Companies need to review their employees’ performance from time to time. It’s one of the most effective ways to identify what needs improvement and what’s working as it should. A review of employees’ performance also effectively communicates how team members perform per personal and organizational goals.
According to ClearCompany, 43% of highly involved employees get at least one feedback weekly. Therefore, employee reviews should be more frequent while taking a shorter period to complete. The higher the frequency of employee reviews, the lower the turnover, which results in enhanced company productivity.
There are different ways to quantify or measure employees’ performance. Performance evaluations range from self-reviews to peer reviews and so many others. Companies tend to pick a particular review style that suits their organizational culture. So if you’re searching for employee performance review templates to evaluate your employee’s performance, you’re on the right page.
Before we delve into the different employee performance reviews, you should know what an employee performance review is, what it includes, and helpful tips for executing performance reviews.
What does Employee Performance Review mean?
Reviewing employees’ performance involves assessing a staff member’s performance over a certain period by stakeholders, managers, and colleagues. Usually, a performance review process may vary depending on factors such as who’s in charge of the review and the period (a week, two weeks, a month, a quarter, a year, etc.) you’re evaluating.
However, there are some universal elements that every thorough performance review must embody or include.
Elements of Performance Review
The Ideal employee performance review should include critical areas such as:
- The employee’s strong points
- The employee’s weak points
- Period of review
The Employee’s Strong Points
A good performance review must include praise and positive feedback regarding the strong points of a staff member. For example, an employee’s strong points may include problem-solving, creativity, and decision-making. So when a review highlights these strengths, it provides insight into the areas a staff member is performing well.
The Employee’s Weak Points
As a performance review should include praise for a staff member’s strengths, it should also highlight and discuss the weak points of that employee. For example, an employee may be poor or subpar in meeting deadlines, paying attention to details, working with team members, or performing diligently without supervision.
Highlighting the weak points of an employee helps them know the areas they need to work on and improve.
Period of Review
A performance review should include the specified period relative to an employee’s performance. While some organizations carry out performance reviews monthly, the regular review periods include quarterly (every three months), bi-annually (twice a year), or annually (once a year).
A good performance review should have an objective. An excellent example of a performance review objective is providing insights for employees on the areas they are great in and the areas they need to work on. The objectives or goals should be feasible, measurable (using metrics), specific, and time-bound. Review objectives help employees to understand what’s expected of them.
A system should be adopted to measure each staff member’s skill in predetermined categories to highlight areas of strengths and weaknesses. An excellent example of a rating standard for employees includes requiring development, consistently meeting expectations, often exceeding expectations, and consistently exceeding expectations.
For simplicity, you can adopt letter grades such as A-F or number grades such as 1-5 for the various categories.
Hacks for Performance Reviews
Some of the tips that can help your organization correctly execute employee performance reviews include:
Create a Conducive Atmosphere
Creating a friendly or conducive atmosphere before the performance review commencement can help your staff be at ease. This means thought should be given to the choice of venue for the performance review. The seating arrangement also helps.
Picture a scenario where the employer invites a staff member into the conference room and instructs them to sit at the opposite end of the table. Intimidating, right? To put your employee’s minds at ease, the employer can ask their staff member to sit opposite or close to them.
Make it More Frequent
The more frequent something becomes, the more people become used to it. This also applies to employee performance reviews. Picture two companies; we’ll call them Company A and Company B.
Company A carries out its performance reviews annually, while Company B carries out quarterly performance reviews. In company A, the employees are always nervous when it’s time for a performance review. That’s because it’s perceived as a sacred event that happens occasionally. On the other hand, the employees in company B are comfortable with performance reviews because it’s perceived as a typical event and part of the job.
There’s no right frequency for you to hold your employee performance reviews. The frequency you should adopt depends on what’s suitable for your organization and employees. In whatever decision you make, ensure the performance review is not an event that occurs occasionally. Instead, ensure you provide feedback on your staff performance throughout the year.
Also, be consistent with your frequency so your employees can easily speculate when the next performance review will be.
Don’t Focus on Recent Performances
To effectively assess your staff performance, ensure that your review is done as objectively as possible. This means your review should not focus on the recent performances of your staff but on their performance since the last time you held a performance review.
For instance, if your frequency is monthly when assessing your staff performance, don’t focus on the previous week or a few days before the review. Instead, focus on the entire month, starting when you held the performance review last month.
Look through the findings of the last review and find out if the staff member you’re reviewing has improved in certain areas. Focusing on recent performances can make your review biased.
Use Key Points
A good performance review should have at least three key points for measuring an employee’s performance. Examples of key points include:
- Core competencies (specific to the company)
- Competencies (specific to the employee’s position)
Competencies may embody skills such as knowledge of the company’s products or services, attitude to work, etc.
Give Feedback Frequently
We recommend companies provide feedback more frequently, not restrict it to scheduled reviews once every six months or annually. There should be informal assessments as well as suggestions all through the year. This allows the company to note an area a staff member needs to improve before the formal review.
Also, ensure you give feedback to the high performers in your company. Let them know they’re spot-on so they don’t relent or think they’re not doing well. Simple praise and encouraging remarks can boost their morale and make them feel like they’re an asset to the organization.
Employee Performance Review Templates
There are three significant categories of performance review templates:
- Time-based review templates
- Team-based review templates
- General performance review templates
Time-Based Review Templates
Examples of time-based review templates include:
Annual Performance Review
This review assesses a staff member’s performance and achievements over a year. The employee’s performance may be measured using key points such as core competencies and personal goals regarding performance management. In other words, an annual review analyses an employee’s performance history over a year.
