15 types of employee performance reviews (with templates and examples)

Obraz współautora – zespół AsanyTeam Asana
20 marca 2024
13 min czytania
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An employee performance review is a meeting between a manager and their employee to discuss how the team member is pacing toward organizational goals. Though simple in design, there are many ways to create a more effective process that brings your reviews to life. See the top 15 performance review templates to measure success and improve your review skills.

Measuring success is a key piece to leading an effective team. After all, you can’t improve until you know what skills you need to build. 

An employee performance review is one of the best ways to identify what’s working—and what can be improved. This is also a great opportunity to communicate how a team member is pacing against organizational goals and personal objectives. 

You can measure success in different ways—from peer reviews to self reviews and different performance evaluations in between. To figure out the right review style for your team, we’ve put together 15 employee performance review templates to measure job performance effectively.

What is a performance review?

An employee performance review is an evaluation where managers, peers, or other stakeholders assess a team member’s job performance over time. While the performance review process differs depending on the period you evaluate and who is leading the review, there are a few key pieces to a successful review. 

Your performance review process should include:

  • Employee strengths: Always include feedback and praise regarding the team member’s strengths, such as effective problem solving and communication skills. This offers insight into what the employee is doing well.

  • Employee weaknesses: It’s also valuable to discuss any weaknesses or areas of opportunity for the team member. Areas of focus could include the ability to work in a team setting or when and how to share ideas more effectively. This is an opportunity for the team member to gain insight into where they have room to improve.  

  • Rating system: To determine areas of improvement, your performance review should include a rating scale to gauge each employee’s skill level in pre-set categories. A common example is rating employees based on standards such as: consistently exceeds expectations, often exceeds expectations, consistently meets expectations, needs development. You might use these ratings to evaluate the employee across different categories, like strategic mindset, communication skills, and team collaboration.

  • Review period: During the performance review process, you will measure an employee’s performance relative to a set period. Each organization does this slightly differently, but common periods include annually, bi-annually, or quarterly. 

  • Set goals: Clear SMART goals give employees a sense of where they can improve and what they should focus on in the future. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. This helps to clearly define performance expectations for your employees. 

Every performance review will have the above elements, but there are other considerations to keep in mind—such as individual skills—that can’t be easily measured. These skills could include your ability to brainstorm in a team setting or support team members for the good of the organization.

Free performance review template

Time-oriented performance review templates

Let’s take a look at the first type of employee performance review templates: time-oriented review periods.

1. Annual performance review

Review frequency: Once a year. 

An annual performance review measures a team member’s accomplishments over a year’s time. Overall performance may focus on core competencies as well as individual goals relative to performance management. 

An annual review is a great way to analyze performance history over the course of a year. Be sure to write the performance review down in a shared space. Documenting work in a central source of truth allows you and your employee to review what they did over the course of the year. This creates transparency around expectations and milestones

2. Mid-year performance review

Review frequency: Twice a year. 

A mid-year performance review measures a team member’s accomplishments bi-annually. This is a great option for teams who want to create transparency around performance.

That’s because giving team members an opportunity to see where their performance lands every six months allows them to gauge their performance and implement changes where needed. On the other hand, positive performance also gives team members a sense of what they’re excelling at. 

3. Quarterly performance review

Review frequency: Four times a year. 

Take transparent communication one step further with a quarterly performance review. A quarterly performance review evaluates a team member’s success four times a year, and gives your employee a more consistent opportunity to turn weaknesses into strengths. 

Just as other performance review styles, it’s also important to focus as much time and energy on positives as you do on constructive feedback. Both encourage good performance.

Quarterly performance review

4. Year-end performance review

Review frequency: Once a year. 

A year-end performance review measures a team member’s success against the financial success of the company. This review is commonly scheduled alongside the evaluation of long-term company goals and is used frequently for operations and marketing teams. This is because their work is closely aligned with financial revenue goals. 

While each company starts and ends their financial year on different timelines, it’s common for a year-end review to happen around the end of the calendar year.

5. 30-60-90 performance review

Review frequency: Once a month for the first three months of employment.

