Best-Performance-Review-Template-And-How-to-Use-It

3 Best Performance Review Templates For Different Work Scenarios

Performance appraisals help evaluate progress, providing insight into how teams and individuals are doing during a specific period or project. They can be difficult to get right, but that’s easily fixed with some structure and intention.

Try a performance review template at your next project post-mortem – not only does it help with planning and communication, but the extra clarity and purpose also keep performance evaluations on track from start to finish. 

In this article, we’ll go over the As to Zs of performance review templates, and wrap up with three examples you can customize to your project workflow needs. 

What’s A Performance Review Template?

Performance reviews play an important part in project management, as they help in formally evaluating the abilities of individuals and teams. An effective performance review doesn’t just tell us where we’re at in terms of work performance, it also identifies the areas we can work on, whether that is as an individual, a team, or an employee. 

Like any other project management tool, running performance reviews involves facing challenges such as organizing evaluation procedures, deciding what to do with the data collected, and scheduling the right time for appraisal. It can get hairy quickly, especially if there are many parties and layers of management involved.

A Performance Review Template can help by standardizing and simplifying performance appraisals using a set of common questions or an evaluation scale. Not only does a systematic approach help everyone stay on the same page, but it also helps keep everyone in the loop by preventing long and convoluted performance review processes.

Performance Review Templates have the following benefits:

  • Encourages fair and objective evaluation
  • Structures the evaluation to include key elements like KSA (knowledge, skills, abilities) as well as other key performance indicators
  • Prompts discussion and feedback
  • Supports recognizing contributions 
  • Identifies areas for improvement
  • Helps with goal setting, growth, and development
  • Aligns work priorities and perspectives
  • Provides an opportunity for clear and constructive communication
  • Maintains consistency and clarity in performance analysis and review
  • Saves time for performance appraisal participants and facilitators
  • Records evidence and supports employment decisions like training, promotions, and more

When standardized templates are used across an organization and throughout management levels, they can make it much easier to collect and organize data. This makes it easier to follow up on the insights from the performance review exercises, which in turn leads to better individual, team, and management decisions.

Performance Review Template Examples

Performance reviews usually use qualitative or quantitative measurements to estimate performance against benchmarks, such as numerical performance rating scales, goal status ratings, Likert scales, and narrative descriptions. We recommend combining both measurement types since that provides better context. 

Individual Performance Review Template

Let’s start with a performance review template for individuals. This can be done in a few ways: self-evaluation, peer evaluation, top-down evaluation, as well as bottom-up evaluation.

Individual Performance Review Record

Name:

Employee ID:

Job title:

Department:

Reviewer’s name:

Reviewer’s title:

Review period:

Review date:

Individual Performance Characteristics

[grade these on a scale of 1 to 5 and add comments if necessary]

5 – Performance in this area is consistently exceptional and exceeds job requirements.

4 – Performance in this area often exceeds requirements.

3 – Performance in this area consistently satisfies requirements.

2 – Performance in this area meets some, but not all requirements.

1 – Performance in this area repeatedly fails to meet the minimum requirements.

Not Applicable – Performance in this area cannot be evaluated as the individual has yet to meet requirements due to being new to the role.

Attendance: 

Punctuality: 

Reliability: 

Technical skill:

Initiative: 

Communication: 

Work consistency:

Work quality:

Work ethic:  

Colleague relationships: 

Client relationships:

Individual Performance Goals

Goals set during the previous performance review:

Goals set for the next performance review period:

Comments:

Participant signature:

Reviewer signature:

Team Performance Review Template

Team performance reviews are best done as peer evaluations or as top-down evaluations. Since this review template focuses on performance metrics, the key performance metric section can be copy pasted as needed to accommodate the number of metrics being reviewed.

Team Performance Review Record

Name:

Employee ID:

Job title:

Department:

Reviewer’s name:

Reviewer’s title:

Review period or project:

Review date:

Key Performance Metrics

Performance metric: [name the metric being evaluated]

Status: [positive, negative, or neutral]

Contributing factors: [describe the factors that affect whether the team will successfully meet metric requirements]

Action(s) required: [describe any action needed to improve performance]

Action(s) assigned: [insert name of the team member responsible for the actions required]

Comments: [include any additional information like suggestions, recognition of contributions, and more]

Participant signature(s):

Reviewer signature:

Time-Based Performance Review Template

Performance reviews are great for capturing where we’re at and where we’d like to be in terms of our career, and the best way to do that is according to a consistent schedule. This time-based performance review template starts the conversation on how an employee and an organization can best support one another using GOOD, an acronym that stands for goals, obstacles, opportunities, and decisions.

Time-Based Performance Review Record

Name:

Employee ID:

Job title:

Department:

Reviewer’s name:

Reviewer’s title:

Review period:

Review date:

Goals

Previous goals: [describe long-term and short-term goals from previous performance review exercises]

Status: [describe the progress on the long-term and short-term goals from previous performance review exercises]

Future goals: [list any new future goals or changes to existing goals]

Obstacles

Obstacles contributing to goal progress (self-reported): [describe any factors impeding goal progress from the participant’s perspective]

Obstacles contributing to goal progress (reviewer observed): [describe any factors impeding goal progress from the reviewer’s perspective]

Action(s) required (self): [describe any action that can be done to manage obstacles and support progress from the participant]

Action(s) required (reviewer): [describe any action that can be done to manage obstacles and support progress from the reviewer]

Opportunities

Projects, skills, or goals: [describe any endeavors and opportunities the participant is currently working on]

Status: [describe whether the progress towards the above opportunities is satisfactory]

Support actions: [describe any action that can be done to support progress from the organization]

Decisions

Steps to be taken before the next review (self): [describe any action steps to be taken by the participant]

Steps to be taken before the next review (reviewer): [describe any action steps to be taken by the reviewer]

Key decisions made during the review exercise: [describe any important decisions made during the performance review]

Participant signature:

Date:

Reviewer signature:

Date:

From the examples above, performance review templates cover three key aspects: where we’re at, where we’d like to go, and what we need to do to get there. Some templates also cover areas such as contributing factors and how the organization can support the participant’s performance.

