Adjectives for Employee Performance Appraisals

Author: Staff Writer
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The point of an employee performance appraisal is to work as a tool to help motivate and encourage employees by identifying strengths and weaknesses in performance and to set and meet goals.  It is therefore important that when preparing an appraisal, the supervisor be fair and more importantly unambiguous with word choice.  If prepared and presented accurately, the appraisal will not be construed as the supervisor's personal judgment of employee performance but simply a record of work progress for the year.

If you are having trouble, here is a list of 200 adjectives and other descriptive phrases that will help you pinpoint the precise phrases that will help to achieve the intended mission of the employee performance appraisal.


A cut above, Able, Above average, Absent-minded, Accommodating, Accomplished, Accurate, Adaptable, Adept, Advanced, Advantageous, Agreeable, Aggressive,  Affable, Ambiguous, Ambitious, Amiable, Analytical, Antiquated, Appalling, Articulate, Assiduous, Astute,  Assured,  Attentive, Authoritative, Average, Awkward


Below average, Benevolent, Bold, Brazen


Capable, Careful, Careless, Casual, Cautious, Cavalier, Chaotic, Compassionate, Conscientious, Considerable, Considerate, Controlled, Cordial, Courageous, Creative


Daring, Deficient, Deliberate, Demanding, Detailed, Detail-oriented, Difficult, Disagreeable, Disobliging, Disordered, Disorganized


Effortless, Encouraging, Exacting, Exceptional, Excellent, Excessive, Enhanced, Enterprising, Expert, Exclusive, Extreme


Fastidious, Fearless, First class, Foolish, Forgetful


Genial, Gifted, Good-humored, Good-natured, Gracious, Great


Haphazard, Hasty, Heedless, Helpful, Heroic


Improved, Imprudent, Impudent, Inaccurate, Inadequate, Inferior, Ingenuity, Initiative, Injudicious, Innovative, Insensitive, Insightful, Inspiring, Intense, Intrepid, Inventive






Lackadaisical, Lax, Lazy, Likable, Logical, Loyal


Mediocre, Methodical, Meticulous, Mindful, Momentous, Motivational


Needs improvement, Negative, Neglectful, Noteworthy


Obstructive, Offhand, Original, Outstanding, Ordinary, Organized


Painstaking, Paramount, Particular, Pedantic, Poor, Positive, Potential, Precise, Prepared, Promising,  Provoking, Prudent, Punctual, Prompt Punctilious


Reasonable, Reckless, Resourceful


Scrupulous, Selfless, Selfish, Sensible, Serious, Shrewd, Sizeable, Sloppy, Solicitous, Sound, Spontaneous, Stability, Standard, Stupendous, Suitable, Substandard, Substantial, Supportive, Sympathetic,


Talented, Thoughtful, Thoughtless, Timely, Top notch, Top quality, Trivial, Typical


Unafraid, Unaccommodating, Unconstructive, Uncooperative, Unnecessary, Unoriginal, Unselfish, Unsupportive, Unsurpassed, Unthinking, Untouchable, Unusual, Unwise


Validity, Valliant, Vigilant


Wary, Well-timed, Well thought out, Wise

Though using precise adjectives are important for employee performance appraisals, it makes a greater impact when you choose action verbs as well. As an example, substitute performs for is.


Works Cited

"Writing the Effective Employee Performance Review"

purplearrowExpert Opinion

Quote: "A performance appraisal is a review and discussion of an employee's performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. The appraisal is based on results obtained by the employee in his/her job, not on the employee's personality characteristics. The appraisal measures skills and accomplishments with reasonable accuracy and uniformity. It provides a way to help identify areas for performance enhancement and to help promote professional growth. It should not, however, be considered the supervisor's only communication tool. Open lines of communication throughout the year help to make effective working relationships. "

Source: The Division of Human Resources WPI
The Performance Appraisal Process

purple arrowCite this Article

"Adjectives for Employee Performance Appraisals." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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