10 Effective Performance Review Phrases for Goal-Oriented Employees

Performance reviews are necessary tools to maximize the workforce in any workplace. However, the question is how to do them right to achieve the expected result. This article conveys some of the core points about performance review comments and shares effective phrases you can use in your next review.

Why Are Performance Reviews Important?

Why Are Performance Reviews Important

Performance reviews serve different purposes for employers and their employees.

A performance review allows your employer to perform a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis on you.

As an employee, performance review comments allow you to see how you are faring, highlight areas of improvement, and set new career goals. 

Other vital reasons for conducting performance reviews include the following:

For employee development

Companies with good work cultures seek to improve their employees by making continuous learning accessible for everyone. Performance reviews give insight into areas of improvement for each employee, making training sessions more personalized.

Improved employee engagement and loyalty

Performance review comments clarify company goals and how your efforts contribute to them, which keep you engaged and motivated. This increased engagement is also said to positively affect employee retention, productivity, and satisfaction.


Performance reviews are repeatable. This allows management to easily document each performance review session for cross-referencing and track employee growth over time.

Also Read: Guide to select the right Performance Review Software

How to Develop Performance Review Goals for Employees

Develop Performance Review Goals

Before conducting any performance review, it is essential to create goals using the Objectives and Key Results, OKR methodology. This helps guide the results.

OKR software is a goal-setting method used to develop and implement business goals within the set timeframe. It also helps employees in building the right strategies for their goals. How? OKR software tracks your progress, encourages collaboration, improves coordination and communication, and provides insights into where and what areas you need to focus on. 

Without these Objectives and Key Results for your performance review, it will be nearly impossible to know what to look for, where to poke, and how to determine when they are met.

Other reasons for setting performance review goals are to:

  • Set expectations
  • Improve productivity and work ownership
  • Ensure the review process is bias-free and completely objective

Fortunately, several versions of OKR software are available. Here are some guidelines on using OKR software to develop your performance review goals.

Develop goals

The most effective way of developing OKRs is to start from the top down. This means starting with organizational goals and going down to departmental goals, then to individual goals. As you go down the hierarchy, your goals become more defined and actionable. 

Specify key results

While your objectives define what you want to achieve, your key results detail your hows. Each objective should have at least three key results you hope to achieve or actions you want to take to accomplish those results. 

The goals and key results you set with your performance management software should be:

  • Simple and realistic
  • Specific
  • Prioritize goals and key results
  • Make your key results measurable
Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To 30-60-90 Day Performance Review and Templates

Performance Review Phrases Examples

Your performance review is around the corner, and despite being a model employee, you are unsure of what to expect. We have curated 10 effective performance reviews (5 for strengths and 5 for weaknesses) phrases for different work areas that you will find helpful in your review.

Teamwork and interpersonal skillsTeamwork and interpersonal skills


  • Performs well during teamwork
  • Can communicate effectively with diverse teammates from various cultural and educational backgrounds
  • Attentive to verbal and non-verbal cues
  • Handles conflict appropriately 
  • Collaborates ideas with teammates


  • Becomes defensive with constructive criticism
  • Plays everything too close to the vest
  • Prone to procrastination 
  • Does not implement constructive criticism from teammates
  • Fails to gain clarity of communication with peers

Customer serviceCustomer service


  • Can handle demanding customers with grace
  • Is empathic
  • Projects a friendly image and tone
  • Great rapport with customers
  • Skillful at convincing customers to change their minds


  • Does not listen well to customers
  • Poor non-verbal communication skills
  • Uses inappropriate language and attitude with customers
  • Does not promote the business to customers
  • Gets irritable with long-running customer relations

Time management


  • Always on time for meetings and work
  • Effectively manages large tasks without supervision
  • Reliable with time-sensitive tasks
  • Extends deadlines with good reason
  • Shows excellent results in record time


  • Tends to prolong deadlines
  • Unable to prioritize tasks
  • Always misses the company attendance mark
  • Has not worked well on numerous projects
  • Is frequently late to work

