Plan out how to review your employees.
Setting the expectation of an employee review and being intentional about how it's performed can have positive impacts on your business. — Getty Images/SDI Productions

Your employees are an extension of your brand, and their performance directly impacts your bottom line. That’s why most businesses implement annual employee reviews to evaluate their workers’ efforts ⸺ including any shortcomings. Continuous, ongoing feedback has become an important part of many workplace cultures, but it’s still helpful to have this formal milestone every year, six months or quarter to help employees gauge and track their progress against company goals.

To ensure you’re properly reviewing your employees, you might consider following a template to streamline the process. In this guide, you’ll find an overview of employee review templates and some samples you can follow in your own review process.

[Read: Motivating Your Employees Means Understanding What Drives Them: Here's How to Figure It Out]

What to consider when looking for an employee review template

Before deciding on the right template for your employee reviews, you’ll first want to consider your company’s values and goals, as well as the work your employees are doing. There are many different types of employee reviews, and your template must match your business’s needs and the specific metrics of each employee’s job.

Also, keep in mind that while templates offer guidance on your assessments, they must be made unique to your brand. It’s your job to personalize the evaluation process by considering what your company (and each worker) is trying to achieve, which values you’re trying to uphold and what you might want to change going forward.

[Read: Are You a Compassionate Boss? Here's Why You Should Be]

Your employees are an extension of your brand, and their performance directly impacts your bottom line.

Types of templates

There are various types of employee review templates that might work for your business. Here are five popular ones to consider:

  • GOOD (Goals, Obstacles, Opportunities, Decisions) Review Template. Perhaps the most specific, GOOD reviews evaluate all important areas of a worker’s performance: how they’re meeting company/individual goals, tackling obstacles, capitalizing on opportunities and making decisions. These are all great points to consider when evaluating your workers and projecting their growth in your business.
  • Self-Assessment Template. Your employees might be their toughest critics. Give them a chance to evaluate their own performance, so you might understand where they feel they’re lacking and create a better plan to help them going forward. This method typically works in accordance with another review template (filled by the employer), so you might compare the results of both and find any gaps or similarities in both of your responses.
  • Numeric Scale Review Template. This type of review requires managers to rate their workers’ performance on a scale, responding to statements like “communicates effectively” and “willingness to take on additional responsibilities.” For instance, a scale might range from 1‒5, with 1 being “unsatisfactory” and 5 being “exceptional.” Then, there will be some room at the end to voice concerns or praise in more detail.
  • Peer Review Template. In particularly collaborative work environments, you might consider involving the entire team when reviewing an employee. This type of template is handed out to everyone who works directly with said employee, and feedback is typically anonymous. You can share your results with the worker privately by summarizing what everyone recorded and allowing them to ask questions or raise concerns regarding the feedback.
  • Narrative Review Template. Rather than using a scale to rate your employees’ efforts, consider digging deeper. Narrative reviews call for more detailed explanations and examples of employees’ performance. That way, your workers will know exactly what they’re doing right (and wrong). Additionally, narrative reviews paint a picture of your goals and expectations of the employee going forward. By offering a story-like solution, your workers will feel more motivated and supported in their future at your company.

[Read: 5 Tips for Hiring the Right Employee]

Employee reviews are important for every business. A template like the ones listed here can make the process easier for both you and your team.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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