Performance feedback is any formal or informal communication that critiques an employee's work performance. This is provided by an employee's manager as a key element of performance management. Formal performance feedback is typically framed as short sentences that use past tense action verbs. The following are illustrative examples that include feedback for superior, acceptable and low performance.
StrategyDeveloped and executed an aggressive growth strategy to improve revenue and gross margins.Achieved a high win rate and closed several large deals to exceed quota. Effectively negotiated prices to achieve high margins.
Sales OperationsResearched industries and organizations to develop a large number of high quality leads. Networked at industry events to build relationships with several high value leads.
Consistently impressed customers with her friendly demeanor and diligent work ethic.Made a significant contribution to revenue and brand value with a campaign that markedly increased brand recognition.Successfully launched product but failed to meet market penetration targets despite aggressive price cuts that resulted in losses.
Executive ManagementLeveraged extensive network of relationships to develop a sales partnership with a German distributor on favorable terms that is forecast to improve top line revenue by 10% in the next fiscal year.Set direction and controlled resources to achieve high priority team objectives. Turnover was unusually high possibly indicating a problem with recruiting or team culture.
Developed a report that captures an estimate for customer lifetime value at the account and aggregate level. Executive management received the report well and have shown a regular interest in this metric as a strategy planning tool.Performed a gap analysis for the quote-to-bill processes that failed to meet its delivery date with stakeholders expressing concerns that the deliverable doesn't accurately reflect current business processes.
Failed to engage stakeholders and stay on top of project issues. Left everything to the project management team who lacked the authority and relationships to clear issues.
Stakeholder ManagementDemonstrates needless hostility towards stakeholders that have caused serious reputational problems for the team.Overcame a number of project challenges including weak support from the sponsor to deliver project. Significant budget and schedule variance was inline with expectations given the lack of support in resolving issues.
Information Technology ManagementDelivered important change and sustained a high level of service quality. Recognized as a key contributor to the operations of the firm.
Information Technology OperationsDemonstrated low commitment to diligent and timely resolution of incidents. Gamed the system by updating incident tickets with superficial updates and closing them when incidents were unresolved.
Information SecuritySignificantly improved time-to-patch and introduced a more proactive process of identifying, assessing and implementing security patches.
Software DevelopmentConsistently delivered code to requirements and time commitments. Demonstrated leadership by setting technical direction, stepping in to troubleshoot problems and coaching team members.
Software DesignArchitected and designed complex projects in a timely manner. Designs proved to be resilient and efficient.
DataTook initiative to cleanse customer database of inaccurate records. This was well received by sales and had broad business benefits in areas such as billing and operations.
Software TestingWorked well with development teams and business units to develop high quality functional and non-functional test cases.Determined and fixed the root cause of the page load issue on the ecommerce site. This consumed a total of three weeks with stakeholders dissatisfied with the pace of this process. Communication was also lacking as stakeholders were initially promised a fix in a week or less.
DesignProduced visually appealing and highly functional designs that consistently impressed clients.
ProcurementEvaluated over 50 supply partners to produce a report card for each supplier. There was significant push back from suppliers who claimed evaluations were inaccurate. However, the quality of the reports was confirmed by business units. The process of communicating report cards to suppliers was poorly managed.
AdministrationOrchestrated the employee benefits change to expectations.
AccountingPrepared accurate accounts of financial transactions and financial statements in a timely manner.
Internal ControlsDemonstrated ethical strength by resisting pressure from executive management to grant system access to visitors when this clearly would have violated policy and reasonable security practices.
ReportingDeveloped several reports with metrics that weren't well understood by senior management after several explanations. Metrics were not business driven such that they didn't address the needs of the target audience. Failed to work with senior management to understand their data needs before pushing reports at them.Conducted a series of employee all-hands meetings that improved internal communication. Executive management and employee feedback was mixed but this was an important start to our internal branding initiative. The next step is to use this feedback to improve the all-hands meetings.Overcame a difficult and competitive recruiting environment to hire two talented software engineers. This fell short of the six resources required but this was primarily due to the current environment.Work throughput was lower than team average as delivery dates were often missed despite a relatively low workload.Increased the throughput of production lines by identifying and implementing a process improvement.
AutomationAutomated cumbersome operations tasks for the billing team with scripts that were often implemented in hours that saved hundreds of hours of work per year.
Cost ReductionSuccessfully transitioned 90 servers to a linux operating system to reduce annual license costs. Used time effectively with prioritization of work, efficient meeting management and focused work habits.
OrganizationFailed to establish priorities. Worked in a reactive fashion whereby things were begun just before a deadline or when someone complained.
SchedulingDemonstrated excellent scheduling skills such that meetings and work efforts were run according to an efficient and well communicated schedule.
PlanningSuccessfully delivered complex work products by efficiently planning resources and time.Lead sales team and coached junior members of the team to improve their relationship building, negotiation and closing skills. Feedback on the results of this coaching have been overwhelmingly positive.Picks unnecessary and distracting political fights and seldom supports the ideas, decisions and work of others.Stepped in to lead work efforts, decision making and problem solving as required. Demonstrates talent in getting the team moving in the same direction.Delivered several product demonstrations to audiences large and small in an entertaining and engaging way that represented our products well.Failed to make decisions in a timely manner that could have moved projects forward. This resulted in wasted resources and low team morale.
Problem Solving Demonstrated high commitment and troubleshooting skill in resolving a revenue impacting outage in a timely manner.
KnowledgeDemonstrates in-depth knowledge of both technology and business and is able to apply this to advise peers and business units. Has gained much respect on the team as a source of knowledge.
LearningUnable to follow the continuous delivery process established by the team and shows little initiative in getting up to speed.
Personal DevelopmentContributed creative ideas in meetings and was supportive of others ideas. This represents a marked improvement in engagement and overall visibility in the team.Clearly communicated project issues and solutions to stakeholders. Feedback from stakeholders was positive indicating project communications were effective.Reports and presentation visuals tend to be busy and lack any clearly framed message. Consider training in this area as your ideas are good and deserve to be communicated effectively.
NegotiationSuccessfully negotiated with business units to prioritize high value work items.
InfluencingSuccessfully pitched strategy to executive management. Built support and obtained budget for program roadmap.
MotivationLead by example to create a positive team culture. Created a sense of urgency for change that improved team productivity.Remains calm and composed in the face of stressful situations. Serves as a positive example for the rest of the team.Discussed personal problems in front of customers and generally failed to maintain a professional attitude.
DiligenceDelivered market research of poor quality with an inability to identify the sources of claims and data. This was noticed by the product development team and damaged our reputation.
StandardsDemonstrated leadership in adopting and conforming to standards and best practices including the introduction of security coding practices that have improved the resilience of systems.
Research & DevelopmentDeveloped a novel composite material that has significant commercial potential.
Notes Where feedback is negative it is usual to stick to the facts of what happened. Criticize the performance as opposed to the person. For example, "failed to provide clear direction" is better than "has poor leadership abilities."Avoid the temptation to use flowery compliments or vaguely supported criticisms. Avoid the use of present tense and present continuous verbs. This tends to sound like a permanent recommendation or criticism as opposed to an evaluation of work in a specific period. For example, "demonstrates leadership skills" sounds like an ongoing character trait whereas "demonstrated leadership skills" sounds like an instance of performance.
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