It’s important to maintain a regular cycle of feedback and performance reviews to help your employees stay on track and measure their progress. And when it comes time for your employees’ performance reviews, it’s essential to use the right performance evaluation phrases.

Using the wrong phrase can not only be confusing and frustrating for your employees, but it can also lead to misunderstandings about what is expected of them. It’s crucial to be specific and clear when giving feedback, especially during performance reviews.

In this article, we will share some of the best phrases you can use to help assess and improve employee performance. From setting goals to giving feedback, these phrases will help you get the most out of your evaluations and help your team reach their full potential. So without further ado, let’s get started.

What Is a Performance Review?

A performance review is a process in which an employee’s job performance is evaluated by their employer. The purpose of a performance review is to identify areas where the employee can improve, as well as to give recognition for areas in which the employee has excelled.

To make sure that your employees are meeting the standards that are set for them, hold regular initiative performance reviews. These reviews help to measure an employee’s dependability and performance.

How Maintaining a Regular Cycle of Feedback and Performance Reviews Helps ?

Maintaining a regular cycle of feedback and performance reviews helps to ensure that employees are kept on track and that their performance is up to par. It also allows for the opportunity to address any issues that may have arisen since the last review. 

Additionally, it provides a forum for discussing expectations and setting goals for the future. By conducting regular reviews, managers can help to ensure that employees are motivated and performing at their best.

Why Using the Right Performance Evaluation Phrases is Important?

When giving feedback, using the right performance evaluation phrases is important. Your words can impact how your employees feel about the feedback they receive.

If you want your employees to feel motivated and appreciated, use positive performance evaluation phrases. 

Here are some examples of positive phrases that you can use to give feedback on various aspects of an employee’s performance:

  •  “You did a great job communicating with customers and handling their concerns.”
  •  “I was impressed with your ability to stay calm and handle a difficult situation.”
  • “You handled that project very well and met all the deadlines.”
  •  “Your presentation was well-organized and your delivery was excellent.”
  •  “You’re doing a great job staying on top of your work and keeping up with deadlines.”

On the other hand, if you need to give some constructive criticism, be sure to use clear and specific phrases. 

Here are some examples of negative employee performance evaluation phrases that you can use to let your employees know where they need to improve:

  •  “You need to work on your communication skills.”
  •  “You need to be more proactive.”
  • “You need to be more organized.”
  • “You need to work on your time management.”
  • “You need to be more customer-focused.”

Whichever type of feedback you’re giving, be sure to use respectful and professional language. Performance evaluations are an important part of the employee-employer relationship, so make sure your words reflect that.

Performance Evaluation Phrases for Different Areas

When it comes to employee performance evaluations, there are a lot of different areas you can focus on. From attendance to attitude and everything in between, it’s important to be clear about what you’re looking for in an employee.

To help you, we’ve put together a list of dependability performance review phrases for different areas you can use during your following review.


“You were late for work three times this quarter. I understand that things come up, but it’s important to be here on time.”

“Your attendance has been impeccable lately, thank you.”

Work Quality:

“I’ve noticed that your work quality has been slipping recently. Let’s talk about what might be causing that and how we can improve it.”

“Your work quality has been great. Keep up the good work!”

Work Ethic:

“I noticed that you took a longer lunch than usual today. We need to get back on track with our work ethic.”

“Your work ethic is exemplary and sets a great example for others.”


“I’ve noticed that you’ve been having conflicts with other team members. Let’s talk about how we can resolve those.”

“Your teamwork has been excellent lately. Thank you for being a team player.”


“I’ve noticed that you haven’t been communicating with your team much lately. Let’s talk about how we can improve that.”

“Your communication has been great. Keep up the good work!”


“I’ve noticed that you haven’t been taking on as much leadership lately. Let’s talk about how we can get you back on track.”

“Your leadership has been excellent. Keep up the good work!”

5 Things to Avoid While Reviewing Employee Performance 

  1. Avoid using phrases that are vague or nonspecific.

When reviewing an employee’s performance, it’s important to be as specific as possible. Vague or nonspecific phrases like “needs improvement” or “good job” don’t give the employee any real feedback that they can use to improve their performance in the future.

  1. Avoid using evaluative language.

This means avoiding words and phrases that express value judgments, such as “good,” “bad,” “excellent,” or “poor.” Instead, focus on describing the employees’ behaviors and results neutrally.

  1. Avoid making assumptions about an employee’s understanding of their performance.

Instead, take the time to explain your evaluation in detail and allow the employee to ask questions or provide feedback of their own.

  1. Avoid using generalizations or stereotypes.

Avoid using generalizations or stereotypes. For example, avoid making comments like “you’re always late” or “you’re not a team player.” These types of comments aren’t helpful and can be hurtful. If you have specific examples of times when the employee has exhibited these behaviors, focus on those instead.

  1. Avoid using threatening or punitive language.

This means avoiding phrases like “you need to shape up, or you’ll be fired.” Instead, focus on positively describing the desired behavior and offering constructive feedback about how the employee can achieve it.

How to Use Performance Evaluations to Improve Employee Performance?

To use performance evaluations to improve employee performance, you should first identify the areas in which employees need improvement. 

After identifying these areas, you should create SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals for each employee. Once these goals have been set, you should then conduct regular performance evaluations to track progress and ensure that employees are meeting their goals.

If employees are not meeting their goals, you should take steps to correct the situation. This may involve coaching or counseling employees, providing additional training or resources, or taking disciplinary action. By taking these steps, you can help employees improve their performance and contribute to your company’s success.

The bottom line 

If you’re looking for some helpful phrases to use during performance evaluations, we hope this list has been helpful. Remember that it’s important, to be honest, and specific in your feedback and to avoid using any sort of language that could be construed as negative or offensive. 

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to conducting productive and positive performance evaluations for your employees.

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