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Performance & Feedback

Performance review examples for a strong feedback culture

Leapsome Team
Performance review examples for a strong feedback culture
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There are many reasons leaders don’t feel comfortable or confident running employee appraisals. Maybe they’ve never received training on communicating feedback effectively, or they’re first-time managers who are new to the experience and don’t know exactly what a good example of a performance review looks like.

But here’s the thing: three in four employees want more constructive feedback and feel dissatisfied with their organization’s review process.* They expect managers to be able to run effective reviews that celebrate their successes, help them build their skills, and support their growth.

Developing a strong review process that’s effective for managers and employees alike can help you create a thriving feedback culture in your organization. By making regular, constructive communication a cornerstone of your operations, you can encourage teams to value and welcome each other’s input.

HR can lead the movement by setting up effective and regular review cycles and giving managers guidance on running them. To help you get started, we’ve created this list of performance review examples you can use to motivate and inspire your teams.

*Leapsome Workforce Trends Report, 2023

❗Ensure your performance reviews make a real difference 

Our review template is full of best-practice questions for employee, 360-degree, and leadership reviews.

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Why it’s important to get performance review phrases right

Using the right review phrases is essential to delivering actionable feedback. Employees need to walk away from appraisals knowing how to leverage their strengths and address areas of growth. 

The best performance evaluation phrases take a fair, kind approach to pointing out concrete areas where people to improve. You’re more likely to see good results if you pair constructive employee feedback with clear next steps.

Great appraisal phrases also acknowledge good performance. If you can cite a specific scenario where an employee performed well or embodied a company value, people will know which behavior to repeat. For example, since taking ownership is one of our company values at Leapsome, we might praise a team member who volunteered for a challenging project and saw it through from beginning to end.

Evaluation wording even contributes to business success. When reviews hit the mark, employees are 63% less likely to leave your company. Indeed, 17% of candidates say insufficient feedback is the main reason they’re looking for another job.

🧤 Make your software fit your employees — not the other way around

Leapsome lets you create personalized reviews and build individualized roadmaps for employee development. 

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How to use our different performance review examples

Our sample performance review comments are a great starting point. Managers can use them to get started and can also tailor these to suit your unique company culture. Making the comments authentic is essential: employees are up to eight times more likely to see how to improve when they receive feedback that’s honest and true to organizational values.

Using people enablement software like Leapsome can help you streamline the process. Our Reviews module not only automates cycles but gives you access to aggregated data and notes so managers have all the previous information to draw on during the review. Leapsome’s AI tools can also help reviewers quickly and easily turn their ideas into constructive comments with action plans. 

This means reviewers can put their focus where it should be — on giving fair, honest, and personal feedback.

A screenshot of the performance metrics tool on Leapsome.
Leapsome’s performance review tool saves time with automated review cycles and easy-to-understand analytics

In this section, we’ll break down the different types of performance reviews, some key best practices, and how to tweak our performance review examples to fit your organizational context.

Performance reviews for employees 

During one-on-one meetings, managers should focus on individual performance and whether reports are achieving their goals. 

It’s also an opportunity for them to discuss how the employee’s role ties into the bigger picture at your organization.

When using metrics to assess performance, it’s important to make sure reviewers stick to discussing KPIs that their report can directly influence so they know what next steps to take.  

For example, you might measure progress on something like client satisfaction ratings, value added to the client, and how many successful project deadlines your report has met. 

You should also take business size into account in performance evaluation wording. In a small company, managers are more likely to work directly alongside reports and have close relationships with them. They may wish to take a more informal — though still professional —  approach to appraisals that reflects the tight-knit nature of the team.

Performance reviews for teams

With team appraisals, managers emphasize collective goals. They can still touch on performance data but ensure they’re related to group skills like collaboration or wider team KPIs. These metrics are likely to be industry-specific as, for example, tech companies would prioritize project milestones or measurable business metrics.

Reviews can also mention obstacles the department has faced and how successfully they overcame them. A good team evaluation example might be: “Despite the major supply chain disruption, you all worked together to restructure the workflow and establish new vendors. Your great work meant there were no interruptions to our service.”

One challenge of team reviews is accounting for different roles and working arrangements. For instance, feedback for remote workers may not apply in exactly the same way to in-office employees. Managers should acknowledge these discrepancies and consider segmenting some review sessions.

