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Employee Performance Review Templates

A performance review, also known as a performance appraisal or employee evaluation, is an assessment of a team member’s performance in their role. Reviews are usually conducted at specific dates throughout the year: monthly, quarterly, annually, or all of the above.
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All about employee performance reviews

The human resources department is usually responsible for the performance review process, but it can also involve an employee's direct boss and/or manager, company higher-ups, and other co-workers and team members. In fact, 360-degree feedback evaluations use all of the above.

Although performance reviews are... let's just say, not widely beloved, they're incredibly important tools for employers and employees alike.

5 free employee performance review templates

In order to help you save time while developing your own performance review templates, we've got a selection of free templates that we've created to help you get started.

We've covered five different types of performance review templates, but they're also easy to customize in accordance with your specific needs.

1. Annual performance review template

Get Slite's Annual Performance Review Template

Who it's for

Companies who favour the less frequent, more general annual performance review.

What you can achieve with it

Our annual performance review template was designed for any company that conducts performance reviews annually. Generally speaking, an annual review focuses on bigger picture ideas and longer-term goals and they cover large periods of time.

Specifically, our annual performance review template has sections on basic information, yearly accomplishments, employee strengths, general employee development, self assessment, and goals for the upcoming year.

It's easy to use this template as is or customize it according to your company's needs and values.

2. Monthly performance review template

Get Slite's Monthly Performance Review Template

Who it's for

Companies who are conducting monthly employee performance reviews. Although monthly reviews are not very common, there are some instances where they're effective. This template was designed just for those situations!

For example, monthly performance reviews are conducted within the context of short term projects. They can also be handy for new employees or employees that aren't performing well.

What you can achieve with it

This performance review template was designed specifically with monthly performance reviews in mind. These kinds of performance reviews include more specific, detailed, and short-term goals and evaluations. They're ideal if you need to closely track progress of a specific employee.

This monthly performance review template includes a section on basic details, a grid that evaluates a specific employee's monthly performance, and a section for additional notes on employee strengths and weaknesses.

3. Mid-year performance review template

Get Slite's Mid-Year Performance Review Template

Who it's for

Companies who carry out their performance reviews approximately every six months; halfway through the year and again at the end of the year.

What you can achieve with it

Basically, mid-year performance reviews are a happy medium. They aren't as big picture as annual reviews nor as detailed as monthly reviews. When done correctly, they strike a great balance in terms of content and frequency.

Our mid-year performance review template includes sections on basic information, employee accomplishments and strengths, general employee development, self evaluation, and objectives for the six months to come.

4. Team performance review template

Get Slite's Team Performance Review Template

.Who it's for

A company who's conducting a performance review of an entire team. It can be customized for external feedback or a more self-evaluation style.

What you can achieve with it

Oftentimes, it's helpful to evaluate and offer feedback to an entire team of employees. This ensures that they're working to their fullest potential and are consistently able to deliver and reach their goals.

This comprehensive template includes sections on team name, department, review period, team accomplishments and strengths, general team development, team self evaluation, and team goals for the next number of months.

5. Self-evaluation performance review template

Get Slite's Employee-led Performance Review Template

Who it's for

Anyone who’s completing a self-assessment style performance review.

What you can achieve with it

The employee self evaluation form has become a very popular form of performance review. In fact, most performance reviews involve some degree of self assessment. This is because it's helpful in understanding how employees see themselves within their companies and making sure that they’re accountable for their performance and goals.

This self evaluation performance review template is perfect to customize according to your own situation. The template has sections on basic information, personal accomplishments and strengths, areas that need development and improvement, general self assessment, and personal goals for the foreseeable future.

Key elements of performance reviews

The contents of employee performance reviews vary depending on the position, company, industry, and specific focus of the review, but often include the following:

Basic information

Basic details relevant to your performance review such as the employee's name, department, and position. This section also includes information on the reviewer(s) and the date.

Employee goal setting & objectives

In this section, the employee and the interviewer(s) work together to set goals and objectives for future performance. They establish the key areas and competencies the employee needs to work on and make a plan on what steps the employee should take in order to do just that.

If the employee in question already has goals in place, this is a great opportunity to check in on their progress. Some employers might ask them to fill out an employee self evaluation form or other self-assessment tool.

If the employee being evaluated has any specific weaknesses or struggles that need to be addressed, this is also a good opportunity to implement a performance improvement plan.

Pro Tip: Goal setting is an important part of the performance management cycle. When employees are regularly asked to set and report back on goals they establish themselves, they'll feel more engaged and motivated to reach them.

Overall performance evaluation

This is the part of any performance review that varies the most because it can be done in so many different ways. Regardless of how an employer carries out their performance assessment, it usually focuses on a few positives and negatives of their employee's performance.

Some possible performance review formats include:

  • A rating scale
  • A detailed feedback grid
  • A self-evaluation form or other tool to evaluate someone's own performance
  • A peer review or group evaluation form
  • A long-form or open-ended feedback form


Future planning

This section looks towards the next performance review... yay!  Here, employees are asked about the goals that they'll work towards before the next check in.

