Employee Reviews


Sample Employee Performance Review Form

Managers complain about the employee review process being too cumbersome and saddled with long forms.  If your organization’s performance review process is longer than one or two pages then it’s likely too long.  Can a one or two- page performance review be effective?  Absolutely.  Keeping the form focused on the most essential information leads to generating  meaningful performance review content, better quality and more focused employee performance conversations.   A good performance review form is the first step to helping managers write performance reviews.   Here are the essential elements for reviewing employee performance:

  • Strengths: Include 2 – 3 areas of strength, use supporting examples (be specific), identify the positive impact (show the employee how the strength adds value) and then connect the strength to  the relevant organizational competencies (Communication, Teamwork, Accountability, Customer Focus, Results Orientation, etc.).
  • What’s Next:  What are the one or two areas for growth for this individual?   Refrain from using the terms improvement, get better at, area for development and instead, use “What’s next”.  Identify something that if developed, would have a positive impact on the employee’s future contributions.  Specifically describe what it is you want to have happen and include a talking point or two on the relevance (what’s in it for the employee and the organization).  Make the connection to the related organizational competencies.
  • New Goals:  Translate “What’s Next” into SMART (Specific, Relevant, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound).  Goals should be captured and tracked on a document separate from the annual performance review document.
  • Recap Previously Set Goals and Objectives: Creating goals in January and reviewing progress the following January is useless.   Goals should be captured on a document separate from the annual performance review form and reviewed and updated monthly during regularly scheduled one-to-one meetings.
  • What to Call the Annual Performance Review  Anything but review, appraisal or evaluation.  Aside from being from the post industrial era, these terms strike fear into the heart of most people.  Minimize fear and dread by dropping the terms review, appraisal and evaluation.  Instead, try something like Performance Conversation & Planning Map. Experiment and see what you can come up with.