your understanding of their work performance and your concern for them. This method should extend to offering praise-being sure to reinforce aspects of their routine you’d like them to continue.

Ultimately, the evaluation becomes most effective when it can be use a tool to retain great employees when retraining problem ones.  If you are confused about how to achieve this, here are some key expressions that you should consider utilizing in your next employee appraisal.

All of these performance review examples come from our ebook, 1,135 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews. The comprehensive book offers words that work for every type of evaluation in an easy-to-understand format. You’ll find 1,135 performance review examples in 23 categories with examples in both positive and negative performance review phrases. If you’re looking for a more complete performance review phrase generation solution, look at our Professional or Standard products. Each offers the FASTEST way to finish your employee evaluations. Just enter a name, gender, and rating for up to 30 categories. Try out the demo performance review paragraph tool.

Attendance Performance Review Samples

You can’t perform if you don’t show up! Attendance and punctuality performance review phrases discuss both an employee’s ability to keep to his work schedule, but also his overall attendance. Is he frequently late to work? Does he take long breaks? Is his lunch hour really two hours? Attendance employee evaluation samples, such as the ones below, focus on these attendance issues. Want a quick way to generate performance review comments for attendance? Use our tool.

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Cara is one of our most reliable employees who arrives on-time and leaves on-time. Her break times are perfectly timed – she really sets the standard for attendance and punctuality on the team.

Jim arrives each day fully prepared to tackle his responsibilities.

Heather is reliable and does not have any attendance problems.

Bill always ensures his employees adhere to their lunch schedules and breaks.

Kevin meets all company standards for attendance and punctuality.

Below Expectations

Harry is continually late for work and should improve this area by focusing on showing up on time each day.

Tim often takes extended lunches and does not make up the added time in his work schedule.

Trina took several more personal days than permitted and was frequently not here when needed.

Jim frequently provides excuses for his late arrival times, yet does not account for delays such as heavy traffic in his travel time.

Bill does not show up on time in the morning and then leaves at his normally scheduled exit time. Bill needs to improve his work schedule.

Attitude Performance Review Examples

When hiring customer service focused staff, I used to remark that I can train job knowledge, but I can’t train attitude. Having the right attitude for a job is a crucial part of “fit” for a role. In this section of the employee evaluation, you’re reviewing the employee’s attitude on the job, dealing with customers, co-workers, managers, and his employees. Attitude performance appraisal phrases highlight how the employee has expressed himself and how he reacts to adverse situations. Use these phrases to help give positive feedback for your employee’s performance reviews.

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Holly has one of those attitudes that is always positive. She frequently has a smile on her face and you can tell she enjoys her job.

Greg is a cheerful guy who always makes you feel delighted when you’re around him. We are fortunate to have Greg on our team.

Thom has an even demeanor through good times and bad. His constant cheer helps others keep their “enthusiasm” – both positive and negative – in check.

Angela has a soothing personality which reflects in a very calm demeanor. Her attitude is one which should be emulated.

Bob brings a level of enthusiasm to his job that few can. He is always one of the guys on the team we go to when we need a lift.

Below Expectations

Jim frequently gives off “an air” of superiority to his coworkers. He is not approachable and is rough to work with.

Bill has a dreadful outlook at times which has a tendency to bring down the entire team.

For the most part, Lenny is a personable guy, but when he gets upset, his attitude turns shocking. Lenny needs to balance his personality out and not react so much to negative events.

Tom knows that certain conversations provoke members of his team, yet he continues to be vocal about non-work related topics. Tom should keep his conversations work related.

Peter could work on his point of view about difficult company decisions. Sometimes we need to do things that are unpopular, but necessary. Peter does not always promote positive thinking about these decisions.

Communication Employee Evaluation Samples

How key is communication in the workforce today! Many employers have moved to hiring a lot of virtual employees and keeping open communications is a crucial part of one’s job performance. In the communication performance appraisal section of the employee evaluation, look for examples of how an employee communicates with their teammates and clients. Communication performance review comments discuss how well an employee communicates and how effective his communications are. Many staff focus performance goals on creating an action plan for clear communications.

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

David keeps managers and coworkers informed of his work progress.

Allison is excellent at keeping written information about her assignments and projects.

One of Jim’s strengths is his use of candor and effective communication with his employees.

One of Jane’s core strengths is her ability to immediately connect with someone.

Tom clearly communicates with his employees and they understand his expectations.

Below Expectations

Despite other areas of strength for Ben, communication continues to be substandard. Ben consistently fails to properly notify team members about impending changes or other required information.

Jim does not effectively communicate – both written and verbal communication must be improved.

