Performance reviews are a crucial aspect of any organizational system and are an important tool for evaluating the performance of employees, including secretaries. They provide an opportunity for employees and their managers to discuss the employee’s performance over a specific period of time, identify strengths and weaknesses, set goals for improvement, and provide feedback.

Secretaries play a critical role in supporting the operations of an organization, and performance reviews help ensure that they are performing their duties effectively and efficiently. They are an important tool for promoting professional development and growth, and for aligning the goals of the employee with those of the organization. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 3.4 million employed full-time secretaries in the country that are employed by all types of businesses. 

This article covers a broad range of performance review phrases you can use that are exclusive for secretaries, executive assistants and administrative professionals. I share glowing performance review examples and tough feedback when performance metrics aren’t being met. 

Performance Review Phrases for Secretaries

How do you review secretaries on staff?

  • [Insert Employee Name] has consistently demonstrated a good understanding of her role as a secretary in our food manufacturing unit. She manages her tasks efficiently and communicates effectively with both internal teams and external stakeholders.
  • [Insert Employee Name] has been a reliable secretary, ensuring that administrative tasks are completed in a timely manner. She has a good rapport with the production team and assists in coordinating meetings and events.
  • Sarah has been an average performer this year. While she manages her daily tasks, there’s room for improvement in terms of efficiency and proactivity. Sarah could benefit from attending workshops on advanced office management techniques.

[Insert Employee Name] often struggles with punctuality, arriving late for work multiple times this quarter. [Insert Employee Name] missed forwarding several important emails to the management. In the future, please regularly check and prioritize emails to avoid oversights like this.

  • Exceptional ability to communicate and interact with colleagues and clients.
  • Mark has shown difficulty in managing reservations and often double-books tables, causing inconvenience to guests. In the future, familiarize yourself with the booking system and double-check reservations to avoid overlaps. Over the next 3 months, please improve communication skills to handle guest complaints more effectively.
  • Nancy’s organization skills need improvement. Important documents and invoices have been misplaced on several occasions. To improve implement a filing system to keep track of documents and ensure thorough review of tasks to minimize errors.
  • Shows initiative in finding ways to improve office processes, ensuring that the workplace runs efficiently.
  • Excellent customer service skills and handles difficult situations with professionalism.
  • Demonstrates excellent time management skills over the past few months.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment. 
  • Skilled in problem solving and decision making to ensure productivity goals are met.

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  • Strong proficiency in office software and technology and can work with minimal supervision.
  • Adept at managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Exceptional attention to detail in correspondence and documents.
  • Highly organized and efficient in managing scheduling and appointments, minimizing errors.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and do so with ease.
  • Proactively identifies potential issues and takes corrective action, which lessens revisions and delays.
  • Maintains positive and professional attitude in all situations, ensuring professionalism in the workplace is always achieved.
  • Consistently demonstrates excellent attention to detail in all aspects of work.
  • Shows initiative in learning new skills to improve job performance. One of the best qualities I have observed from them.

Sophia displayed exceptional dedication and commitment to customer service during a recent interaction with a client. When the client faced difficulties with their paperwork and was visibly distressed, Sophia took the initiative to not only guide them through the process but also stayed beyond her working hours to ensure all their concerns were addressed. Her empathetic approach and willingness to go the extra mile greatly impressed the client and the management.

  • Ability to work well under pressure and handle tight deadlines.
  • Strong ability to manage office supplies and equipment effectively.
  • Consistently demonstrates a proactive and solution-focused approach to work. This enables them to learn from mistakes quickly.
  • Maintains an accurate and up-to-date filing system, which allows the company to achieve long-term efficiency.
  • Skilled in taking minutes and documenting meetings, which enables them to answer questions promptly and accurately.

James exhibited remarkable professionalism and composure during a particularly challenging client call. Despite the client’s aggressive demeanor, yelling, and screaming, James remained calm and patient. He listened actively, addressed the client’s concerns, and successfully de-escalated the situation, turning a potentially damaging interaction into a constructive conversation.

