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Performance Review Template

Simplify your performance review process with this free template.

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It’s natural to want to avoid the dreaded performance review (neither employees nor employers enjoy it) but there’s a ton of evidence on why you shouldn’t. Feedback, when delivered appropriately, can boost engagement, retention and help employees see how their everyday actions influence your organization’s objectives and key results (OKRs). In fact, today’s most widely shared advice about performance management encourages leaders to create a culture of continuous feedback and request meetings much more frequently than once a year.

However, if you’re new to this or not sure how to create or revise your performance review process, we’ve prepared a Performance Review Template you can use to get started.

What should be included in a performance review?

A performance evaluation is an opportunity to reinforce strengths, discuss opportunity areas and ensure employees are on track with company goals and objectives. Each session should be customized to fit your work environment and your employees’ specific functions. Here are a few things to consider including:


Company Alignment

Many companies have core values or a communicated vision and mission that guide the organization. A good way to start a performance review is by checking in on the employee’s understanding of and alignment with the company’s guiding principles. Employees benefit from knowing how their role affects larger company initiatives.


Past Performance

This is the part most employers commonly cover in performance reviews. An assessment of an employee’s past performance usually includes a discussion about how this person can improve or how the performance has benefited the company. One of the benefits of conducting more frequent reviews is that they provide more opportunities for improvement or positive reinforcement.



You’ve got to celebrate the wins. No employee wants to spend an hour or 90 minutes talking about everything they’ve done wrong in the past year or 6 months. Talk about everything the employee has accomplished in the time period and how those same behaviors can be duplicated.



Checking in on goals from the past evaluation period is critical. But, this is also where a more frequent check-in will help with accountability. Additionally, this is a great time to help your employee set goals for the future. Does your employee know what they’d like to do next? When employees have a defined career path, it can also boost retention and engagement.

Manager Relationship

It’s very important for your employee to feel heard. A review is a great time for you to provide employees with an opportunity to discuss your relationship and whether or not it is working or how it could be improved. Structured questions that your employee answers in advance will help guide the conversation.


How to conduct a performance review

One common performance review best practice is to share the questions with your employee in advance, ask them to write responses privately while you write your answers about them on your own, and then the two of you can meet to review the answers together. Creating a performance review checklist can also help you plan the meeting. Select the questions most relevant to your team and your employee’s function and plan a structured discussion. Afterward, scheduling a follow-up meeting to review goals is a great way to keep your employee on track. However, if you are regularly meeting in weekly or monthly 1-on-1s, you can touch base on tasks, goals and assignments in those meetings. You will want to ensure you are having a two-way conversation, providing space for your employee to evaluate you as a leader and request that employees also evaluate themselves.


How Paycor Helps

Consider the impact of a talent development and performance management program instead of once-yearly performance reviews that only measure the effectiveness of past performance. As you think about how to improve your performance review process, discover how using technology could help you keep track of weekly or monthly meetings as well as recognition and goals. Paycor Talent Development moves beyond the annual performance review by allowing you to create a culture of continuous development. It is designed to help you manage 1-on-1s, quarterly performance reviews, team recognition and more. When you give your team continuous feedback, you also give your team the opportunity to grow and develop. You also improve outcomes and enhance engagement.  Get a head start on performance reviews by using our free customizable template. Fill out the form at the top of the page to download your copy.

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