Key Phrases in Annual Performance Evaluations…and How to Use Them Right

 Choice phrases to use during annual evaluations to emphasize your performance & productivity

by Rod Dunne on August 17, 2011

in Creative, Human Side

Maybe you belong to one of the many average corporations today who use performance evaluations. Well, you’re not alone. Practically every other business, from fast food to Marine Corps has jumped on the bandwagon.

A performance review can be a scary thing; not only is your performance being reviewed, but it is also a ‘Does your boss like you?’ evaluation.


The range of comments that can be used in staff performance appraisals can go from the informative and positive to the downright negative. So, you have to be prepared for both.

To keep your job, you have to prove that you are not only doing your job well, you are also a funny, likeable person and there is no reason at all why they should look for someone else to fill your spot. Therefore, here are a few tips on how to ace your annual performance appraisal and keep your 9-5 job.

The employee’s viewpoint:

The key to annual performance evaluation phrases is knowing when to use them, and how. First thing that happens is you sit down with your boss. He is going to start off by making a cursory overview of your performance over the last year, maybe mention one of two instances.

This is the time for humor, but not too much. He might say something like “You did a pretty good job handling that new account.” Annual performance evaluation phrases that can be used here are “Well, I’m just glad it’s all accounted for” or “That’s why they call me an accountant.”

You do not want to be hilarious yet. You have a long way to go. All you are doing now is reminding the boss you are likeable, but certainly not a clown! be sure to prepare some sample comments for performance reviews for items that you are sure will be brought up.

Key phrases to use during your annual performance appraisal

Dealing with negative performance evaluation phrases

At some point of the evaluation, the boss will probably bring an issue with your performance a black note on your employee performance evaluation form.

  • Maybe you made an inappropriate comment.
  • Maybe you disagreed over a move the company made.
  • Maybe you botched the single most important deal the company will ever have the opportunity to make and started a small war in South America because of it.

It does not matter – the annual performance review phrases that get used here have to be worded carefully. Do not dodge responsibility; bosses can smell fear. Take a bit of the blame, but just a bit. Do not shove it off on someone else. “Phew, that was a doozy. Shows what happens when I don’t have my cup of Joe” or “Yep, I missed the mark there. Hopefully that million-dollar account I landed the next month and the peace talks in Chile that I mediated for make up for it a bit.”

Remember: Annual performance evaluation phrases are the silver key to unlocking your new office (or at least your old one) and keeping your job.

Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on Product-ivity.com. This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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