Getting stuck on what to say at your next performance appraisal? Here are 70+ performance appraisal phrases to help you with every employee situation!

Table of contents
  1. A Quick Note About Conducting the Performance Appraisal  
  2. 72 performance appraisal phrases you need to know
  3. Communication
  4. Have the Best Performance Appraisal Sessions Ever, With Connecteam 

One of the most overlooked jobs of any HR or business manager/owner, is that of the performance appraisal. 

That’s because letting employees know what they’re doing well, what they’re doing not so well, and where they can improve their job performance requires a certain level of tact and finesse. When done correctly, you’ll get the best out of your employees; when done incorrectly, things can go very wrong indeed.

As such, we’ve created this list of effective performance review phrases. Instead of searching for the right words to use (or even using the wrong ones, and only realizing their impact when it’s too late) these performance review examples will make sure you have the right thing to say in most 1:1 employee situations. 

A Quick Note About Conducting the Performance Appraisal  

Performance appraisals can be tough, especially when you know you might be delivering a less than sterling report to an employee. 

The first thing to remember is that you want to improve the working environment, not break it. As such, whatever you might have to say to your employee, you need to stay professional, and start the meeting off on a positive note. After all, no one likes to hear negative feedback, even if it’s expressed constructively. At the same time, your employee needs to know how they’re doing in the organization and receive points to improve if necessary. 

One way to do this is by giving your employee SMART targets for improvement. 

A performance appraisal is a two-sided discussion, not a one-sided lecture. Employees should gain feedback that will assist them in doing their job more effectively. 

72 performance appraisal phrases you need to know


For any business owner, your main concern is that your team is as productive as they can be. Because that’s what you hired them for, and as the business owner or manager,  you don’t get to leave the business at 5 pm. You need to be able to trust your team to do their job independently to the best of their ability, while also being a team player. 

Here are a few teamwork performance appraisal phrases you could use: 

Strengths of a Team Player

Use these sentence stems and qualities with employees: 

“I’ve noticed how you are -”

  • Putting forward ideas and being involved in all tasks
  • Taking on extra responsibilities to achieve your work goals
  • Willingness to help new team members
  • Looking for new ways to improve 
  • Listens to other members of their team
  • Accepts feedback on their work
  • Learns their role and performs it well
  • Knows how to compromise even when it’s hard
  • Ability to collaborate with others on a project
  • Reliable at all times

Weaknesses of a Team Player

Use these qualities to discuss any areas for improvement with your employee: 

“It feels to me that an issue you’re having might stem from -”

  • Inability to work with others which makes it difficult for other team members to perform their tasks
  • Doesn’t take blame when they are wrong
  • The team feels very divided and it causes upset
  • Often makes rude remarks to other members
  • Thinking they are superior to other employees
  • Doesn’t want to work with other team members
  • Arrives with a bad attitude

Time management

Time management is everything in the workplace. And, it’s crucial that your employees are using their time effectively: if they do, the business succeeds and makes money. If they don’t, every second wasted is potential lost profit. 

Of course one way to monitor employee time management, and even have them take it into their own hands, is by using employee time tracking apps

Strengths of a Person Who Manages Time Well

  • You are able to organize your time well
  • Takes initiative when completing tasks
  • Doesn’t waste people’s time
  • Motivated to meet deadlines
  • Prioritizes their tasks well

Weaknesses of a Person Who Doesn’t Manage Time Well

  • Complains about the tasks they have
  • Wastes time by procrastinating
  • Wastes others time causing them to fall behind
  • Misses deadlines (please note this is for existing staff not new employees)
  • No desire to get help or assistance from higher management (if this is a constant issue – you should check to see if the manager is approachable)
An illustration showing Connecteam’s scheduling interface


Workplace communication is the backbone of any company, deskless or remote. Employees need to have strong communication skills, being able to effectively communicate with both their colleagues and managers. When communication breaks down, the whole company suffers.

Strengths of a Good Communicator 

  • Is mindful of the team and provides any updates when their situation changes if it’s appropriate to do so
  • Is able to effectively break down complex ideas and bring everyone on board
  • Clearly communicates ideas and thoughts in team meetings and conferences
  • Always thinks before they pass on information
  • Delivers information straightforwardly 
  • They listen well to others

Weaknesses of a Poor Communicator

  • Poor listening skills
  • Makes bold or divisive statements without basic fact checking
  • Has an inability to listen to others’ opinions
  • Detached when approaching a conversation
  • Has a generally rude or defensive manner 
  • Takes things personally 
  • Becomes defensive when given feedback 

(see also: our guide to improving communication in the workplace)


LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

When you come to work, you need to leave your personal life at the door, and the same goes for your employees. No one wants to work with a sourpuss, or be distracted by other people’s problems while they’re at work. There’s a time and a place to share everything, and workplace dramas, oversharing and more can be very disruptive to a team. 

