The Best 17 Performance Review Templates to Grow Your People
Performance reviews can make or break employee motivation. With the right questions, you set yourself up to build a highly motivated team aligned with the business goals.
Poorly formulated, however, a performance review is a major turnoff that has your employees go from polishing the project presentations to updating their LinkedIn profile.
With our free performance review templates, you set yourself up for solid employee performance reviews that everyone on the team anticipates.
Browse to find the one you need, and feel free to adapt it to your company's unique profile.
All templates are downloadable and ready for you to use and create meaningful employee feedback and two-way conversations.
❗️8 Must-haves in an employee performance review template
Though there are different templates for different types of performance evaluations, there are some common factors you should include.
- The review period - was it a whole year or just a quarter? Clarify here.
- The reviewee's (employee's) name and position.
- The manager's name.
- If other reviewers participate (i.e., peer reviews), mention the number of peer reviewers. If the feedback is not anonymous, also add the names of the peer reviewers.
- Performance conversation date - When did the employee receive the key insights from the performance review?
- Rating system – What are the response options, and what do they represent? Are participants expected to give written feedback in addition to answering multiple-choice questions?
- Future goals – As valuable as it is to revise the past, looking to the future helps create forward movement. Clear employee development goals for the coming evaluation help set expectations, motivate, and clarify priorities.
- Open text boxes for written feedback – For questions that might benefit from extra clarity, open questions with text boxes help straighten any question marks.
- Evaluation items – The evaluation items differ depending on the type of performance review.
Now it's time to move on to the juice of this article, aka the templates.
💡 For a refresher on performance review best practices or employee appraisals, check out our vast content library. We highly encourage you to check them before customizing your performance review template.
📝 Simple performance review template
Sometimes less is more.
Structured to guide managers through a thorough evaluation process, our simple employee performance review form template ensures a balanced review by focusing on several key areas:
- objective performance assessment;
- recognizing achievements;
- identifying areas for improvement.
This template was designed for efficiency and ease of use. It takes the guesswork out of performance reviews, leading to more productive conversations, actionable feedback, and tangible steps for improvement and growth.
Use this form to evaluate performance and drive meaningful career development and enhance your team's overall performance and morale.
🗓️ Annual performance review template
Annual appraisals are comprehensive evaluations that happen once a year, providing a holistic view of an employee's accomplishments, challenges, and growth over the entire year.
The advantage of annual performance reviews is that they offer a cumulative reflection, allowing employees and managers to assess yearly progress and set clear objectives for the upcoming year.
We designed this annual review template to simplify and unify the evaluation process across the organization. Using this template will allow ensure consistency and reduce manual intervention. This template encourages introspection on:
- skills, work quality and productivity;
- performance ratings (we included an optional rating scale with 3 levels: exceeds expectations, meets expectations, and below expectations);
- challenges faced;
- areas of enhancement.
Plus, it incorporates segments for mapping out new objectives for the forthcoming year (to be reviewed in the next performance review).
To foster in-depth and actionable and helpful feedback, our template includes detailed examples, and multiple tips for managers to ensure the review process is a dialogue and not judgement day.
This annual performance review template will facilitate more constructive, actionable, and supportive reviews to promote employee development.
🖋 Check out more tips on how to write performance reviews for employees.
📆 Mid-year performance review template
As the name suggests, a mid-year performance review occurs twice a year.
The benefit of mid-year performance reviews is that your employees have the chance to course-correct and re-align with yearly goals.
Using a standardized template allows your people managers to streamline the performance review process and reduce the amount of manual work involved.
Our mid-year performance review template prompts reflection on agreements made during the previous review, strengths, and areas for improvement. It also includes a section for setting goals for the rest of the year.
This template promotes detailed and constructive feedback by including specific examples and open-ended questions. Action items and follow-up timelines keep the process accountable, ensuring the continuous growth of the employee.
😔 Are you having trouble finding the right words for framing constructive criticism? Check out our extensive collection of constructive feedback examples.
💪 Strength-based performance review template
In a strength-based performance appraisal, the focus is on the positive aspects of employee performance. Instead of focusing on what didn't work, you highlight employee strengths so they can capitalize on them.
Our comprehensive strength-based performance appraisal template guides you through a complete review process that:
- Identifies employees' strengths.
- Provides an action plan to further utilize and develop these strengths.
By focusing on the positives and potentials, this template encourages open communication, boosts employee morale, and aligns individual strengths with organizational goals.
Our resource also includes detailed instructions for the reviewer and tips to motivate employees, making it an invaluable tool for managers committed to fostering employee development and driving team performance.
➡️ Use this approach to transform your performance review process into a powerful force for employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.
🌟 Competency-based performance review template
In a competency-based performance appraisal process, the focus is on helping employees develop the behaviors they need to be successful in their jobs. Therefore, you'd evaluate job performance with a focus on competencies.
