Why are employee performance reviews important? Even ten years ago, Gallup indicated that about 70% of American employees don't work at their full potential. In terms of numbers, it cost the business about $500 billion. Turning to recent sources, the tendency remains the same. Forbes indicates that disengaged employees offer 18% lower productivity and 15% lower profitability. As a result, a disengaged employee is a person who doesn't work to their full potential and brings a business down.
How can you deal with employee engagement? Employee performance review examples offer an answer. Delivered by performance management platforms, these tools bring various benefits and can make businesses and organizations succeed. Let's explore the phenomenon of performance reviews, discover their benefits, and investigate five particular examples you can use immediately after finishing this article.
What are employee performance reviews?
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Performance review examples have been there for decades. However, their effectiveness has risen with new approaches and technologies. At this point, an effective performance review is an evaluation performed by either managers or employees while seeking to assess an employee's performance. The crucial part of any performance review is identifying strengths, weaknesses, leadership skills, personal goals, and overall skill set.
The objective is to show employees what they are doing well and align their skills with company expectations. Ultimately, this will create well-rounded employees who live up to their potential.
Deloitte argues that performance reviews have aided businesses and organizations for decades. Moreover, the same source indicates performance appraisal has a bright future, predominantly because of its effectiveness and benefits. At this point, let's dive deeper into the topic.
How often should you conduct employee performance reviews?
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As we've mentioned above, the frequency of performance reviews depends on the type of review process and the objectives you seek to achieve. There are about 30 different performance review kinds. In such a case, when you set a particular goal and have a certain performance period to evaluate, use these two factors to select appropriate performance review templates.
An annual performance review example is considered a staple of performance appraisal. However, in recent years, companies started broadening their scope and moving away from this type of review. However, many firms found out that a lot can take place in such a period, and it can also be challenging to recall some performance-related events happening at the beginning of the review period.
That is why businesses started looking for performance review examples covering shorter periods. There is a mid-year performance review, quarterly performance review, monthly performance review, and even weekly performance review. Each is conducted every six months, three months, one month, and one week correspondingly. In addition, there are types of reviews that are not linked to particular periods, and any given business often determines its frequency. As a result, the frequency of effective performance appraisals should be determined by the chosen review period and objectives you pursue.
Benefits of regular employee performance reviews
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Naturally, good performance management brings a boost in employee efficiency. If you don't have an increase in performance, it simply means your performance management strategies don't work right. Keeping that in mind, let's explore some key advantages a good performance review can bring.
The most obvious one is about the boost in performance. The review that leads to constructive feedback can change factors like attitude and engagement, directly impacting productivity. Besides, performance reviews are signs of employee recognition. Forbes argues that regular employee recognition is one of the key factors in a business's growth.
Performance management, in general, is all about understanding whether the employee does their job well in correlation to their assigned roles. In such a case, an effective performance review is a direct way to define or redefine roles and responsibilities within your company.
With positive feedback and evidential understanding of an employee's work performance, managers can direct their efforts to make workers more effective in delivering their roles and responsibilities.
Transparency and trust
An employee review makes people feel recognised and brings managers closer to workers. With insights into employees' performance and good communication skills, managers and workers interact in the context of performance management and create the conditions for better trust and transparency.
In addition, positive feedback and tapping into an employee's strengths is a direct way to set clear expectations and help people achieve their professional development opportunities.
Every person can benefit from self-reflection. There is scholarly evidence showing the importance of self-assessment when building important skills and competencies. For employees, self-reflection is a tool for boosting their performance, developing critical thinking skills, and developing a positive attitude that promotes career growth and opens professional development opportunities.
An effective performance review should lead to performance feedback. In turn, employee feedback is delivered through communication skills a manager has. Putting all together, a performance review, when done correctly, promotes communication with a company or organisation.
Besides, while we've established that effective performance review example leads to better trust and transparency, one can assume that employees will be more open to communicating their concerns by exposure to such an environment. Adding to that past performance and team environment, managers can use open communication to boost employee engagement and find creative solutions to any issue.
When it comes to the benefits mentioned above, many of them show how performance reviews aid companies and management. However, it is important to speak about the pros of performance appraisals for employees as well. For instance, a self-assessment or a team performance review is a great opportunity to get feedback from other team members and understand what an employee needs to boost professional success.
A person might need better organisational skills, become an active listening expert, meet deadlines more often, or offer new ideas during team meetings. These insights grant an employee a vision of what steps to take or skills to develop to achieve career growth.
