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Writing a performance review is quite a balancing act. 

You need to remain tactful, even gentle to your employees who don’t take criticism lightly. Yet it’s imperative to articulate what’s wrong and how to improve it, balancing between appraisals and objections. At the same time, you must thoroughly research and display employees’ progress and create an action plan for the future. In the end, the purpose of the performance review is to improve work performance by analyzing employee performance tracker data and recommending viable tactics for better output.

It’s a lot of work. Naturally, mistakes will happen, and you might run out of the right words to say.

To help you ace your next employee performance review, we have created five different performance review examples for different purposes:

  1. Performance review for Onboarding Period;
  2. Performance review for Goals, Targets, and Objectives;
  3. Performance review for Teamwork Skills;
  4. Performance review for Promotion Readiness;
  5. Performance review for Burnout Prevention.

The examples below serve as inspiration you can use for your own purposes.

Performance Review Example No. 1: Onboarding Period

Conducting a performance review at the end of the onboarding period is a necessary finishing touch. It usually consists of 3 parts, in line with a 30-60-90 onboarding plan:

  • Day 1 to day 30: Learning. Learning about the role, the company, and the way things work, inside-out. This includes internal hierarchy, teams, and policies. At the same time, they should get to know everything about their job responsibilities, what’s expected of them, who to ask for assistance, and what kind of tech stack they have at their disposal.
  • Day 30 to 60: Trial and error. Time to put the knowledge gathered during the initial month to practical use. The new employees will learn through trial and error, complete their first tasks, and rely on their mentors, managers, and team leaders for guidance.
  • Day 60 to 90: Mastering the craft. By the end of the 3-month probation period, employees should meet the expectations you set for them, and get used to your company’s dynamic. At this point, they’ll start developing workplace relationships with coworkers and hopefully fit into the company culture.

This means that you can (or rather should) create separate performance reviews to close the 30, 60, and 90-day mark. 

Over the course of these three months, you can use personnel tracking software to keep close track of their progress. Clocking in and out, work schedules, and software usage tracking reveal all there is to know about employees’ daily work, and you can jump in anytime you see they need guidance.

The purpose of the performance review at the end of each onboarding period is to assess the (new) employees from a 360-degree perspective. The spacing will let you see the progress and, as time goes by, ask for more detailed responses.

Below are some useful questions you can use at all onboarding stages.

Onboarding Period Performance Review

The answers to these questions can be in a form of a one-to-five rating (from completely dissatisfied to completely satisfied, or yes/no, for example):

  1. How satisfied are you with the time dedicated to onboarding?
  2. Was the onboarding process thorough enough to equip you for work?
  3. Are you satisfied with your manager’s involvement in your onboarding process?
  4. How would you rate the collaboration within your team?
  5. Do you feel your tasks match the job requirements?
  6. Are you satisfied with the workplace culture and relationships you’ve managed to build up until now?

It’s also a great idea to leave space for more detailed answers to these questions:

  1. Describe the biggest obstacle you’ve run into so far.
  2. What steps have you taken to overcome these obstacles?
  3. Describe the part of onboarding that was the most useful for your work.
  4. Was there anything else we could have done to improve your onboarding experience?
  5. Is there anything you’re dissatisfied with that wasn’t mentioned in this survey?

Performance Review Example No. 2: Goals, Targets, and Objectives

If employees are displeased with their work, constantly run into issues, or are prevented from achieving their goals, then a performance review is due, to reveal what causes these problems. Be sure to schedule a meeting with employees and their manager/team leader to review the survey and discuss possible solutions.

The best course of action is to make this type of performance review biannual, to stay in touch with employees and prevent mishaps early on. Using employee tracking software is a bulletproof way to detect 

The questions below will help you get a deeper understanding of their efficiency, work management, and job satisfaction.

Goals, Targets, and Objectives Performance Review

  1. Were you included in decision-making processes that impacted your work?
  2. Do you feel capable of completing the tasks with your current skill levels?
  3. Is there something you are missing that would make your work easier?
  4. Did you have any difficulties meeting the goals? If so, explain what made reaching the objectives hard.
  5. Are you satisfied with your day-to-day tasks? If not, explain what should be changed.
  6. Were the tasks you’ve been assigned in line with your job description? If not, which tasks do you think fall out of your line of work?
  7. Are you generally able to meet the goals in time? If not, what slows you down?

