150+ Helpful Performance Review Phrases for Managers

In this article, we discuss the do’s and don’ts of performance review phrases. Choose your next comment from this list of 150+ review phrases across 17 work areas


min read

Reviews can be overwhelming for those giving it as well as those receiving it. 

As a manager, you need to ensure that the performance review phrases and comments you use create the delicate balance between providing critical feedback covering areas of improvement and ensuring a positive attitude to motivate the employees

To make the entire process effective, we have compiled a list of 150+ performance review phrases and captions that you can use with a list of phrases to avoid and best practices for providing reviews on areas of improvement. 

How to use performance review phrases 

Before we jump onto the review phrase examples that you could use, let’s discuss how you should use them to ensure maximum efficacy.

  • Don’t use generic phrases or buzzwords for all performance reviews
  • Make the reviews personalized for each employee
  • Add context or quantify the review phrases with information and data points relevant to the employee
  • Use performance phrases that are context specific 
  • Leverage performance review phrases to identify key behaviors for each segment of performance appraisal

Read: Top 10 performance review tips for managers that actually work

Which performance review phrases should you avoid 

While the intent of employee review phrases is to provide appropriate feedback to the employees, there are certain practices and comments that you should avoid. Often, using such phrases will dilute the impact of your conversation. To ensure high levels of effectiveness, you should avoid:

1. Being vague

Steer away from using cliched review phrases which don’t have any substance or communicate impact like ‘Mr. A is an excellent communicator’

This is a generic statement. You should rather use phrases that add value to the statement like ‘Mr. A doesn’t shy away from asking questions in case he has doubts about the conversation.’

2. Comparing two colleagues

You need to ensure that your performance review phrases do not hint on any level of comparison between two employees.

Avoid statements like, ‘Ms. P was able to close 10 deals in 6 months, however, you closed only 6.’

3. Being absolute

On whichever side of the spectrum your performance review falls, ensure that your phrases are not absolute. Put simply, you should stay away from comments that include the terms Always/Never. Even if you want to show incidence of more than one time, use terms like seldom/frequently. 

For instance, avoid phrases like, ‘Mr. Q never speaks up during meetings.’

4. Humiliating or downgrading the employees

The intent of using performance review phrases is to ensure that you are able to communicate your feedback in the most meaningful manner

Using statements that humiliate or look down upon the employees defeats the purpose. Ensure that your statements have a constructive tone to them.

It is best to negate statements like, ‘Ms. L is the worst person on the team, she can never get anything right.’

5. Being uncertain

Finally, be very firm and sure of the performance review phrases you use. 

Terms like maybe, I am not sure, etc. will downplay the impact because the employee will get a sense of your uncertainty and may not take the feedback very seriously

Avoid using phrases like ‘I think Mr. G has been outperforming his targets for the last 3 months.’

How to provide reviews on areas of improvements

Not all instances where you will use performance review phrases will be completely positive in nature. Rather, there will be multiple instances when you will have to talk about the areas of improvement for your employees if you really want to see them grow. However, delivering reviews on the latter can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the following tips can help you be well prepared for it.

1. Be specific

Don’t throw random generic statements when you want to speak of areas of improvement. It may seem a good way to avoid confrontation, but you will end up not yielding any impact. 

For instance, instead of saying, ‘You did not perform well’, use statements like ‘Your performance in the last project was not upto the mark due to several missed deadlines’

2. Be regular

Next, if you are providing review or feedback for areas of improvement, try to make it as soon as possible, once you identify the challenge. The sooner you share the review, the more relevant it will be. 

For instance, saying, ‘Mr. X did not meet sales targets in the first quarter’ when you are sitting in the last quarter will not yield much impact. 

3. Try to not get personal

Finally, ensure that the performance review phrases you use do not come across as a personal attack on your employees. They should focus on the behavior or attribute you wish to talk about and not the person specifically. 

For instance, instead of commentating ‘You are not serious about your work’ use statements like ‘Your performance in the last quarter indicates a lack of taking ownership’

150+ useful performance review phrases 

Let’s quickly walk through the top 150+ performance review phrases that you can use for performance management and feedback for your employees. We have categorized them under specific performance aspects to make them easier to comprehend. 

1) Quality Of Work Performance Review Phrases

You can use these phrases to describe your assessment of whether or not the quality of work has been as per company standards. 

Generally, quality of work is intrinsically linked to high levels of motivation, commitment and productivity

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Has an exceptional attention to detail
  2. Consistently follows up and prevents work from falling through cracks
  3. Work is well researched and articulated
  4. Double checks the work before submitting
  5. Maintains a proper plan to ensure nothing is missed

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. More focus is needed to ensure greater accuracy
  2. Has been inconsistent in the quality of work delivered
  3. Needs to put more effort into producing reports that are error free
  4. Doesn’t follow an established process of completion and checking of work

2) Job Knowledge Performance Review Phrases

Every role or job comes with a set of expectations and responsibilities. If an employee is foggy on this understanding, chances are high that he or she will be unable to deliver as per expectations.