The performance history is measured against the milestones and expectations outlined for that particular staff member.
6-Month Performance Review
This review can also be referred to as a mid-year performance review. This review involves analyzing or measuring a staff member’s activities, performance, and achievements over six months. It is held twice a year.
Giving employees a chance to see the direction of their performance twice a year enables them to self-analyze their performance. This will result in your employees improving in the necessary areas. That’s in the case of their weak points. On the other hand, positive feedback regarding their performance in the last six months can give them an insight into the areas they are doing well.
30-60-90 Employee Performance Review
This type of performance review applies to new staff members. It’s held monthly for the first three months of being employed. This review assesses the performance of new employees per their job expectations in their first three months on the job. This review also gives new staff members an insight into how they can fulfill their job expectations.
It lets them know the areas they should put more effort into and improve to fulfill their job expectations. Retaining new employees can be tricky because this review may require them to modify their expectations, priorities, and focus areas while learning more about the job.
This review is very important. Without it, new employees not being aware of the performance metrics may have little insight into their performance level. Hence, the company’s management can give new employees feedback concerning their performance. This will communicate that their new company is invested and involved in their growth.
Several companies use Affinda to select the most suitable candidates for job vacancies.
Quarterly Employee Performance Review
A quarter is three months, meaning four quarters in a year. This review analyses the performance and achievements of a staff member every quarter. It helps your employees consistently improve their weak points until they become their strengths. Equal efforts should be put into feedback on weaknesses and strengths because both encourage employees to do a good job.
Team-Based Employee Performance Templates
Every manager knows how their team members perform in a given role. However, they can’t be aware of everything their team members do. Employee performance review templates focused on team goals are an excellent opportunity to get feedback from other team members. When their feedback is combined with the manager’s, a holistic analysis of the employee’s performance can be achieved. This will help in shaping the employee experience.
Peer reviews usually take place once or twice every year. It’s the kind of performance review in which colleagues get to assess or review their peers, typically through a written format. At times, it’s a standalone review. At other times, it’s an element in annual reviews. The feedback generated through peer reviews is best combined with the management’s feedback and feedback from self-review.
The main benefit of this type of performance review is that it gives team members a chance to have an insight into their values and weak points from the perspective of their colleagues.
If your team is large and you don’t directly work with all team members, it will be difficult for you to know the strengths and weaknesses of every team member. You must get this information through peer review to comprehensively assess your staff performance.
Self-review involves the analysis of team members by themselves. Self-analysis or introspection gives a staff member a better insight into how each person in their team or organization analyses themselves. Self-review is not meant to relieve you of some responsibilities. Instead, it’s an opportunity for each employee to convey feedback about their perspective on their performance.
This feedback can either be communicated physically or digitally. The point of self-performance reviews is to ensure a balance or alignment between staff and their superiors. The feedback from this review can be done through a face-to-face meeting with your superior. It will involve a conversation about your feedback for a thorough and objective performance review.
Team Performance Review
This is the assessment of an entire team’s performance. It usually takes place annually. This review is vital for a team’s growth because the group gets multiple insights from different people. This helps them to identify what they need to grow or do better. This type of review offers the most value to team managers or leaders.
To carry out a team performance review, get each team member to complete a self-assessment and give information about the team and their goals. If you’re thinking about the kind of questions to ask to generate information, below is a sample:
- How effective is the team as a group?
- Give one instance of effective team collaboration over the year
- Give one instance of less effective team collaboration over the year
- How well do you communicate feedback to your colleagues and your line manager?
- What needs to be done to improve team collaboration?
General Performance Review
General performance review templates include:
Goal Setting Review
This performance review focuses on the goals of a staff member. Goals, in this context, mean the professional objectives of an employee and their alignment with the company’s long-term strategy. For instance, if you’re a team leader, your goal may be improving cross-functional communication and making routine debriefings more frequent. This is an ideal goal because it concords with the company’s goal to enhance transparency across the different departments.
Professional Development Review
This review focuses on evaluating the personal objectives of a staff member, and it’s essential for assessing an employee’s career trajectory. This review aims to ensure that employees are fulfilling their job expectations and working on their personal goals. An example of a personal goal may be improving their leadership ability. The connection between the employee’s objectives and goals sheds light on how their job supports their career growth.
Performance Improvement Review
Unlike other kinds of reviews, this one is only used when an employee is performing poorly to ensure there’s a performance improvement. For this review, the company must communicate the expected performance level ahead of time to give the employee a chance to fulfill those expectations. Then, this review assesses the employee’s performance using these defined expectations as a benchmark.
Employee Performance Review Sample
Employee name: Shirley Pears
Job position: Secretary
Review period: 6 months
Date of review: 4/4/2022
Purpose/goal of review: To evaluate the employee’s ability to meet deadlines, highlight strengths and weaknesses, and assess the employee’s demonstration of the company’s core values.
Rating standard: letter grading (A-F)
Ability to meet deadlines: B
Strengths: attention to detail, punctuality, organizational ability.
Weaknesses: taking the initiative.
Demonstration of the company’s core values: C
Reviewer’s comments: Shirley Pears is doing satisfactorily well in her job. She often meets deadlines, is never late to work, and is well-organized. She is good at paying attention to detail, as shown in how she carries out the instructions. However, Shirley Pears doesn’t show innovation and requires being told before executing specific tasks.
Recommendation: Shirley Pears should be given a team assignment or project to lead. This will sharpen and improve her ability to be innovative and make certain decisions without prompting.
Reviewer’s name: John Howard
Reviewer’s position: HR Manager
How Do You Use Employee Performance Reviews?
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