Performance reviews for leaders

In manager appraisals, team leaders are assessed on their ability to lead their teams and collaborate with other departments.

If you have a small team, managers are more likely to be both team leaders and key decision makers. You can emphasize hands-on leadership and direct involvement in projects, alongside their ability to perform multiple functions and their strategic skills. In larger companies, where they’re more likely to be focussed on management, comments might focus on consistency and delegation.

Likewise, feedback may differ depending on whether managers have hybrid or remote teams. A good manager appraisal example for a remote team might include comments on their ability to keep employees engaged from afar and use digital tools effectively.

Collecting employee feedback on performance reviews for managers helps you conduct a well-rounded evaluation. Performance management software like Leapsome can guarantee anonymity and help you generate actionable insights from the team’s input.

Monthly and quarterly performance reviews

Regular, short-interval appraisals should focus on short-term goals, ongoing projects, and immediate needs. If reviewers look too hard at overall performance, which is unlikely to change significantly between months, they won’t be able to provide meaningful feedback and review meetings may feel repetitive.

Reviewers can still consider the big picture by tracking progress in the employee’s performance over time. Their monthly or quarterly check-in comments could cover whether team members are becoming more efficient or effective at specific tasks or projects. 

Leapsome’s HR analytics features allow you to measure and track performance metrics and even qualitative review feedback. You can visualize trends in ratings for skills you define like time management or creativity. Then, when you’re considering team performance, you can filter by department or roles.

A screenshot of the analytics tool in Leapsome's Reviews module.
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Annual and semiannual performance reviews 

While regular reviews can look at day-to-day progress, mid-year and year-end reviews can take a wider perspective. Annual and semiannual performance review examples usually involve managers discussing each report’s long-term goals and role within the organization, as well as their performance over the year.

Annual review comments can also touch on any progress the employee made since the previous review. For example, a manager might measure how close reports are to meeting their objectives, compared to the previous year.

Small companies are more likely to have team members perform multiple roles. These yearly review comments could focus on how well they’re balancing different responsibilities. If your organization is growing, and the employee’s duties are shifting, the appraisal could discuss how successfully they’ve adapted to the changes and whether they need any support to grow and develop in their role.

Framing positive and constructive performance feedback 

Feedback is one of the most important elements of a performance review. A 360° performance assessment feedback format will let you gather input from different sources. That means including not only the manager’s point of view, but also self-assessments, peer reviews, and the opinions of the reviewee’s direct reports or mentees. Make sure everyone involved knows to include a balance of both positive and constructive feedback.

💡 Tip to follow as you run performance review cycles: Be transparent and thoughtful about any correlation between compensation and performance, and make sure you’re not relying only on specific development goals as a single source of truth in your reviews. A holistic approach is best.

It’s important to be focused and targeted with your feedback. The truth is that an incredibly generic piece of feedback like “you should be more communicative” lacks specificity and will leave employees wondering what they’re supposed to do next. Constructive feedback is about striking a balance between being too direct and being so vague that the person on the other end doesn’t understand the message and how to improve.

Here are a few concrete feedback examples we recommend checking out to guide you in your performance appraisal:

For example, when conducting a performance appraisal, you might say, “Your new sales technique really helped the team meet the targets. Thanks for sharing your idea with us and keep up the great work.” If you need to deliver constructive criticism, you could try, “I suggest you give yourself two chances to solve a problem by yourself and then come to us for guidance.”

Examples of positive employee review comments

  • [Your action] has really helped the team [result]. Keep it up!
  • You always respond thoughtfully when your colleagues ask a question. This has really helped build a positive team environment! 
  • The client told me that your presentations have been so thorough that they don’t have to ask many follow-up questions. 
  • When there’s a problem, I notice that you always have original ideas to contribute in meetings, and that’s prompted me to think of more creative solutions. 
  • It was so helpful when you raised the question about using inclusive language in our outreach, and it’s now become an integral part of our process.

Examples of constructive employee review comments

  • I suggest that you try [action], as this will help you achieve 
  • Consider asking me or your teammates for clarification when you encounter something you don’t understand, so that you avoid this problem after you’ve finished a task. communication
  • If you don’t feel comfortable contributing your ideas in a meeting, please write them down and email them to me after, so we can benefit from your perspective. 

