Areas of Improvement at Work: Examples of Phrases That Tell You Improvement Is Needed
Whether you are evaluating yourself or your employees, it’s important to note actionable areas of improvement at work examples. Performance reviews are excellent tools when they are used appropriately. However, the feedback from a performance review can sometimes leave you feeling less than confident about how you can implement changes to improve. The eLeaP People Success Platform has powerful tools and resources to ensure you have success when it comes to reviews and self-evaluations.
Even exemplary employees have room for improvement in the workplace. Since no one is perfect, performance reviews provide guidance on how to do your assigned tasks better. With areas of improvement at work, examples of how to improve can help tremendously with implementing the requested changes.
How to Indicate Needed Areas of Improvement at Work: Examples for Self-Evaluation
When asked to self-evaluate, it can often feel uncomfortable. You want your supervisor or boss to see you as an asset to the company, but you don’t want to seem arrogant and egotistical. You also want to be honest about your needed areas of improvement at work. Examples of the actions you intend to take to make necessary changes will let your employer know you took the evaluation seriously and aren’t just giving lip service to a self-evaluation.
Using the Situation-Behavior-Impact feedback model, you can keep your comments factual. Using this evaluation model, you focus your feedback on a specific situation. You then discuss your behavior in the situation and how that behavior impacted other people on your team.
Recognizing Areas of Improvement
It can be difficult to discuss the areas where you need to improve. However, doing so shows your supervisor that you recognize the areas where you can do better and that you are driven to succeed in your positions. Self-evaluated areas of improvement at work examples:
- I understand that I need to communicate more effectively with others. I plan to construct a daily email to let my team know how I’m progressing with my projects.
- I recognize that I often attempt to turn a team project into a one-person show. I have asked my team members to bring my attention to this behavior when it’s happening, so I am more accepting of their input.
- I realize that my documents often look unpolished. I have set up a proofreading buddy system within my team to help my work look more polished and professional.
- I know I am too quiet during team meetings, so I will take more adequate notes and create talking points for myself to help me feel more confident speaking up in meetings.
Of course, you can be more direct with your comments. With a more direct approach, you choose an action you realize is negative. You state that you need to stop the action and why. This approach lets your employer know that you are committed to avoiding negative issues in the future.
Here are some examples:
- I’m going to stop taking over projects because it makes my team feel like I don’t value them.
- My goal is to stop ignoring communications on Slack because I know everyone wants to be heard.
- I won’t make changes to our group calendar without talking to everyone in the group because doing so can inconvenience everyone.
Self-evaluation is hard. It’s hard to discuss the areas of improvement you need at work. However, when you use one of these two models, it helps you to evaluate your own performance constructively.
How Managers Can Discuss Areas of Improvement at Work: Examples of Ways to Give Feedback
As a member of management, it’s often part of the job to give performance reviews. It can be a challenge to be both positive and constructive. There are ways to discuss the areas of improvement at work with examples that mix both the positive and the constructive in one framework.
One example of a model to use for performance reviews is a Stop/Start/Keep Doing format. The format helps give accountability to your employees.
Encouraging Positive Behavior
The first way to encourage positive behavior is to point out behaviors you want your employee to continue. This clearly expresses what your employee is doing well. Specific examples can make a bigger impact on your employee.
Here are some ideas for using constructive phrases in your performance review of your employees.
- I’m impressed with the way you ran the team meeting this morning. I would like for you to plan one meeting a week to run. Your creativity is an asset to our morning planning sessions.
- I appreciate the way you took charge of the web development project. You showed initiative and leadership.
- The way you handled the irate customer was impressive. You maintained your composure and acted professionally.
Here is another way to approach positive feedback when speaking to employees. With this suggestion, you can include feedback from someone else. This method lets the employee know that other people besides you appreciate their efforts. You can keep the origins of the comments anonymous if necessary.
- Multiple team members told me you are instrumental in keeping the team organized and on track. Would you like more responsibility in that area?
- The new member of your team has expressed appreciation for you showing them the ropes. I’d like you to consider taking on a more regular training role.
- Our branch office manager mentioned that your communications with them are always clear and concise. I want to encourage you to be instrumental in keeping the lines of communication open.
Ways to Communicate Areas of Improvement at Work with Examples
Sometimes you need to let employees know their behavior or actions are unacceptable. This is the STOP portion of the feedback model. You can use this opportunity to express the negative results of their behavior. Ensure that you give feedback on actions that you or another team member have witnessed multiple times.
Examples of the “Stop” model of feedback:
- I’d like you to stop having your cell phone out at meetings. Other people are distracted by it, and it gives the impression that you aren’t interested in what’s happening at the meeting.
- I’ve been made aware that you routinely call team members at home outside work hours. Please stop making these calls unless there is an emergency situation. The entire team should be able to relax after hours at home.
- My feedback for you today is that when you put customers on speakerphone, it makes other members of the team uncomfortable. Please be aware of this going forward, and refrain from using the speakerphone.
If you feel like asking someone to stop doing something has a negative connotation, you can change your presentation so that you encourage them to start doing something. You are still communicating areas of improvement at work with examples of positive behavior. Using this method, here are the examples we shared before in a positive framework.
- I encourage you to take notes at our meetings with paper and pen rather than having your cell phone out. This will help to lessen the distraction to others.
- I think you should start reviewing your projects before the end of the workday, so you can communicate questions to team members before they leave for the day. This will help keep work at work instead of requiring after-hours phone calls.
- I encourage you to start keeping your telephone conversations with clients private. The rest of the staff doesn’t need to hear your entire conversation.
When communicating areas of improvement to your team, choose the method that best fits your management methods and the personalities of your people.
Ways to Communicate Areas of Improvement at Work With Examples for Peer Reviews
Have you ever been asked to complete a peer review? One of the important things to remember when completing peer reviews is to be empathetic about how your feedback will affect the other person. Another thing to remember is only say things on paper that you would say to someone in person.
The same methods you used for self-evaluation or employee evaluation can work with peer evaluations too. You can point out areas where your peer already excels, or you can point out areas of improvement. Here are examples of areas of improvement at work:
- I think you could improve the structure of your emails because they are difficult to understand. The team struggles when we don’t understand the communication we receive from each other.
- I feel that you could use the shared calendar more efficiently. Often we have overlapping deadlines or meetings because your project isn’t appropriately marked on the calendar.
- I think you could focus on getting to meetings on time. I find it distracting when you come in late, and it also doesn’t give a good impression of our team.
You can also frame your peer reviews in a more positive light. Here are a couple of examples.
- I would love it if you could relax enough to share with the rest of the team. Your feedback is welcome, but we rarely receive it.
- I would like to see you be more organized before meetings so we don’t spend a lot of time waiting for you to find your notes.
Wrapping It Up
When discussing areas of improvement at work, examples are good ways to engage your associate. Be honest and constructive with your comments, whether it’s yourself, your employee, or your peer. eLeaP PSP has powerful tools and resources to ensure you have success when it comes to reviews and self-evaluations. Try eLeaP free for 30 days.