A 30-60-90 day performance review measures a new team member’s success. Often paired alongside a 30-60-90 day plan, this method reviews the new team member against job expectations after their first, second, and third months in the role. 

This review is a great way to give new team members a baseline of how they're meeting their role expectations. It also creates transparency around areas where they should focus more energy and time perfecting skills. Employee onboarding is tricky, and your team members may need to adjust their expectations, focus areas, and priorities as they learn more about the role. Without doing a 30-60-90 review, a new employee might not get a performance review for their first 6+ months working at a company—so they have very little understanding of how they're performing. 

As a manager, one of the most valuable things you can do for new team members is to provide multiple feedback sessions often to show that you're involved, engaged, and invested in your new team members' growth.

Free performance review template

Team-oriented performance review templates

As a manager, you have a unique understanding of how your team member is performing in their role. But you can’t always see everything they’re doing. Employee performance review templates centered around team goals are a great way to gather feedback from other members of the team. Use these in combination with more traditional manager feedback to get a holistic review of an employee’s performance. 

6. Self evaluation review

Review frequency: Annually, bi-annually, or quarterly. 

A self-evaluation is where a team member evaluates their own performance. This gives you a better understanding of how each team member views their skills. It’s important to know that a self evaluation isn’t used to take work off your plate. Instead, it has its own benefits such as giving the team member a chance to communicate their viewpoint. 

Oftentimes you will then provide your employee feedback on the self-evaluation, using a physical or digital form. This creates balance between manager vs. employee viewpoints to ensure both are aligned. This is done during a one-on-one meeting where you’ll both chat about your feedback to perform a holistic performance review. 

7. Peer review

Review frequency: Annually or bi-annually.

Oftentimes, annual or biannual reviews will also have a peer review component. This gives peers an opportunity to answer questions and evaluate their coworkers—most commonly in written form. To use this feedback, collect the peer feedback, your feedback, and any self-review feedback during an annual or biannual review period. 

The main value of a peer review is giving team members an opportunity to see their value and areas of opportunity from other perspectives. Depending on the size of your team and your relationship with the team members, you may not have insight into everything each team member does. Peer reviews are an opportunity for team members to share that perspective with you, so you have a more holistic picture of the employee's performance.

8. Team performance review

Review frequency: Once a year. 

A team performance review is where a group of individuals rate the performance of the team as a whole. Hearing multiple opinions from different individuals can help you understand the group’s needs, as well as identify where growth opportunities lie. This type of review is most valuable for managers. 

You can do this by asking each team member to fill out a self-assessment and answer questions about the team and the team’s goals. For example, you might ask:

  • How well did the team work together as a group?

  • Name one example of good team collaboration in the last period. 

  • Name one example where team collaboration was less effective in the last period.

  • How comfortable are you communicating feedback to your peers? What about your manager? 

  • What improvements could be made to enable better team collaboration?

Free performance review template

Performance review templates

If none of the above performance review templates felt quite right, take a look at general employee performance review templates that work for most situations and teams. 

9. Simple performance review

Review frequency: Annually, bi-annually, or quarterly. 

A simple performance review focuses on performance phrases rather than numbers. This is because it’s crucial to give team members context about how they’re doing. Providing a rating without context can be confusing to team members and hinder their growth. 

A simple performance review helps keep expectations as clear as possible, without confusing the employee. Overall, it’s the best style when looking for a basic yet effective way to communicate performance.  

Center a performance review around goals and use examples to back up data. Without that, it can be challenging for team members to understand exactly how they can improve and meet expectations.

Simple performance review

10. Goal setting review

Review frequency: Annually or bi-annually. 

Goals setting reviews focus on a team member's expected objectives. These goals can focus on an employee's professional objectives and how they align with the company's long-term strategy. For example, as a team lead, your goal over the next quarter might be to streamline cross-functional communication. This aligns with the company’s goal to create greater transparency across all departments.

Goal setting reviews should follow the SMART goal acronym to ensure they are specific and measurable enough to evaluate. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. 

11. 360 performance review

Review frequency: Once a year. 

A 360 performance review measures an employee’s performance from the perspective of all relevant team members. This includes self-feedback, peer feedback, manager feedback, and employee feedback about the manager if applicable. 