  • Demonstrates a strong ability to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, showing their adaptability skills.
  • Consistently maintains a high level of accuracy in data entry and record keeping. This lessens the amount of future work to be done.
  • Ability to effectively handle confidential and sensitive information.
  • Proactively seeks feedback and takes steps to improve job performance. In doing so, they have made large strides in their work.

Performance Review Phrases for Administrative Assistant

Feedback for administrative assistants.

  • Consistently demonstrates a high level of organizational skills. This allows them to have a more efficient and effective workflow.
  • Proactively identifies and resolves issues in a timely manner, minimizing the amount of downtime.
  • Strong ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks effectively, and does so with ease.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, promoting a much more friendly work environment.
  • Skilled in using office technology and software.

Alex’s performance over the past year has been deeply unsatisfactory. Despite repeated feedback and opportunities for improvement, there seems to be a consistent lack of effort or understanding in fulfilling the basic responsibilities of the role. There have been instances of sharing sensitive company information with unauthorized individuals, which is a grave breach of trust.

  • Shows initiative in finding ways to improve office processes and ensures these processes are done.
  • Consistently meets or exceeds performance expectations.
  • Shows great attention to detail in all aspects of work, including encoding, responding to emails, and scheduling meetings.
  • Is able to work even with an intense amount of pressure and is able to handle tight deadlines with grace.
  • Demonstrates a positive and professional attitude in all situations, which helps maintain morale in the workplace.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Consistently demonstrates strong problem-solving skills even in the most difficult of situations.
  • Shows that they are adept at decision-making that is based on data.
  • Excellent customer service skills and handles difficult situations with professionalism.
  • Adept at managing and coordinating projects.

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  • Keeps the filing system up-to-date to ensure all files are organized and processes are efficient and transparent.
  • Demonstrates a consistent attention to detail in both correspondence and documents.
  • Proactively seeks feedback and takes steps to improve job performance.

Charlie, if there were an Olympic event for juggling phone calls, managing schedules, and brewing the perfect cup of coffee, you’d undoubtedly bring home the gold for our company! Your performance this year has been nothing short of a successes. Your coffee could wake up a hibernating bear. Thanks for keeping the team caffeinated and alert.

  • Exhibits a persistent level of precision in both data entry and record maintenance.
  • Shows a high capacity to manage sensitive information with prudence.
  • Excels when it comes to time management and consistently meets deadlines.
  • Displays a consistent commitment to detail in scheduling and does a fantastic job when it comes to appointment management.
  • Actively takes initiative and shows foresight in meeting needs, which enables the workplace to perform at its peak.
  • Highly attentive when it comes to meetings and is quite skilled in taking minutes and documenting meetings.
  • Adeptness in performing in a fast-moving and ever-changing setting.
  • Shows a dedication to constantly expanding their knowledge and enhancing their skills through ongoing learning and professional development.
  • Demonstrates a steadfast commitment to consistently performing at a high level of efficiency and productivity, consistently delivering results and effectively utilizing their time and resources.

Performance Review Phrases for Executive Assistant

Feedback for an executive assistant.

  • Exhibits a consistent ability to effectively organize and prioritize tasks, regularly demonstrating exceptional time management and decision-making skills to accomplish goals and meet deadlines.
  • Takes initiative in detecting and efficiently resolving intricate problems with limited oversight.
  • Possesses outstanding abilities in both verbal and written communication, as well as strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excels in efficiently managing multiple assignments and projects simultaneously.
  • Demonstrates proactive behavior in seeking and implementing improvements to office systems and processes.

Taylor has consistently demonstrated exceptional skills in organization and task management. The efficiency and precision with which tasks are handled is commendable. However, there have been consistent concerns regarding interpersonal interactions and attitude.

