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130 Examples for an Annual Review

An annual review is a documented and communicated assessment of an employee's performance in a year. This is often based on an extended performance management process that sets goals early in a year and reviews performance against these objectives. The following are examples of areas that may be included in an annual review followed by a few concrete examples for different performance levels.
Achieved Budget
Achieved Compliance With Standards / Regulations / Laws
Administered / Controlled a Budget
Agent of Change / Makes Things Happen
Approachable / Engages Employees
Assertive / Pushes In / Contributes
Avoided Action Items / Low Work Committent
Avoided Responsibility / Hands-off / Blames Others
Built and Extended Customer Relationships
Built on the Ideas of Others
Bypassed Processes & Procedures
Candid / Authentic / Honest / Direct
Clears Issues
Closed Sales
Coached / Mentored / Helped Others With Their Career
Communicated Effectively
Competent & Capable
Compliance Violations
Comradery & Team Spirit
Conformance to Standards
Conforms to Work Schedule
Creative Throughput / Created Value With Innovation
Creative Vision / Established Path of Team / Company / Industry
Customer Satisfaction
Delivered Action Items
Delivered Design Work
Delivered Efficient / Reliable Code
Delivered Presentations
Delivered Project Milestones
Demonstrates Entrepreneurial Spirit / Strengths
Demonstrates Professionalism
Demonstrates Talent
Detail-oriented / Precise / Accurate
Developed & Implemented Strategies
Developed / Pitched Proposals
Documented Meeting Minutes
Energetic / Active
Ethical Lapses
Expanded Business / Developed Products / Scaled Business
Experimented / Tested Ideas
Failed to Comply With Corporate Policy
Failed to Deliver to Expectations
Failure to Perform a Duty
Follows Process
Friendly Demeanor
Handles Stress Well
High Client Satisfaction
High Stakeholder Satisfaction
Hostile / Contentious / Antagonistic
Improved Business Processes
Inattention / High Rate of Errors
Increased Production
Increasing Revenue
Influenced Management / Stakeholders
Insubordination / Fails to Follow Direction or Policy
Kept Stakeholders Informed
Lacks Discipline / Inconsistent Work and Behavior
Late For Work / Meetings
Lead Change
Lead Projects
Listened / Built on Ideas
Low / High Work Ethic
Made Timely / Reasonable Decisions
Maintained Confidentially
Maintained High Ethical Standards
Managed Business Functions / Operations
Managed Partners
Managed Projects
Managed Teams
Met Deadlines / Achieve Schedule
Motivated / Sets Goals / Made Progress
Neglected Communications / Didn't Reply / Late Replies
Onboarded Employees
Open / Constructive
Optimized Conversion / Marketing Metrics
Optimized Unit Cost / Operational Metrics
Organizational Visibility
Organized Productive Meetings
Overlooked Requirements
Patience & Resolve
Persistent / Resilient / Clears Obstacles
Planned Effective Meetings
Pragmatic / Flexible
Preventative Action / Avoided Operational Problems
Prioritized Work
Productivity / Work Throughput
Professional Appearance / Personal Presence
Promptly Replied to Requests / Messages
Provided Clear & Consistent Direction
Provided Timely Feedback
Public Speaking
Quality and Volume of Work
Recognized Employee Talents & Contributions
Recruited New Talent
Reduced Costs
Reduced Variances / Defects
Reinvented Business Processes
Reported Status / Key Metrics
Required Constant Direction and Support
Requires Further Training
Researched / Developed Knowledge
Reserved / Passive
Resists Change / Defends Status Quo
Resolved Operational Problems
Resolves Conflict
Responsiveness / Turnaround Time
Retained Customers / Built Loyalty
Secretive / Uncooperative
Self-Direction & Initiative
Set / Managed Expectations
Skill Shortfall
Solved Problems
Submitted Low Quality / Unpolished / Unvalidated Work
Supported / Helped Coworkers
Team Culture / Cultivated a Productive Work Environment
Took on Action Items / Responsibilities
Trained Others
Unaware of Job Requirements
Uncommunicative / Withdrawn
Unmotivated / Distracted / Aloof
Unreliable / Inconsistent
Visual Communication / Verbal Communication / Written Communication
Well Designed Algorithms / Code
Well Researched Documents / Presentations / Recommendations
Work Quality
Worked Independently / Required Little Direction

Talent / Top Performers

The annual reviews of talented employees and top performers typically includes specific examples of tangible results produced by the employee. Any negative feedback, is delivered as positively and constructively as possible.
Don is one of our top performing salespeople who closed 7.8 million in recurring monthly revenue.
Completed ___ project on time and to schedule. This was a challenging and complex project that resolved serious operational issues that had cost the firm $20 million a year.
In future, continue to improve your entry of opportunity and customer data into the sales system.

Satisfactory Performance

Satisfactory performers include talented employees who are low energy and high energy employees who are still developing their capabilities, capacities, experience or skills. In this case, reviews tend to be less specific with indications of possible improvements baked into positive comments. Negative feedback is delivered slightly more directly but remains constructive.
Achieved sales targets with reasonably good results.
Managed the ____ project with some schedule delays and budget variance. Nevertheless, the project was ultimately shipped with positive stakeholder feedback.
Amy will work to improve her approach to customer service as she can be perceived as hostile or standoffish when faced with stressful interactions.

Low Performers

Low performers are typically issued a performance improvement plan with their annual review. Any positive feedback is noted but the reasons that their performance is considered low is communicated directly without softening things. This gives the employees the best chance to improve as the problem is unambiguously documented. It is a good idea to say something positive to show that you're not against the employee but are simply documenting performance concerns.
Stan was well-liked by customers and easily established rapport.
He lacks in-depth product knowledge and was unable to handle customer concerns, objections and complaints in a satisfactory manner.
Stan failed to achieve his sales quota and did not meet the expectations of his role.
A template for performance reviews can be found here.

Performance Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about performance management.
Annual Review
Business Performance
Employee Feedback
Employee Goals
Goal Planning
Goal Setting
High Performance
Improvement Process
IT Performance
Low Performance
Measurable Goals
Performance Appraisals
Performance Issue
Performance Outcome
Performance Problems
Poor Performance
Quiet Quitting
Self Assessment
Team Performance
Work Improvement
Work Objectives
Work Outcome
Work Performance
Work Quality
More ...
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