135 examples of performance review phrases by skill

If managers are new to writing performance reviews, or could benefit from a different approach, you can use our samples to guide them.

We’ve compiled 135 effective employee evaluation example phrases across different skills. All reviewers need to do is adapt and individualize them according to the context.

🪚 Shape reviews to your business and employee needs

Leapsome offers in-depth customizations and expert-backed review templates for all occasions, from 360° reviews to anonymous leadership assessments.

👉 Book a demo


Clear, effective communication is crucial for a team to thrive. It’s important for managers to highlight employees’ communication skills, and determine whether they’re facilitating team efficiency or whether they could improve.

As communication is closely tied to general social skills, it’s essential to avoid giving feedback about the employee’s personality. You don’t want to suggest the employee is either unfriendly or too talkative. Here are some samples of performance review comments that focus solely on job-related communication.


  1. Makes sure questions and concerns are clarified before taking action
  2. Can articulate complex concepts and ideas in plain language
  3. Reiterates what they heard to ensure understanding
  4. Takes notes or checks in after meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page
  5. Asks enough questions to understand a problem before working towards a solution
  6. Facilitates open communication between team members


  1. Doesn’t ask for help from team members
  2. Avoids conversations with management
  3. Avoids asking follow-up questions when receiving constructive feedback
  4. Doesn’t communicate well when facing a problem or urgent situation
  5. Takes too long to respond when team members ask for help

Creative ideas & innovation 

Companies need creative ideas and innovation from employees across all levels and roles, to face the challenges of a constantly changing world of work.

While creativity is essential for any job, some roles might require an extra emphasis on this skill. For example, managers might want to especially focus performance review comments on innovation capabilities for roles like product designers. Employees in more technical roles like data analysts and engineers may require some extra explanation to see how this skill applies to their work.


  1. Suggests new approaches or processes for a project
  2. Is willing to make mistakes when experimenting with innovative solutions
  3. Engages with other departments to understand their processes
  4. Encourages others to share their ideas
  5. Asks why specific processes or systems exist for better understanding
  6. Stays on top of industry trends and news and shares this information with the team


  1. Is often too rule-bound and has difficulty with innovative thinking
  2. Doesn’t innovate for fear of making mistakes
  3. Often pushes back when presented with new ideas or solutions
  4. Avoids researching a problem on their own first before turning to others
  5. Avoids offering new ideas in meetings
A photo of a manager conducting a performance review.

Adding concrete examples to personalize appraisals can show employees their manager has noticed their work and values their contributions

Time management

Although companies have largely moved away from overemphasizing rigid schedules and in-person attendance with remote and hybrid work, time management and punctuality remain important values to encourage in employees. 

Here are some examples of performance evaluation comments that reflect the new organizational skills that modern workforces require.


  1. Estimates their time well for project completion
  2. Self-starts and manages their time efficiently
  3. Consistently meets deadlines
  4. Respects the time of others
  5. Creates processes for effective time management
  6. Excels at prioritizing tasks


  1. Occasionally (or often) misses deadlines
  2. Under, or overestimates the time to complete tasks
  3. Underdelivers in terms of quality on a short deadline or under pressure
  4. Has difficulty with task prioritization and project management
  5. Does not respect the time of others in meetings and project

Attitude & dependability

The way team members think and feel about their work guides their actions. If they see the value of their contributions, employees are more likely to take ownership and have a positive influence on their peers. Have managers try these performance evaluation examples when evaluating reports on how their behavior impacts others in the workplace.


  1. Demonstrates a positive attitude and treats others with kindness and respect
  2. Is good at listening to directions and following through
  3. Makes others feel comfortable asking questions and making suggestions
  4. Shows accountability for mistakes when they happen
  5. Acknowledges successes and wins of other team members
  6. Takes pride in their work and consistently delivers high-quality projects


  1. Doesn’t always follow through with a project or task
  2. Avoids engaging with colleagues to celebrate successes and learn from them
  3. Occasionally or often blames others for their mistakes when they happen
  4. Has difficulty following directions and doesn’t ask for clarification
  5. Demonstrates a superior attitude and lack of respect for the expertise of others


Adaptability means more than a willingness to learn new things or work across different departments. It also means a team member knows how to pivot priorities when needed.