Our performance review template examples are written in plain text, but you can format them into Word, Excel, Google Forms, or Slack – as long as the tool helps you get the job done.

How to Use Performance Review Templates

There’s no best way to use a performance review template – what’s important is that you get the information you need. Performance review templates can be boiled down to a few basic steps:

1. Communicate on the Purpose of the Performance Review

Setting up performance reviews can be as easy as booking an appointment, but mindfully clarifying intentions can help create a conducive space for active discussion. While performance reviews can contain negative feedback, participants who feel like they’re walking into a trap will begin the exercise on guard and closed off, which isn’t great for constructive dialogue.

2. Run the Performance Review

Here is where you’ll discuss participant performance as part of the evaluation. A performance review template can double as a meeting agenda to keep things moving on top of recording any notes and feedback given during the session. 

While you’re at it, here are some handy performance review phrases to use. Performance reviews often fail because they’re not specific enough, and when combined with constructive criticism, it’s easy for participants to dismiss the exercise entirely. SMART goals and specific performance feedback help provide direction on how to do better, giving participants a clear roadmap toward success.

3. Follow Up

After the performance appraisal is complete, close the loop – this can be done by scheduling a follow-up performance review after a set amount of time, or by incorporating project performance review findings into the next project. 

Performance reviews can be done individually, one-to-one, and collaboratively depending on their purpose, and they don’t always have to be held during meetings, either. If anonymity and confidentiality are a concern, they can be as simple as filling out a questionnaire and submitting it through your channel of choice.

How to Use Performance Review Template Automatically

While performance reviews often involve some kind of prompt and response, you don’t always have to be present and actively asking questions for them to go well. Scheduled emails and automated calendar appointments can take some friction out of the process, so all you have to do is show up to the evaluation. 

If your performance appraisal meeting is synchronous, recording video or audio can be handy for reference purposes, especially if the data recorded can be converted to text that’s easy to collate and search later.

Some organizations have distributed global teams that make synchronous meetings difficult – try a Slack or Microsoft Teams tool like Geekbot that automates the entire process, freeing up your time and energy to focus on other kinds of work.

Here’s how to automate performance reviews with Geekbot:

1. Add Geekbot to Slack or Microsoft Teams.

2. Pick a template. This time, let’s go with a monthly 1-on-1 template and tailor it to our needs.

3. Integrate Geekbot’s monthly 1-on-1 template into your organization’s Slack workspace. You can change the title to something more catchy if you like.

4. Configure the activity by selecting the participants and scheduling the activity for your team’s next available date. Here is also where you can edit the introduction to provide more context on the performance review.

In the plain text question fields, edit or add as many questions as you’d like. Here are some examples:

  • Do you have any long-term and short-term goals from the previous performance review? How did you do?
  • Are there any changes to your existing goals? Do you have any new goals you’d like to add?
  • Are there any obstacles currently impeding progress toward your goals?
  • What can you do to manage these obstacles and move forward?
  • Is there anything we can do to support you in furthering your goals?
  • What are the opportunities you are currently working on? These can be projects or skills that you would like to develop.
  • How are you doing with these opportunities?
  • Is there anything we can do to help you with your endeavors?
  • What are the steps you can take before the next scheduled review?
  • What can we do for you before the next scheduled review?

5. Once the questions are complete, customize the outro and decide whether this survey should be anonymous. Then you’re ready to hit publish!

6. Geekbot sends the interactive questionnaire you just set up to participating team members according to the schedule you set. After the surveys are filled, you’ll be able to make use of the Geekbot dashboard to check responses and create data reports.

In the end, embracing the world of performance review templates becomes your secret weapon in tackling project evaluations like a pro. These structured approaches not only help you measure progress but also make communication a breeze and accountability a norm.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or tweaking existing templates, the advantages go beyond just evaluations – think smarter planning, tighter teamwork, and nailing those project goals. So with the insights you’ve gained, you’re all set to rock your performance reviews and supercharge growth in your projects and teams!

Frequently asked questions

Why are performance reviews important for any team?

Performance appraisals offer valuable insights into team and individual progress during projects. They facilitate informed decision-making, identify areas for improvement, and ensure effective communication within teams, contributing to overall project success.

How can a performance review template benefit project evaluations?

Utilizing a performance review template streamlines the evaluation process. It enhances planning, communication, and alignment of expectations. The template's structure ensures a comprehensive assessment, leading to better clarity, focused discussions, and actionable insights during project post-mortems.

How do performance review templates improve accountability?

Performance review templates establish clear criteria for evaluation, outlining expectations and objectives. By providing a structured framework, they hold both teams and individuals accountable for their roles and responsibilities. This fosters a culture of ownership, leading to improved performance and results.

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