When it comes to employee appraisals, it’s hard to pick which performance management template to use. If your template is too open-ended and doesn’t have enough structure, your responses could lead to biased or subjective evaluations. On the other hand, if your template is too rigid, responses can lack context, and the review might be unfair.
To successfully support your people and encourage growth, your performance management templates need to be balanced in objectivity and accuracy. Whether it’s a self-assessment or a standard top-down review, ensure your templates are standardized, structured, and impartial.
Need some ideas to get started? Below are five popular performance management templates you can use to elevate your reviews.
5 Popular Performance Management Templates to Try
1. Self-assessment template
The self-evaluation is one of the most popular performance management templates used in the review process. It’s also one of the most integral parts of the review process, as it gives employees a chance to reflect on their accomplishments, check in on their progress, and advocate for themselves.
Self-evaluations can come in many different shapes and sizes. Some organizations leverage a Likert scale or scoring system used to rank performance on a number of indicators. In other cases, performance reviews are entirely open-ended.
Likert scales are best for questions that can be answered in a linear range of intensities. (Source)
Whatever employee self-assessment methods you decide to use, ensure each and every person in the company receives the same template. This doesn’t mean the exact same self-assessment -- an Account Executive should not be asked to fill out responses on the same behaviors or goals as a PR Strategist. Using the same type of template creates a level of standardization in your reviews that can be useful later on for reporting and analysis.
While crafting your self-evaluation forms, make sure they are:
- Goal-oriented: Use KPIs and OKRs to steer the nature of the evaluation, allowing employees to reflect on their individual tasks and assignments.
- Inclusive of professional development: Have a space, or specific questions, that focus on professional development, such as training completion rates, programs attended, and more.
- Future-thinking: Not just in terms of goals or areas for improvement -- What professional programs or conventions might they like to attend in the next quarter? What special projects might interest them? Is there another team they’d like to work with more frequently?
Your people are more than just their OKRs and KPIs. Have a system of self-evaluation that accounts for well-rounded professional growth.
2. 360-review template
360 reviews are another popular type of performance management template. These evaluations are designed to collect feedback from people who work with an employee, like immediate teammates, functional managers, and other colleagues. The idea is that a collection of feedback from different stakeholders creates a more holistic review while arming managers to suss through any personal biases or unfair remarks. In short, these evaluations provide a “360-degree view” from all angles.
If you’re thinking of deploying a 360 review strategy, try following this simple format:
- Section 1 -- General Feedback: Create a space for reviewers to simply describe what it was like working with this person in their own words. Rather than boxing employees in, per se, allow them to freely write down their experiences working with that person.
- Section 2 -- Strengths: You should ask specific questions about the person’s strengths as it impacts their performance. These questions should be in a multiple choice format or a Likert scale to mitigate bias. For example, a question might be framed as, “Select three core competencies you think Taylor demonstrated successfully.” Then, provide a space for reviewers to explain why they chose the responses they did.
- Section 3 -- Areas for Improvement: Similarly, create a section around areas for improvement that tie to performance. Like with “Strengths,” these should be reined-in using either a multiple choice or Likert scale format. For example, “Select three areas of improvement you think Taylor could make.” Again, provide a space for reviewers to describe why they responded the way they did.
With 360 reviews, it’s imperative to have guidance and limitations to the questions you ask. Providing an objective set of prompts and questions can eliminate prejudices, while tangential open feedback forums can help give managers context come review time.
3. 30/60/90-day review template
The first 90 days of a new employee’s experience are arguably the most important: these three months are integral for them to successfully adjust to the company, their new roles, and their new teammates.
ChartHop provides new employees with a platform to manage all of their onboarding needs, including a 90-day plan. From there, you can use it to host consistent reviews at the 30, 60, and 90-day marks. Rather than having a single 90-day review, having a monthly cadence can help keep employees on track to success while providing their managers a better sense of what’s going on. Some things to keep in mind:
At the 30-day mark: a month isn’t really that much time on the ground. Employees are still ramping up, so rather than having a template that reviews their performance, per-se, encourage open communication with your new hires. Give them self-evaluation questions, like:
- How do you feel using our system? Do you feel up to speed or could you use some more training?
- Do you know where to find your 90-day plan? How are you feeling about tracking your OKRs in ChartHop?
- How do you feel adapting to the team?
- At the 60-day mark: This performance management template should exist as a pulse check to see how your employees are tracking towards hitting their 90-day goals. Use this template to explicitly ask how things are going, what roadblocks need to be cleared, and where you can assist as a manager.
- At the 90-day mark: At this point, both you and your employee should be prepared to tackle that 90-day plan. Have your employee fill out a self-evaluation reflecting on their past three months to foster an open conversation about how they were able to meet their initial OKRs, where they succeeded, and what needs improvement.
4. Competency-based template
Most people think of performance reviews as a means to track progress against objectives or set tasks. However, if your company wants to prioritize holistic professional development consider adopting a competency-based performance management template.
For example, at ChartHop, we encourage our people to embrace transparency, ownership, agility, empathy, and customer service. Using these values, we could create a template to account for each “core competency” and their related behaviors. So, in addition to evaluating how well someone displays “Ownership,” we might create and rank behavioral indicators that contribute to that core competency as a whole. Using a Likert scale, we could rank tangential statements, such as:
- This person frequently comes to the table with ideas
- This person Is a “self-starter” and takes responsibility to find answers and solutions on their own
- This person consistently leads others
- This person sees that tasks, objectives, and assignments are completed on-time and up-to-par
Pro-tip: in addition to the Likert scale, have a space for written feedback to explain evaluations and provide examples of outstanding behaviors or suggested areas for improvement.
5. Ongoing 1:1 template
Performance management should be an ongoing, consistent initiative. More and more, progressive companies are recognizing that annual or bi-annual reviews aren’t enough to successfully motivate their employees. Instead, managers should be having two-way conversations consistently, eliminating any potential for surprises.
1:1 meetings between employees and their functional managers are an easy way to foster connection, encourage feedback, and ensure everyone is looped in. At ChartHop, our managers meet with their people weekly via Zoom and use a template included in our platform to steer the conversation.
With ChartHop, you can customize your 1:1 performance management templates to include open-ended questions, such as:
- What went well this week? What do you want to accomplish?
- What’s not going so well? What do you wish to improve?
- What do you plan to accomplish in the week ahead?
- Other topics you’d like to cover?
- On a scale from 1-5, how did this week go?
Again, this eliminates any surprises. With this feedback form, you have everything you need to collaborate candidly on the week ahead.
Reviews to Raise Your People Up
There are virtually thousands of performance review templates to explore and integrate into your performance management strategy. None are right or wrong, necessarily -- it all depends on the unique needs and goals of your organization.
Whatever template you decide to use, keep it consistent across the company, make it bi-directional, and have a place like ChartHop to record and create an actionable plan. This way, your performance management strategy and people can thrive together.