Our competency-based performance review template takes a focused and in-depth approach to evaluating an employee's proficiency across various skills and core competencies.
Its well-structured sections offer opportunities to assess key areas such as technical competencies, communication, teamwork, strategic planning, etc. The emphasis on specific examples ensures the feedback is tangible and actionable, while rating systems add a quantitative aspect to the review.
We also included detailed instructions for reviewers. The template ensures the review process is constructive and beneficial for the employee and the manager.
Plus, its customizable nature makes it adaptable to various roles and competency requirements.
🌟 Since we know that defining and leveling competencies is no easy task, we have compiled a competency matrix template with 36 individual contributor competencies leveled from basic to expert mastery. Pave the way for comprehensive, growth-oriented reviews.
🔢 9-Box-grid spreadsheet template
The 9-box grid is a visual representation of employees' performance and potential, based on a set of predefined criteria. It uses a 3x3 matrix that divides employees into nine categories, based on their performance and potential.
The horizontal axis represents an employee's performance, while the vertical axis represents an employee's potential.
The nine categories are:
- High Potential - High Performer
- High Potential - Average Performer
- High Potential - Low Performer
- Average Potential - High Performer
- Average Potential - Average Performer
- Average Potential - Low Performer
- Low Potential - High Performer
- Low Potential - Average Performer
- Low Potential - Low Performer
This template comes with 2 versions:
- Talent Grid 9-box template: Pick this one, if you already have both numbers on a scale of 1-3.
- Performance Management 9-box template: Pick this one, if your performance number is calculated from multiple questions + on a bigger scale (e.g. 1-5).
⚖️ Performance calibration templates
Performance calibrations help even out ratings and reduce bias, to get as fair a picture as possible. In a performance review calibration, managers get together to discuss ratings and find consensus.
But doing performance calibration manually means handling an avalanche of data and countless meetings to navigate. Far from ideal or pleasant, to say the least.
Preparation is key as a solid foundation for a successful calibration meeting. Our performance review calibration meeting guide is designed to aid you in this process.
Our robust guide navigates you through every stage of the meeting, from setting clear performance standards and ratings to outlining the subsequent steps in performance management.
But this is all pre-calibration preparation. How about the part about handling data? We also have the solution for that: our automated performance calibration template Excel format.
This user-friendly, automated spreadsheet is designed to simplify data input, instantly transforming your data into a comprehensible bell curve graph. It provides immediate access to vital statistics across departments, saving you valuable time and offering key insights at a glance.
🚀 90 Day review template
Transitioning into a new role within a company can be both exhilarating and challenging.
The initial 90 days are often the most crucial period for an employee to adapt, integrate, and demonstrate their potential.
To assist in this crucial phase, our 90-day review template offers a structured approach, ensuring that your managers and new hires have productive conversations around early experiences, cultural fit, performance metrics, and future aspirations.
Here are the main elements of our template:
- Preparation: Comprehensive guidelines for managers, emphasizing empathy, balanced feedback, and actionable takeaways.
- Assessments: Evaluate cultural fit and adherence to your company's core values, role understanding, and early performance with a focus on tangible examples.
- Feedback & support: Gather employee's input on resources and tools, and share recommendations for future training and employee development.
- Vision & future planning: Encourage discussions about immediate performance metrics and the employee's longer-term aspirations within the company.
- Conclusion & accountability: Wrap up the review, documenting key findings and agreeing on follow-up actions and timelines.
Our 90-day review template is more than just an evaluation tool. It's a platform for growth, understanding, and future planning.
🚀 Check out this collection of onboarding templates. Consider it your shortcut to stellar new hire experiences and a productive and enlightening onboarding process.
🎯 Employee goal-setting template
In the pursuit of success, setting precise and attainable performance goals is paramount for your people.
We designed our comprehensive employee goal-setting meeting template to power your performance management process with enhanced structure, focus, and clarity.
Starting with a simple yet crucial well-being check-in, this template sets the tone for an open and collaborative discussion. A thorough review of previous goals encourages learning from the past. At the same time, the section on resources and support ensures no stone is left unturned in paving the path to success.
➡️ This resource is more than just a template. It's a roadmap for fostering better engagement, transparency, and growth within your team.
💬 Performance check in template
One-on-one performance reviews, like the one outlined in our template, are more frequent, conversational, and development-oriented.
They offer a chance to reflect on the recent past but, more importantly, to look ahead and set objectives for the next period.
Our performance check in template's structured approach ensures that all necessary topics are covered while offering prompts and guidance for managers to conduct effective one-on-one meetings. It also encourages employees to self-assess their performance and actively contribute to the discussion, fostering a two-way communication process.
Use this template to foster a culture of growth, open communication, and continuous improvement within your organization.
