• Updated┬áDecember 13, 2016

    Since my post on Annual Performance Reviews, I have had several requests to provide sample comments managers can use on the annual performance evaluation to best describe their employees. I decided to sit down and write out some comments that you can use if you are stuck with exactly the right way to say it.

    Writing out a dozen performance reviews can be hard enough, yet alone coming up with the best way to say things without it being taken the wrong way! This post will help you with these employee evaluations – providing template sentences you can copy and paste to complete performance reviews quickly and pain-free.

    I decided this would be a list of the good, bad, and ugly, so I hope it helps you as you begin to review your employees. These phrases for effective performance reviews can be slightly altered as needed for your employee appraisals.


    If you like what you find in this post, you’ll love our new ebook. Performance review time can be a struggle for many managers to adequately review and rate their employees. In this ebook, we’ve written over 1,000 template performance review phrases you can use to review your employees. This is different than other performance review phrase books, we provide entire sentences to describe an employee which you can simply cut and paste into the review documents. We’re selling the ebook for $25 for an instant download.

    View our Effective Performance Review Product Page – or –

    Want the quickest way to complete your performance reviews? Visit PerformanceReviews.net, a new tool I’ve created that builds complete performance review paragraphs in 30 different categories.

    Attendance and Punctuality


    Jim has been a valued member of team by always being someone we can count on. Jim’s attention to his attendance and punctuality has made our team function much better over the past year.

    Tim is very reliable in his attendedance and consistently shows up on time.

    Janet begins each day refreshed and ready for any of the challenges she faces.

    George always ensures his employees adhere to their lunch schedules and breaks.


    Todd is continually late for work and should work on this over the next few months to improve in this area.

    Heather fails to show up to work on time and keep a normal work schedule.

    Timothy leads meetings which frequently run beyond their alotted time. Over the next year, Timothy should ensure that his meetings start and end on time.

    Jane consistently runs late from her breaks and needs to ensure the breaks are only for the alotted time.



    One of Sally’s most important skills is her ability to effective communicate complex topics. Over the past year, this ability has been very useful for the company and has helped alleviate several problems which arose.

    Keith always asks for immediate feedback to ensure he is on task and performing his work correctly.

    One of Frank’s strengths his ability to provide candor and effectively communicate change with his employees.

    Hilda’s project teams always commend the way she communicates and encourages communication.

    The feedback Jim provides his coworkers has been essential in how the team has improved over the past year.


    Communication is one of the areas Jack should work on this year. Effectively communicating involves more than just providing information when demanded, but proactively providing information to the team as issues arise. Additionally, Jack should work on the tone of his communication. Communicating effectively means communicating in a style and tone which the listener finds easy to accept and understand.

    Terry continually attempts to withhold important information from team members.

    Jim should work on his ability to take feedback and criticism from coworkers. Too often, Jim feels the need to “lash out” when presented with constructive criticism.

    Theo needs to “open up” and stop isolating himself from the team. In a customer facing position such as his, the ability to interact with people is crucial.

    Jolie needs to improve on how she communicates bad news to her management team. She has a tendency to withhold the information for fear of how it will make her look which is causing problems on how the management team runs the business.



    One of the postitives from this past year has been how Shirley has cooperated through the difficult company merger. Shirley has demonstrated a willingness to work with the transition teams and provided an excellent example of how cooperation can yield results.

    Heather always creates a positive and inclusive work environment.

    One of the more effective things about Jennifer’s management style is her ability to build consensus. This has helped cut down on the animosity between the team members over the past year and improved productivity significantly.

    Jerry creates an atmosphere where people can share their thoughts – good and bad – and not fear retribution or intimidation.


    Kevin should work to improve his cooperation. Over the past year, there have been several instances where Kevin has refused to cooperate despite the timing pressures facing his coworkers which has caused a considerable loss in productivity for the team.

    There have been multiple instances of shouting matches between Harry and his coworkers over the past year. Harry should improve his interpersonal skills over the next year.

    Jim has a tendency to make other people feel intimidated when they ask for his assistance.

    Creativity and Innovation


    Doug shows how innovation and creativity can significantly improve a company’s performance. Doug’s willingness to take chances was shown in the ad campaign he pitched which on the face looked like it would bomb, but proved to be a smash hit.

    Shannon took many steps to improve processes for the team over the past year. These steps were innovative and resulted in a 30% productivity gain on the team.

