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Do you struggle to write the right phrases when giving performance appraisals? If so, you’re not alone.

Naturally, the first step is you must correctly identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. You’ll accomplish this goal by avoiding 12 typical errors.

However, in employee-performance reviews, many managers struggle in trying to think of the right phrasing that actually motivate employees.

The reasons all stem from fear.

Because of fear, the reasons range from worrying about an employee lawsuit to paralysis from analysis in not knowing how or what to write.

Much has been written about preferred skills for managers.

We always talk in mundane terms for the need of managers to convey a vision, achieve goals and to foster growth and well-being for a work-life balance.

Seldom do we talk about courage – a critical characteristic of effective managers.

Employee appraisals are far more than just evaluations.

When implemented well, they serve as opportunities for organization growth because they increase individual employee productivity.

As every manager knows, a well-written set of performance goals work to motivate employees and help them to focus better on their responsibilities.

But they must be written with the right phrasing so they inspire performance and don’t invite costly lawsuits in this 21st century litigious society.

Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person. You must say the right things in difficult situations with employees.

Courtesy of Business Management Daily, there are 10 recommended phrases for managers to use in performance reviews.

They are from “2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals” by HR executive Paul Falcone.

The 10 phrases:

1. To encourage initiative: “Seek ways to assume responsibilities beyond your current job description.”

2. To require punctuality: “Be on time for all meetings, which shows you respect your colleagues’ time.”

3. To foster a better attitude: “Ensure that your tone, body language and other nonverbal cues convey the proper respect and attitude toward others.”

4.To improve communication: “Anticipate what your manager will need to know, and provide that information.” For managers: “Keep team members informed of each other’s actions.”

5. To spur creativity: “Build relationships among peers that foster collaboration and discussion of new ideas.”

6. To boost customer service: “When we lose a customer, follow up to discover what we could have done differently.”

7. To nurture diversity: “Appreciate the unique perspective, skills and experience that each person brings to the team.”

8. To improve planning: “Begin projects by identifying all the resources required, including staff, funding, materials and other support.”

9. To promote better listening: “Show by asking open-ended questions that you are engaged in conversations.”

10. To foster leadership: “Discover the problems that prevent team members from performing at the highest possible levels.”

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“You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.”

-Andrew Carnegie


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.