Top Initiative Performance Review Phrases (2022)

What does it mean to take the initiative? Here are initiative performance review phrases to use during employee evaluations. From customer service team members to creative staff. Taking initiative is a vital part of getting work accomplished in a timely manner.

performance review phrases initiative

Performing performance reviews for those who take initiative

When you take charge of something, you do so without waiting for permission. It is not rash behavior, but rather thorough consideration with thought and taking advantage of advantageous circumstances. As a result, initiative employees are essential to any company. Staff members that fall under this category include individuals who:

  • Are driven.
  • You're upbeat and energetic.
  • Are prepared to act without waiting for instructions.
  • Are self-motivated and disciplined.
  • Are problem solvers and executors.
  • Accepting responsibility is something you're willing to do.
  • Are dependable and consistent.
  • Perform their duties in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Learn to pay attention and ask probing questions.
  • Know how to ask the right questions.
  • Set high expectations for yourself.
  • Correctly doing the right thing.
  • Develop activities that encourage innovative thinking.
  • Adopt an "owner mindset."
  • They should set goals for themselves.
  • After completing one assignment, you're eager to take on more.
  • Are energetic, dynamic, and time-conscious.
  • Be aware of the dangers of becoming a workaholic.
  • They are dedicated to their work and are not content with mediocre outcomes.
  • Be prepared to ask the essential questions to finish the job flawlessly.
  • Taking on more significant duties and assigning accountability for them

Related: Self-Performance Review Examples

performance review phrases initiative

What does "initiative" actually mean?

Michael Frese and Doris Fay describe the initiative as "work behavior defined by its self-starting nature, proactive attitude, and persistence in overcoming obstacles that develop in pursuit of a goal."

When you demonstrate initiative, you go above and beyond what gets expected of you; you learn what you need to know; you persevere when things become rough, and you recognize and seize possibilities that others overlook. At work, you take action rather than react.

We've all witnessed initiative in action. Maybe you've seen a junior manager step into her boss's shoes when she's unwell, and the rest of the team is stumped, or perhaps you've witnessed a team member pitch an executive board a process improvement idea.

In today's workplace, the initiative is becoming increasingly vital. Employees that can think on their feet and take action without waiting for someone to tell them what to do are in high demand. After all, this kind of adaptability and bravery drives teams and businesses to innovate and outperform their competitors.

Exceptional "Taking Initiative" Performance Review Phrases

For initiative, you may use the following performance assessment phrases:

Michael is exceptional/superior in understanding when and how he should act.

Does not wait to be told what to do; instead, he is always looking for new projects to work on. He does not require strict supervision in any function; he works effectively without it.

A goal-oriented individual establishes priorities and follows through on them.

performance review phrases initiative

Highly adaptable, with the capacity to respond to the company's ever-changing demands.

A person who is capable of coming up with new approaches to improve performance.

Has a strong sense of responsibility and always completes assignments on time. He is never happy with his work and is constantly looking for new methods to better.

Regardless of who proposes them, I strongly advocate for new ideas, goals, and working techniques.

When new duties arise, I am always ready to take them on.

Has strong communication skills and can complete tasks through conversing with others.

Takes the lead in overcoming challenges and achieving the organization's objectives.

He has strong ethical standards, seen in all of his work.

Always go above the job description and responsibilities to ensure that clients are satisfied.

Very sympathetic and listens to the client's worries, letting them know they are getting heard. Exhibits a high level of enthusiasm while taking on obstacles linked to the assigned work.

Highly devoted to the timeliness, which has contributed significantly to the team's overall success. Always willing to receive constructive comments to improve performance in all duties.

Instill a spirit of teamwork among coworkers by fostering a cooperative and collaborative environment. Always eager to assume responsibility for the duties assigned and remain accountable.

We don't need to keep a close eye on John. He is a guy who takes the initiative.

John is a highly imaginative individual. He is an expert at figuring out the most acceptable ways to do a task.

John holds himself to a high standard of professionalism in his work. Without anybody telling him, he attempts to improve his performance independently.

John is never happy with how he performs. He is constantly looking for fresh ways to enhance it on his own.

John is always willing to take on new responsibilities when the opportunity arises.

John is a great communicator who knows how to make the most effective use of people to get the task done.

John is highly conscientious about his work. We don't have to tell him what to do since he does it better than we do.

Terry is a thoughtful person. He is constantly looking for new and better answers to problems rather than waiting for others to beg him.

John is a guy who gets focused on achieving his objectives. He is capable of prioritizing his tasks to complete them successfully.

Related: Tactical Planning

Exceeds More Than the Requirements and Is Satisfactory in Taking Initiative

Peter isn't scared to explore new things and take chances.

Jennifer is open to experimenting with new ideas that might help her staff become more productive.

Gwen takes the initiative regularly and in an acceptable manner.

David spends a lot of time figuring out how to do his work more efficiently.

John is always looking for and accepting new possibilities to advance his career.