At a bare minimum, Tom needs to improve his communication skills with his co-workers. Preferably, Tom will learn to improve his communications with other employees and management.

Jack needs to share department and corporate goals in a more timely and complete manner. Jack’s employees do not understand what the company is doing.

George’s position requires him to have sufficient technical skills, however, he does not speak up during technical meetings to discuss potential solutions.

Cooperation Performance Appraisal Paragraphs

How well does the employee cooperate with fellow team members, managers, and customers? What kind of attitude does he show? Cooperation employee evaluation statements delve into the details of how well the employee gets along with others. These sample cooperation performance review phrases examine how the employee exceeds or meets cooperation expectations and for those employees who are below expectations for cooperation.

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Frank can be counted on to carry out assignments with careful follow- through and follow-up.

George helps form alliance between his staff members to foster a team first environment.

Randy excels at any project he is involved with as he can form effective teams.

Whenever we have a difficult situation, we know we can bring Ryan into it as he can bring disparate groups of people together.

Julia is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done – even perform tasks or jobs that are not her own.

Below Expectations

David has been known to enter into a shouting match with fellow employees.

Jeanne is often the last to offer assistance or help out in times of need. This feeling is common among Jeanne’s coworkers and management team.

Ever since Jim was promoted to supervisor, he has been “too busy” to assist his employees when they need an extra set of hands to help. This unwillingness to offer assistance promotes a selfish work environment.

John takes on new tasks with ease, but when it comes time to communicate with other team members and train them on these tasks, John does not perform very well.

Jennifer is too cautious – she is afraid of confrontation so she does not step out to assist when it’s necessary.

Creativity and Innovation Performance Review Phrases

Many jobs afford some level of creativity for employees to express themselves. The creativity performance review paragraphs focus on how employees use this latitude in their job performance. Innovation is a key attribute for many jobs and the performance review phrases really explore how well an employee innovates in his job. Explore creative ways to review your employees with these phrases.

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Sally has a creative touch in a sometimes monotonous role within our team – the way she adds inspiration to the day to day tasks she performs is admirable.

When a major problem arises, we frequently turn to Jon for his creativity in solving problems. The way he can look at an issue from different sides is a great resource to our team.

Whenever we need a fresh look at a problem, we know we can turn to Julia for a novel perspective.

Ben doesn’t rely on common methods to solve a problem, but addresses each situation with a innovative viewpoint.

Walter creates an exciting atmosphere for his team: one in which new ideas are rewarded and encouraged.

Below Expectations

Paul’s team feels discouraged as he often “shoots down” creative ideas without any explanation. Paul should be more willing to listen to ideas before he rejects them outright.

Jean does not tap into the creative side of her team and consistently overlooks the innovate employees reporting to her.

Kevin has a difficult time thinking “outside of the box” and creating new and untested solutions.

Jim is a creative guy but he has a tendency to act before thinking. This causes problems when an untested or unexamined idea is moved forward too quickly.

Bob has a lot of creative potential but so far he has failed to tap into it. Bob should strike a balance between being pragmatic and creative.

Customer Service Performance Review Samples

Everyone has a customer. If you have a job, you have a customer. Customer Service is a key attribute in every job – especially so in customer facing jobs. Customer service evaluations can be difficult as you may have to get creative with your performance evaluation phrasing, but the samples below really highlight how to write about customer service on the employee appraisal.

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Paula understands the latitude to ensure customer satisfaction and does everything necessary to retain customers.

Lenny is able to handle his clients well and does not have any complaints against him.

Tom is adept at having happy customers and successfully up selling them at the same time.

Teri deals with customer complaints with a calm demeanor. Teri is very good at handling difficult situations with customers.

Trudy is a leader when it comes to customer care. She understands how the customer feels and reacts and acts appropriately. Other employees look up to Trudy for her customer service excellence.

Below Expectations

Greg has not fully understood why customer service training is important and frequently is late to class and does not participate.

In most areas of customer service Harry does a good job, but when it comes to difficult situations, Harry does not understand how to calm the customer down and follow the script.

Teri can handle the run of the mill customer service situation, but the more complex issues seem to cause her to freeze and not react.

Ryan is very good at dealing with customers on the phone, but when they come in the store, he doesn’t handle one on one contact very well.

For the most part, Paul has been very good this year in the area of customer service. However, when he has failed, it’s unfortunately been on big accounts. Paul needs to improve in this area this year.

Ethics Employee Evaluation Samples

Ethics may not seem like a difficult topic, but many managers struggle to come up with the right words to use on the performance review. Ethics is an area it is often difficult to review for, but using these ethics performance review phrases, you should be able to find the right words to express to your employee – whether they score high for ethics, or find themselves ethically challenged.