New hires may not have developed an instinct for problem-solving in your specific context yet. In these reviews, managers can use our evaluation phrases focused on learning from others  and seeking collaboration opportunities.


  1. Remains calm in the face of an emergency or priority change
  2. Is willing to adapt to changes in assignments
  3. Is open to collaborating with other departments when needed
  4. Helps team members remain calm in the face of a priority change
  5. Is open to feedback from people in other departments when problem-solving
  6. Accepts process changes that could lead to an increase in productivity


  1. Has difficulties remaining calm when priorities change
  2. Demonstrates lack of openness to a change in process
  3. Avoids collaborating with colleagues and teammates
  4. Has difficulties with problem-solving in the face of an emergency
  5. Avoids feedback from other departments when problem-solving
A photo of a team collaborating on a project.

Appraisals can impact the reviewee’s team if they receive constructive feedback about how to work alongside others

Interpersonal skills & teamwork

A team filled with different types of people and working styles can be a great asset for leadership and the company as a whole — as long as they work well together.

As with communication, make sure that managers avoid phrasing around interpersonal skills that judges somebody’s personality directly. You should make them aware of loaded adjectives as well. Research shows that language bias remains an issue when describing soft skills — for example, women are twice as likely to be described as ‘helpful’ whereas men are more likely to be called “confident”.


  1. Demonstrates good interpersonal skills with clients
  2. Contributes to a positive team environment and celebrates colleagues’ successes
  3. Is a proven team player
  4. Embraces diversity with enthusiasm
  5. Seeks to collaborate for the team’s benefit
  6. Respects the working styles and boundaries of colleagues


  1. Avoids group projects
  2. Does not collaborate well in a group setting
  3. Lacks respect for the working styles and boundaries of colleagues
  4. Avoids collaboration with colleagues
  5. Demonstrates a poor attitude towards teamwork


These performance review example comments focus on the qualities and skills needed by effective leaders. A good manager nurtures leadership within their team, encouraging employees to take the initiative to start projects, ask questions, and mentor others.

It may also be appropriate to use some of these management performance review phrases in employee appraisals, too, if they’ve shown leadership skills — perhaps they’ve led a project or mentored a less experienced employee.


  1. Takes initiative to support juniors and [if applicable] reports
  2. Takes a leadership role in projects when suitable
  3. Shows initiative when starting new projects
  4. Seeks to learn from colleagues and leaders in other departments
  5. Supports teammates when they ask for help
  6. Checks in with teammates to ask if they need support on a project


  1. Lacks initiative when starting new projects
  2. Does not show any interest in learning from colleagues and leaders
  3. Demonstrates impatience with team members’ needs
  4. Avoids supporting new teammates, juniors, or [if applicable] reports
  5. Does not always treat coworkers as equals
A photo of a project manager directing her team.

Comments about leadership skills aren’t just for managers — encourage employees to cultivate them, too

Performance & work quality

It’s important that performance phrases for quality of work help employees understand how their work affects the rest of the team and company results. As well as the following performance review example comments, you can give team members concrete illustrations of where their efforts have helped you meet targets. 


  1. Shows excellent attention to detail
  2. Consistently delivers high-quality work
  3. Openly embraces feedback to optimize results
  4. Demonstrates commitment to continuous improvement
  5. Celebrates high-quality work from colleagues
  6. Clients and other departments report satisfaction with employee’s work performance


  1. Demonstrates lack of attention to detail
  2. Avoids feedback to support delivering quality work
  3. Lacks a desire to improve
  4. Clients and coworkers report a lack of satisfaction with employee’s work
  5. Does not always meet company quality standards

Coachability & competency development

Research shows that career progression is the next most important priority for employees after compensation, so it’s important for team members to understand their progress and potential to develop along their chosen path. 

Review phrases on coachability and development should focus on how well employees engage with feedback and actively strive to learn the skills they need.


  1. Is open to constructive criticism from all sources
  2. Implements feedback and criticism
  3. Has shown improvement since the last performance appraisal
  4. Demonstrates a desire to learn new skills
  5. Teammates have reported marked improvement in work quality
  6. Is open to optimizing processes for the team’s benefit


  1. Avoids criticism and feedback
  2. Avoids implementing suggestions from others
  3. Shows a lack of interest in learning new skills
  4. Teammates have reported a lack of improvement in work quality
  5. Has shown little improvement since the last review
  6. Avoids improving processes when the need arises

⭐️ Performance management doesn’t end with reviews. Consider investing in career progression frameworks focused on core competencies to support your employees’ growth and help them move forward.


