220 Performance Review Phrases for the Workplace

By: | Updated: December 01, 2023

You found our list of the best performance review phrases.

Performance review phrases are short sentences that summarize observations about an employee’s drive, work ethic, and other qualities. For example, these reviews can address poor attendance, effective organizational skills, or dedication to company goals. The purpose of these phrases is to praise staff members who are doing well and assist those who may be struggling.

These phrases are similar to constructive feedback examples and may be helpful during employee journey mapping. Checking out employee feedback tips before giving a performance review may be helpful.


This list includes:

  • performance review phrases for communication
  • performance review phrases for quality of work
  • performance review phrases for job knowledge
  • performance review phrases for teamwork
  • performance review phrases for productivity
  • performance review phrases for initiative
  • performance review phrases for accountability
  • performance review phrases for growth
  • performance review phrases for leadership
  • performance review phrases for new employees
  • performance review phrases for longtime employees
  • “opportunities for improvement” performance review phrases

Here we go!

Performance review phrases for communication

Positive Comments

  1. Demonstrates excellent listening skills and actively engages in conversations.
  2. Communicates ideas clearly and concisely.
  3. Excels at fostering a cooperative environment and encouraging open dialogue.
  4. Responds promptly to emails, messages, and requests.
  5. Tailors communication style to suit the audience.
  6. Handles conflicts and disagreements professionally and finds resolutions.
  7. Delivers engaging, captivating, and impactful presentations.
  8. Contributes valuable insights and ideas in meetings while actively listening to others.
  9. Uses positive and constructive language when providing feedback or addressing issues.
  10. Facilitates smooth communication between different departments.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Should focus on breaking down complex concepts into more accessible language.
  2. Needs to improve follow-up communication to ensure that issues are addressed promptly.
  3. Should strive to create a more positive and inclusive environment in team communications.
  4. Needs to pay more attention to nonverbal cues to understand unspoken concerns or reactions.
  5. Should work on managing interruptions during discussions.
  6. Needs to develop better techniques for handling tense situations.
  7. Could benefit from practicing more concise email communication to increase clarity.
  8. Needs to recognize and acknowledge team members’ achievements and efforts.
  9. Should strive to use more inclusive language that respects diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
  10. Should work on finding a balance between listening actively and contributing ideas during team discussions.

Performance review phrases for quality of work

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Positive Comments

  1. Seeks out opportunities to learn and improve work-related skills.
  2. Takes ownership of mistakes and proactively works to correct them.
  3. Displays a strong ability to assess and analyze work outcomes critically.
  4. Shows a commitment to meeting deadlines without compromising quality.
  5. Takes the initiative to suggest and implement improvements to work processes.
  6. Produces work that consistently receives positive feedback from peers, clients, or supervisors.
  7. Shows exceptional accuracy in completing tasks and assignments.
  8. Has a keen eye for identifying and resolving issues.
  9. Pays close attention to detail, resulting in error-free outputs.
  10. Consistently produces work that meets strict regulatory or compliance standards.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Often produces work that contains errors, requiring frequent revisions.
  2. Struggles to meet quality standards and often requires additional supervision.
  3. Fails to take corrective action or learn from mistakes, leading to repeated errors.
  4. Does not demonstrate a commitment to producing work that meets established standards.
  5. Demonstrates poor organization and planning, resulting in rushed and substandard work.
  6. Shows a consistent disregard for feedback, leading to minimal improvement in work quality.
  7. Demonstrates a lack of attention to detail, leading to avoidable mistakes.
  8. Frequently misses deadlines since work often needs extensive revisions and corrections.
  9. Regularly overlooks critical information, impacting accuracy.
  10. Displays a lack of accountability for mistakes, often blaming others or external factors.

