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Performance Review Phrases in English

Performance reviews aren’t anyone’s favourite thing. It can be awkward—even unenjoyable—to sit down and listen to someone tell you what you do well in your job and what you need to improve. 

Well, it can be just as difficult if you’re the person reviewing someone’s job performance. You have to make sure you’re clear and professional. You can’t be too negative, but you have to be honest if improvements are needed.

If you’re getting ready to do an employee evaluation, check out these performance review phrases in English.

Giving feedback

When you’re giving feedback to an employee, it’s important to focus on both good work and things that need improvement. Here are some phrases you can use to do both. 

Positive feedback (for good work)

  • Your hard work and dedication have contributed to . . . 

Your hard work and dedication have contributed to the company’s growth this year. 

  • You’ve provided valuable insights into . . . 

You’ve provided valuable insights into why we’re losing clients. 

  • I’ve noticed your commitment to . . . 

I’ve noticed your commitment to learning about our new products. 

  • I’m impressed with your ability to . . . 

I’m impressed with your ability to find creative solutions to difficult problems. 

  • You’re on the right track to achieving . . . 

You’re on the right track to achieving the highest sales of the year. 

  • You excel at . . . 

You excel at motivating your team to complete tasks on time. 

Constructive criticism (for things that need improvement)

  • One area I’d like you to work on is . . . 

One area I’d like you to work on is your time management. 

  • There’s an opportunity for you to improve/develop your . . .  skills 

There’s an opportunity for you to develop your communication skills.

  • I’ve noticed that you’ve been having some challenges . . . 

I’ve noticed that you’ve been having some challenges staying motivated.

  • It would be great to see you focus on . . .

It would be great to see you focus on making sure you complete your work on time.

  • I think you would benefit from further training on . . . 

I think you would benefit from further training on our payment software. 

  • I’d like to set some goals with you to . . . 

I’d like to set some goals with you to improve your customer satisfaction scores by the end of the year.

A bit more vocabulary 

Here are some common terms that might come up when you meet with your employee. 

Communication

→ (noun) The act of expressing your ideas, thoughts, and other information

To be a good manager, you need to have excellent communication skills.

Conscientious 

→ (adjective) Very careful about accomplishing tasks correctly

My sister is a very conscientious person; she’s never missed a homework assignment.

Detail-oriented

(adjective) Able to notice small details

I know my accountant won’t make any mistakes on my taxes because he’s very detail-oriented. 

Motivation 

→ (noun) A person’s desire or eagerness to do something 

My company is starting an employee reward program to give us more motivation to do well. 

Prioritize

→ (verb) To organize tasks in order to complete the most important ones first

When I feel like I have too much work to do, I always start by making a list to prioritize my tasks.   

Productivity

→ (noun) The rate at which a person or group of people completes useful work

The manager told our department we need to increase our productivity in order to meet our monthly goals. 

Punctual 

→ (adjective) Doing something or arriving somewhere at the correct or expected time

I’ve always been very punctual—being late stresses me out!

Resourceful

→ (adjective) Skilled at dealing with and solving problems

We didn’t have much money when I was young but my mom was very resourceful and took care of us well. 

Self-starter

→ (noun) Someone who has the ability to do their work without needing to be told what to do 

The job advertisement says the company is looking for resourceful self-starters to join their team. 

Team player 

→ (noun) Someone who works well in a group

Although I enjoy working by myself, I know it’s also important to be a team player. 

Time management

→ (noun) The act of planning your time in order to work productively and efficiently

I didn’t do very well in my first year of university because I had poor time management skills and never completed my work on time. 

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.