What Is a Performance Review Template? (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Managers use performance review templates as human resource tools to help guide the employee evaluation process. The type of template you decide to use depends on the company's culture, intentions, and the frequency of reviews. Understanding how to use this tool can help you study and evaluate the success and productivity of team members. In this article, we discuss what a performance review template is, discover what to include in a performance review, explain why managers use it, review how to use it, and explore four examples of templates.

What is a performance review template?

A performance review template is a human resource tool that can help professionals and managers formally record observations of themselves or their colleagues. This tool allows human resources professionals to assess objectively the work performance of their coworkers, supervisees, and team members. Templates can guide you through the performance review by stating the specific points to discuss. It can help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues. It also enables you to get support for any performance problems your colleagues have while providing administrative proof that the efficient professionals qualify for a promotion.

Performance review guides provide a simple structure to help you write a detailed and beneficial performance review by stating points to add in each section. These points include quality of work, technical strengths and weaknesses, goals for the future, and if the colleagues met their targets. Regularly done performance reviews help you monitor the improvement of your colleagues throughout the year and determine the virtues and vulnerabilities of the company. It also allows you to set targets and goals for your colleagues and determine which of them are eligible for a promotion.

Related: How Employee Performance Is Measured and Why It's Important

What to include in a performance review

The content you add to your performance review typically depends on the type of company. For example, you can include the reviewer's information, which means including your name and rank within the organization. Your employer can have particular preferences, but the following are points that performance reviews generally include:

  • Personnel information: This includes information about the personnel, including their name, job title, and the duration of time they've been working with the organization.

  • Date of the previous review: You include the date of the last review to provide context and more reference information during the review. It can help you note an increase or decrease in productivity and efficiency.

  • Present date: It's a good idea to note the date of the current review. You can also add details about the number of reviews the professional has on file.

  • General comments: It's typical to include general comments about the professional's performance. You can document certain good qualities and habits you've noted.

  • Contrast to company objectives: You can compare a professional's actions to the values and ideals that the organization promotes.

  • Precise goals: Organizations typically set goals for each professional under review to achieve within a specified time. You can integrate setting goals in your performance review as it helps to focus on specific actions and improvement tactics.

Related: Performance Review Goals (Definition, Types, and Importance)

Why do managers use performance reviews?

Performance reviews are instrumental for evaluating a personnel's performance. It can also help provide beneficial feedback that motivates professionals to improve their work efficiency. There are several benefits of implementing a thorough performance review, and they include:

  • Motivation: The process motivates personnel to work more efficiently and improve their professional performance.

  • Increased engagement: Performance reviews increase work engagement and ensure the personnel feel committed to their work.

  • Improved profitability: Performance reviews improve the profitability and return of the company by increasing the performance of the personnel.

  • Effective communication: The process opens communication channels between managers like you and the personnel.

Related: How to Evaluate Your Managers' Performance (With Benefits)

How to use a performance review

A good performance review is constructive and encouraging. It focuses on the positive and negative aspects of a professional's performance. A review like this is more likely to encourage your colleagues instead of intimidating them. The following steps can help you write an effective and constructive performance review, regardless of the professional. They include:

1. Reflect on each professional

Delivering individual performance reviews tends to be time-consuming and challenging when dealing with a large team. It's best to reflect adequately on each professional to ensure your performance reviews are constructive and beneficial. You can include personal, considered feedback in each review to show you're considering their work performance.

2. Consider yourself a coach

In conducting a performance review, it's best to consider yourself a coach instead of a judge. You're on the same team as these professionals, and your job is to guide them towards success for the team and company. Typically, you can achieve this by checking the tone of your voice and the way you phrase your sentences. You can also ensure an open and positive style during the review.

3. Practise a two-way conversation

A performance review involves an atmosphere where the professionals and the managers feel comfortable enough to speak honestly about their performance. You can ask questions to determine how the professionals feel about each point you address. Getting feedback from the professional ensures an understanding of each point you addressed. It also helps you ascertain specific changes that can help the company's overall productivity.

4. End the performance review with trackable goals

Conducting performance reviews is most effective if the professionals leave with a good understanding of enhancing their performance. You can give each professional two or three detailed goals to help guide their objectives. It also provides the metres by which you can gauge their performance during the next review. It's good to recognize goals directly related to the strengths and weaknesses you just addressed with the professional.

Related: 13 Performance Review Questions to Ask Your Manager

4 performance review templates

The following are examples of performance review guides when writing performance reports for the professionals you're reviewing:

1. Simple performance review template

This template includes basic features you might use during your review. For example, you can include a list of employee qualities and skills and a rating system from poor to excellent. Below is the template:

Employee information:
Employee name:
Employee ID:
Position held:
Reviewer name:
Reviewer title:
Last review date:

Evaluate the following characteristics as excellent, good, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory:
Technical skills:
Client relations:
Coworker relations:
Group work:
Independent work:
Work consistency:
Quality of work:
Works to full potential:

Employee's goals:
Did this employee achieve their goals?
What are their three primary goals for the next performance review period?
Goal one:
Goal two:
Goal three:

Comments and approval:
Employee signature:
Reviewer signature:

G.O.O.D. performance review template

G.O.O.D. stands for goals, obstacles, opportunities, and decisions. You can use this template to guide a one-on-one conversation with an employee, coworker, or team member. Here is a template:

Employee name:
Employee ID:
Reviewer name:
Position held:
Reviewer title:

What were their short-term and long-term goals?
How has their performance been since the last conversation?
What are their next plans?

What is impeding their progress?
What can you do to help them?

What are you proud of that your coworkers don't know?
Do you feel you're growing toward your goals?
How can the company help you make this your dream job?

What previous steps can you take next time?
What other decisions did we make?

Employee signature:
Reviewer signature:

Quarterly performance review template

You can use this template to lay out the topics of discussion for quarterly performance reviews. For example, you can explore a coworker's plans to improve their productivity levels or help team members achieve a high level of accomplishment. Here is the template:

Employee name:
Reviewer name and title:
Review period:
Date of review:

Reflect on the past:
What can you improve from last month or quarter?
What are your goals for the next month or quarter?

Make a plan:
What might make the four months successful for you at work?
How can we help you achieve your goals?
How can you track or measure your progress on these goals?
What activities might you perform to achieve these goals?

Look for the future:
What are your goals and plans for the next quarter?
Do you understand your personal goals align with company goals?

Employee signature:
Reviewer signature:

Mid-year performance review template

You can use this template to lay out the discussion points for mid-year performance conversations. This can be very helpful in identifying needs or asking for adjustments. Below is the template:

Employee name:
Reviewer name and title:
Review period:
Date of review:

Reflect on the past:
What were the highlights of your year so far?
What went wrong in the last six months?
How have things gone since our last conversation?

Make a plan:
What can make the next six months successful for you?
What kind of support do you require to attain your goals?
How can you monitor or measure your progress on these goals?
What activities can you perform to achieve your goals?

Look for the future:
What are your goals for the rest of this year?
What can you do to improve your performance in the next six months?
How can you impact your performance positively in your ideal role?
Do you understand how your goals align with company goals?

Employee signature:
Reviewer signature:

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