Clear job knowledge will help employees set clear expectations of themselves and ensure effective performance  

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Has been able to translate strategy into results
  2. Is able to address organizational challenges with technical knowledge
  3. Was able to yield 10% higher sales by leveraging new techniques
  4. Keen to upskill in the domain of operation
  5. Understands the changing job requirements and is willing to adapt

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Is not able to meet changing market expectations
  2. Has not been willing to take on opportunities to learn new skills required
  3. Unable to provide technical solutions to the problems at hand
  4. Is unsure of the skills required for the job

3) Attention To Detail Performance Review Phrases

Attention to detail is a subset of quality of work and is critical for most roles.

Employees that have high levels of attention to detail are often more proactive and deliver error free work

On the other hand, a lack of the same leads to a high number of inaccuracies.

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Displays high levels of patience
  2. Is highly organized and ensures clarification at every stage
  3. Produces work that requires minimal iterations
  4. Maintains a checklist to ensure everything is delivered on time
  5. Undertakes multiple rounds of proofreading before delivery

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Delivers unreliable or incomplete output frequently
  2. Tries to focus on multiple projects at once
  3. Tends to overlook requirements in an attempt to complete work on time
  4. Doesn’t spend adequate time on details

4) Dependability Performance Review Phrases

As a performance component, dependability refers to the degree to which you can rely upon your employees to deliver quality work consistently and put in extra effort if the need arises 

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Displays high level of performance every day
  2. Has shown time and again that he/she can be counted on during uncertain times
  3. Doesn’t shy away from commitment to handle multiple projects
  4. Doesn’t complain if the need arises to put in extra hours at times
  5. Ensures high quality of work consistently

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Is seen struggling with keeping up with deadlines
  2. Rarely delivers what is agreed upon
  3. Tends to shift ownership to others 
  4. Takes leave of absence without prior intimation regularly

5) Initiative Performance Review Phrases

Initiative is an attribute that is exhibited by only a few employees who take ownership of getting things done without being asked to. 

Initiative is generally found among employees that feel a sense of affinity towards the vision and values of the organization and seek to make an impact

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Proactively sets goals and OKRs for oneself
  2. Participates in activities that goes beyond KRA
  3. Often tries to engage in areas to deliver more value
  4. Constantly takes ownership of new projects and assignments
  5. Is willing to go out of the way to help others

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Requires constant reminders and supervision
  2. Resists taking on new responsibilities and participating in activities
  3. Unwilling to set goals and add value to projects
  4. Barely completes the work allotted to him/her

Read: How often should you conduct performance reviews

6) Teamwork and Collaboration Performance Review Phrases 

When you are working in an organization, you seldom work in silos. You often have to collaborate, co-create and collectively work with your team members towards a shared goal. An employee can be a great individual contributor but may not excel in teamwork. However, high levels of teamwork and collaboration lead to greater engagement, commitment and a positive culture. 

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Was active in seeking inputs from all team members during the last project
  2. Has shown proficiency in delegating tasks and following up
  3. Has been actively participating in all brainstorming sessions
  4. Facilitates unity in the team by promoting open communication 
  5. Has built a rapport with everyone in the team

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Has a poor record of showing up for team meetings
  2. Does not willingly share ideas or feedback with others in the team
  3. Rarely encourages colleagues and is less than willing to seek feedback
  4. Is unable to delegate work in an effective manner

7) Productivity Performance Review Phrases

Productivity refers to the output an employee is able to deliver, both in terms of quality and quantity. Employees that show high levels of productivity are an asset to the organization. Providing regular performance feedback on productivity can enhance the same by making employees aware about the gaps. 

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Constantly delivers on or before time
  2. Has been instrumental in meeting targets in the last quarter
  3. Ensures minimal distractions to deliver volumes of high quality work
  4. Focuses on using tools and techniques to work in a smart way
  5. Achieved sales target 5 days ahead of time for the last month

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Has been asking for extensions on deadlines
  2. Unable to focus attention on work for a long time, leading to below average delivery
  3. Lacks organizational skills leading to little progress in productivity
  4. Has shown reluctance to work on new projects

8) Attendance Performance Review Phrases

While it is true that employees must be given adequate time off, taking leave of absence very frequently and without prior notice can impact an organization in more than one way.

Attendance is not limited to showing up at work, but also permeates to meetings, sessions and learning initiatives. It is an overt display of commitment and engagement and low levels can be an indication of potential attrition

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Consistently shows up for meetings on time
  2. Doesn’t take unnecessary breaks during work hours
  3. Informs about time off well in advance
  4. Ensures things are managed well with Out Of Office (OOO) automatic emails when not available
  5. Doesn’t make others wait for a pre-scheduled meeting

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Shows up late or is a no show during workshops
  2. Does not take initiative to respond to meeting invites
  3. Spends excessive time on non-productive things during work hours
  4. Extends meetings unnecessarily

9) Communication Performance Review Phrases

Poor communication among employees can lead to misunderstanding, high stress, poor company morale and much more. On the flip side, streamlined communication results in greater engagement and a better experience. Constant feedback on communication can help prevent instances of miscommunication and clarity at all levels.

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Is able to communicate his/her ideas in a concise yet informative manner
  2. Consistently asks questions in case there is any confusion
  3. Ensures the every point he/she makes is relevant and well articulated
  4. Doesn’t shy away from starting a conversation, especially on a difficult topic
  5. Is not afraid of saying “let me get back to you”, when he/she is not sure of the answer

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Has been observed using language that is not welcome by others
  2. Is unwilling to listen to others/ take feedback
  3. Avoids meaningful conversations
  4. Is often verbose and written communication is not clear

10) Integrity Performance Review Phrases

Employees with high levels of integrity often align with strong moral values and believe in ethical business practices. 