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Bob is one of the most morally sound employees I have ever met. His firm stand on principles is to be commended.

Bill follows all company policies and sticks by the letter of the rules and the intent of the rules.

Bryan is not only trustworthy, but has high ideals for how he wants those around him to behave.

Hank is someone we expect a lot out of and he consistently delivers. His daily work ethic is a standard which others should follow.

John is very good at understanding his fiduciary responsibility to the company.

Below Expectations

On occasion, Paula has made misleading statements that have needed to be corrected.

Ethics in business dealings internationally must be carefully considered and Bill is often too loose with managing his employees in this area.

We’ve had some accusations from customers that Bill has lied in certain dealings and this is a trend that cannot continue.

Though George meets the letter of the law as far as our ethics policy is concerned, he frequently doesn’t meet the intent of the law.

Bending the rules is effectively breaking them in our line of work. Nancy needs to be more cautious about sticking strictly to the rules as defined.

Interpersonal Skills Performance Review Phrases

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Ben has a natural rapport with people and does very well at communicating with others.

Sally has a knack for making people feel important when she speaks with them. This translates into great opportunities for teamwork and connections to form.

Jack makes people feel at home with him. His natural ability to work with people is a great asset to our team.

Peter’s uncanny ability to connect with people is a great personality attribute in his role as a manager.

Greg seemingly can strike up a conversation with anybody. He has a gift in relating to people around him.

Below Expectations

Tim does not understand how crucial good working relationships with fellow team members are.

John has an excellent impression among the management team, yet his fellow team members cannot stand working with him.

Paula seems to shrink when she’s around others and does not cultivate good relations with her co-workers.

Tim does not understand the difference between “friend” and “coworker” and only wants to focus any energy on friendships and not building good working relationships.

Ken works well with members of his own team, yet he has an “us” against “them” mentality when it comes to others within the company.

Leadership Performance Appraisal Phrases

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Eve understands how to take daily tasks and motivate employees to meet a long term goal.

Customer service can be a difficult organization to lead, yet Peter doesn’t just manage them to success, he leads them to meet objectives.

Richard understands people and different ways to motivate them to get the job done.

Peter is an excellent coach and regularly receives maximum performance from his direct reports.

Frank understands that good leaders improve themselves through study, training, and experience and is willing to commit the hours necessary for these pursuits.

Below Expectations

In Jack’s role, he needs to focus on big picture items, yet he continues to micromanage his staff.

Ryan finds it difficult to delegate tasks which makes the team’s achievements entirely reliant on him.

Trust is something Bob doesn’t part with easily, to the point that his employees are not able to get much accomplished.

Pete is a capable manager, but he doesn’t influence people like a leader does.

Bill is not able to influence people to get the job done.

Problem Solving Skills Employee Evaluation Examples

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Greg’s investigative skills has provided a key resource for a team focused on solving glitches. His ability to quickly assess a problem and identify potential solutions is key to his excellent performance.

Frank examines a problem and quickly identifies potential solutions – and then makes a recommendation as to what solution to pursue.

Rachel understands the testing process and how to discover a solution to a particular problem.

Brian is one of the more technical employees we have on staff and can quickly analyze a situation and discover practical solutions.

Bill is good at discovering potential solutions for problems.

Below Expectations

Joan is poor at communicating problem status before it becomes a crisis.

Bill can offer up potential solutions to a problem, but struggles to identify the best solution.

Unraveling a problem to discuss the core issues is a skill Janet lacks.

Peter resists further training in problem solving, believing he is proficient, yet lacking in many areas.

In his technical role, we turn to James often to solve problems. He seems slow and indecisive when presented with a major issue.

Teamwork Skills Performance Appraisal Phrases

Exceeds or Meets Expectations

Harry manages his relationships with his coworkers, managers, and employees in a professional manner.

Tom contributes to the success of the team on a regular basis.

Ben isn’t concerned about who gets the credit, just that the task gets accomplished.

Mary is a team player and understands how to help others in times of need.

Peter is the consummate team player.

Below Expectations

Bill does not assist his teammates as required.

Ryan holds on to too much and does not delegate to his team effectively.

Bryan focuses on getting his own work accomplished, but does not take the time to help those members of his team who are struggling to keep up.

Peter was very good at teamwork when he was just a member of the team, now that he is in a supervisory role, Peter has lost much of those teamwork skills.

Lyle works with the team well when his own projects are coming due and he needs help, but once those are accomplished, he does not frequently help others on their projects.

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