    Kevin has a knack for changing directions when presented with new information.

    A great attribute of John is his ability to skillfully move around obstacles as they present themselves.

    Gina found a creative workaround to the customer billing issues which has improved revenues by 22%.


    Over the past year, Ted has been a very consistent employee. Throughout this time, Ted has performed his work as instructed, but did not take any opportunities to think about new ways he could be working. Improving processes and procedures could be a significant benefit to the company, but Ted needs to work on his creativity and how to think about the steps he takes in his work and how he can reduce the time it takes.

    Tim creates a stifling environment which is not conducive to creativity.

    Lilly is not willing to take chances and step out.

    Walter is reluctant to explore new ideas, processes, or alternatives.

    The sales team has an effective telephone script which is shown to work. Jim consistently tries to “reinvent the wheel” and not work within the system which is designed for success.

    Customer Satisfaction


    Jim has consistently gone above and beyond his job to satsify his customers. Jim demonstrates how excellent customer service can have a lasting effect on customer relationships.

    Over the past six months, Susan’s attention to customer satisfaction has not gone unnoticed. Susan works with customers until their problems are resolved and often goes an extra step to help upset customers be completely surprised by how far we will go to satisfy customers.

    Travis skillfully overcomes client objections.

    George is a empathetic listener and makes each customer know he values their time.

    Matt is clearly a “people” person and shows his clients how much he likes working with them.


    Tom should continue to work on how his daily activities affect his customers. Tom doesn’t consistently ensure his customers are satisified and occasionally has complaints levvied against his work. Over the next three months, Tom should work to improve how he interacts with customers, how he communicates with them, and how well he meets their needs.

    Yoli needs to work on managing customer expectations. Frequent delays and problems are reported by her customers which frequently turn out to be a problem with how she managed their expectations.

    Fred fails to follow up with customers as requested.

    Harry has too much difficulty saying no to customer requests and it frequently causes lost revenue.

    Goal and Objective Setting


    One of Jane’s best characteristics is her ability to set goals which are specific, measurable, and attainable. She has consistently set her goals high and met them.

    George is very effective at setting goals and objectives with his employees and ensuring they meet these goals.

    One of Kevin’s strengths is his ability to design measurements for goals to ensure they are met. If you can’t measure it, it’s not a goal!

    Jenny is clearly not a short term thinker – her ability to set short and long term business goals is a great asset to this company.


    Jack should work to improve his abilities in goal setting. Jim likes to set high goals for himself, but infrequently can achieve these goals. Setting attainable goals will help Jack improve his performance productivity.

    Terry consistently misses targets and does not stay up to date with the objectives expected of him.

    James seems to want to achieve all of his goals in the last few weeks before annual performance review time, but does not consistently work towards his goals throughout the year.

    One of the areas we want Tom to work on this year is his tendency to blame others when his goals or objectives are not met.



    We appreciate how Jim approaches situations with a “can do” attitude.

    Harry consistently takes initiative in difficult situations and finds a resolution.

    Whenever new projects arise, Jennifer is always at the front asking for additional responsibility.

    Kevin’s willingness to work laste hours to get the job done has not gone unnoticed.


    Walter resists training and frequently reverts back to doing things the way he has always done it.

    Fred does not step forward when new tasks or projects arrive and always relies on other people to take a chance.

    Over the past year, the team has taken on several new responsibilities but Jim has resisting taking on any more work and has instead made the rest of the team shoulder the burden.

    Tim lacks the confidence necessary to try new things and take on new tasks.

    Job Knowledge


    Robert demonstrates is job knowledge on a daily basis.

    Jim is adept at showing his job knowledge and technical abilities.

    Tim consistently keeps up on new trends in the industry and applies these new practices to his every day work.

    Kate has a thorough understanding of the job skills required to perform her job.


    George fails to shows even rudimentary skills for someone of his tenure with the company. George should improve his job knowledge measurably.

    Doug has a tendency to produce subpar work and should improve his job knowledge to improve his work product.

    Frank fails to demonstrate even the basic skillset required for this position.

    Though Jane has improved tremendously over the past year, her knowledge of what it takes to succeed is still too little.



    Terry leads by example.

    Holly has an innate ability to set strategic direction and manage others to meet the company’s goals.

    Tim’s high standards of ethics is shown throughout his work.

