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Problem Solving Skills: 25 Performance Review Phrases Examples

Problem solving is an important skill in any work environment: it includes the ability to identify, understand, and develop solutions to complex issues while maintaining a focus on the end goal. Evaluating this skill in employees during performance reviews can be highly beneficial for both the employee and the organization.

Questions that can help you determine an employee’s rating for problem solving skills:

  • How well does the employee define the problem and identify its root cause?
  • How creative is the employee in generating potential solutions?
  • How effective is the employee in implementing the chosen solution?
  • How well does the employee evaluate the effectiveness of the solution and adjust it if necessary?

Related: Best Performance Review Examples for 48 Key Skills

2000+ Performance Review Phrases: The Complete List (Performance Feedback Examples)

Performance Review Phrases and Paragraphs Examples For Problem Solving

5 – Outstanding

Phrases examples:

  • Consistently demonstrates exceptional problem-solving abilities
  • Proactively identifies issues and offers innovative solutions
  • Quickly adapts to unforeseen challenges and finds effective resolutions
  • Exceptional problem-solving ability, consistently providing innovative solutions
  • Regularly goes above and beyond to find creative solutions to complicated issues
  • Demonstrates a keen understanding of complex problems and quickly identifies effective solutions

Paragraph Example 1

“Jane consistently demonstrates outstanding problem-solving skills. She proactively identifies issues in our department and offers innovative solutions that have improved processes and productivity. Her ability to quickly adapt to unforeseen challenges and find effective resolutions is commendable and has proven invaluable to the team.”

Paragraph Example 2

“Sarah has demonstrated an outstanding ability in problem solving throughout the year. Her innovative solutions have significantly improved our department’s efficiency, and she consistently goes above and beyond expectations to find creative approaches to complicated issues.”

4 – Exceeds Expectations

Phrases examples:

  • Demonstrates a strong aptitude for solving complex problems
  • Often takes initiative in identifying and resolving issues
  • Effectively considers multiple perspectives and approaches before making decisions
  • Displayed a consistently strong ability to tackle challenging problems efficiently
  • Often takes the initiative to solve problems before they escalate
  • Demonstrates a high level of critical thinking when resolving issues
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Paragraph Example 1

“John exceeds expectations in problem-solving. He has a strong aptitude for solving complex problems and often takes initiative in identifying and resolving issues. His ability to consider multiple perspectives and approaches before making decisions has led to valuable improvements within the team.”

Paragraph Example 2

“Sam consistently exceeded expectations in problem solving this year. His efficient handling of challenging issues has made a positive impact on our team, and he often takes the initiative to resolve problems before they escalate. Sam’s critical thinking ability has been a valuable asset to our organization, and we appreciate his efforts.”

3 – Meets Expectations

Phrases examples:

  • Displays adequate problem-solving skills when faced with challenges
  • Generally able to identify issues and propose viable solutions
  • Seeks assistance when necessary to resolve difficult situations
  • Demonstrates a solid understanding of problem-solving techniques
  • Capable of resolving everyday issues independently
  • Shows perseverance when facing difficult challenges

Paragraph Example 1

“Mary meets expectations in her problem-solving abilities. She displays adequate skills when faced with challenges and is generally able to identify issues and propose viable solutions. Mary also seeks assistance when necessary to resolve difficult situations, demonstrating her willingness to collaborate and learn.”

Paragraph Example 2

“Sarah meets expectations in her problem-solving abilities. She demonstrates a solid understanding of problem-solving techniques and can resolve everyday issues independently. We value her perseverance when facing difficult challenges and encourage her to continue developing these skills.”

2 – Needs Improvement

Phrases examples:

  • Struggles to find effective solutions to problems
  • Tends to overlook critical details when evaluating situations
  • Reluctant to seek help or collaborate with others to resolve issues
  • Struggles to find effective solutions when faced with complex issues
  • Often relies on assistance from others to resolve problems
  • May lack confidence in decision-making when solving problems
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Paragraph Example 1

“Tom’s problem-solving skills need improvement. He struggles to find effective solutions to problems and tends to overlook critical details when evaluating situations. Tom should work on being more willing to seek help and collaborate with others to resolve issues, which will ultimately strengthen his problem-solving abilities.”

Paragraph Example 2

“Mark’s problem-solving skills need improvement. He often struggles to find effective solutions for complex issues and seeks assistance from others to resolve problems. We encourage Mark to build his confidence in decision-making and focus on developing his problem-solving abilities.”

1 – Unacceptable

Phrases examples:

  • Fails to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner
  • Lacks critical thinking skills necessary for effective problem-solving
  • Often creates additional issues when attempting to resolve problems
  • Demonstrates a consistent inability to resolve even basic issues
  • Often avoids responsibility for problem-solving tasks
  • Fails to analyze problems effectively, leading to poor decision-making

Paragraph Example 1

“Sally’s problem-solving skills are unacceptable. She consistently fails to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner, and her lack of critical thinking skills hinders her ability to effectively solve challenges. Additionally, her attempts to resolve problems often create additional issues, resulting in a negative impact on the team’s overall performance.”

Paragraph Example 2

“Susan’s problem-solving performance has been unacceptable this year. She consistently demonstrates an inability to resolve basic issues and avoids taking responsibility for problem-solving tasks. Her ineffectiveness in analyzing problems has led to poor decision-making. It is crucial that Susan improve her problem-solving skills to succeed in her role.”

Posted in: Performance Reviews