This type of review is particularly useful for managers who want feedback from their direct reports. Use this review template if you want insight from the people you work closely with, regardless of how their role relates to yours.

12. Professional development review

Review frequency: Annually or bi-annually.

A professional development review measures a team member’s personal goals. This is important when you’re looking to evaluate a team member’s career trajectory. It ensures they’re meeting their role’s needs and developing personal objectives such as growing their leadership skills. 

By connecting job and personal goals, the employee can better understand how their role is supporting their career development. For example, imagine your employee shared that they eventually want to grow in a leadership position. Part of their professional development plan is to identify areas where they can get involved in a more strategic role. During your professional development feedback session, you can review the concrete steps they took towards that goal and outline additional next steps they can work towards.

[Przeczytaj] Przywództwo a zarządzanie: na czym polega różnica?

13. Performance improvement review

Review frequency: Only when an employee is underperforming.  

Before using a performance improvement review, make sure you have an improvement plan in place. It’s important to communicate the expected performance goals ahead of time so the individual has a chance to meet their expectations. Once objectives are clear, you can use a performance improvement review to measure the team member’s success against previously defined expectations.

An improvement review measures your team member’s success based on a previously established performance plan. Use an improvement plan to clearly define expectations on how an employee can work to meet those objectives. Put a performance plan into place when an individual is underperforming based on their job description. 

14. Compensation check-in

Review frequency: Once a year. 

A compensation check-in is a review of a team member’s performance to evaluate the merit of a raise. This type of review doesn’t guarantee a promotion, but it can  help create transparency around the expectations associated with an annual raise.

To do this effectively, be sure to provide examples of work where the employee went above and beyond their job description. This will create transparency around performance and promotion trajectory. 

15. Excelling feedback review

Review frequency: Only when an employee is excelling in their role.  

On the opposite end of the spectrum, use an excelling feedback review to measure and detail an individual’s successes. This review template gives the employee additional context about how their excellent work has positively impacted the team or company. This is why it’s commonly used in unison with a compensation check-in.

Taking a moment to acknowledge this performance can help boost employee morale, giving you both a moment to reflect on what went well.

Free performance review template

Sample performance review example

Now that you understand the 15 most popular employee review templates, it’s time to craft one of your own. We created a sample performance review to give you an idea of what a general review template might look like. 

Employee name: Daniela Vargas

Review period: Q4

Date of review: January 1

Employee rating: Often exceeds expectations

Strengths: Daniela had an excellent quarter. She excelled in team collaboration by stepping up to help team members brainstorm solutions in order to meet deadlines. It’s clear that Daniela really cares about her work and her teammates and embodies Apollo Enterprises’ core values. 

Opportunity: While Daniela excelled in collaboration, I believe she could improve her thought leadership. There are opportunities for Daniela to learn new skills by attending workshops and keeping up with industry news which she can then bring back to the team. 


  • Learn one new industry skill a month in Q1. 

  • Lead two team meetings to share thought leadership by the end of Q2.

Employee performance review example

While you can use this sample as a starting point for your own effective performance review process, remember to put your own team flare into it. 

How to prepare for a performance appraisal

A performance review is a two-way conversation between an employee and their manager to discuss their strengths, quality of work, and future goals. Preparing for a performance appraisal, whether you're in human resources, a manager, or an employee, creates an evaluation process that helps to fairly evaluate and document employee progress and engagement.

For managers:

  • Thoroughly review the employee's past performance. Consider using an annual performance review template to assess employee development and any areas needing improvement.

  • Set clear, achievable long-term and short-term objectives for the next performance review cycle. These should match the company's goals and support both employee progress and organizational growth.

  • Have an open dialogue to boost employee engagement. Offer clear examples of past performance and provide constructive feedback to guide the conversation.

For employees:

  • Reflect on your performance. Identify strengths and areas for growth. Use the employee self evaluation form to organize your thoughts and achievements.

  • Think about your career goals. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) that support these goals, and prepare to discuss them with your manager.

  • Prepare specific examples of your work to discuss, including achievements, challenges, and the support you need moving forward to improve your performance rating and growth.

