Some examples of phrases used in employee performance reviews are "exhibits a steady and positive attitude that motivates co-workers," "demonstrates good written communication skills but needs improvement in verbal skills," "listens well and deals calmly with customer complaints" and "does not delegate work effectively to his team."
Performance reviews provide constructive feedback to employees regarding their strengths and areas of improvement. While managers hold informal discussions with employees throughout the year to track daily performance and deal with simple issues, periodic written appraisals are formal, often indicating career progression and carrying greater significance for the employee, the manager and the company.
Break down the appraisal into subheadings of employee responsibilities and attributes to make employee performance reviews less stressful for the manager and more useful for the employee. A good review covers the finer aspects of employee qualities such as attitude and motivation, creativity and initiative, communication and interpersonal skills, job knowledge and performance, and leadership and teamwork.
Use appropriate phrases to provide positive and negative feedback as well as to set mutual goals. This makes the employee performance review comprehensive, clear, relevant, balanced and sincere. Provide specific examples to support phrases and define expectations. Online and written resources are available to assist supervisors in choosing sample phrases to include in appraisal forms.
Replace generalities such as "good" and "excellent" with language that quantifies achievements and expectations. Include action words such as "demonstrates," "excels," "achieves," "generates" and "possesses" to make the review more meaningful, notes Richard Grote.