Performance Review Example No. 3: Teamwork Skills

A toxic workplace makes people run for the hills!

No salary is high enough, and no job is fun enough to make up for ill-spirited coworkers, bad managers, or out-of-touch bosses. That’s why maintaining a healthy company should be one of your main concerns. Otherwise, you risk anything from high employee turnover to lawsuits — here’s a prime example of one quite unusual workplace disaster.

Regular team assessments reveal weak spots, malfunction, and conflicts, and provide a good start for resolution.

Teamwork Skills Performance Review

  1. Are you satisfied with the relationship you have with your team lead?
  2. Name up to three things you appreciate about your team lead the most.
  3. Is there anything you would like to change about your team lead’s approach?
  4. Do you feel connected to your team at work?
  5. Do you think your team functions properly in general?
  6. Are there things that hinder your team’s output? If yes, describe them.
  7. Have the team-building activities helped you build better relationships with your coworkers?
  8. What would you like to implement to improve the way your team works?
  9. Have you participated in, or noticed any conflicts at your workplace, or noticed the tension between some coworkers? If yes, are you satisfied with the way reconciliation played out?

Performance Review Example No. 4: Promotion Readiness

When employees feel they’ve outgrown their position, they’ll ask for a promotion, or a pay increase — or start reviewing job offers from competitors, if they feel stuck.

Helping employees align their career growth and development with your business goals is a winning move for both. They have a reason to stay and do their best, and you retain a loyal, engaged employee, preventing the hassle and costs of employee turnover.

You should test whether they’re ready to move up at least once a year, instead of waiting for them to speak out first. The following questions will help you decide whether they’re ready to take on more significant responsibilities.

Promotion Readiness Performance Review

  1. Do you think your ongoing projects are challenging enough, or do you feel ready to accept new responsibilities? Elaborate below.
  2. Do you manage to complete all the tasks on time?
  3. Did you manage to exceed expectations and improve your output within the last year?
  4. Briefly describe your six-month, one-year, and 3-year goals.
  5. What new projects would you like to handle?

Pro tip: use remote work monitoring software to learn more about their performance, even if they’re away. The accurate work data from employee software monitoring will complete the picture, and show if they’re ready to advance.

Performance Review Example No. 5: Burnout Prevention

Employee burnout has become a huge concern for employers.

In addition to staggering financial costs, employee burnout creates an unpredictable and unstable future for companies. Burned-out employees deliver low-quality work, are often late, inconsistent, and may quit abruptly.

The easiest way to learn whether your employee is in danger of burning out is to use online activity monitoring software and keep track of their working patterns. 

If the employee time monitoring software shows irregular working patterns, slowed down activity, or a lack of breaks (or too many of them), it’s time to discuss this in a performance review. It is an effective communication medium to discover why your staff is on the brink of burnout, and how to help them recover. 

We have plenty of questions to assess their burnout levels below.

Performance Review for Burnout Prevention

  1. Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of your workload?
  2. Do you feel like your tasks are menial, unimportant, and repetitive?
  3. Is any specific task extremely tiring for you?
  4. Are you satisfied with your career progress, or feel you’re stuck in one place for too long?
  5. Have you set clear boundaries with coworkers you’re directly working with? 
  6. Do you feel your coworkers respect your boundaries? If not, describe the way they’re overstepping them.
  7. Does work feel rewarding?
  8. What kind of rewards do you wish you had, but don’t receive?
  9. What would inspire you to keep up the good work?
  10. Do you feel your input is heard and appreciated?
  11. Do you think your work is judged fairly?
  12. Do you enjoy team-building activities and participate willingly and gladly?

Beyond these probing questions, employee monitoring software can reveal employee work patterns and identify signs of burnout. Employee burnout is often caused by overtime work, and unusual working hours can point to burnout symptoms as well. You can address these issues during performance reviews and adjust employee workloads to their capabilities.

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