Guiding integrity through performance review statements can help build an attractive and reputable employer brand for the organization

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Ensures that commitment is adhered to
  2. Makes an effort to do what is right
  3. Does not take the easy way out
  4. Maintains a high level of discipline, confidentiality and ethics at work
  5. Follows business principles diligently

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Indulges in office gossip
  2. Doesn’t give in 100% if left unsupervised
  3. Tries to pin blame on others and makes comments in the process
  4. Is found breaking rules on more than one occasion 

11) Leadership Performance Review Phrases

Leadership as a quality is integral for your employees if you seek to build a healthy succession pipeline

Reviews on leadership capabilities can help budding leaders build the right skills, competencies and attitudes to take up new roles and positions without any challenge. 

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Successfully led the last team project and recorded 15% increase in sales
  2. Provides meaningful feedback to peers and colleagues with clear actions
  3. Deals with people with empathy and compassion
  4. Encourages team members to unlock full potential
  5. Helps others when they are stuck in work 

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Rarely shows appreciation or acknowledges others
  2. Doesn’t set a positive and authentic example for others
  3. Creates a culture of shifting accountability and fear
  4. Lacks the willingness and skills to delegate work

Read: Top 7 tips to improve leadership effectiveness 

12) Problem Solving Performance Review Phrases

Problem solving is one of the most critical skills for the 21st century. Employees no longer have to just undertake repetitive tasks, but have to indulge in critical thinking to address real world challenges. 

Creating a culture of problem solving can help you ensure resilience and business continuity even during uncertainty and ambiguity

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Proactively suggests new and innovative solutions to problems
  2. Always comes with a few solutions to the management when a challenge arises
  3. Views problems as opportunities 
  4. Helped address a customer complaint leading to 10% increase in customer stickiness
  5. Is good at preempting and evaluating challenges

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Rarely comes up with ideas or suggestions during brainstorming sessions
  2. Sticks to the processes and practices and shies away from experimentation
  3. Fails to comprehensively understand the problem
  4. Is hesitant to change the conventional flow of processes and work

13) Adaptability Performance Review Phrases

Surrounded by uncertain market conditions, employees need to display high levels of adaptability. Be it picking up new skills, or pivoting priorities as the need arises, adaptability is highly critical today. Consistent feedback on adaptability can help employees gauge the importance of this quality and focus on developing the same. 

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Is willing to adjust priorities, deadlines based on changed realities
  2. Thinks on the feet and quickly responds to a new challenge
  3. Believes change can lead to better outcomes
  4. Upskilled himself/herself in 3 months to deliver the last project successfully
  5. Makes conscious effort to remain agile

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Is reluctant to move out of the comfort zone
  2. Feels overwhelmed when asked to adjust priorities and take on new work
  3. Unable to maintain calm and composure when uncertainty strikes
  4. Rarely attends sessions on change management

14) Flexibility Performance Review Phrases

Close to adaptability lies the quality of flexibility to describe employees who are not rigid and set in their own ways. They are open to new ideas and are willing to accommodate in case the need arises.

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Has a positive attitude when there is a need to accommodate or change
  2. Shows proactiveness in case of urgent changes 
  3. Is willing to embrace change
  4. Adjusts well with new responsibilities and duties
  5. Is willing to adjust when others request

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Doesn’t move away from what he/she believes is right
  2. Is not willing to view things from others’ point of view
  3. Rarely helps others if there will be no impact on him/her
  4. Unwilling to work according to schedules of others

15) Adherence To Policy Performance Review Phrases

While it is important to innovate and think out of the box, a certain level of adherence and compliance to policies and practices is integral for a thriving culture. For instance, certain HR policies, POSH policy, etc. need to be adhered to, to ensure the maintenance of a professional decorum and create a safe workspace for everyone. 

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Respects and follows all policies set by the company
  2. Ensures that any instance of poor compliance is reported immediately
  3. Is vocal about commitment to policies
  4. Has deep knowledge about the content and intent of each policy
  5. Makes an effort to engage in different committees, initiatives to further the policy impact

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Is unaware about the policies that exist in the organization
  2. Doesn’t make an effort to attend workshops/sessions organized on key policies
  3. Doesn’t actively make an effort to adhere to policies
  4. Dismisses colleagues when they quote policies to him/her

16) Achievements Performance Review Phrases

Though not exactly a performance parameter, it is very important to get in line performance review phrases that talk about achievements of the employees. While positive phrases can reinforce the achievements, areas of improvement can help reach the desired levels. 

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Ended the last quarter with 20% more sales than the previous one
  2. Saved $1 Million for the company by leveraging automation tools
  3. Outperformed other teams by exceeding the target by 15%
  4. Increased customer stickiness by 15% by reducing complaint resolution time to 24 hours
  5. Increased organic traffic on the website by 35% leveraging the right SEO techniques

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Missed meeting the target for last month by 5%
  2. Unable to meet deadlines because of lack of organization
  3. Finds it difficult to deliver error free work consistently
  4. Needs to focus on better social media engagement to increase organic traffic

17) Professionalism Performance Review Phrases

Despite the rise of a casual work culture, especially with the advent of remote work, there is a need to maintain a level of professionalism to ensure the right culture. Performance review phrases on professionalism can help employees understand what is desirable and how it ultimately impacts productivity, performance, retention and engagement at large.

