With so many employees, each with their own individual personalities, it can be difficult to come up with customized performance review feedback in a short time span. Despite that, employee performance review phrases remain essential for the future development of your team.
These performance reviews support you as you acknowledge the work of your employees. At the same time, they also help you point out any areas where workers need to grow or change a specific type of behavior that might be detrimental to their professional results.
Having ready-made performance review samples on hand eases the work of superiors and HR managers who are constantly faced with having to choose the right words to keep a worker motivated.
Don’t know what to say in a performance review for an employee? Read our sample paragraphs across 15 different performance categories to help kick-start your writing process.
Performance Review Paragraph Examples
John is a self-motivated team member and a pleasure to work with. He demonstrates superior technical ability and produces work of exceptional quality. John takes the time to fully understand the scope of projects and displays a keen attention to detail, but often at the expense of effective time management.
This has led to delays in execution and failure to hit production goals. During the next quarter, I will be working with John to identify ways to help increase productivity levels while maintaining the quality of work. These may include actions such as touching base each morning to set daily progress goals and helping John keep a record of time spent on tasks throughout each week.
Jessica demonstrates a practical and data-driven approach to problem-solving. She actively seeks different perspectives and creative solutions from her teammates and is continuously experimenting to drive results.
Following a dip in attendance at our annual conference, Jessica organized the collection of feedback from past attendees that revealed key themes for improvement. She also coordinated with our marketing team to refine the targeting of our Facebook ads and develop a strategic outreach plan that involved contacting influencers in our industry. These efforts resulted in a 25% increase in attendance over the previous year and an improvement in our event evaluation scores.
Lisa recently moved from a position in our Customer Success team to our Product team. Despite the steep learning curve associated with a shift in career direction, Lisa is already showing great potential in her new role. She displays an ability to learn rapidly and a determination to broaden her skill set.
Lisa frequently takes the initiative to identify areas for improvement within the Product team and leads the way in addressing those issues. Late last year, she utilized her knowledge of customer needs to improve a key feature within our product. This required the development of basic programming skills, which she has shown great enthusiasm for learning. Lisa is currently enrolled in a three-month introductory programming course that she spends four hours per week working to enhance her skills.
Kate has displayed improved communication skills since our last review period. She responds to emails in a timely fashion and maintains transparency into the work she is performing with her team members. To help achieve this, she has committed to delivering a weekly progress report and arriving with prepared notes to her one-to-one sessions.
Kate, however, still needs to focus on her level of accountability and willingness to take ownership when projects fall short of expectations. When faced with difficult situations, she has a tendency to become defensive and divert blame away from herself.
Daniel has been an outstanding mentor and example to our junior engineers. He is dedicated to helping our up-and-coming engineers understand our engineering environment and encourages them to be solution-oriented in everything they do. Daniel has also demonstrated a commitment to the professional development of his direct reports and displays enthusiasm for advancing their skill set through regular coaching sessions.
During this past quarter, his team has participated in a virtual summit hosted by industry thought leaders and two of Daniel’s employees have obtained certifications to advance their expertise. Daniel has a strong work ethic and has continued to perform the duties required in his previous role as an Electrical Engineer. He could, however, improve his success rate for meeting tight deadlines by delegating work more effectively.
Having worked at our organization for four years, Monica is an experienced member of the team and displays a high level of institutional knowledge. She requires a minimal amount of supervision to fulfill her job duties and maintains a good working relationship with team members cross-functionally.
Monica shows little engagement during meetings and team-building activities, as well as a lack of commitment to her own professional development. Over the next three months, we’d like Monica to focus on setting more aggressive personal goals. I will also work with her directly to identify learning opportunities to further her career growth. Our hope is that these steps will motivate her to develop the skills necessary to allow for upward movement within the organization.
Michael has demonstrated fine leadership abilities since transitioning into his role as Director of Human Resources. Michael understands how to drive and direct team members effectively in order to meet company goals and challenges his direct reports to meet their own personal goals and objectives for career growth opportunities within the company.