Performance review phrases for job knowledge

Positive Comments

  1. Demonstrates a deep understanding of their role and responsibilities.
  2. Possesses a comprehensive knowledge of the industry and relevant trends.
  3. Shows a strong grasp of the organization’s products, services, and processes.
  4. Continuously seeks opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills.
  5. Quickly grasps new concepts and adapts well to changing situations.
  6. Shares knowledge willingly and contributes to the development of others.
  7. Regularly attends training sessions and workshops to stay up-to-date with industry developments.
  8. Displays a strong ability to explain complex concepts in a clear and understandable manner.
  9. Acts as a go-to resource for team members seeking guidance or information.
  10. Demonstrates a high level of expertise in their area of specialization.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Struggles to grasp key concepts and frequently requires guidance to complete tasks.
  2. Demonstrates a lack of understanding of essential job responsibilities and requirements.
  3. Often provides inaccurate or outdated information, leading to mistakes and miscommunications.
  4. Displays a reluctance to learn new skills or stay updated in their field.
  5. Struggles to communicate complex concepts to others clearly.
  6. Demonstrates a lack of curiosity and initiative to expand their knowledge base.
  7. Relies heavily on others to provide information and does not take ownership of their learning.
  8. Demonstrates a limited understanding of the organization’s products, services, and processes.
  9. Shows a lack of awareness of the competitive landscape and industry benchmarks.
  10. Frequently makes decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information.

Performance review phrases for teamwork

Positive Comments

  1. Collaborates effectively with colleagues to achieve shared goals.
  2. Demonstrates a willingness to assist team members and readily offers support.
  3. Actively contributes to group discussions and brainstorming sessions.
  4. Builds positive working relationships and fosters a supportive team environment.
  5. Shows a strong sense of responsibility for team success and takes ownership of tasks.
  6. Respects diverse perspectives and actively seeks input from others.
  7. Recognizes and acknowledges the contributions of fellow team members.
  8. Demonstrates flexibility in adapting to different team dynamics and challenges.
  9. Offers constructive feedback in a considerate and helpful manner.
  10. Has a positive attitude, even during challenging team situations.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Struggles to collaborate effectively with colleagues, often working in isolation.
  2. Frequently disrupts group discussions with unconstructive criticism or negativity.
  3. Shows a lack of commitment to team goals and often prioritizes individual objectives.
  4. Exhibits resistance to accepting feedback or incorporating suggestions from teammates.
  5. Struggles to respect diverse perspectives and dismisses input from others.
  6. Displays inflexibility in adapting to changing team dynamics or priorities.
  7. Exhibits a negative attitude that impacts team morale and motivation.
  8. Avoids addressing conflicts within the team, allowing issues to escalate.
  9. Demonstrates unreliability in fulfilling team commitments and deadlines.
  10. Is resistant to working with newcomers and fails to help them integrate into the team.

Performance review phrases for productivity

Positive Comments

  1. Consistently exceeds productivity targets.
  2. Demonstrates excellent time management skills by delivering work on schedule.
  3. Strives for continuous improvement and finds innovative ways to enhance productivity.
  4. Takes on additional responsibilities without compromising the quality of work.
  5. Effectively prioritizes tasks and manages workload to maximize productivity.
  6. Demonstrates a strong focus on meeting deadlines, even in high-pressure situations.
  7. Proactively seeks opportunities to streamline processes and optimize workflow.
  8. Exhibits ability to multitask and maintain productivity across various projects.
  9. Tackles complex tasks in a resilient and timely manner.
  10. Inspires team members to enhance their own efficiency.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Struggles to meet productivity targets, consistently falling behind schedule.
  2. Demonstrates poor time management skills, leading to missed deadlines and delays.
  3. Frequently fails to complete assigned tasks within the expected timeframe.
  4. Displays a lack of initiative in improving productivity or streamlining processes.
  5. Requires constant supervision to stay on track and meet productivity goals.
  6. Often overlooks important details, resulting in rework and reduced efficiency.
  7. Shows resistance to taking on additional responsibilities or tasks.
  8. Demonstrates a lack of focus and easily becomes distracted during work hours.
  9. Struggles to juggle multiple projects simultaneously.
  10. Frequently fails to prioritize tasks effectively, resulting in unfinished or delayed work.