Phrases to indicate performance is acceptable or exceeds expectation

  1. Has high levels of integrity and work ethic
  2. Ensure communication in a professional way without using abbreviations, emojis, etc.
  3. Doesn’t get worked up and shows it to others even under pressure
  4. Dresses according to the need of the workplace
  5. Converses in a polite yet convincing manner

Phrases that indicate need for improvement

  1. Has a hard time keeping personal life away from work
  2. Sometimes talks to colleagues in a manner that is considered offensive
  3. Doesn’t maintain workplace hygiene
  4. Is often dressed in casual clothes which don’t gel well with the nature of the setting

Suggested Reading

Performance review tips for managers

When and how frequently to conduct performance review

Sudeshna Roy

Marketing, SuperBeings

Hi There! I am Sudeshna. At SuperBeings, I lead our content strategy to bring you the best and latest on everything related to people management

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50+ Most Useful Employee Onboarding Survey Questions

‘Onboarding: How to get your new employees up to speed in half the time’ - George Bradt, founder and Chairman PrimeGenesis

Did you know that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%? 

However, only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job at onboarding new employees. 

This clearly states that while employee onboarding has a direct impact on the bottom line, most organizations miss out on how to get it right. 

Don’t let that happen to you. To onboard new employees like a pro, keep reading.

What is an onboarding survey?

By definition, an onboarding survey is a questionnaire that is administered on new hires to gauge their initial experience and level of satisfaction, in an attempt to understand their engagement and retention potential. 

As an HR, you can get multiple insights from an onboarding survey, including:

  • what employees thought about the organization when they heard about it for the first time
  • how their impression changed over time 
  • whether or not their experience aligns with their expectations, etc.

It can help you estimate how long the employees are likely to stay and how you can further optimize your onboarding process to make it more aligned with employee expectations. 

Why are onboarding surveys important?

An effective onboarding survey can help you reflect on your performance through the onboarding process, which directly impacts KPIs for organizational success, including:

1. Retention

93% of employers believe a good onboarding experience is critical in influencing a new employee’s decision whether to stay with the company. At the same time, 25% of a company’s new hires would leave within a year if the onboarding experience was poor. 

2. eNPS

20% of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member and an onboarding survey can help you identify the reasons for the same. However, new team members who were asked to provide feedback prior to their start date also had a 79% increase in willingness to refer others. Thus, illustrating how onboarding surveys and feedback can impact eNPS.

Read: How to use eNPS for better employee engagement

3. Satisfaction and Engagement

Employees with exceptional onboarding experiences are 2.6x more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace and 70% say they have ‘the best possible job’.

4. Performance

77% of employees who went through a formal onboarding process were able to meet their first performance goals. However, 49% of individuals who failed to reach their first performance milestone had no official onboarding instruction. An onboarding survey can help you determine the effectiveness of your onboarding process.  

5. Other

In addition, your new employees might also have an inclination towards providing feedback as a part of the onboarding survey, which you will lose out if you don’t conduct the same. Research shows that only 26% of new employees recall being asked for feedback on their candidate journey and the hiring process before their start date wherein 91% of new hires are willing to provide this feedback. 

Employee onboarding survey: Best practices

Now that you understand the importance of an employee onboarding survey, let’s quickly discuss how to effectively run an onboarding survey. 

1. Set the cadence

You must coincide your employee onboarding survey with important milestones for the new employee in the organization. Mostly, these milestones coincide with the end of the first few months. Thus, you should circulate your onboarding survey after 30, 60 and 90 days respectively, with different objectives for each. Furthermore, you can send interim surveys in case you feel the need, for instance, when the employee starts a project, or when the orientation process is over. 

“Effective employee onboarding isn’t about swag, stickers, & company value pamphlets on their desk the 1st day. But, how you help them understand their goals & how co values are interwoven in operating are more important.”- Suhail Doshi, founder and chairman of Mixpanel, Inc.

2. Identify critical areas and build questions

Based on the milestones or cadence you have set up, it is important to identify areas you would want to cover with each milestone. For instance:

In the first 30 days, you should focus on themes like: 

  • Orientation process
  • Initial thoughts
  • Expectation alignment 
  • Recruitment process
  • Onboarding experience

In 60 days, you can touch on themes like:

  • Knowledge transfer
  • Level of engagement and satisfaction
  • Induction process

By the end of 90 days, focus should shift towards:

  • Manager support
  • Role clarity
  • Likelihood to stay
  • Organizational alignment

Once you have decided the themes, you can start building questions, a snapshot of which is covered in the next section or you can download the template now here. The themes can be fluid across milestones, depending on the context for your organization. 

3. Roll out the survey for participation

Once the milestone arrives, you should roll out the onboarding survey and drive participation. It is important to explain to your new employees why the onboarding survey is important and how they can fill it up. Give them the requisite time, deadlines and communicate what will be the next steps to encourage them to participate. 

