What is a performance review?
A performance review, also known as a performance appraisal or employee evaluation, is a kind of assessment where an employee's job performance is evaluated. They're usually conducted at specific times throughout the year; often quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. 📅
The human resources department is usually responsible for the performance review process, but it can also involve the employee's direct boss and/or manager, company higher-ups, and other co-workers and team members. In fact, 360-degree feedback evaluations use all of the above.
Although performance reviews are... let's just say, not widely beloved, they're incredibly important tools for employers and employees alike.
Employee performance reviews vary depending on the position, company, industry, and specific focus of the review, but often include the following:
- Basic information such as the employee's name, department, and position. This section also includes information on the reviewer(s) and the date.
- Employee goal setting and objectives. Here, employees are often asked about their progress on any goals they were working towards that given period. Self-assessment is often requested here.
- Overall performance evaluation. This can be done in many different ways, but it usually focuses on a few positives and negatives of an employee's performance. Some companies use rating systems, feedback grids, self-evaluation, and peer review templates.
- Future planning. This section looks towards the next employee review... yay! 😉 Here, employees are asked about the goals that they'll work towards before the next check in. Specific priorities and professional development objectives can be established here.
- Conclusion. This section covers final comments and conclusions, as well as provides an overall rating. Phew!
Why are performance reviews important?
We thought you'd never ask! Performance reviews are awesome because they...
- Are key components of the performance management cycle. Ideally, employee goals, management goals, department goals, and company goals should all be aligned and operating cyclically. Employees should be encouraged to set goals, guided to work towards them, and eventually evaluated and rewarded when they reach them. Performance reviews are where those goals are set and evaluated.
- Increase employee engagement & motivation. Employees notoriously dread performance evaluations, but it doesn't have to be that way. Done correctly, performance reviews hold employees accountable to their goals, improve their job performance, foster their professional development, and help them feel engaged with their career development. Good performance reviews also sometimes come with rewards, and who doesn't love those? 😉
- Foster healthy employer-employee relationships and allow for guidance and mentorship. Good performance reviews aren't just about notes on employee evaluation forms. They provide an opportunity for genuine conversation, bonding, and guidance between employers and employees.
Slite's free performance review template
Ready to take the first steps? We've got your back! Here at Slite, we want to make your performance review process a breeze. Our employee performance review templates give you the ability to customize truly great evaluation forms that you and your human resources team will be able to use and reuse for years to come.
Oh, did we mention that our templates can be used collaboratively? That's right, no need to worry about e-mailing Excel sheets and PDFs back and forth. All the parties involved in your employee evaluation process can contribute in one centralized space.
How can I get started?
Take the first steps to begin customizing your employee evaluation template by:
💭 Determining Your Goal
There are so many ways to approach performance reviews, so make sure to determine what you want the main goal of your assessment to be.
For example, you might want your employee review to focus on self-assessment, group evaluation, or professional development planning.
The frequency of performance evaluations also affects their objectives. Year reviews tend to focus on big picture goal setting, whereas quarterly reviews highlight more specific and immediate observations.
📈 Deciding On Assessment
One of the most important sections of your performance review focuses on the assessment of the employee's overall performance. Don't forget to decide what you want this assessment to look like early on. This will likely reflect your company values!
Ask yourself questions like: "Would it work to create a rating system or grid for my employees?" and "Do I want to focus on hard facts and statistics, or more qualitative considerations like skill development and goal setting?"
👍 Checking Your Attitude
If you don't look forward to performance reviews, your employees won't either. Make your evaluations into meetings that employees genuinely look forward to and benefit from. You'll grow closer with them as a result, benefitting your employee-employer relationship and work environment along the way!
Finally, you're ready! Get going on your performance review template and make your next performance review something to get excited about. 🙏