Where appropriate, it's a good idea to put together a professional development plan for employees based on their training needs and discuss it in this section. If there are any other specific priorities that employees should address, they should also be touched on here.


Congratulations! You made it through your performance review. At the end of the review process, cover final comments, conclusions, and questions.

In general, a performance review is concluded with an overall rating or evaluation of the employee's performance.

Why are performance reviews important?

Performance reviews are very important human resources tools. Even though they're often dreaded by employers and employees alike, they're essential when it comes to maximizing your employees' potential, addressing shortcomings, and building the best possible professional team.

Want more details? Here are the top reasons performance reviews are so important according to us...

1. They're key components of the performance management cycle

Many people don't realize it, but managing an employee’s overall performance fits into a cycle.

Basically, employee goals, management goals, department goals, and company goals all need to be aligned and working together. They depend on each other like dominoes; nothing exists in a vacuum and all goals are intertwined.

The first step to make that chain of events happen is ensuring that employees are encouraged to set goals, are guided in their work towards those goals, and are ultimately evaluated and rewarded when they reach them.

The performance review goes hand-in-hand with that whole process. They're professional settings where an employee's performance is monitored, objectives are set, and recognition is shared.

2. They increase employee engagement & motivation

Employees notoriously dread performance evaluations, but it doesn't have to be that way. Done correctly, performance reviews hold employees accountable to their goals, improve their job performance, foster their professional development, and help them feel engaged with their career development.

After all, a sense of accountability is essential in order to feel engaged and motivated in the workplace. If you don't have any idea of how well you're performing in your workplace and get the sense that no one cares, why would you go the extra mile?

Annual and even quarterly performance reviews show employees that their work doesn't go unnoticed. On the contrary, it's watched very closely for better or for worse. Whether employees need to improve their performance or just get recognized for a job well done, they'll be motivated knowing that their superiors are invested in their professional futures.

Good performance reviews also sometimes come along with rewards like bonuses and pay raises, and who doesn't love those?

3. They foster healthy employer-employee relationships

Many people overlook the fact that the performance review is a great opportunity to deepen authentic professional relationships between employers and employees. They allow for honest conversations, guidance and mentorship, and good, old fashioned heart to hearts.

When employees are having trouble in the workplace, a performance review is an excellent way to understand the root of the problem and start moving forward with clear expectations for the future.

Performance reviews also give management the opportunity to get to know new employees and new hires on a deeper level.

Basically, a great performance review is about more than just notes on an employee evaluation form. It provides a space for genuine conversation, bonding, and connection between employers and employees.

Hint: Many employees feel intimidated by management or more senior employees. If you're an employer, a performance review is a great setting where you can relate to employees one-on-one and make yourself more approachable to them for the future.

How to get started with Slite's performance review templates?

If you're ready to get started, keep these best practices in mind while customizing your performance review templates and evaluating your employee's performance.

1. Determine your goal

There are so many ways to approach a performance review template. An easy way to determine how you want your performance review template to look is to think about what you want the main goal of your assessment to be.

For example, your company might want your performance reviews to focus on self-evaluation, peer review, upward feedback or professional development.

At this stage, it's also handy to think about performance review frequency. Whether you're conducting an annual review, a quarterly performance review or even a monthly review, your choice will affect your performance review's contents and overall objectives.

Annual evaluations tend to focus on big picture goal setting, overall performance, and more general feedback. On the other hand, quarterly reviews highlight specific and more immediate observations as well as shorter-term quarterly goals.

2. Decide on assessment

The most important section of your performance review is your core assessment of your employee's performance. Don't forget to decide what you want this assessment to look like early on. Your choice will reflect your approach to performance reviews in general, as well as your company values.

Ask yourself questions like: 

Would evaluating employees with a rating scale or feedback grid align with our company values? Are they tools that would accurately assess employee performance?

Do we want to focus on hard facts and statistics in our performance review? Or do more qualitative considerations like skill development and long-term goal setting make sense?

How formal do we want the performance review process to be?

3. Check your attitude

If you don't look forward to performance reviews, your employees won't either. Do everything you can to transform your employee review into a meeting that your employee will genuinely look forward to and benefit from.

You'll grow closer with your whole team as a result, benefitting your employee-employer relationship and work environment along the way!

Finally, you're ready!

Get going on the performance review template that aligns best with your situation, start customizing it, and make your next performance review something to get excited about.

Slite's free performance review templates

Ready to start evaluating your employees’ performance? 

We've got your back! Here at Slite, we want to make your performance review process a breeze. Our employee performance review templates give you the ability to customize truly great evaluation forms that you and your human resources team will be able to use and reuse for years to come.

Oh, did we mention that our templates are designed for collaboration? Even if there are multiple parties involved in your performance review process, it doesn't have to be overly complicated.

With Slite, everyone who's participating in your employee evaluation process can easily contribute in one centralized workspace.

Even better, if you have additional human resources documentation needs, you can also create things like employee onboarding templates, employee handbooks, and company wikis with our platform.

Get Slite's performance reviews templates

Visit the directory of employee performance reviews here, or below.

Slite's Directory of Performance Review Templates

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