Do's and don'ts of employee performance reviews
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Now, we know many benefits performance appraisals bring. However, you must remember that only the correct reviews lead to progress. Without further ado, let's explore effective performance review examples' do's and don'ts.
(Do) prepare and announce employee performance review in advance
No one likes to be caught off-guard. The same principle applies to a performance review. Both parties must get the most out of the review process. This entails two things. First, notify a reviewee in advance. Second, prepare for the review. These two factors lie at the core of any performance review example you can think of.
To provide feedback that brings benefits, you need to work with all the data concerning an employee's performance in a certain period. You need to look into past performance, check things like a job description, and prepare performance appraisal comments. Remember that many performance reviews fail because managers come unprepared or employees are not notified promptly.
(Do) make employee performance review interactive
No one likes to sit through a three-hour-long presentation with dozens of pages of text to read. Here comes the second principle, try your best to make performance review examples interactive. The evidence shows that interactive content promotes deep learning and fosters engagement. Besides, scholarly articles suggest that humans have a short attention span, and overloading them with information is counterproductive.
If you don't know where to start, you can always choose tools like Mentimeter or Prezi. These instruments help make interactive and engaging presentations that will turn the review process into a fun experience. Try to put yourself into an employee's shoes and see whether you want to be bothered for a long time in a disengaging manner. Having strong time management skills aid an employee review process.
(Do) look at the bigger picture, not just numbers
Remember that a performance review is not just about numbers and evidence-based feedback. Try to look at the bigger picture and see how an employee's performance fits an existing action plan with all the goals and objectives. Besides, you must remember that employees are not only cogs in the system. They are people with their concerns and problems.
Moreover, tell employees their part in achieving the company's goals. When people feel recognized and understand their role in something bigger, they are more likely to boost productivity. So, track progress with numbers and data but don't forget to translate raw information into something that fits the broader context and considers a human factor.
(Do) offer honest feedback and motivate employees
Finally, always give honest feedback and motivate employees to become better in what they do. Forbes argues that honesty is the most effective organizational policy one can think of. Yet, managers should not offer their own opinions. There are particular performance review phrases to help make feedback actionable, constructive, and motivational.
Honesty doesn't mean pointing out a person's errors and mistakes. It is all about offering insights that can help avoid negative performance review example phrases and create a win-win situation that will work out for all parties involved. Effective performance review phrases emerged from thousands of reviews that help make feedback honest and motivational.
Now, let's proceed to what not to do when conducting effective performance reviews.
(Don't) rely on vague data about employee's performance
One of the key mistakes in a performance review is to rely on insufficient data. Instruments like real-time feedback always help bring tangible evidence to the table. When you come to the review process prepared, it means you have proof. While you provide feedback, it mustn't be unfounded. Back every statement with facts. If you suggest that a person needs to work on their problem-solving skills, point out a moment when a worker could have found a better solution to a particular professional challenge and show how an individual could have done it more effectively.
(Don't) make it one-sided
Never prepare a one-sided appraisal. Performance review example phrases you use should be viewed as a two-way process. For instance, a 360-degree performance review is a great example of a system overcoming a one-sided approach. It includes peer review and self-review and shows employees a more objective picture of their performance. Besides, engaging in a two-way process is a great way to focus on the performance and not just emphasize an employee and their mistakes.
(Don't) make it generic
A performance review should be straight to the point. If it is generic, an employee can think of a manager just looking for a way to use their authority. If there are employee job performance issues, you need to show tangible underlying causes. Use specific examples and facts. Build your case with evidence.
Don't forget to involve an employee as well. Ask questions and have their perspective on what caused the issues discussed. Keep in mind the principles above, and you can make your next performance review more effective. Now, let's explore different performance review examples.
5 Employee performance review examples
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Many performance review templates are available online. However, while they meet the criteria of general approaches toward performance appraisal, it is important to know some specific elements of different reviews to make them effective.
Self-assessment review example for employees
A great way to make a review two-sided stems from a self-assessment performance review example. In this type of review, an employee is the one assessing themselves using the same assessment instruments as managers would have used. Usually, after completing the self-assessment, the review is usually handed to a manager or an HR department to get constructive feedback later during an official meeting.
