20 Business English Phrases for Performance Evaluations

performance evaluation is an evaluation of an employee’s work, skills, and attitude on the job. It can also be called a performance review or performance appraisal.

During a performance evaluation, an employee may hear both positive and negative feedback (comments) about his/her work. The employee’s manager will often praise the employee’s strong points and identify some areas for improvement.

Here are some English phrases for performance evaluations:

Positive Phrases for Performance Evaluations

Stays up-to-date with developments in the field.

The word up-to-date means current, so this phrase means that the employee keeps his/her knowledge about the field (area of work or study) current.

Is conscientious and detail-oriented.

Someone who is conscientious is very careful in their work, and pays attention to everything they do, carefully checking to make sure their work is correct and is of good quality. Someone who is detail-oriented pays attention to the details.

Is proactive and resourceful.

proactive person takes action to make things happen; they don’t just react to events. (The opposite of proactive is passive). Someone who is resourceful is able to use resources well and in creative ways, especially in difficult situations.

Has a positive outlook.

The word outlook means “attitude” or point of view.

Is disciplined and punctual.

If you describe a person as disciplined, it doesn’t mean that they were punished. Instead, it means that they have self-discipline – the ability to control their own behavior and follow the rules. Someone who is punctual consistently arrives on time.

Is an excellent team player.

Someone who is a team player works well with other people. This employee is good at cooperating with his/her co-workers.

Shows a lot of initiative and takes the lead on projects.

The word initiative means the power to begin things and work on them energetically. It is similar to the word proactive; a person who is proactive has a lot of initiative. 

Is a seasoned professional with versatile expertise.

seasoned professional is someone who has been working for a long time and has a lot of experience – and is therefore good at their job. The word expertise means skill or knowledge in a particular area, and if someone’s expertise is versatile, it means the person is capable of doing many different things well.

Is driven to succeed and strives for maximum effectiveness.

Describing a person as driven means they are extremely motivated and ambitious. To strive means to try very hard, with lots of effort.

Never fails to capitalize on opportunities.

To capitalize on something means to use it for your advantage.

English Phrases for Performance Evaluation

Negative Phrases for Performance Evaluations

Occasionally fails to adhere to guidelines.

The word guidelines refers to the rules and regulations for a task or for work in general. The word adhere is simply a more formal word for “stick to” or “follow” – so this employee sometimes does not follow the proper rules for his/her work.

Is indecisive and often produces mediocre results.

Describing somebody as indecisive means the person has difficulty making firm decisions and having confidence in their decisions. If the employee’s work is mediocre, it means it is of moderate to inferior quality; there is nothing especially good or special about it.

Has had difficulty in mastering the new procedures.

To master something means to learn it very well.

Is rather inconsistent in meeting deadlines.

Deadlines are the final dates before which tasks must be finished. If an employee is inconsistent in meeting deadlines, it means he/she does not always finish their work on time.

Lacks the ability to prioritize projects appropriately.

The word prioritize means to put things in order of importance. If an employee lacks this ability, it means he/she does not have this ability.

Needs to focus more on delegation.

Delegation is the act of giving tasks to other people (not keeping all the tasks for yourself). The verb form is delegate.

Demonstrates little willingness to learn new skills.

Your willingness to do something is how open-minded and interested you are in doing it – so this employee does not appear to be interested in learning new things.

Areas for improvement include productivity and time management.

During a performance evaluation, it’s often a good idea to present negative comments in a more positive way, as opportunities to improve. This employee needs to improve his/her productivity (how much work they can produce) and time management (how they organize their time and schedule, and then how well they follow that plan).

Should work on improving the clarity and timeliness of communication.

This employee’s communication needs to be clearer (clarity) – not confusing or vague. The employee also needs to communicate in a timely way – at the right time, not too late.

Should avail himself of the opportunity to pursue further training.

The expression avail oneself of something means to make use of. The word pursue in this context means to try to accomplish something. So this employee should take the opportunity to get more training.

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