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Employee Appraisal Phrases: Growth and Development

One of the major objectives of performance appraisals is to provide employees with targeted feedback and guidance to help them learn, grow, and develop. Without a developmental component, performance appraisals would be relegated to the role of a mirror, showing employees how their performance looks but providing no help, support, or guidance to do anything about it.

Employee self-development is not a one-dimensional concept. Instead, in order for feedback in this area to have its intended positive impact, it needs to focus on the key components of development and growth. You need to include instructive phrases on such topics as training, personal goals, career planning, seeking learning opportunities, building problem-solving skills, widening one’s knowledge base, and more.

Personal goals

Exceptional: Consistently exceeds expectations

  • Has a clear vision of his future and works diligently to make it a reality

  • Has a strong personal goal orientation, which has inspired fellow employees to follow suit

  • Strives to attain personal goals that easily elude others

  • Takes responsibility for her personal growth and development

  • Consistently meets his personal objectives and then sets new ones that are even more challenging

  • Establishes clear and challenging short-term and long-term personal goals

  • Demonstrates great initiative and energy in pursuing her personal goals

Excellent: Frequently exceeds expectations

  • Establishes clear, specific, and measurable personal goals

  • Has attained his personal goals, which has led to markedly improved performance

  • Sets goals that are all accompanied by well-designed action plans

  • Devotes major effort to reaching her personal goals

  • Is able to meet his personal goals while also meeting his performance goals

  • Continues to set increasingly challenging personal goals

  • Shows great confidence regarding her ability to meet personal goals

Fully competent: Meets expectations

  • Takes his personal goals seriously

  • Listens to counsel from others regarding her personal goals and the best strategies to meet them

  • Sets challenging yet realistic goals regarding his skills, education, and career

  • Has established personal goals and a path to meet them

  • Obtains the training that is needed to achieve her personal goals

  • Helps other employees determine their personal goals

  • Shows a high degree of tenacity in pursuing his personal goals

Marginal: Occasionally fails to meet expectations

  • Sets personal goals, but none that would enhance her performance on the job

  • Takes no serious steps to meet his personal goals

  • Sets very general personal goals

  • Sets unchallenging personal goals

  • Hasn’t made a serious commitment to meeting her personal goals

  • Sets lofty personal goals but has no plans or strategies to meet them

  • Demonstrates very little persistence in the pursuit of personal goals

Unsatisfactory: Consistently fails to meet expectations

  • Has established no goals to further develop his skills, abilities, or expertise

  • Accepts no responsibility for setting her own personal goals

  • Has had the same personal goals for an extended period of time and has failed to meet any of them

  • Gives up easily in the pursuit of his personal goals

  • Jumps from one personal goal to another but reaches none

  • Pursues personal goals at the expense of performance goals

Responding to performance appraisals and coaching

Exceptional: Consistently exceeds expectations

  • Fully commits herself to following specific action plans to make improvements noted in her performance appraisal

  • Accepts constructive feedback positively and is highly oriented toward making improvements in areas discussed with him

  • Makes immediate corrective action based on the coaching that she receives

  • Actively seeks coaching and uses it wisely

  • Carefully considers every point in his performance appraisal and takes specific steps to deal with each

Excellent: Frequently exceeds expectations

  • Appreciates coaching and acts on the feedback that she receives

  • Uses the feedback from his performance appraisal and coaching to fine-tune his skills

  • Has been taking highly effective steps to upgrade her performance in areas that were noted in her last performance appraisal

  • Accepts feedback in his performance appraisal with an open mind and readiness to take action

  • Has taken her skills to an entirely new level by focusing on the coaching that she has received

Fully competent: Meets expectations

  • Takes performance appraisal feedback seriously and has made many improvements based on it

  • Pays careful attention to the coaching that he receives and has upgraded his performance as a result

  • Takes appropriate steps to follow the action plan and improve her performance in areas noted in her performance appraisal

  • Has taken actions as a result of his most recent performance appraisal, which have led to marked improvements in performance

  • Is highly receptive to coaching and managerial feedback

Marginal: Occasionally fails to meet expectations

  • Reacts defensively to feedback on her performance

  • Appears to listen to coaching but then makes no changes in his behavior

  • Needs frequent prodding before taking any action on feedback in her performance appraisal

  • Makes a few quick and easy changes after being coached but ignores the larger issues

  • Asks no questions during the coaching sessions and then heads off in the wrong direction

  • Immediately reacts to any constructive feedback with denial

  • Commits to taking corrective action after his performance appraisal but then fails to do so

  • Takes some corrective actions immediately after her performance appraisal but then slides back to her old ways

Unsatisfactory: Consistently fails to meet expectations

  • Doesn’t listen to the coaching provided to him

  • Ignores feedback that she receives in her performance appraisal

  • Has taken no action based on the feedback and guidance that he received in his last performance appraisal

  • Has received coaching on the same issue several times and has yet to show any signs of improvement

  • Spends more time arguing than listening in performance appraisals

  • Ignores her appointments for coaching sessions

  • Is unreceptive to constructive feedback or coaching

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