4. Follow up

Simply rolling out the survey is not enough. You must reach out to your new employees to remind them to fill the onboarding survey as amidst numerous new things, they might lose track of it. Don’t push too hard, yet send subtle reminders to get genuine responses. For instance: employee survey tools such as SuperBeings integrate with chat tools like Slack, Teams, Gchat to send personalized nudges to fill out the survey in the flow of work at set intervals as well as allows them to participate directly without switching context. 

Unlock a wide array of survey questions and employee analytics. See how SuperBeings can help

5. Take action

Once your onboarding survey responses are in, slice and dice them to get insights into what your employees feel and leverage the data points to further refine your onboarding process to facilitate engagement, retention and advocacy from the beginning. 

Sample onboarding survey questions for 30-60-90 day review

Taking cue from the section above, here are 50+ onboarding survey questions that you can leverage to gauge the pulse of your new employees as they complete different milestones.

You can also download these questions as a template and use it whenever you need. Click here to download

1. Onboarding survey questions for 30 day review

a) Onboarding and orientation process

  1. How can we change or improve the onboarding process?
  2. What did you like most about the onboarding process?
  3. Was the orientation interactive and engaging?
  4. Did the onboarding process meet your expectations?
  5. Do you feel welcome and proud to be working here?
  6. How would you rate the duration and quality of your onboarding experience?
  7. How would you describe your first day?

b) Decision related questions

  1. What were the top 3 reasons for joining this company?
  2. Do you think those reasons have been met?

c) Technical training and knowledge transfer

  1. Have you received the training that you were promised during your induction?
  2. Did the training meet your expectations and was accurately described during the hiring process?
  3. Is the training relevant to your roles and responsibilities?
  4. Were adequate tools and materials shared during training to facilitate knowledge transfer?

2. Onboarding survey questions for 60 day review

a) Engagement related questions

  1. Would you recommend the company to others in your network?
  2. Do you see yourself working here in 2 years?
  3. Do you feel motivated to come to work in the morning?
  4. Do you feel prepared for your role?

b) Onboarding experience

  1. Did the first 30 days of onboarding go as expected?
  2. What is the one thing you would like to change from your experience so far?

c) Company policies

  1. Are you clear on the different company policies shared with you?
  2. Do you have any concerns about any of the policies that you would like to highlight?
  3. Do you think any policy is missing that you think must be a part of our governance?

d) Questions about team

  1. Have your team members been integral in smooth onboarding?
  2. Have you been able to connect and collaborate with all your team members?
  3. Do you consider your team members to be welcoming and inclusive?
  4. What is the thing you would like to change about how your team works currently?

e) Reflection questions

  1. Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out for your 60 days?
  2. How has your journey been so far?
  3. What has been your biggest accomplishment in 60 days?
  4. What are some achievements you would like to ensure in the next 30 days?

3. Onboarding survey questions for 90 day review

a) Role and expectation clarity

  1. Do you have an understanding of what is expected from you as a part of this role?
  2. Is your role similar to what was communicated to you during the hiring process?
  3. Do you have the necessary resources you need for the role?
  4. Do you have clarity of your goals?
  5. Do you understand how your work will be evaluated?
  6. Does your role meet your career aspirations?
  7. What do you think is the most difficult part about your role?
  8. What excites you most about your current role?
  9. Do you understand the importance of the work you do?

b) Organizational alignment

  1. Do your values align with the organizational values?
  2. Do you believe in the vision and mission of the organization?
  3. Do you believe your ideas are valued?
  4. Do you have clarity on the organization’s future plans and do you align with them?
  5. Do you see yourself as a part of this organization 5 years from now?

c) Manager support

  1. Have your conversations with the managers been effective?
  2. Does your manager support your career aspirations?
  3. Does your manager provide you with the necessary support to perform your role effectively?
  4. Do you receive regular feedback from your manager?
  5. Does your manager include you in key discussions, wherever applicable?

d) Other questions

  1. What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?
  2. Do you feel your onboarding was successful?
  3. How can we help you in improving the overall experience?
  4. Do you feel included and accepted by everyone in the team?
  5. How do you see yourself progressing from here?
  6. Do you have access to all the information you need?

Wrapping up (TL:DR)

By now, it would be very clear to you that an employee onboarding survey can help you in multiple ways to create a high performance culture. It can enable you to augment retention, engagement, satisfaction and advocacy among employees to ensure that there is minimal turnover and you are able to attract high quality talent. Ensure that you roll out an onboarding survey at 30/60/90 days frequency to check onboarding experience, knowledge transfer, manager support, role clarity, etc. 

You should focus on other forms of employee feedback on culture, training and development opportunities, level of engagement, manager effectiveness, workplace collaboration, work-life balance, among others. 

Finally, you should focus on leveraging technology and automation to add efficiency and effectiveness to your onboarding survey and process. 

Research shows, automating onboarding tasks resulted in a 16% increase in retention rates for new hires.

