Performance reviews require preparation and careful consideration. Conversations should be free-flowing, but they should also serve a purpose, and ultimately, they need to convey the proper message and extract the necessary information to make for a more productive and fruitful review.

These meetings can be delicate and uncomfortable, so to set the tone and steer the conversation, it’s helpful to have a set of prescribed phrases that managers can turn to in order to jumpstart conversations and tailor feedback to individuals while still maintaining a measure of standardization to the feedback process. Providing feedback in a clear, intentional way that’s valuable is difficult, and 44% of managers find providing negative feedback to be stressful. Ineffective feedback makes for an underwhelming performance review that doesn’t serve the employee.

#PerformanceReview time got you stressed? @CaliperCorp has 40 phrases to get any conversation started off on the right foot. Click To Tweet

To facilitate more successful feedback across the board, we’ve created 40 starter phases to guide your performance conversations and foster collaborative discussions around all aspects of performance management, from the good to the bad.

Download the 40 Phrases!

When They Exceed Expectations

Even when the conversation is positive, managers can feel uncomfortable about having performance conversations. But these conversations help build trust between managers and their teams and can aid in creating a more comfortable atmosphere when constructive feedback is needed. These conversations strengthen relationships and can lead to increased engagement, so approaching them with the same care you would for more sensitive discussions does a service of good to everyone involved.

An example of some of the statements that can be individualized to the conversation when the employee exceeds expectations include:

  1. They consistently produce a high standard of quality
  2. They are an essential contributing member of the team or department
  3. They exceed their performance goals regularly
  4. They always meet deadlines

Want more? Download all 40 Phrases!

When they Meet Expectations

Performance conversations don’t just happen when someone excels or when someone needs improvement. Excellence or struggles will likely be project-specific, or act as an excellent way to identify when an employee is ready for promotion — or find a job that better fits their personality. For the most part, performance conversations will be with employees who are competent at their jobs and perform their functions well. But when things are rolling along at a steady, productive pace, that doesn’t mean you can’t have meaningful performance conversations that drive development and growth.

These conversations present an outstanding opportunity to uncover what makes an employee tick. What parts of their job do they enjoy performing? Where do they struggle to feel motivated? How can you learn from these aspects to inform their goals and learning objectives? Here are a few phrases to get started:

  1. They recognize the needs of others and provide help when needed
  2. They have good working relationships and collaborate well
  3. They fit in well and promote company culture
  4. They effectively communicate their needs and expectations to their team and leaders

Want more? Download all 40 Phrases!

#PerformanceReview is a delicate art. @CaliperCorp has 40 phrases that help you facilitate the right conversation for the right subject matter, every time: Click To Tweet

When They Need Improvement

These conversations can be delicate, and it isn’t a surprise that many managers feel pressured to deliver negative feedback with sensitivity and compassion. These are significant moments to build the relationship — they offer mentorship and coaching opportunities that can help turn a struggling individual into one who is confident, performs well, and can turn a discouraged, disengaged employee into one who finds the motivation to improve.

To steer the conversation respectfully, you can start with these phrases. Ultimately, you can present them in a way that both addresses the core issue while trying to understand the root cause of the situation:

  1. They respond negatively when they receive in-the-moment coaching
  2. They ask for help first before trying to solve the problem themselves
  3. They don’t ask for help when they’re feeling overwhelmed
  4. They don’t implement coaching or feedback

Want more? Download all 40 Phrases!

When You Want to Foster a Two-Way Conversation

Performance reviews should be collaborative. While a portion of the conversation will be instructive, there should be allotted time when the individual has the opportunity to communicate their needs and wants to their manager. To ensure employees feel comfortable expressing themselves, you can start by asking them some questions to enhance the conversation:

  1. What is the most effective way to communicate feedback to you?
  2. What are some personal goals you want to achieve?
  3. What are some things that help you stay focused and organized to stay on track?
  4. Have there been times when you didn’t get the coaching you needed?

Want more? Download all 40 Phrases!

To learn more about the ways Caliper can work with your managers to help coach and develop employees to their individual needs, reach out to our experts today to get started. For more starter phrases to guide your performance conversations, download all 40 phrases here.