Importantly, the self-assessment performance review example encourages employees to share their vision and take on their job, objectives, and responsibilities. Essentially, managers can use this review to see the performance through an employee's eyes. Often, to get an objective take on what an employee has to say, offering them a robust evaluation with appropriate performance review phrases. To help you with that, we've prepared the following examples of questions.
You can use self-assessment performance phrases with a positive attitude like the following:
- I am appreciated by managers and peers
- I have a flawless track record
- I am reliable in my responsibilities
- I try to stay positive at all times
To highlight potential areas of improvement, use these phrases:
- I am aware time management is not my greatest strength, yet I am working toward meeting tight deadlines
- I am aware not all team members comfortable with my communication skills, yet I am ready to develop a different style of communication
- I am aware that I lag on written communication, yet I can compensate with verbal communication
Keeping a positive tone and presenting areas of improvement in the right manner is important for making a self-assessment performance review effective.
Annual review example for employees
An annual performance review is a type of performance evaluation once a year. It offers an opportunity to review a whole year of performance while summing it up and identifying areas of improvement. Additionally, annual performance reviews are a great way for employees to plan their future careers and see where their strengths lie. An annual performance review example includes a job description, achievements, objectives, and professional development.
Consider the following questions to avoid common performance review phrases and make the assessment more effective.
For overall performance:
- Which objectives have been met? And which goals lagged?
- What achievements this year are you proud of the most?
- What can a company do to make your work experience better?
For employee strengths:
- What work is easiest for you?
- What skills did you use most effectively?
- What are your personal strengths?
For areas of improvement:
- What can management do to help you meet objectives better?
- What two-three aspects do you intend to focus on next year to grow professionally?
- What goals fell short, and how will you avoid the same situation in future?
For future vision:
- What are your most important objectives for the next year?
- What responsibilities do you expect to change in the next year?
- What career growth deliverables do you expect to achieve next year?
The aforementioned questions help make an annual performance appraisal beneficial for employees and managers. They cover all the major assessment areas and grant enough information to develop constructive feedback.
90-day review example for employees
When you are looking for a performance assessment covering a period shorter than one year, a 90-day performance review example is the one to illustrate. Often, this approach is used at the end of a new employee's onboarding process. At this point, along with questions on onboarding, the review includes phrases linked to the position, team, and goals.
While making a 90-day performance evaluation effective, use the following questions:
- How would you rate an onboarding process?
- What suggestions can you give on the onboarding process?
- What were the most/least helpful aspects of onboarding?
For the position:
- Has your current role met your expectations?
- What aspects of your position do you like/dislike?
- Has your perception of the company changed before onboarding and after?
For the team:
- How have team members been helpful to you since your arrival?
- When having any concerns about your work, whom can you talk to?
- Have you experienced any issues communicating with team members or managers?
For the objectives:
- Do you have a clear understanding of your objectives?
- What professional domains do you need to improve?
- Where do you see yourself in the company in the long run?
These questions cover all the bases and help determine whether your onboarding process needs to be altered and what aspects you need to address to pave a clear way toward professional development for an employee under review.
Team review example for employees
A team performance assessment is about a group of peers rating the team's performance from different perspectives. This type of evaluation grants various opinions and shows what a group needs to succeed and what thwarts its development. Essentially, there are particular phrases and questions you can insert to make the team performance review example work for the team's best needs:
- How well does your group work as a whole?
- What instances of good collaboration come to mind?
- What instances of lagging collaboration come to mind?
- Do you feel comfortable communicating with team members?
- What does the team need to boost collaboration?
- Do you feel team members trust one another?
- When was the last time a team member asked you for a piece of advice?
- When the team faces an obstacle, who is the one to offer a resolution?
Effective performance review phrases need to be included with team performance review examples. They help identify leaders within a team and show how team members deal with issues and how a company can aid the group in improving the process.
360 review example for employees
As we've mentioned before, a 360 performance review example is one of the most recent findings in performance evaluation. This approach focuses on getting feedback from a group and particular individuals simultaneously. In such a case, managers also see how a group perceives a person under review from an individual's perspective. Usually, a 360 performance review is done through a collection of feedback from up to twelve individuals.