  • Regularly achieves or surpasses performance goals and expectations.
  • There have been multiple instances where colleagues felt dismissed or undervalued in interactions. Building strong, positive relationships with team members is crucial for collaborative success.
  • Exhibits a meticulous attention to detail in all areas of their work.
  • Possesses the capability to effectively manage and prioritize tasks even in high-pressure situations, consistently delivering results within tight deadlines.
  • Exhibits a consistently optimistic and professional demeanor, regardless of the situation or circumstances, projecting a positive image and maintaining a constructive and respectful approach in all interactions.
  • Possesses the flexibility to work effectively both independently and as a contributing member of a team, adapting to changing needs and collaborating with others to achieve common goals.
  • Exhibits a steadfast commitment to finding solutions and taking a proactive, problem-solving approach to work, consistently seeking out and implementing innovative and effective strategies to meet challenges and achieve results.
  • Adept at identifying and resolving problems and making sound decisions.
  • Possesses exceptional customer service abilities and handles challenging scenarios with poise and professionalism, consistently maintaining a positive and helpful demeanor, resolving conflicts and ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Skilled in overseeing and arranging intricate projects efficiently.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to accuracy and organization by consistently keeping a well-structured and up-to-date filing system, ensuring that important documents and information are easily accessible and secure.
  • Displays a persistent commitment to precision in both written and verbal communication and in the preparation of all types of documents.
  • Actively seeks constructive feedback and takes proactive steps to enhance job performance.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to precision in both data entry and record maintenance.
  • Possesses the capability to manage confidential and delicate information with tact and confidentiality.
  • Shows exceptional time management capabilities and consistently meets project deadlines.
  • Demonstrates a proactive approach to work by anticipating potential needs and taking initiative, regularly exhibiting a sense of ownership and drive to improve processes and procedures.
  • Shows proficiency in taking comprehensive meeting minutes and maintaining accurate records of proceedings.
  • Possesses the adaptability to thrive in a dynamic and constantly changing work environment.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and development.
  • Consistently maintains a high level of productivity and efficiency.
  • Ability to effectively manage and support senior executives.

Self-Appraisal Comments for a Secretary

Not sure what to say about your performance? These ideas will help.

  • I have consistently exceeded expectations in managing office tasks.
  • I effectively prioritize and organize my workload so that I am more efficient and able to meet deadlines.
  • I pay close attention to detail in all aspects of my work, so that I can minimize the amount of errors.
  • I have excellent communication and interpersonal skills throughout the workplace.
  • I always look for ways to improve office processes and procedures, so that work remains productive.
  • I provide exceptional customer service and handle difficult situations with professionalism to help the company achieve its goals.

Well, another year has zoomed by, and I must say, if there were an Olympic event for juggling calendars, brewing the perfect cup of coffee, and decoding cryptic about layoffs emails, I’d be on the podium.

  • I have strong time management skills and consistently meet deadlines.
  • I am able to work both independently and as part of a team. In addition, I am able to provide my colleagues help whenever possible.
  • I am skilled in problem solving and decision making, which decreases downtime and does not disrupt productivity.
  • I have strong proficiency in using office software and technology.

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  • I am able to manage multiple projects simultaneously if needed.
  • I pay close attention to detail when it comes to correspondence and documents.
  • I am highly organized and efficient when it comes to managing scheduling and appointments.
  • I handle confidential information with discretion.

This year has been a testament to the evolving role of a secretary in a modern office environment. While traditional tasks like making coffee and answering phone calls remain part of the job, my contributions have extended far beyond these stereotypical duties.

  • I proactively identify potential issues and take corrective action immediately.
  • I maintain a positive and professional attitude in all situations.
  • I took the lead in coordinating our quarterly team-building events, ensuring they were not only enjoyable but also aligned with our company’s core values. Feedback from participants highlighted the events’ effectiveness in fostering team cohesion.
  • Recognizing the inefficiencies in our filing system, I introduced a digital document management solution. This has streamlined our operations, reduced paper waste, and improved document retrieval times by 60%.
  • I have a strong ability to work under pressure and handle tight deadlines.
  • I’ve become a key point of contact for both internal and external stakeholders, facilitating communication and ensuring that inquiries are directed to the appropriate departments, leading to faster resolution times.
  • I have a proactive and solution-focused approach to my work.
  • I maintain an accurate and up-to-date filing system.
  • I have experience taking minutes and documenting meetings.
  • I initiated a review of our office supply procurement process, identifying areas of wastage and suggesting cost-effective alternatives. This has resulted in a 20% reduction in office supply expenses.
  • I have a high level of accuracy in data entry and record keeping.
  • I am committed to continuous learning and development to help the company.
  • I am able to effectively handle confidential and sensitive information, which is a critical factor in my role.
  • I actively seek feedback and learn from past errors in order to improve my performance in the workplace.
  • I attended a workshop on advanced office management techniques, bringing back valuable insights that have been instrumental in refining our daily operations.