Employees’ organizational and planning skills impact the rest of their team. Combine these feedback phrases with clear examples of the positive impact of their strong organizational skills, and/or the knock-on effect it has when they don’t focus on organization and planning. For instance, did a last-minute request for a deadline extension cause issues with a client or stress for the rest of the team?


  1. Consistently shows long-term planning and strategic thinking abilities
  2. Allocates resources effectively
  3. Efficiently organizes tasks and to-dos
  4. Demonstrates ability to break down complex tasks into manageable to-dos
  5. Effectively communicates task delegations to the team
  6. Can adapt plans to changing circumstances and shows flexibility in dealing with unforeseen challenges
  7. Consistently identifies the right stakeholders to involve in a new project


  1. Lacks attention to detail in planning and scoping
  2. Struggles to develop comprehensive plans and often does not include crucial elements
  3. Regularly misses deadlines
  4. Has trouble setting realistic goals for themselves
  5. Struggles to adapt plans to changing circumstances
  6. Demonstrates poor, confusing communication of plans
  7. Has trouble delegating tasks effectively

Drive and motivation

You want your employees to get real purpose from their work. 

The following phrases for feedback flag when a report is demotivated or takes an instrumental attitude toward their work which affects their performance. That’s the first step to finding out why and seeking to restore their motivation. 


  1. Demonstrates a high-level of self-motivation and drives initiative forward
  2. Consistently exceeds expectations for initiatives 
  3. Shows strong dedication to professional growth and development
  4. Consistently seeks opportunities for development and learning
  5. Inspires and motivates other team members
  6. Demonstrates a strong sense of ownership and accountability


  1. Lacks drive and motivation for assigned tasks
  2. Expresses little interest in professional growth
  3. Demonstrates a lack of accountability
  4. Avoids responsibility for initiatives


Setting realistic yet ambitious objectives helps employees stay motivated. If goals are too easy, they won’t find their tasks engaging, but it’s important to strike a balance as overly difficult — or impossible — objectives are dispiriting. 

Managers can use these comments, and explain how their reports’ goals align with the overarching business strategy.


  1. Consistently sets ambitious yet achievable goals in line with overall company objectives
  2. Regularly identifies opportunities for career growth and proactively sets goals
  3. Is able to break down complex objectives into actionable initiatives
  4. Aligns individual goals to team and company objectives contributing to cohesive and unified goal management
  5. Shows a high level of commitment to goal-attainment


  1. Struggles to set clear goals with measurable outcomes
  2. Has trouble setting realistic targets and timelines for goal completion
  3. Lacks a proactive approach to goal-setting, often relying on others to define initiatives
  4. Personal goals lack alignment with overall company and team objectives
  5. Demonstrates a lack of commitment to goal attainment
  6. Regularly misses opportunities to track goal progress

Improve employee performance reviews with Leapsome

We’ve curated these 135 phrases as a starting point. Once you’ve tailored them to your unique employee needs, they can serve as a guide for your entire company.

But you don’t need to start from scratch or bury yourself in paperwork and multiple tools to run effective performance reviews. Even if your company doesn’t have a refined review process yet, Leapsome has powerful, intuitive, and time-saving Reviews tools. You can access expert-backed, customizable review templates, set up automated review cycles, and easily track development across specific skills and performance markers. There are also many company culture tools to help enhance this at your organization.

Screenshot of Leapsome’s AI-powered performance review summaries and action plans
Managers can effortlessly turn thoughts into clear feedback and action plans with Leapsome's AI-powered review tools.

Leapsome’s AI innovations make the review process even more efficient by generating intelligent feedback summaries, constructive comments, and actionable insights. 

With the help of Leapsome, people teams and managers can focus their reviews on helping employees to reach their full potential.

🍇 Get your whole team hungry for feedback 

Our Reviews module takes the stress out of performance management by enabling you to create AI and data-driven reviews your team simply has to tweak to suit the individual.

👉 Learn more

Written By

Leapsome Team

Written by the team at Leapsome — the all-in-one people enablement platform for driving employee engagement, performance, and learning.
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