Managing good employees is usually pretty easy to do; managing difficult employees is a skill, and requires a lot of understanding, but also pointed and specific feedback. The best way to ensure everyone has a positive attitude is to be the best, most attuned manager possible.  

Strengths of Good Attitude

  • Even when things are tough, you continue to maintain a positive mindset
  • You’re always quick to offer a healthy perspective
  • Everyone appreciates your upbeat attitude
  • Able to happy even when times are stressful
  • Has a naturally high morale

Weaknesses of a Poor Attitude

  • Takes everything personally
  • Has anger issues 
  • Puts other team members in a bad mood
  • Allows the pressure to take over good judgment
  • Gets upset and switches moods fast

Quality of Work

As mentioned, productivity is important, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate that the quality of the work is up to par. In the end, it’s quality that will take companies a lot further than quantity, which is why employees who are providing quality work should be recognized and rewarded. If the quality is consistently high, this means that the employee really cares about your business…and more likely than not, you have a good company culture where quality work is commonplace.

Strengths of Quality Work

  • Can be relied upon to consistently maintain a high quality of work
  • I was blown away by the quality of your work
  • You take your position seriously
  • Positively contributes to the overall performance of the company through consistent and high-quality work
  • Always comes to work in a professional manner

Poor Quality Work

  • Produces work that’s not up to standard on a constant basis 
  • Shows a lack of enthusiasm for the job
  • Doesn’t meet team expectations
  • Not trying hard enough
  • Makes repeated mistakes

Customer Service

If your business revolves around customer service it’s important to be in the loop as to how your customer service really is, and whether your employees are providing the level of service you expect. When your employees deliver high-quality customer service, it can affect your entire business’ profits, employee morale and ability to scale. 

Good Customer Service

  • Customers have told the manager how happy they are with the customer service offered
  • Effortlessly handles difficult customers
  • Goes above and beyond to make the customer happy
  • Always goes above and beyond in the name of top customer service
  • Stays calm even in a heated situation
  • Receives positive feedback from the customer

Poor Customer Service

  • The customer leaves unhappy
  • Difficult situations are constantly passed over to the manger, rather than dealt with constructively
  • Doesn’t listen well
  • Overall poor customer service skills
  • Needs further training but is hesitant to take this on

Have the Best Performance Appraisal Sessions Ever, With Connecteam 

When you want your appraisals to go well, consistency is key! You need to build your relationship with employees. The way to do that is to find the right solution for your business. 

Communication via pen and paper, text, emails, and anything non-centralized is bound to fall between the cracks. So how do you prevent this from happening? With a digital solution. 

All-in-one business and employee management apps such as Connecteam work as your right-hand man. Whether your staff is in one building or spread out, you can easily keep everyone engaged.

Communicate freely

There’s no chance for a breakdown of communication because you can chat with everyone with online team chat and all company updates in a social media-feed style. 

Even better: these social-style updates come with their own tracking data, so you can see who’s read them (and then send automatic reminders to people who haven’t yet read them!). 

Screenshot of the Connecteam Updates feature

Train employees remotely (and independently) 

If you find that an employee requires training, Connecteam has your back! 

  • Onboard your employees, giving them all they need to onboard themselves at their one pace
  • Upload all company manuals, company handbooks, procedures, and anything else to the centralized knowledge base, meaning there’s less chance of any knowledge gaps!

Learn more 


Keep everyone time-accountable  

  • With Connecteam’s super-intuitive employee time clock, you ensure that employees are no longer tardy or committing buddy punching. 
  • You can even see how long tasks take to complete, and if it’s too long, you can reassess if more staff are required. 
  • Employees can also request their sick/vacation time from the app, and you can also approve all this from your app or dashboard. 

Learn more


And there’s more! Connecteam can help you manage almost every aspect of your business, offering you – 

  • Advanced employee scheduling, allowing you to spend minutes, not countless hours, on your employee scheduling
  • Employee task tracking, where you can offer your staff appraisal if they completed it to a high standard. 
  • Digital forms, checklists, and reports to receive information from the field in real-time. 

And even more! 

Connecteam was designed with businesses like yours in mind and is constantly updated according to customer feedback. It’s the reason 36,000+ businesses (just like yours) use it to manage and scale their operations and teams! 

Once you go digital, your next performance appraisals will be much more aligned thanks to enhanced communication, more employee ownership, better employee training and a more seamless operation in general! 

Connecteam: Make Your Next Performance Appraisals the Best Yet

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