Performance review examples

Updated: Oct 30, 2021




Almost every successful company has a performance review of some sort implemented within their HR department. A performance review is essentially a meeting where someone from the HR or management team will sit down with their employee and run through the qualities and work that the employee is excelling in, and where they can make improvements.

Though performance reviews sound simple - they can often be far from it. If performance reviews aren't approached correctly, an employee can feel attacked or deflated. If an employee feels attacked, they may react defensively to the feedback, and if they feel deflated they may feel as though the hard work they do for the company isn't appreciated. This is why communicating effectively during a performance review is of utmost importance.

However, that's often easier said than done - if you're struggling to figure out how to communicate effectively with your employees and need some guidance, you're in luck. We've put together 61 phrases that can be used in your next performance review meeting with an employee.


What are performance reviews?

A performance review can come in many forms. However, it's essentially when feedback is delivered to an employee or business in an attempt to improve performances on both ends.

Some companies use a continuous feedback model, like an app, where feedback can be submitted to both management and employees whenever the need arises. But, the most common form of a performance review is when, during the review process, a member of the HR department or management and an employee either discuss their shortcomings and expectations in a meeting, or in a pre written form and then conduct a meeting to speak through it afterward.

Constructive feedback should be shared by both parties in a performance review. The benefit of an effective performance review is to increase employee engagement and learn how work ethic and productivity can be improved. During the performance review process, the reviewer will usually talk through the employee's job description and share negative and positive feedback.




Effective performance review phrases

If you're struggling to effectively communicate your employee's work ethic in a performance review, you can use some of the performance review phrases listed below.

Employees who have excelled at their given work


  • Throughout your tenure with the company the level of work you've returned has consistently been of very high standard, thoroughly thought out and has impressive attention to detail.

  • You have a strong grasp on what your job role entails, and you constantly deliver work that surpasses the expected standard.

  • You consistently hit and exceed targets that are set for you, even when the bar is raised to a very high level.

  • The standard of work you produce is compelling evidence about how seriously you take your job.

  • The strategies that you deliver seem to always impress our clients, who speak highly of your work.

  • The accuracy that you complete your work with, and the high level of quality of work you produce is hugely appreciated by management.

  • During this quarter you achieved [xx], which is [xx] over the expected target. Though I can praise you with my words and tell you how grateful I am, these impressive statistics speak for themselves.

  • Regardless of how much or how hard you have been working, you never neglect the quality of your work.

  • The standard of your work shows your reliability and I feel comfortable that you can tackle any task I pass your way.

  • The thorough planning that I've watched you do has proven to help you deliver your high standard of work.

  • Your high quality of work has been delivered through your solid skills of understanding instructions, and situations, as well as methods and procedures.

Employees who are producing poor quality work


  • Despite the support from management and your team members, you've consistently failed to meet targets, is there a reason for this?

  • The quality of work that is returned is consistently littered with errors which must be attributed to a lack of attention to detail, why is this?

  • The work returned from you is far below the scope of work we expected from you in this role. Do you feel as though the quality of your work has dropped?

  • Despite extensive training, the quality of work returned from you is sub par. Do you feel like you are struggling in this role?

  • We want you to succeed in this role, but the quality of the work we've received back from you isn't up to standard, do you feel that you could improve in certain areas?


Employees who are good at problem solving

  • I've continuously watched you initiate new strategies to help you overcome problems you've faced, this is a quality that natural leaders have.

  • You are skilled at analysing situations and devising a strategy to overcome any foreseeable problems.

  • Even in the most complex situations, you don't get overcome with stress and have the level headed qualities required to rationally devise a solution to a problem

  • You take the time to carefully consider possible outcomes so that you can be sure that you'll be able to avoid or fix any problems that arise

  • You are rational in the way that you work and I've noticed that you don't let individual emotion affect your work or the work that you produce.

  • You consider potential problems and identify solutions for them before they arise.

  • I've noticed that when you're faced with a problem you will identify multiple solutions before deciding on the way that will best alleviate the situation.

  • Your technical qualities are impressive, you're able to quickly analyze a situation and discover practical solutions.

Employees who have trouble communicating


  • Listening before speaking sounds simple, but it's an extremely important quality in the workplace and I appreciate your interpersonal skills.

  • I think it would be very beneficial for you to take others people's feelings and emotions into consideration more often.

  • Sometimes, it can be hard to share duties when you're invested in a job or project. But, in order to succeed in the role you need to be a team player and work for the common goal of the team.

  • The strength of conviction you have in your role and job is impressive. However, sometimes there is a time and a place to be considerate, you don't always have to be the strong personality.

  • Stress and work come hand in hand. However, it's important to have the skill to be able to time a conversation that may stress out another workmate for when it's appropriate.