Performance review phrases for initiative

Positive Comments

  1. Consistently demonstrates a proactive approach to problem-solving.
  2. Shows a strong sense of ownership and accountability for their work.
  3. Actively seeks opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and contribute to projects outside their role.
  4. Takes the lead in implementing new ideas and innovations.
  5. Proactively identifies potential challenges and takes action to address them.
  6. Organizes team initiatives that improve efficiency and productivity.
  7. Demonstrates a willingness to learn new skills independently.
  8. Regularly volunteers for new projects and takes on challenging tasks.
  9. Displays enthusiasm and dedication when faced with new challenges or complex assignments.
  10. Acts as a role model for others by having a can-do attitude and motivating the team.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Rarely takes the initiative to solve problems or address issues independently.
  2. Demonstrates a lack of proactivity in seeking out new opportunities or additional responsibilities.
  3. Struggles to show ownership of their work, often relying on others for direction.
  4. Shows little interest in contributing beyond their assigned tasks and responsibilities.
  5. Possesses a limited willingness to explore new ideas or approaches to improve efficiency.
  6. Displays resistance to change and is hesitant to adopt new ideas or approaches.
  7. Frequently requires close supervision and struggles to work independently.
  8. Demonstrates a passive attitude toward professional development and acquiring new skills.
  9. Fails to address potential challenges or obstacles, leading to avoidable issues.
  10. Often waits for instructions or direction from others instead of taking the initiative to lead.

Performance review phrases for accountability

Positive Comments

  1. Demonstrates a strong sense of responsibility for their actions and outcomes.
  2. Takes ownership of mistakes and actively works to fix them promptly.
  3. Shows consistent reliability in meeting commitments and deadlines.
  4. Takes the initiative to communicate proactively when facing potential challenges.
  5. Holds themselves accountable for meeting performance targets and achieving goals.
  6. Accepts constructive feedback with an open mind and uses it to improve performance.
  7. Takes responsibility for the team’s success and actively contributes to its achievements.
  8. Showcases a high level of integrity and honesty in all professional interactions.
  9. Follows through on commitments, ensuring they keep all promises.
  10. Leads by example, inspiring others to take accountability for their actions and decisions.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Demonstrates a lack of responsibility for their mistakes and tends to blame others instead.
  2. Struggles to meet commitments and frequently misses deadlines without a valid explanation.
  3. Shows a lack of ownership for their actions, often leaving tasks incomplete or unresolved.
  4. Avoids taking responsibility for errors or poor performance.
  5. Is frequently unresponsive or uncommunicative when facing challenges or setbacks.
  6. Demonstrates a lack of follow-through on commitments made to the team or stakeholders.
  7. Fails to accept constructive feedback or make necessary adjustments to improve performance.
  8. Avoids accountability, negatively impacting the team’s morale.
  9. Frequently shifts blame onto external factors rather than acknowledging personal contributions.
  10. Often overlooks the impact of their decisions on others, leading to unintended consequences.

Performance review phrases for growth

Positive Comments

  1. Demonstrates a strong commitment to continuous learning and self-improvement.
  2. Shows enthusiasm for taking on new challenges.
  3. Actively seeks feedback and uses it constructively to enhance skills and performance.
  4. Embraces failures as learning opportunities and bounces back with resilience.
  5. Proactively engages in training and development opportunities to expand knowledge and expertise.
  6. Displays a strong desire to acquire new skills and take on additional responsibilities.
  7. Demonstrates adaptability and openness to change.
  8. Sets and achieves ambitious short- and long-term goals.
  9. Seeks out mentors or role models to support personal growth.
  10. Inspires others with their dedication to growth.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Demonstrates resistance to change and is reluctant to embrace new ideas or approaches.
  2. Shows a lack of interest in seeking opportunities for professional development.
  3. Fails to take initiative in acquiring new skills or improving existing abilities.
  4. Displays a limited willingness to learn from feedback or take corrective action to enhance performance.
  5. Struggles to adapt to changing circumstances or demands within the organization.
  6. Demonstrates complacency in their current role, showing little ambition for advancement.
  7. Resists taking on new challenges or responsibilities outside of their comfort zone.
  8. Shows a lack of self-motivation to set and achieve meaningful goals.
  9. Sees failures as impossible obstacles rather than learning opportunities.
  10. Fails to take advantage of available resources and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Performance review phrases for leadership