Longer Form Example: 

This year has been both challenging and rewarding. I’ve taken several initiatives to enhance my skills and streamline office processes, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made. Below, I’ve highlighted some key areas where I believe my performance was particularly strong.

Areas of Strength:

  1. Organization:
    • Example: I implemented a new digital filing system that reduced document retrieval times by 50%. This system not only made our operations more efficient but also reduced our reliance on paper, supporting the company’s green initiatives.
  2. Communication:
    • Example: Recognizing the importance of clear communication, I initiated a weekly bulletin to keep all departments informed about upcoming meetings, events, and important dates. Feedback indicates that this has significantly improved inter-departmental coordination.
  3. Task Management:
    • Example: I successfully managed the coordination of three major company events this year, ensuring all logistics were handled seamlessly. Each event received positive feedback, with many noting the smooth organization as a highlight.
  4. Proactivity:
    • Example: Anticipating the annual rush during the holiday season, I pre-organized all necessary materials and coordinated with relevant departments two months in advance. As a result, we experienced one of the smoothest year-end closings in recent history.
  5. Continuous Learning:
    • Example: I attended a professional development workshop on advanced office management techniques. Implementing what I learned, I introduced a new scheduling system that reduced booking conflicts by 80%.

How can you evaluate a secretary’s performance at work?

How do you measure good or bad performance?

Judging the performance of a secretary in the workplace fairly during an annual review requires a comprehensive approach that considers both quantitative and qualitative factors. Here’s are a few tips to help ensure a fair evaluation. 

Clear Job Description: Start with a clear and updated job description. This provides a baseline for expectations and responsibilities. Have you ever held a job where the job description doesn’t match the reality of the daily work. This is a problem once performance review time rolls around.

Quantitative Metrics to Evaluate:

    • Task Completion: Track the number of tasks assigned and completed on time.
    • Attendance and Punctuality: Monitor days of work, tardiness, and unscheduled absences.
    • Efficiency Metrics: Measure the time taken for routine tasks, such as document processing, call handling, etc.

Qualitative Assessment to Evaluate:

      • Interpersonal Skills: Assess the secretary’s ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, superiors, and external stakeholders.
      • Problem-Solving: Evaluate their ability to handle unexpected challenges or conflicts.
      • Initiative and Proactivity: Consider instances where the secretary took the initiative or suggested improvements.
      • Adaptability: Assess their ability to adapt to new tools, technologies, or changes in office procedures.

During the review process, be aware of potential biases, such as recency bias (only remembering recent events) or halo effect (one good trait influencing overall perception). Focus on objective facts and a holistic view of the entire year.

Allow the secretary to voice concerns, provide explanations, and discuss challenges faced during the year. This ensures a two-way communication process. There could be aspects of the role that you overlooked. Make sure to take time to listen to the employees and understand their concerns.

Why are secretaries so important to the success of a business?

Don’t overlook the contributions of a secretary.

Secretaries are an integral part of any successful business. First of all, they provide crucial administrative support, such as managing schedules, organizing and maintaining files, and handling correspondence and documents. They also interact with a wide range of individuals and organizations, making them essential for maintaining positive relationships with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Aside from that, secretaries are often responsible for managing multiple tasks and deadlines, ensuring that projects are completed efficiently and effectively. They also play a key role in identifying and resolving issues, and in providing prompt and professional customer service. Secretaries help to optimize the use of time and resources, allowing executives and other employees to focus on core responsibilities, and they are often required to adapt to changing circumstances and respond quickly to new or unexpected demands. 

Secretaries also handle sensitive and confidential information, ensuring that information is protected and managed appropriately, making them a valuable resource for any organization.

Overall, secretaries are essential for the smooth operation of a business and for supporting the success of individuals and teams. I hope you’ll take the time to show appreciation for the contributor in this role.