    Kevin has earned a great deal of respect from his employees and managers.

    Doug’s ability to schedule resources in the face of growing demand is above expectations.

    Though not in a management role, Russ consistently demonstrates leadership abilities through his work pace and productivity.


    Jim should work on his active listening skills over the next year.

    Lilly rarely shows appreciate to her employees for a job well done.

    Todd should improve his ability to set direction and goals for his team.

    Yoli needs to work on her trust for her employees and learn how to delegate effectively over the next year.

    Jim does not yet delegate effectively and has a tendency to overload himself with tasks which he should hand off to his subordinates.

    Listening Skills


    Todd has mastered the art of active and focused listening.

    We appreciate how Matt listens to his employees and allows them to finish before speaking.

    Harry actively elicits feedback from his customers and works to resolve their problems.

    Jim has improved his listening skills significantly over the past year. He now demonstrates a sincere interest in others and listens fully before responding.

    Holly always follows instructions accurately and timely.


    George has a tendency to interrupt others while they are speaking and does not pay adequate attention to what they are saying.

    It is obvious that Jim thinks more about the next thing he wants to say versus listening to what other people are saying.

    Brian frequently has to ask questions for topics which were explained to him. Brian needs to be a more active listener and take notes when he doesn’t fully understand topics.

    Gina seems distracted during conversations and frequently is not paying attention.

    Harry should work on being a more effective listener over the next year.

    Managerial Style


    Harry is very effective at providing his employees constructive feedback.

    Jim’s ability to maintain ongoing communication with his employees is an asset to this firm.

    Holly creates an inclusive work environment where everyone feels they are a part of the team.

    Tim sets very high expectations and works with his employees to meet them.

    Kevin is great at setting a vision and managing his resources to meet it.


    Doug frequently takes all of the credit for successes and blames others for failures.

    Jim avoids confrontation which has affected his team’s ability to work with other teams.

    Janet doesn’t hold her employees to account and allows them to get away with underperformance.

    George relies too much on email and is unwilling to communicate face-to-face.

    Harry plays favorites with a few employees on his team and is unwilling to see the potential in other employees.

    Todd should develop a more congenial relationship with his employees.

    Ty does not effectively reign in rumors which has destroyed the morale on his team.

    Problem Solving Skills


    Janet is very effective at identifying problems and potential resolutions.

    Harry resolves problems in a timely manner.

    Tim is very proactive at getting in front of problems and stopping them before they escalate.

    Emily is very good at sharing knowledge and information during a problem to increase the chance it will be resolved quickly.


    Jim is good at identifying problems but lacks the skills necessary to identify solutions. Jim has a tendency to refer a problem to his upper management without making recommendations for a solution.

    Frank doesn’t do well at identifying more than one solution for a problem. If other team members identify a different solution than the one he came up with, he is quick to dismiss it.

    Peter has to ask for help with simple matters which should be easy for him to solve on his own.

    Todd appears overwhelmed during every crisis and does not instill confidence in his subordinates.

    Teamwork Skills


    Brian is very good at building effective teams.

    Jim treats people with dignity and respect.

    Holly is very good at making team members feel included. The inclusion has improved her team’s productivity dramatically.

    Hank is very adept at resolving conflict and resolving problems before they escalate.


    Tim creates a work environment which discourages team members from providing new ideas.

    Walter consistently takes credit for other team member’s accomplishments.

    Ty doesn’t share resources well.

    Ike is not willing to take on difficult tasks and instead waits for easy tasks to come his way.

    Tim is a distraction on work teams and is frequently discussing things out of scope.

    Time Management


    Ted has an innate ability for managing his time. He continues to impress us with his ability to properly assess the time it takes to complete tasks and his ability to schedule his tasks into his time at work.

    Harry shows a keen awareness of his time and the ability to properly schedule tasks and get them accomplished in the timeframe he set.

    Jim is a very effective multitasker.

    Holly sets realistic time frames and consistently sets her customer’s expectations to those time frames.

    Fred uses a planner to keep himself on-task and on-time.


    Lilly has difficulty accounting for her time and is consistently late putting her timesheet in.

    Holly is often disorganized and appears unable to meet timelines she sets.

    Harry does not pace himself effectively and has inconsistent work patterns.

    Jim lacks a disciplined approach to time management and lacks the ability to effectively manage his time.