Motivation and willingness to improveMotivation and willingness to improve


  • Constantly seeks professional development opportunities
  • Takes calculated risks
  • Seeks and develops more effective ways to complete tasks
  • Seeks clarity when assigned new responsibilities
  • Exceeds expectations from previous goals


  • Is unwilling to take on more responsibilities
  • Lacks the drive to improve
  • Is risk-averse and closed-minded to change
  • Overzealous and steps on toes to achieve their goals
  • Only takes the initiative when prompted

Understanding of one’s responsibilities


  • Deeply understand the responsibilities and expectations for the role
  • Adept in all areas of the role’s responsibilities
  • Shares knowledge and insight with peers
  • Develop best practices that can make tasks more efficient


  • Little understanding of the responsibilities and expectations for the role
  • Does not express mastery in the basic concepts associated with the role
  • Produces low-quality deliverables
  • Creates unnecessary and repetitive errors



  • Comes up with innovative ideas to solve problems
  • Uses techniques in problem-solving but still open to new methodologies
  • Able to handle the gravity of the problem at hand
  • Deeply understands the problem and its implications


  • Does not take action when a problem arises
  • Does not understand the problem and its implications
  • Cannot efficiently use resources to solve problems



  • Discovers ways to creatively solve problems and optimize processes
  • Contributes fresh and innovative ideas to meetings and huddles
  • Gives suggestions to the business that can be implemented in the long term


  • Frequently has a negative reaction issue requiring innovative thinking
  • Does not offer creative solutions to problems
  • Does not see the need to propose innovative ideas to the business as a whole

Flexibility and adaptabilityFlexibility and adaptability


  • Can easily adapt to changes within the workplace
  • Accepts constructive criticism and does not look at it as a personal attack
  • Calm under pressure
  • Is a great team player


  • Unable to excel at tasks that need flexibility
  • Is too uptight when it comes to changes
  • Seems uninterested in new roles and duties
  • Views constructive criticism as a personal attack



  • Is an active and effective listener
  • Provides helpful feedback to peers
  • Can explain thoughts and issues clearly
  • Willing to entertain others’ ideas


  • Fails to alert the necessary people regarding issues
  • Makes peers feel afraid to express opinions or suggest ideas
  • Does not listen to others
  • Often humiliates and condescends to peers



  • Always able to meet or exceed expectations on identified goals during the last performance review
  • Sets realistic goals and is able to achieve them
  • Adds value to the business by becoming a valuable member of the team who puts out quality work
  • Still strives to look for areas of improvement on their own


  • Failure to meet expectations and goals set during the last performance review
  • Is satisfied with producing average or below-average quality work
  • Uninterested and not concerned with improving themselves
  • Does not take initiative unless told to do so


These performance review comments are but a few of the many phrases you may encounter during your next performance review. However, they should help you understand how you are doing. With these, you can determine how to use the OKR software available to you to set new goals given your next performance review.

Performance Management Tool

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What do you write in a performance review goal?


Ans. In a performance review goal, you should:

  1. Set Clear Objectives: Define specific, achievable goals.
  2. Be Specific: Use measurable targets and deadlines.
  3. Focus on Improvement: Address areas for growth and development.
  4. Align with Company Goals: Ensure goals support the organization’s objectives.
  5. Provide Support: Offer resources and guidance to help the employee succeed.

Writing performance review goals this way helps employees improve and contribute to the company’s success.

Q2. What are the 3 main evaluation goals?

Ans. The three main evaluation goals are:

  1. Assessment: To measure an individual or process’s performance.
  2. Feedback: Providing constructive input for improvement.
  3. Decision-Making: Supporting choices and actions based on evaluation results.

These goals help in understanding, enhancing, and making informed decisions in various contexts.

Q3. What is a SMART goal in performance review?

Ans. A SMART goal in a performance review is:

  • Specific: Clearly defined and focused.
  • Measurable: Can be quantified to track progress.
  • Achievable: Realistic and attainable within the employee’s capabilities.
  • Relevant: Pertinent to the employee’s role and the company’s objectives.
  • Time-bound: Has a defined timeframe for completion.

SMART goals help in setting clear, effective targets for employee performance and development.

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