Performance Review Template: How to Effectively Review Performance of Employees

Updated on: 05 January 2024 | 8 min read

Performance reviews are an essential part of any organization’s talent management strategy. They help managers and employees align on goals, expectations, and feedback, as well as identify areas of improvement and development. However, conducting effective performance reviews can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a clear and consistent template to follow.

In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive performance review template that covers everything you need to know to conduct successful employee evaluations. We will also share some tips and best practices on how to give constructive feedback, avoid common pitfalls, and engage your employees in the process. Whether you are a seasoned manager or a new one, this performance review template will help you streamline your workflow and improve your employee performance.

What is a Performance Review?

A performance review is a formal procedure in which you and your supervisor assess your work performance during a specific time frame. It is a chance to review your accomplishments, difficulties, objectives and feedback. A performance review can assist you in enhancing your competencies, recognizing your strengths and areas for improvement, and aligning your expectations with your supervisor. A performance review is not an examination or a verdict, but a dialogue that can benefit both you and your organization.

Read more on how to conduct remote performance reviews.

What is a Performance Review Template?

A performance review template is a document that helps managers and employees evaluate their work performance and set goals for the future. A good template should include sections for feedback, ratings, achievements, challenges, and action plans. A performance review template can be customized to suit different roles, teams, and organizations. A performance review template can help you:

  • Recognize your strengths and areas for improvement

  • Communicate openly and honestly with your manager

  • Align your goals with the company’s vision and values

  • Plan your career development and growth

What to Include in a Performance Review Template

A performance review template should include the following elements:

  • Performance Rating - A numerical or qualitative rating that summarizes the employee’s overall performance level. This can be based on a scale (e.g., 1-5, A-F) or a category (e.g., exceeds expectations, meets expectations, needs improvement).

  • Performance Goals - The specific and measurable objectives that the employee set or agreed to at the beginning of the review period. These should be aligned with the organization’s vision, mission, and values.

  • Performance Feedback - The positive and negative feedback that the manager gives to the employee based on their observations, data, and evidence. This should highlight the employee’s strengths, weaknesses, achievements, and challenges.

  • Development Plan - The action steps that the employee will take to improve their performance, skills, and competencies in the next review period. This should include SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals, resources, support, and timelines.

Types of Performance Review Templates

There are different types of performance reviews that vary in frequency, scope, and format. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Annual Performance Review: A comprehensive evaluation that covers the employee’s performance over the entire year. This is usually done at the end of the fiscal year or calendar year.

  • Semi-Annual Performance Review: A mid-year check-in that covers the employee’s performance over the past six months. This is usually done halfway through the fiscal year or calendar year.

  • Quarterly Performance Review: A short-term evaluation that covers the employee’s performance over the past three months. This is usually done at the end of each quarter.

  • Monthly Performance Review: A frequent feedback session that covers the employee’s performance over the past month. This is usually done at the end of each month.

  • 360-Degree Feedback: A multi-source feedback system that collects input from different stakeholders who interact with the employee, such as peers, subordinates, customers, suppliers, etc. This can be done as part of a regular performance review or as a separate process.

Different Performance Review Examples

Simple Performance Review

Employee Performance Review

Quarterly Performance Review

30-60-90 Day Plan

1:1 Meeting Template

Corrective Action Performance Review

How to Give Constructive Feedback?

One of the most important aspects of a performance review is giving constructive feedback to your employees. Constructive feedback is feedback that is specific, actionable, balanced, and timely. It helps employees understand what they are doing well, what they need to improve on, and how they can achieve their goals.

Here are some tips on how to give constructive feedback:

  • Be Prepared - Before the meeting, review the employee’s performance data, goals, feedback from others, and previous reviews. Have clear examples and evidence to support your feedback.

  • Be Positive - Start with what the employee did well and acknowledge their achievements. Express appreciation and recognition for their efforts and contributions.

  • Be Honest - Address what the employee needs to improve on and explain why it matters. Provide concrete suggestions and guidance on how they can overcome their challenges and reach their potential.

  • Be Respectful - Use a respectful tone and language when giving feedback. Avoid personal attacks, criticism, blame, or judgment. Focus on the behavior and outcome, not the person or intention.

  • Be Collaborative - Involve the employee in the feedback process and ask for their input and perspective. Listen actively and be empathetic to their concerns and questions. Encourage them to share their ideas and solutions.

  • Be Supportive - Offer your support and resources to help the employee achieve their goals and development plan. Follow up regularly and monitor their progress. Celebrate their successes and milestones.

Things to Avoid in an Employee Performance Review

While giving constructive feedback is essential for effective performance reviews, there are also some things that you should avoid doing or saying during the process. These can undermine your credibility, damage your relationship with your employees, and demotivate them from improving their performance.

Some of the things that you should avoid in an employee performance review are:

  • Being Vague - Avoid giving vague or general feedback that does not clearly communicate what the employee did well or poorly, or what they need to do differently. Use specific examples and data to illustrate your points and expectations.

  • Being Biased - Avoid letting your personal feelings, opinions, or preferences influence your feedback. Be objective and fair in your assessment and rating. Use multiple sources of information and evidence to validate your feedback.

  • Being Inconsistent - Avoid changing your standards, criteria, or expectations without explanation or justification. Be consistent and transparent in your performance review process and methodology. Apply the same rules and measures to all employees.

  • Being Late - Avoid delaying or postponing your performance review meeting or feedback. Give timely and regular feedback that is relevant and fresh. Schedule your performance review meeting in advance and stick to it.

  • Being Negative - Avoid focusing only on the employee’s weaknesses or failures, or giving only negative feedback. Balance your feedback with positive and constructive comments. Highlight the employee’s strengths and potential, as well as their areas of improvement.


Performance reviews are a valuable tool for improving employee performance, engagement, and development. By following a clear and consistent performance review template, you can conduct effective and meaningful employee evaluations that will benefit both you and your employees.

To help you get started, we have created a free performance review template that you can easily customize for your own use. This template includes all the elements that we discussed in this blog post, as well as some additional tips and insights.

Try our free performance review template now and start conducting successful employee evaluations today!

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FAQs About Performance Reviews

How often should I conduct performance reviews?
The frequency of performance reviews depends on various factors, such as the type of work, the level of employee, the organizational culture, etc. However, a general rule of thumb is to conduct performance reviews at least once a year, with more frequent feedback sessions throughout the year.
How should I prepare for a performance review meeting?
To prepare for a performance review meeting, you should review the employee’s performance data, goals, feedback from others, and previous reviews. You should also prepare your feedback, rating, and development plan for the employee. Additionally, you should set a clear agenda and objective for the meeting, and communicate them to the employee in advance.
How should I handle difficult or emotional employees during a performance review?
To handle difficult or emotional employees during a performance review, you should be empathetic and respectful. You should acknowledge their feelings and emotions, but also focus on the facts and evidence. You should avoid arguing or escalating the situation, but rather try to calm them down and redirect them to the main purpose of the meeting. You should also offer your support and assistance to help them improve their performance and achieve their goals.


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Hansani Bandara Content Specialist

Hansani has a background in journalism and marketing communications. She loves reading and writing about tech innovations. She enjoys writing poetry, travelling and photography.

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