    Update: We recently launched a new site about performance reviews, http://ihateperformancereviews.com/, which has sample phrases, performance reviews, and excellent articles about performance management.

    Performance review time can be a struggle for many managers to adequately review and rate their employees. In this ebook, we’ve written over 1,000 template performance review phrases you can use to review your employees. This is different than other performance review phrase books, we provide entire sentences to describe an employee which you can simply cut and paste into the review documents. We’re selling the ebook for $25 for an instant download.

    View our Effective Performance Review Product Page – or –

    Self Evaluation Sample Templates

    Writing a great self evaluation during performance review time can be a difficult task. How exactly do I describe my performance in Training or Leadership? We’ve written 450 self evaluation paragraphs in 30 categories – by exceeds expectations, meets expectations, and below expectations. These paragraphs make completing the self evaluation easy – simply copy and paste into your document. This ebook is available for instant download for $18.95.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 at 5:46 am and is filed under Featured, Performance Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    Take a look at some of the responses we have had to this article.

    1. Brown
      Dec 10th

      thanks very much.

    2. Outside-Cat
      Dec 16th

      Thanks,. This was extremely helpful to me. Please keep this site open to everyone.

    3. Nita
      Dec 18th

      This was worth my time and will help with my reviews moving forward… Thanks.

    4. Vagif
      Dec 21st

      Your offer is really helpful. Thanks a lot!

    5. Jeremy
      Dec 24th

      No problem all, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and please let me know what other kinds of posts you need.

    6. C. Mendoza
      Dec 29th

      The comments were great. For people like me were English is not our first language, this helps us with tone and style.

    7. Poornima
      Jan 6th

      great…….really helpful…….thanx

    8. Susanne
      Jan 6th

      This was extremely helpful, and I appreciate that it was free information.
      I am truly grateful!!!!!!!!

    9. Z S
      Jan 12th

      These phrases are very useful for Managers and technical staff, but would you have anything for employees going through appraisal in document production field (used to be word processing) or even admin/secretarial would help. Would be very grateful if you could help as have to complete self-assessment and development plan twice every year and find it very difficult to express myself.
      Kind regards

    10. Allen
      Jan 13th

      Thank’s for this one, this a big help!

    11. Jeremy
      Jan 13th

      @ZS I will work on a post with some ideas for people in other roles, as well as some sample documents you could use, thanks for the suggestion.

    12. Jan 18th

      I came across your site when the books I’d bought were not help full. It’s the way you put a phrase together that makes your samples well put together. You should write a book also can you write some for the retail industry please

    13. Jeremy
      Jan 18th

      Hi Yonathan, thank you! Yes, I can put together some phrases for the retail industry. Thanks for your comment,


    14. Jan 22nd

      Hi Jeremy…..
      When should I be checking back for some performance phrases to do with retail?


    15. Jeremy
      Jan 22nd

      Hi Yonathan,

      Here you go! http://www.jerm.com/2010/01/employee-reviewappraisal-sample-phrases-for-retail-stores/

      Let me know if there are other areas you would like sample phrases on, or if you desire any of the areas in that post to be explored some more, I would be glad to write some more.


    16. Jan 22nd

      Hi Jeremy
      Thank you for the post. Can’t get enough of your phrases. I’d appreciate it if you could do another sample for supervisors in the retail industry as I do have supervisors that report directly to me and am in need of samples as our fiscal year is coming to an end. Again thank you so much. You should write a book or recommend a book that mirrors your posts.

    17. Jeremy
      Jan 23rd

      Hi Yonathan,

      No problem! Here’s the first in the series: http://www.jerm.com/2010/01/employee-performance-reviews-excellent-retail-store-supervisor-sample/

      This is an example for an “excellent” supervisor. I’ll write some other ones as I get a chance. Thanks!


    18. Jan 23rd

      Thank you for the post. Very helpful!!!!!!!

    19. Jan 23rd

      Will stay tuned for your next post.

    20. Feb 4th

      Thank you, this was exactly what I was needing.

    21. M M
      Feb 11th

      Hello Jeremy,

      I need to complete a self-assessment and would be very grateful if you could help me with that. I’ve find it very difficult to express myself. Is there any notes that I can read before completing my assessment today?

      Thanks so much.

    22. joanne
      Feb 20th

      This site is very helpful. Keep it up! Thanks!