Thus, consider partnering with a survey platform which enables you to:

  • Use science-backes best practices onboarding survey templates
  • Track employee milestones automatically and roll out surveys on due date with zero to minimal manual intervention 
  • Integrate surveys with existing chat tools for reminders and sending out survey questions
  • Use NLP for decoding sentiments behind open comments to understand the reason behind each response
  • Use other employee engagement surveys to get the whole picture of new hire engagement

Related Reading

How to use employee engagement survey comments

Best employee engagement survey tools in the market today

min read

How to Give Constructive Feedback? (With Examples)

When it comes to performance management for employees, you would agree that feedback plays an important role. However, only offering positive feedback and appreciating the performance of your employees is not enough. You need to give them an equal amount of constructive feedback which is specific to ensure high levels of performance. If you feel that your employees may not embrace constructive feedback, think again.

Research shows that 92% of people believe that constructive feedback is effective at improving performance.

In this article we will help you understand how you can give constructive feedback and examples you can leverage. 

What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback is essentially a tool that most forward looking professionals leverage to help others in their team with specific and constructive inputs on areas where one’s performance can be improved. Put simply, if you have an employee who doesn’t pay attention to detail, constructive feedback involves helping them acknowledge that this is a problem area, and more than that, enabling them with the support to overcome the same. It involves not only identifying a performance problem, but also, providing action items and ways to address the same. 

Importance of constructive feedback

Now that you have an understanding of what constructive feedback means, let’s quickly look at some of the top reasons why constructive feedback is important. Constructive feedback:

  • Improves performance: It enables your team members to understand how they can perform better with specific inputs on areas of improvement
  • Reinforces expectations: It helps your employees clearly gauge what is expected out of them in terms of performance, and sets clear deliverables and measurement parameters to avoid any surprises during performance appraisal
  • Boosts morale and confidence: It involves also appreciating employees for a job well done and illustrates how they can become a better version of themselves
  • Facilitates employee stickiness: It ensures that employees see your organization which cares about their professional growth and encourages them to stick around longer, and even act as advocates for others.

Positive feedback vs constructive feedback 

When delivering feedback, you must understand the difference between positive and constructive feedback and ensure that you use both of them where they fit the best. Here a quick distinction between positive feedback vs constructive feedback:

  • Positive feedback focuses on a job well done and highlights where an employee has excelled. Whereas, constructive feedback talks about areas of improvement and action items for desirable outcomes. 
  • While positive feedback seeks to reinforce the positive behavior, constructive feedback focuses more on facts and traits.
  • Positive feedback is a reflection of the past performance and doesn’t necessarily have a futuristic orientation, however, constructive feedback takes reference from the past to feed better performance in the future.  
  • “Your presentation during the board meeting was crisp and informative” is an example of positive feedback. Whereas, “While your presentation was informative, you can focus more on articulation to ensure that all your research is communicated in a way that everyone is able to understand. Using pointers can help here”, is an example of constructive feedback.
In a nutshell, positive feedback is a reinforcement tool, whereas constructive feedback is a mechanism to facilitate development. 

How to give constructive feedback

With an understanding of the fundamentals of constructive feedback, let’s quickly jump to the best practices which can help you deliver constructive feedback in a nuanced and effective manner. 

1. Decide when to give the constructive feedback

The first thing you need to focus on is ensuring that the timing of the constructive feedback is ideal. For instance, a busy period when the employee is putting in a lot of effort may not be ideal for giving them feedback about their performance from three months ago. At the same time, ensure that you provide constructive feedback regularly and consistently, to avoid recency or primacy bias. However, don’t offer feedback when you are angry about their performance either. 

2. Set the context and build trust

Before you get down to giving the feedback, set the tone. Share with the employee the purpose of the meeting and make them comfortable prior to sharing your reflections. It is important that you build trust so your employees can share their perspective and don’t feel intimidated by what you have to say. 

3. Share your reflections

Once the context and tone is set, start sharing your reflections. Your focus should be on sharing what you have observed about their performance. However, ensure that you also share how the same is likely to impact their career growth as well as organizational success. For instance, if you are providing constructive feedback about missing deadlines, you can use the impact of losing clients for the organization and a casual attitude marker for the employee.

4. Give specific examples

When sharing reflections, use specific examples of when you noticed a particular behavior. For instance, in the above example, you can share instances of when the employee missed his/her deadlines. Ensure that you use examples which illustrate a pattern, rather than a one off incident, which is very uncommon. Furthermore, always use concrete examples and not interpretation of what you hear or see.   

5. Balance positive and negative

With constructive feedback, your focus should be on helping the employee improve their performance and work on their areas of development.

However, simply pointing out their weaknesses or negatives in their performance will not help. You need to also talk about some of the positive aspects of their performance and how those qualities can help them absorb and implement their constructive feedback. 

6. Be empathetic

Emotional intelligence is extremely important when delivering constructive feedback. You cannot be apathetic towards your employee when delivering the same. Put yourself in their shoes to choose your phrases carefully. We will share some examples in the next section. Also, use your EQ to read the situation when you are delivering the feedback. If you see that the employee is getting uncomfortable, take a pause and comfort them first. Read their gestures and body language to ensure that the employee is not feeling attacked. 

7. Don’t make it personal

Like it or not, constructive feedback involves pointing out one’s weaknesses and areas of improvement. However, you should refrain from equating the performance of the employee with his/her personality or whole self. For instance, if someone misses deadlines, encourage them to be more organized or prioritize important work, than labeling them as a procrastinator. 