  • Embarrassing another co-worker is never acceptable, even if you don't agree with their opinions you must find a way to effectively communicate this without belittling them, or keep it to yourself.

  • When things are communicated correctly or in the right order, they can cause chaos and dominate important time that can be spent work on the actual job at hand.


Employees with good communication skills


  • I can tell the way you talk to me and others that you have think about what you say before you say it.

  • I have witnessed your social ability to be able to confidently and thoughtfully converse with coworkers regardless of their age, status or gender.

  • You have demonstrated the ability to be able to help people lower their guard while in a conversation surrounding work.

  • You have great listening and interpersonal skills and are good at responding accordingly.

  • Stress can be detrimental to both the workplace, and the job on hand. A quality of yours, that is appreciated by the management team, is your ability to diffuse situations through conversations and not add additional stress.

  • I've noticed that your bubbly and friendly nature consistently adds happiness to a sometimes stressful environment. You have a way of making your workmates feel relaxed and comfortable.

  • You always have a good read on situations and adopt the tone needed for the specific moment.

  • You have a talented way of explaining and simplifying complex ideas.

  • You display an ability of open-mindedness that allows you to listen and learn from others' opinions, even if you may think you already have had the solution to the problem.

Employees who are good at goal setting


  • One of your strengths is evaluating the work you have, and how you can deliver that work to the best of your ability by setting goals

  • I've witnessed you making thorough plans and goals, before diving into a task. This is a very responsible and mature quality that helps productivity and quality of work in the long run.

  • The goals that you set aren't lofty and unachievable, they're well thought out and realistic.

  • The goals that you set for yourself allow you to take accountability for the work you have and haven't completed and help you set a timeline for when things can realistically be achieved.

  • You take the time to build comprehensive plans that can be flexible should a problem or situation arise

  • Your planning work demonstrates your impressive strategic abilities, a quality that's extremely desirable in this line of work.

Employees who work well with other team members


  • Your considerable nature has shown that you always have time to help a fellow team mate, a quality that helps the business thrive together.

  • You always encourage others to add their thoughts and ideas into a conversation. This creates combined brainpower and helps with workshopping an idea and coming up with the best strategy possible.

  • I've noticed your compassion in the sense that you will always notice when a teammate is struggling and you will reach out to help them regain their confidence and get back on track. This is a great quality to have when working in a team environment.

  • When the team is faced with a tough and stressful situation, you're the person they turn to workshop and talk out ideas. This is a quality that leaders need to encompass to succeed. This warrants promotional consideration.

  • Your main goal is to always help the group succeed, not for you to simply achieve personal gain. This is the best strategy for the company to succeed in unison.

  • I've noticed that even when a task seems dismal, you'll always put your hand on and take on the task in an effort to help the team as a whole.

Employees who don't work well with co-workers


  • When things go wrong I've noticed that you haven't taken accountability and will shift the blame. Even if the crux of the problem was someone else's doing, do you think that things can partially be your fault, too?

  • I've noticed you speaking to co-workers in a condescending and rude manner. This is not accepted in our work place, if you believe that a co-worker has dropped the ball in a team situation you need to communicate this with them maturely.

  • When a team project is completely successful and to high standard, you'll often jump up and take the credit without speaking of the roles your team members played. When a project is done in a team, there are a lot of moving parts and credit should be shared together.

  • I understand that you may feel as though a job can only be done properly when it's done completely by you. However, a good quality of leadership and team work is having the trust in team mates to allow them to bring their opinions and skills to the table, too.


Employees who seem to have bad attitude


  • A negative employee can bring bad morale to a work place. I've noticed that you tend to point out negatives when they arise, but you don't focus on the positives when good things happened. Do you think you're capable of having a more positive attitude in the future?

  • Gossiping is not tolerated in our work place. On multiple occasions, I've caught wind of gossiping happening in the workplace and it's been linked to you before. Can you explain why this is?

  • Arriving frequently late to work shows disrespect to your fellow workmates, as well as the management team. When you are at work you are an employee of the company and we expect you to abide by our rules.

  • Using your phone for non related purposes during working hours is not allowed. Not only does it distract you from the work you need to complete, but it's also an act of disrespect. Important phone calls or quick messages are allowed within reason, however recreational use of your phone will not be tolerated.

  • Our IT records show that you use your work computer for recreational purposes like social media and online shopping. This shows a lack of respect and is not tolerated within our organisation. Please refrain from using your computer for recreational purposes unless it's within your break time.

  • Team meetings are set ahead of time and every atttendee is expected to arrive before the meeting start. Entering meetings late demonstrates a lack of respect and wastes others time.

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