    23. Don Oki
      Feb 21st

      Do you have any phrase’s that can be used in health care industry

    24. Nazreen
      Mar 2nd

      Thanks, Jonathan.

      Really well put together and a big help!

    25. Iris
      Mar 6th


      Thank you so much for the free performance appraisals. As a call center supervisor I have monthly perfomance track for 14 direct reports. I’m running out of statements with fear of sounding redundant. Do you know of a site or perhaps this site offers tips/ideas/suggestions for call center supervisors. Will you be writting on this type of environment. thanks again for material.

    26. Derek
      Mar 21st

      Very good information. You should consider writing a book. Maybe a title called ‘ Annaul Performance Reveiws and comments for Dummies’ ­čÖé . Would it be possible if you could create some examples for Customer service reps. Thanks and have a good one.

    27. Chris
      Mar 26th

      Thank you for sharing your performance review phrases. I find them very helpful!! I’d appreciate it if you could provide some examples for Claims Insurance Adjusters

    28. Mar 30th

      Hi Jeremy, Thank you for all the pharases. I am a cafeteria manager and could use more long but simple pharases to make my workers fell evan more important. Thank you again! You have helped me so much already. Susie

    29. D
      Apr 14th

      This was very, very helpfull!! Employee evaluations are really painfull !

    30. Sandy
      Apr 18th

      Every comment is right. This is awesome. I have sat for hours trying to find the right words to use
      in the manager’s evaluations and this just made it so simple.
      You truly should write a book.
      this is the best and most helpful site that I have ever used.
      Thanks so much,

    31. Jeremy
      Apr 26th

      Thanks a lot Sandy, I’m working on creating a book now – and even better – a “performance review” generator that will help you build a performance review automatically.

      Should be out in May!


    32. Jeremy
      Apr 26th

      They can be painful, I’m glad we could help.

    33. Jeremy
      Apr 26th

      The best way to achieve this is to string a couple of the performance review phrases together. We should have our ebook & performance review generator out soon to help with this.

    34. May 14th

      This was so helpful, thanks!

    35. SJ
      May 26th

      Please let me know when the generator comes out. This article helped me out a great deal but I would love to check out the generator for future reviews. Cheers!

    36. Dagmar
      May 30th

      Thank you, thank you, thank you..

    37. Mughees Pirzada
      Jun 2nd

      Hi, Great Job Sandy,,, This is the most right words which you used,,, Please accept my compliments for this great job

    38. Phoon
      Jun 21st

      Thank you!
      Your materials is awesome!!
      Really appreciated your sample….
      Great work!!!

    39. Kaye
      Jun 24th

      Thanks alot! ­čÖé

    40. Jul 5th

      Plainly brilliant! Sure wish I’d googled “performance appraisal phrases” two weeks ago instead of having spent July 4 holiday sweating bullets.

    41. Jul 20th

      Thnak you very much, it was very helpful

    42. Steve
      Jul 30th

      This was very helpful…

    43. Ron
      Aug 11th

      Your site is Outstanding, will you be publishing phrases for other administrative positions? Thank you for making this annual task much easier!

    44. Mi**
      Aug 12th

      Thanks a lot, Jeremy!! English is not my first language. This is extremely useful to me. I feel headache everytime when need to write 100 appraisal this month every year . Please keep up…..Also, if you publish a book, I’ll buy it !!!

    45. Aug 19th

      Hi Jeremy,

      I work as a unit supervisor and your web helps me a lot to create the phrase for each individuals. I would like to request if you could please include the following in you site:

      Quality, Adherance to policy, judgement, Interpersonal Relationship, Employee Strengths and Potential, recomended areas of improvement, Professional or Individual Development Plan.

      Thanking you so much and may God continue to prosper you to be a blessing to people like me.


    46. Siva
      Aug 29th

      Very thoughtful,practical. Encourage more of these posts please………….

      Jermmy stuff………………….

    47. Luvlyp
      Sep 8th

      The sample illustrations on how to properly document an employee’s appraisal with appropriateness was exactly what I was looking for and most needed!!!

      Thank you for the great assistance.

    48. Andy
      Sep 23rd

      What a great help Thanks a lot

    49. josie
      Oct 13th

      thanks, its great! my husband being a supervisor in a company helped him in giving positive evaluation that will inspire to work more effectively

    50. Giridharan
      Oct 25th

      Wonderful… This has helped me a lot … thanks for all the assistance.


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