He is supportive of team members within the company and stands behind his employees’ decisions. Michael often seeks out the broad perspective of multiple team members before forming holistic solutions to problems and challenges. However, there have been times when Michael has failed to effectively communicate information to his team, resulting in a lack of transparency. I’m looking forward to him being available to share feedback more often and let his colleagues know if there are any issues he’s facing early on.
Mary is committed to producing work that meets high standards. She is always looking to improve the quality of her deliverables and often reaches out to team members in different departments for advice and guidance. She frequently goes above and beyond in her efforts to ensure consistency and generate content that exceeds expectations. Mary actively seeks feedback and uses it to enhance her work.
Over the next three months, I would like to see Mary focus on honing her expertise further by creating a professional development plan and seeking out opportunities to expand her leadership skills.
Robert is a motivated and conscientious employee who takes pride in his work. Robert would benefit, however, from organizing his time more efficiently. He occasionally fails to prioritize important pieces of work and instead spends a large amount of time on projects that are not in alignment with our departmental goals.
During this next review period, I would like to see him establish specific and relevant personal goals to help him focus and stay on track in the context of wider objectives within our organization.
Taylor maintains a highly positive attitude at work and is quick to build strong relationships with others. She strives to help integrate new employees and is eager to delight both internal and external customers, making her an excellent culture fit for our organization. Taylor demonstrated her ability to work effectively cross-departmentally during a recent volunteer day event. She helped secure buy-in from our leadership team and worked with our HR department to coordinate logistics. The result was a fun and productive day for all involved.
While Taylor is a good independent worker, she thrives in a team environment where she can bounce ideas off of her coworkers. Oftentimes, however, Taylor’s desire for open collaboration can distract others. I recommend that Taylor starts to self-monitor the length of conversations that take place outside of break times and formal meetings in order to be respectful of her coworkers’ time.
Alex always arrives early at the office, using the first minutes to set up her workday and organize all tasks he needs to take care of. Then he starts the days promptly, taking a systematic approach to every single one of his duties. His time management skills, particularly related to how he schedules out his day, have brought such good performance that we’ve turned to him for helping us guide the entire team. Now everyone delivers consistent results and shows punctuality with no exceptions.
Although he’s provided such amazing solutions to how we manage our time, I feel Alex needs to work on making better time estimates. He has often given a larger time span for easy tasks he would finish earlier than expected. On the other hand, he’s often unable to take a break when dealing with more complex tasks he hasn’t given an accurate time estimate for. We’ll turn to using a time tracking tool in the long run so we can analyze past performance together.
PUNCTUALITY AND ATTENDANCE
Ever since we’ve hired Chris in 2019, he has shown perfect attendance. He is always on time, not missing any meetings, and actively participating in all discussions. I’d truly characterize him as the life of the office as he is always the one to share feedback or get us thinking when silence creeps in during a meeting.
Although he is always on time, I’ve noticed he’s been extending his lunch breaks with no explanation. I’d prefer for him to let us know if there’s a legit reason for this so we can adjust communication. I would also like for Chris to answer the emails we send to him in a more timely manner.
Jane has been an essential part of our customer service ever since we’ve decided to start hiring remotely to meet the needs of our customers in Europe. She’s the key to delivering timely feedback across multiple time zones, making sure everyone gets the answer they need from our brand in great detail. We’ve never received any negative messages on her performance and every customer who’s talked to her has given her a full 5-star review.
Despite her friendly attitude, I’ve noticed she’s been taking more time than needed to learn about our products. I’d like for Jane to focus on getting to know our customer base more so she can anticipate their needs and issues. While she can learn these by talking to our customers, we’re always launching new products Jane will have to keep up with and understand their changes. We’ll be offering all the educational materials needed so she won’t be left behind.