Positive Comments

  1. Demonstrates strong leadership qualities by inspiring and motivating team members.
  2. Effectively communicates the organization’s vision and goals, setting the team up for success.
  3. Leads by example and sets high standards for professionalism and work ethic.
  4. Fosters a positive and collaborative team culture, encouraging open communication and feedback.
  5. Shows exceptional decision-making skills, considering diverse perspectives to make informed choices.
  6. Empowers team members by delegating responsibilities and trusting their abilities.
  7. Exhibits strong problem-solving skills, effectively addressing challenges and finding creative solutions.
  8. Provides constructive feedback and guidance to help team members improve their performance.
  9. Demonstrates effective conflict resolution and mediation skills to maintain a productive team environment.
  10. Inspires professional growth and development in team members through mentorship and coaching.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Struggles to effectively communicate the organization’s vision and goals to the team.
  2. Demonstrates a lack of confidence in decision-making, leading to indecisiveness and delays.
  3. Fails to provide clear direction or set achievable objectives for the team.
  4. Exhibits poor communication skills, resulting in misunderstandings and misalignment among team members.
  5. Shows favoritism or bias towards certain team members, creating a divisive atmosphere.
  6. Displays a lack of accountability for mistakes or shortcomings, often blaming others for failures.
  7. Does not actively involve or seek input from team members when making important decisions.
  8. Struggles to handle conflicts within the team, leading to unresolved issues and tension.
  9. Exhibits a lack of empathy and understanding toward team members’ concerns and needs.
  10. Fails to recognize and appreciate the efforts and contributions of the team.

Performance review phrases for new employees

Positive Comments

  1. Demonstrates a strong eagerness to learn and adapt to the company’s culture.
  2. Shows great enthusiasm for their role and responsibilities within the organization.
  3. Quickly grasps new concepts and is eager to apply their knowledge in practical situations.
  4. Proactively seeks feedback and guidance to improve performance.
  5. Establishes positive relationships with colleagues and fits well into the team dynamic.
  6. Takes ownership of tasks and responsibilities, delivering results with a positive attitude.
  7. Adapts well to changes and remains resilient in the face of challenges.
  8. Demonstrates a willingness to take on additional responsibilities and contribute beyond their role.
  9. Shows excellent collaboration skills and actively participates in team activities.
  10. Possesses a strong sense of initiative, finding opportunities to contribute to the organization’s success.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Struggles to meet deadlines and frequently falls behind schedule.
  2. Demonstrates a lack of attention to detail, resulting in frequent errors and mistakes.
  3. Requires constant supervision and struggles to work independently.
  4. Displays a negative attitude that affects team morale and productivity.
  5. Fails to take responsibility for mistakes and tends to blame others.
  6. Shows resistance to feedback and is reluctant to make necessary improvements.
  7. Demonstrates poor time management skills and struggles to prioritize tasks effectively.
  8. Does not actively contribute to team discussions or participate in group activities.
  9. Exhibits a lack of motivation and enthusiasm for their role and responsibilities.
  10. Shows poor communication skills, leading to misunderstandings and miscommunication.