The list can include a supervisor, an employee under review, a client communicating with a reviewee, three or four team members, and an assessment administrator from an HR department. You can use various phrases to make a 360 performance review example effective in such a case. To recognize a positive performance, consider the following:
- When you encountered [evidence] issue, your problem-solving skills made a huge difference
- When you volunteered to take on this part of the project, you saved the team a great deal of time
- Your time management skills are valuable for the group
While pointing out areas of improvement, consider the following phrases:
- The team thinks you can improve this skill by [solution]
- An area for improvement to prioritize is the one linked to your great time management skills
- The team would appreciate it if you used less managerial tone during tone meetings
All in all, you can see that the aforementioned phrases constitute a part of constructive feedback offered during a 360 performance evaluation process. Always have an employee's best interest in mind and ensure your output focuses on making the case better instead of only pointing out someone's mistakes.
What to include in an employee performance review?
Regardless of industry, the majority of employee assessments evaluate the following skills:
2. Cooperative effort and teamwork
4. Precision and quality of work performed
5. Punctuality, attendance, and reliability
6. The capacity to achieve objectives and meet deadlines
In addition to the employee's successes and contributions to their job or organization, a review should contain any company/position-specific competencies.
After addressing the primary areas of evaluation, you will need to evaluate and weigh each to arrive at an overall performance picture of the individual. The formatting and organization of this information are dependent on your preferences and the demands of your business.
Some organizations utilize an A-to-F grading scale, numerical scores or percentages, or written descriptions (e.g., "most of the time," "sometimes"). Ensure that whatever system you employ is objective and straightforward to comprehend.
Once you have completed the grading process, schedule a meeting with each employee to discuss your findings. Be sure to provide transparent feedback with suitable examples and allow ample opportunity for the employee to ask questions or provide their input. Having a written copy of the evaluation can help keep track of your meeting.
How do you evaluate employee performance?
Here are some standard methods for assessing employee performance:
- 360-degree feedback
As the name implies, this strategy considers a group of individuals' input, opinions, and judgments. This includes coworkers, managers, and those with whom the employee interacts.
- Objective-based effectiveness
Managers and employees collaborate to establish performance objectives and deadlines with this approach.
- A variation on the SWOT
It is preferable to replace 'weakness' with 'areas for development' in a SWOT analysis for performance evaluation. Consider 'opportunities' as future opportunities for your employees' growth and development inside the organization.
- Performance ranked on scales
Traditional methods for evaluating an employee's performance in various areas involve numerical scales, such as 1 to 5 or 1 to 10.
These scales are frequently utilized because they are simple to comprehend for both employees and managers, allow for straightforward comparisons across team members, require minimal administration, and can be customized to suit the organization's demands. Managers or HR can establish the ranking criteria, including behavior, ability, and completed projects.
In this method, the employee evaluates their own performance based on employer-supplied questions. This strategy is most effective when combined with a verbal performance evaluation.
How should employees prepare for a performance review?
Whether a performance review is formal or informal, the employees should be advised to prepare. Here are a few tips that will assist in the effectiveness of the evaluation for both parties:
1. Prepare notes
Before each performance assessment, encourage staff to take notes. They should outline their desired discussion subjects, strengths, limitations, and objectives.
2. Consider some example
Employees should be able to provide tangible examples of how they have met goals established in their previous evaluation and how they have progressed overall.
Employees should practice self-assessment by conducting fake performance evaluations. They must recognize their new strengths, shortcomings, achievements, and objectives.
4. Bring questions
Employees should feel comfortable asking questions during performance reviews. Preparing questions in advance can assist both parties and guarantee that all important questions are asked (and answered).
An employee performance evaluation plays a vital role in determining what promotes and thwarts performance within a company. It grants data that, if handled correctly, can be translated into approaches that boost employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction.
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What should I write in an employee performance review example?
In a performance review example, you should include specific examples supporting observations and offer guidance for employees’ professional development. In addition, have questions that can evaluate positive performance, areas of improvement, and future perspectives. It is a great idea to add a follow-up with all the relevant insights closer to the end of the performance review.
What should I write in my employee performance evaluation?
In an employee performance assessment, you should review a job description and include all the professional requirements associated with the position. Besides, compare strengths and weaknesses, offer actionable steps, and provide constructive feedback. Finally, it is always a great idea to welcome the input of third parties or a reviewee. The more perspectives you have, the more objective assessment will be.
What are good comments for an employee performance review?
The comment of a performance review should correlate to the particular area you explore. For positive performance, you can use comments like “You consistently keep up with tight deadlines and help keep the project on schedule.” When speaking about areas of improvement, you can use the following phrase “It appears you struggle with time management. I can advise prioritizing more complex tasks over easy ones to deal with that.” In general, comments should motivate.