EMBRACE CHANGE AND ADAPT QUICKLY
Noah is one of our most adaptable employees. He can adjust to any change in a matter of minutes and he’s also been encouraging others whenever we have had to get used to new surroundings and situations. We’ve been able to turn to Noah whenever we needed someone to take on last-minute work due to his flexibility.
Even though he’s been exceptionally good at persuading others not to give up during challenging times, I’d like for Noah to appreciate our positive comments and constructive feedback. It seems like what we say is seen as criticism when he doesn’t agree with us, so I hope he won’t neglect this part of his development in the future and we’ll happily provide guidance whenever needed.
Georgia has tremendous personal drive, constantly pursuing new training and professional development opportunities. On top of this, she always takes the time to share her newly acquired knowledge with us. Her strong motivation has also helped her complete tasks with minimal supervision. She has even taken full control over any mistakes she makes, correcting them in a timely manner.
I did, however, notice that Georgia is afraid to take risks because she simply doesn’t want to make any mistakes. I’d encourage her to go for calculated risks since we support people who make mistakes and learn from them. I also expect her to seek feedback from us. While she does an amazing job at voicing her own opinions, she seems hesitant when it comes to inquiring about her own performance. So, we’ll actively work to encourage her to take more initiative.
Tips for writing a performance review paragraph
1. Include specific examples to support your observations
The above samples for employee evaluation are just rough templates to use. Beyond these, you’ll need to tailor them to every single employee.
All performance review phrases should include a real-life example of a situation when the employee displayed a certain type of behavior. This helps back up your claims, get the employee to look back and where things went well or wrong, and improve their performance and attitude for future similar settings.
Here’s an example to take into account when creating your next performance review paragraphs: “[Employee] worked on [project/task] and was responsible for [responsibility]. Employee displayed [good skill / trait] while delivering [results] during [time period].”
2. Provide guidance for career growth and professional development opportunities
The whole point behind performance reviews is to help your employees improve their performance and keep growing. As a supervisor, your role is never to criticize or complain about specific behaviors or lack of skills.
Instead, provide your best advice for each negative trait your employee shows. Tell them how they can better themselves, what resources they have, and how you can help them with their professional development.
3. Make sure your default tone is a positive one
No worker should be horrified to sit through a performance review. The tone you use when you point out top skills along with issues you’ve spotted should always be a positive one.
Avoid saying things like “You’ll never be able to...”, “You can’t improve this...”, or “I can’t believe you didn’t...” These will only make your team feel less motivated and lack the appreciation they need since any negative statements will overtake the positive words you might have said previously.
4. SMART goals
Work together with your employees to set SMART goals—not general ones. SMART goals are:
A general goal would be something like: “You should keep up with industry trends.”
On the other hand, with SMART goals, you’re setting objectives and telling people how to reach them within a set timeframe: “Learn three new marketing techniques using our long-term education subscription in order to stay updated on the latest trends over the next two months.”
5. Always follow up
Performance reviews are useless if you never follow up on what’s discussed during them. Schedule time on a regular cadence to track progress towards goals, see what they’ve improved, and help in case they’re stuck at some point.
Take all of the steps above one at a time, and gradually work on becoming better at offering advice and using performance reviews to help your team grow instead of focusing on everything that went wrong.
The future of performance reviews
While with traditional performance management, reviews are only done during a specific time of the year, the new workforce along with the remote work environment many of us are now a part of have us adapt to the changes. Simply reviewing your employees’ performance at specific times is no longer enough. The feedback process should be continuous, helping individuals grow professionally, fix their mistakes, and fully make use of their qualities throughout the entire year.
TINYpulse can help you ensure that continuous performance management is taken care of within your organization. The tool offers 360-degree feedback to allow anyone in your company to solicit feedback from other employees at any time. This way, you don’t have to wait for the quarterly/annually performance review cycle to come around.
TINYpulse’s 1-on-1 meetings enable managers to schedule consistent check-ins with direct reports and get prepared with coaching notes before the actual meeting, so they know how to support their employees to do their best work.