8. Encourage response from the other side

While you are delivering the constructive feedback, you have to make sure it is a dialogue.

The idea is to give the other person enough room to share their side of the story.

Try to understand whether or not they agree with your feedback and how they perceive the same. They may share the lack of support or resources, which have resulted in a weak performance. Be open to some reverse feedback as well. Again, your EQ must be at play here. If your employee has an outburst, or reacts negatively, you need to stay composed and calm them down. 

9. Discuss potential solutions

Once you and your employee are aligned on the areas of improvement, the most important part of constructive feedback is to provide adequate solutions to address the performance challenges. Don’t give abstract or vague solutions like be punctual if the employee misses deadlines. Rather, give very specific and action oriented solutions which are directed towards a particular outcome. The idea is to collectively understand the cause of the weak area of performance and use concrete solutions to remedy the same. 

10. Create a time bound action plan

Now that you have shared some potential solutions, you must revise the top action items with your employee to avoid any confusion. At the same time, you should focus on creating a time bound plan with key milestones to ensure that development is taking place. Summarize what was discussed and how you will proceed from there. Best is to set up a date to review the progress to ensure constructive feedback is paid heed to. 

Read our article on Start Stop Continue Feedback to give action oriented feedback

20 Constructive feedback examples 

Here are top 20 constructive feedback examples that you can use during your next conversation. To make your constructive feedback more effective, we have also illustrated examples of what you should steer away from.

1. Communication skills

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I would really like to know how you have progressed on the tasks assigned to you last month. It would be ideal if you could share a progress update on what has been achieved with a small summary of challenges/ support needed at the end of every week to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have not kept your team updated about your work, this is highly unprofessional.

2. Attention to detail

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I was going through the work you submitted last week and I can see you have put in a lot of effort. However, I could see that there were some small errors and inaccuracies in the report across multiple sections. I believe that if you proofread your work thoroughly before turning it in, it will reduce the number of iterations and improve your quality of work. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You seem completely distracted as you have been submitting flawed and below average work, this will not be tolerated. 

3. Time management

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I understand that you are working on multiple projects, however, you need to ensure that the most important projects are not overlooked and their timelines are not missed. Therefore, I would suggest you create a list of tasks you are working on and check with the respective reporting managers on the priority and set clear expectations to ensure that no deadlines are missed. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have missed your deadline again, it seems like you are not serious about you work. 

4. Goal achievement

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been able to achieve only a part of the goals that you set out for this year. Maybe you were trying to spread yourself too thin. I would suggest you reduce the number of projects you are working on and ensure that the goals you set you are able to achieve. Furthermore, you must be vocal about the support or resources you need to achieve your goals. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

Are you even serious about your work, your level of goal achievement indicates otherwise. 

5. Absenteeism

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been taking some time off lately, without any prior intimation. Let’s try to understand if there is a particular reason for the same. We can work on your schedule to make it more flexible. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have been missing all meetings lately, this tardiness is not appreciated. 

6. Problem solving

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you are excellent at execution of ideas. However, I believe that you need to focus more on coming up with solutions on your own. I would suggest participating more in the brainstorming sessions and coming up with solutions. Try to think on your own, before you reach out to others with the problem.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You lack any problem solving capabilities, and will be stuck to execution for the rest of your career.

Wrapping up

Constructive feedback is integral to organizational success. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always use facts and examples to deliver constructive feedback
  • Don’t forget to differentiate between positive and constructive feedback
  • Make sure you have practical tips or suggestions 
  • Leverage specific constructive feedback examples for specific performance problems, instead of being vague

Related Reading

50 top 360 degree feedback question examples

150 performance review phrases

min read

How to Use Performance Management Cycle for High Performance Teams

While performance management has been a key priority for organizations, for a long time, year end reviews were considered to be the most effective way to facilitate the same. However, recently organizations are observing a shift towards continuous performance management with an introduction of the performance management cycle. This article will focus on different aspects of the performance management cycle and how it enables unlocking the potential of high performance teams. 

What is a performance management cycle?

Before going into the diverse aspects, you should first understand what a performance management cycle essentially is. If you have an idea of what continuous performance management is, you’re already a step ahead in the understanding. Performance management cycle primarily is a way or a model in which you evaluate or focus on the performance of your employees throughout the year. The idea is to break down the different elements of employee performance into different stages and focus on them consistently. It starts with setting goals and ends with rewards for a job well done, which leads to setting of new goals and the performance management cycle resets.  

Understanding 4 stages of the performance management cycle

While you may want to divide your performance management cycle into any number of stages, mostly there are four stages. 


The first stage, at the very beginning of the performance management cycle, focuses on creating a plan for the performance ahead. The idea is to have a clear understanding on what your employee must achieve and how you will eventually review and evaluate them. During the planning stage, you and your team member, collectively should:

  • Set SMART goals of OKRs based on the performance expectations
  • Have clear KPIs or metrics which you will use for performance appraisal
  • Clarify how individual goals or OKRs contribute to organizational vision

Thus, the planning stage of the performance management cycle sets the tone for the year ahead and ensures there is clarity at all levels. 