Employee performance evaluation follow-up

Both managers and employees should actively engage in follow-up actions after a performance evaluation. This ensures that feedback and action plans are effectively implemented, setting the stage for professional development. Here’s where employee development plans and performance improvement plans turn evaluation insights into actionable growth strategies.

Employee development plan

An employee development plan outlines a roadmap for an employee's professional growth and skill enhancement. Here are a few details to include:

  • Define specific goals based on appraisal insights to guide employee progress.

  • Identify essential skills and competencies for career development.

  • Set clear milestones, metrics, and timelines for achieving professional growth objectives.

  • Maintain ongoing communication and make necessary adjustments to the development plan as needed.

Employee performance improvement plan

When a performance review form identifies areas for improvement, an employee performance improvement plan specifies those areas and outlines specific, measurable goals for boosting performance.

  • To ensure accountability, establish realistic metrics and timelines for achieving each goal.

  • Conduct regular employee progress reviews to monitor advancements and tackle challenges.

  • Provide continuous support and adjust the plan as needed to ensure the employee's success.

Free performance review template

How to give constructive feedback

Before you dive into the structure and style of various performance reviews, you must understand how to give constructive criticism effectively. Constructive criticism focuses on providing helpful feedback supported by specific examples. This gives team members the context they need to understand why they received the feedback they did.

To give effective and detailed feedback, be sure to do the following. 

Notify the employee before you meet

If you don't have a lot of experience giving feedback, it can be tempting to launch into a feedback session and get it over with as soon as possible. But in fact, the opposite is true. The more time you give your team member to prepare to receive the feedback, the more valuable the session will be. That’s because team members who are notified in advance can get into the right mindset to receive feedback openly without becoming defensive or passive. 

Be sure to let the employee know about the feedback session before you sit down for the official conversation. If possible, tell the employee what the feedback will be about. For example, you might say “During our quarterly performance review next week, I’d love for you to walk through your three proudest accomplishments from the last quarter and three things you want to focus on during the next quarter. Then, I’ll share the same thing. Together, we’ll come up with next steps and focus areas for you to dive into in the coming months.” This will give them time to prepare for the meeting and prep any relevant questions on their end.

Communicate in private

It’s easy for constructive feedback to accidentally turn into a negative experience if you share it in a group setting. No matter the type or style of performance review, make sure you’re communicating feedback in a private one-on-one setting. This ensures the employee doesn’t feel targeted in a group setting. 

If the type of performance review style you’re using includes feedback from more than one person—for example, peer reviews—it’s your responsibility as the team manager to aggregate that feedback and present it to your team member in private. Keeping the feedback session between you and your team member gives them a chance to process the feedback on their own time.

Offer actionable feedback

To ensure your feedback is constructive, always pair it with data-backed insights and actionable next steps. Doing so creates transparency around why the employee got a specific review based on their work. Offer specific feedback with details around what's been working well, what they can improve, and how to get there.

For example, imagine your team member has missed some important deadlines. You want to share that feedback with them so they can prioritize hitting their due dates in the coming months. In this example, it's significantly more valuable if you can include specific examples of due dates they missed. That way, you and your team members can refer to specific instances, work to figure out what went wrong, and then come up with concrete action items and processes they can implement in the future.

Document feedback in writing

Be sure to document constructive feedback in writing. You can do this in a feedback system or a tool like Asana. This way, you and the employee can look back on past performance and measure objectives accordingly.

This goes for positive as well as constructive feedback. Oftentimes, we overlook documenting positive feedback since, well, it’s positive. But keeping track of the team member’s major wins is a great way to increase team morale while reducing impostor syndrome and burnout.

Boost collaboration with performance review templates

A performance review is an excellent way to measure a team member’s performance. It offers transparency around expectations and serves as an opportunity to communicate honestly with your team. 

Making the process as transparent as possible is the best way to foster honest feedback and the desire to improve performance. Communication is at the center of an effective review process. 

From giving feedback with context to streamlining collaboration, Asana can help. Improve your communication not only during a performance review but every day with Asana’s team communication software.

Free performance review template

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