Performance review phrases for longtime employees

Positive Comments

  1. Demonstrates deep knowledge and expertise in their role and the organization’s processes.
  2. Shows strong dedication and loyalty to the company, contributing to long-term organizational success.
  3. Consistently delivers high-quality work and maintains a strong work ethic.
  4. Serves as a valuable resource and mentor to newer employees, sharing knowledge and insights.
  5. Exhibits exceptional problem-solving skills and effectively handles complex challenges.
  6. Demonstrates adaptability and flexibility in response to organizational changes.
  7. Takes the initiative to improve processes and efficiency, drawing on years of experience.
  8. Builds strong working relationships across the organization, facilitating seamless collaboration.
  9. Consistently meets and exceeds performance goals, setting a positive example for others.
  10. Displays a long-term commitment to professional growth and development.

Constructive Feedback

  1. Demonstrates resistance to change and struggles to adapt to new processes or technologies.
  2. Displays complacency in their role, showing a lack of initiative to take on new challenges.
  3. Has difficulty accepting feedback and tends to become defensive or dismissive.
  4. Shows a decline in performance compared to previous years.
  5. Fails to keep up with industry trends and best practices, resulting in outdated knowledge and skills.
  6. Exhibits resistance to collaboration and tends to work in isolation rather than as part of a team.
  7. Demonstrates a lack of flexibility and unwillingness to take on additional responsibilities.
  8. Has a negative attitude that impacts team morale and hinders productivity.
  9. Struggles to meet performance expectations and requires additional supervision.
  10. Shows a reluctance to mentor or support newer employees.


Writing performance reviews can be a daunting task. It is important to capture the essence of the employee’s performance while maintaining a positive attitude. These review phrases should help as a jumping-off point for managers and supervisors writing evaluations. Whether you are looking for positive reinforcement or “opportunities for improvement” phrases, this list should address your needs.

Depending on the context of the review, consider checking out our posts on having difficult conversations at work or the top job well done messages for your team.

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FAQ: Performance review phrases

Here are answers to common questions about performance review phrases.

What are performance review phrases?

Performance review phrases are short sentences that describe an employee’s workplace competence. These terms can either praise staff members for excelling or share information on where they have been falling short. Managers or employers can use these phrases while giving periodic reviews. Ultimately, these terms aim to help team members understand what behavior they should continue and what to work on.

What are some good performance review phrases?

The best performance review phrases are specific to each team member and their strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some examples of sentences that can help kickstart productive conversations:

  • Demonstrates excellent listening skills and actively engages in conversations.
  • Seeks out opportunities to learn and improve work-related skills.
  • Quickly grasps new concepts and adapts well to changing situations.
  • Frequently disrupts group discussions with unconstructive criticism or negativity.
  • Demonstrates poor time management skills, leading to missed deadlines and delays.
  • Rarely takes the initiative to solve problems or address issues independently.

Overall, it is important to tailor these terms to each employee.

How do you use performance review phrases?

When using performance review phrases, it is important to remember a few steps:

  • Be empathetic: Getting a review can be a scary experience, even if the review is positive, so remember to approach the conversation gently. If the review is positive, then you can lighten the mood with some jokes at the start of the discussion. If the feedback is more negative, then you can ask the employee about their life and workload before getting into your comments. Using this tactic, you can understand what outside factors may contribute to the employee’s performance before addressing it.
  • Provide specific examples: Offering feedback can be helpful, but it can feel hollow without specific examples. Staff members will be able to more easily identify what to improve or what to continue when you list detailed examples. For instance, if you are discussing how this team member helped their colleague understand a project, then you can bring a note from the colleague detailing their praise. Or, if you are reviewing an employee’s unclear writing style, then you can bring in a piece of their writing and show them how to make it more concise.
  • Come prepared with solutions: Telling a staff member that their performance needs work will likely be upsetting. Especially if this employee believes that they have been working up to par, they may feel confused or blindsided by constructive criticism. Hence, it is essential to offer a detailed action plan to help the employee improve. For example, perhaps the staff member has been writing confusing emails. In this case, you could have this worker take a business writing course and install a grammar-checking program like Grammarly.

By keeping these steps in mind, your employee will leave the review feeling like a valued and respected team member. Additionally, this employee will be able to implement your comments in order to improve their performance.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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