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Sample Attitude Improvement Phrases for Peformance Reviews

written by: Michelle Shuler Key•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 2/14/2011

Your most attitude-challenged employees can also be the most easily offended. Keep review time from taking a wrong turn with some ready-made performance review attitude improvement phrases.

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    Employees with Poor Communication Skills

    Poor communication skills are sometimes the result of a lack of knowledge or training, but often their cause is attitude-related. An employee may see requests for updates as micromanaging, or simply feel her time is too valuable to answer every single e-mail. In cases like this, focus on the negative results of her lack of communication.

    Sally fails to inform coworkers when she has completed an assignment or instituted a contact, causing duplicate work and affecting clients' impression of our business.

    Instructing the employee to be more communicative is nebulous. In cases like this, offer specific recommendations for goals. Useful performance review attitude improvement phrases for communication challenges include:

    • Respond to all contacts in a timely member
    • Inform management and affected coworkers when assignments are completed

    Provided the issues have improved, your next review might state:

    Sally keeps management and affected coworkers in the loop on projects. She responds to written communication in a timely manner.

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    Employees who Complain Constantly

    An employee's negative attitude can have a toxic effect on the overall mood in your office, particularly when complaints are unfounded or relate to unchangeable issues. It is important to emphasize that your issue is with the method of expressing the emotions, not the emotions themselves. Offering a specific example helps clarify the issue.

    Sally is aware that her workstation is set to be replaced in next year's budget, but continues to call the IT department daily to complain about slow loading speeds. These unnecessary calls hurt productivity for both parties.

    Once the issue is clarified, set goals for improvement. Performance review attitude improvement phrases for a complainer can include:photo 22271 20101102 

    • Address complaints only to the appropriate member of management
    • Offer specific, reasonable recommendations to improve ongoing issues

    Ideally, you will be able to address improvements in Sally's next performance review. As with your initial statement of the issue, specificity is key.

    Sally took initiative to develop a work process allowing her to open fewer software applications at a time and work more quickly. She addresses issues directly with management, often bringing her own proposed solution to the table, and has become a productive and positive force in the office.

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    Employees who Refuse to Compromise

    Confidence is a sought-after attribute for most employers, but this attitude sometimes brings with it an unwillingness to compromise. When an employee is convinced his ideas are superior, he hurts the collaborative efforts of the business. Begin by outlining specific issues in his performance appraisal.

    Bob instituted his e-mail marketing plan without making the changes suggested by his team. Several clients received unsolicited e-mails and asked to be removed from our database as a result.

    When settings Bob's goals, try these performance review attitude improvement phrases:

    • Consult management before instituting process changes
    • Solicit input from team members on decisions affecting workload

    Assuming Bob takes these goals to heart, his next review might read:

    Bob worked closely with his team to implement a successful social networking strategy. Their collaborative efforts have produced a 25% rise in traffic to our website over the past six months.

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    Employees who Behave Inappropriately

    Inappropriate behavior is not quite as easy to address as other attitude issues. The level and type of inappropriateness should dictate your response. Sexual harassment and bigotry cannot wait for the next performance appraisal, because these issues can create a hostile work environment or open your business up to legal troubles. For the employee who says the occasional curse word or raises his voice at coworkers, the situation may be salvageable.

    Bob's outbursts of anger cause him to behave inappropriately toward his coworkers and create an uncomfortable working environment.

    When setting goals, try these performance review attitude improvement phrases:

    • Avoid raising your voice during confrontations
    • Communicate without profanity

    Unfortunately, sometimes these behaviors come from personality traits that are unlikely to change. If no improvement is shown by the next performance appraisal, you may need to reconsider whether the employee is a good fit for your office. Assuming they do change, however, you can address this improvement.

    Bob is level-headed during confrontations and uses professional, appropriate language at all times.

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    Sandler, Corey and Janice Keefe. (2003). Performance Appraisal Phrase Book: The Best Words, Phrases, and Techniques for Performance Reviews. Adams Media. 1580629407, 978-1580629409

    Image by FreeDigitalPhotos, Ambro