Dean does not wait for others to tell him what to do; instead, he constantly looks for new challenges.

John is a firm believer in fresh ideas, goals, and approaches, regardless of their origin.

Dean is a self-starter who never waits for others to tell him what to do.

I think John doesn't need supervision because he can work alone.

Terry is continually looking for methods to improve his performance.

Susan takes the initiative when it's needed and meets or exceeds expectations.

Tamara is willing to take chances to please demanding clients.

Nathan maintains a high level of production without the need for supervision.

Ingrid does not require instruction to carry out her responsibilities. She acknowledges that she is accountable for her conduct.

John's ability to set goals and plan courses of action for himself and his planning and follow-up skills are both lacking.

John lacks the expertise and credentials needed to execute the job properly without precise directives.

Although John may possess the necessary qualifications, his lack of initiative and aggressive demeanor make it dangerous to entrust him with significant responsibilities.

Andrew is very devoted to the organization; he always agrees with the management and never expresses his point of view during discussions.

John is a very adaptable person. He can adapt to changing circumstances and the willingness to go above and beyond to complete the goal.

Brian contributes innovative ideas and assists the other team members in their contributions.

Emily is always willing to hear customer complaints and present a few assigned tasks that she feels will move the ball forward.

John is eager to take on new challenges and enhance his working environment.

There's no reason to keep such a close eye on Terry. He'll be OK on his own. At work, he is highly adaptable and proactive.

Valerie is a productive employee, but she is not attempting to do more than she is expected to.

Clyde lacks the self-assurance to make his own judgments. He is apprehensive about acting without supervision.

Matt is always thinking of new and innovative solutions to his existing workload.

John does not have the expertise or knowledge he claims in his application.

John's task appears to be too complex for him to do independently.

John has a habit of thinking within the box and being scared to try something new.

John isn't a decisive person. John does not appear to be an idea person since he cannot make rapid judgments, take action, or dedicate himself to completion. He is not prepared to produce and identify new solutions when doing a job.

We'll have to keep a close eye on John. Whether we don't, we won't know if he deviates from his course.

John doesn't come up with fresh ideas; instead, he prefers to accomplish things that others have already done.

When he doesn't have support or supervision, John struggles to complete his job.

Unsatisfactory "Taking Innovative" Review Phrases

Jeremy refuses to learn new work methods. Every year, he loses competence.

Without a supervisor, Terry becomes worthless. He should take more initiative.

Ron hasn't decided to learn new skills or bring a positive attitude to the table.

I'd like to see Suzy bring constructive feedback to the other team members' work. Or bring creative or innovative ideas to her own work.

Andrea needs to be learning about key business decisions and how they couple with the industry trends we are following.

I'd like to see Karen build more effective working relationships with the team members. Present constructive criticism, accept feedback, communicate effectively, and build rapport.

John is a sedentary individual who has little desire to learn new talents or advance his qualifications.

Ron needs to develop creative solutions to complex problems. Take on customer satisfaction surveys or other simple projects that could help the business.

If John continues to overlook chances in front of him, he will struggle to progress.

John does not appear to be adaptable in any way. He cannot continuously perform under duress to prosper in a constantly changing and challenging environment.

John is too pessimistic to look for new ways to improve his skills and advance his career.

Terry has a hard time dealing with fresh ideas. He rejects every suggestion made to him.

Terry is wary of new ideas and approaches. He continues to use outdated ones, even though they are useless.

Terry's initiative at work is severely constrained. He doesn't think beyond the box too often. He also has a hard time accepting fresh ideas.

If we want John to finish this project, we'll have to keep a careful eye on him.

Self-Evaluation Questions about Taking Initiative

Questions to ask yourself about taking creative and innovative risks:

  • Do you actively seek to advance your career?
  • Are you capable of resolving workplace issues on your own?
  • Have you ever requested a more difficult task?
  • Do you take advantage of professional development opportunities?
  • How frequently do you achieve your own objectives?
  • Are you willing to work extra hours?
  • Are you ready to take on additional responsibilities?
  • How often do you share your thoughts during table meetings?
  • Do you have a strategy for your future?
  • Do you take on extra duties after you've completed your main goal?
  • Are you being challenged to look beyond the box and explore new possibilities?
  • Do you want to be told what to do, or do you prefer to take the initiative?
  • Are you imaginative enough to come up with solutions to complex problems?
  • Have you seen any changes from the last evaluation season?
  • Are you willing to gain new talents and apply them to your job?
  • Do you have the capacity to set and achieve personal objectives?
  • How do you deal with pressure at work, deadlines, and coworkers?
  • Do you set personal priorities to perform the most critical activities first?
  • Do you readily take responsibility without assigning blame?
  • Do you respond well to good feedback, or do you let your emotions guide you?

performance review phrases initiative

Other performance review phrases

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Fact checked: Our small and dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article, guide, and reference to ensure the information is accurate and factual. Learn more.


Help us by spreading the word