Once the goals have been set in the planning stage, you enter the monitoring stage of the performance management cycle. This stage essentially focuses on ensuring that things are moving as planned. The idea is to ascertain that your team members are more or less on track for specific milestones outlined as a part of goal setting. Additionally, this stage will help you address any performance challenges that you may observe, sooner than later. Monitoring stage includes:

  • Regular one-on-one meetings to review performance so far
  • Providing feedback to your team members on what you think has been going well and what needs to improve
  • Relooking at goals in case they are behind or ahead of schedule in terms of achievement
  • Understanding the kind of extra support or resources your team members might need to improve their performance
  • Having candid conversations with your employees on wellbeing, professional development objectives, and other factors which may impact performance, morale and engagement 

The monitoring stage essentially focuses on tracking the performance of your employees against the set goals to provide constructive feedback and help them perform better. 


The third stage of the performance management cycle comes into existence towards the end. It involves reviewing the performance and providing ratings based on the established KPIs and metrics. While this is the formal review process, if you have been constantly monitoring the performance of your employees, this will essentially be a consolidation of all the reviews and feedback shared overtime. While delivering performance reviews, ensure that you:

  • Shed any performance review biases that might come your way, including primacy effect, recency bias, halo/horns effect, etc. 
  • Give your employees concrete examples and facts to support your review, rather than being vague and ambiguous
  • Should try to get 360 degree feedback and review for your team members
  • Answer some of the following questions to create an informed review:
  1. Did the employee achieve the goals set out?
  2. What were the key enablers in their achievement?
  3. Did you observe growth in the employee during the performance management cycle?
  4. Did the employee share any concerns, and were they addressed?

Since you have been connecting regularly with your employees, the reviews will not come as a surprise to them, but will help you monitor the trends of their performance and guide the next stage for the employee’s professional growth. 


Finally, the rewarding stage in the performance management cycle acts as a culmination to one cycle and sets stage for the commencement of the next. The objective is to take into account their performance over the performance management cycle and create a culture of rewards and recognition to celebrate and appreciate high performance. Some of the quick ways to reward your employees include, giving them:

  • Healthy increments and promotions
  • Public appreciation through social media, company intranet
  • Bonuses and other incentives
  • Rewards like vouchers, gifts, etc. 

This stage is important to make your employees feel valued and motivate them to keep the performance going. It will also push average performers to step up their efforts and enable you to create a high performance culture. 

Why is a performance management cycle important?

Now that you understand the various stages of a performance management cycle, let’s quickly look at why the performance management cycle is important for your organization. It will help you:

  • Clearly define goals and expectations from your employees to drive directed performance.
  • Keep your employees engaged. When you constantly connect with your employees for 1-o-1 meetings and consistently take interest in their performance improvement, they are likely to feel engaged, satisfied and motivated.
  • Address performance challenges preemptively and provide your employees with corrective actions, resources and support to bridge performance issues.
  • Retain talent as employees who feel that their performance is being valued and receive regular feedback tend to stay longer at an organization. 

Top 4 ways in which performance management cycle leads to high performance

In addition to the above mentioned benefits, a performance management cycle can help you build a high performance culture in a number of ways. Some of the top aspects include:

Clarifies KPIs and metrics

What constitutes high performance can be abstract. For some, closing 5 deals can be high performance, for others, it might be closing 15. Planning stage in the performance management lifecycle will help your employees understand what constitutes high performance and thus, proceed towards it. 

Boosts recognition

A key part of the performance management cycle is the rewards and recognition. When employees feel their performance is being valued and recognized, they tend to double up their efforts, leading to a high performance team.

Facilitates communication and feedback

Monitoring and tracking followed by 1-o-1 conversations can help you communicate with your employees regularly. Not only will you track their performance, but will also listen to their concerns or challenges and offer them feedback. Such conversations and feedback have a positive impact on performance, leading to a high performance culture. 

Ensures appropriate training

One of the foundations of high performance is enabling your team members to undergo the right training. Performance management cycle can help you understand which training is important for your employees at which performance stage, realizing high quality results. 

Top tips for managers for effective performance management cycle

As a manager, there are several ways in which you can unlock the true potential of a performance management cycle. You are one of the key stakeholders who plays an important role in every stage of the cycle. Here are a few tips that can help you augment the effectiveness of the performance management cycle:

  • Invite employee participation and make the OKR setting process collaborative and action oriented
  • Provide constructive feedback to your employees, instead of being too sweet or too negative
  • Help your employees access the right resources and training they need to meet their goals
  • Give your employees a safe space to share their concerns and challenges
  • Don’t micromanage your employees in the name of monitoring
  • Be open about relooking at the goals in case of a misalignment as you move along the performance management cycle

Benefits of using a performance management tool

A performance management tool can significantly help you streamline your performance management cycle by offering the following benefits. 

Performance snapshots

Get automated performance snapshots of your employee’s performance over the 9 box grid to track performance trends over time and provide reviews without recency bias.

1:1 conversations

Leverage guided templates with AI based suggestions for your 1:1 conversations with employees during the monitoring stage based on performance over time. Receive suggested talking points for goal-centered conversations.

Compare performance

Look at historic feedback to see improvement in performance and compare performance over time. You can also compare performance of peers over specific parameters. 

Related Reading

How to create a high performance culture using OKRs

7 steps to effective performance management system

12 common performance review biases to avoid

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