❓ Make this template your own with some of our 59 best performance review questions.
🗃️ Check out our one on one template collection for more one-on-one meeting templates.
⏳ Mid-probation review template
A mid-probation review helps your new hires determine what to focus on to keep up the good work for the rest of the probation period to receive a permanent employment offer.
Our carefully structured mid-probation review template helps managers maintain a supportive and open dialogue with new employees, promoting their early success and adjustment in the organization.
The template includes crucial preparation tips for managers to ensure meaningful and constructive conversations, focusing on an employee's progress, achievements, and areas for improvement. It supports an open dialogue about the role, team, and overall company experience, allowing for mutual feedback and engagement.
💡 Tip: Ensure your employee reviews come with effective and actionable feedback and performance expectations to set your team up for smashing the coming evaluation period!
⌛ End-of-probation review template
As the probation period ends, typically six months after the employee onboarding starts, the employee should receive constructive feedback to know what they should prioritize once hired.
Enhance the effectiveness of your end-of-probation review process with our comprehensive template.
Our template is designed to foster productive, two-way communication. It assists managers in guiding their new employees toward success and growth within the organization.
The meeting agenda covers crucial discussions, from job expectations and achievements to future aspirations and support needs. The focus is on creating a well-rounded understanding of the employee's experiences during the probationary period and setting the stage for their further journey within the organization.
Our end of probation review template is a valuable addition to your people management toolkit.
➡️ Use this template to improve your end-of-probation reviews with a structured, in-depth, and employee-centric approach.
💡 Discover how Taktile automates probation conversations and sets new hires on a path of success and growth.
🗃️ Performance scorecard template
A performance scorecard helps track employee growth during a period. It describes the employee's role within the organization and what is expected of them performance-wise. This makes for more effective performance reviews.
Our performance scorecard template incorporates a unique blend of traditional performance indicators and crucial soft skills designed to offer a holistic view of an employee's performance, strengths, and potential areas for growth.
This template emphasizes not just what employees achieve but how they achieve it, with ratings for attributes like energy, passion, ambition, strategic skills, risk-taking, self-awareness, stress resilience, resourcefulness, and growth mindset.
Focusing on these often overlooked aspects of performance will give you a more well-rounded understanding of an employee's abilities and potential.
But this scorecard template isn't just about evaluating past performance - it's a powerful tool for shaping the future development of your team members.
➡️ Start nurturing a motivated, self-aware, and high-performing team by downloading this invaluable resource today!
🤖 Automated performance review templates on Zavvy
Automated annual 360 performance review template
360 performance reviews are gaining popularity since they allow a holistic evaluation of each employee – from direct reports, peers, and managers.
Run a complete 360° feedback system to assess leadership, performance, and opportunities for targeted growth on Zavvy.
Depending on your feedback culture, you'll only need to select your participants and double-check anonymity settings.
We took care of all the rest.
Quarterly performance review: Employee self-evaluation template
Employee self-evaluations have grown into an invaluable tool for strictly evaluating performance and helping employees become more self-aware. They can also give managers an idea of how conscious each employee is about their behavior and the difference between how each person perceives themselves vs. how others see them.
We created an employee self evaluation for your next quarterly performance review.
➡️ Use this automated employee self-evaluation template on Zavvy for your next reviews.
❓ Make it your own with 75 sample self-evaluation questions.
Manager performance review template
A team is only as strong as its manager. Therefore, manager performance evaluations are vital to a solid review system.
They evaluate softer skills like communication and leadership and performance-related metrics like goal achievement.
➡️ Run Google's Upward Feedback Survey directly on Zavvy. The survey includes the 13 (+2) questions Google asks every employee to evaluate leadership performance.
❓You can spice it up with extra 360 feedback questions for leadership.
🌟 Bonus: Performance improvement plan templates (pdf + Word)
You've evaluated employee performance. What next?
Don't let your employees' potential go to waste. Give them the tools and support they need to excel with our performance improvement plan template in pdf format.
🙅♀️ What not to put in your employee performance review templates
The key to successful and fair performance reviews is to make them as fair and objective as possible. To achieve this, you'll need to evaluate:
- behavior over personality;
- results over method;
- attitude over perfection.
Besides, evaluating factors relevant to the review's objective is essential. Assess each question for objectivity and alignment with the goals, and you set yourself up for meaningful performance reviews!
Remember to encourage the respondents to frame constructive criticism as suggestions for growth. And to give space to elaborate instead of having exclusively close-ended questions.
➡️ Drive performance and growth with Zavvy
And there you have 17 powerful performance review templates for properly evaluating your employees!
That said, spreadsheets and online forms will never be as efficient as a fully integrated review system that can automate your performance cycle.
You can focus on crafting the perfect review questions, and the system will track progress for every single employee over time!