3 types of employee performance reviews to get you started

When designing the employee performance review process in your team, it's valuable to know the typical approaches organizations take to conduct their reviews. We collected the 3 most common review types that you can use to design your review process that fits your team.

360 feedback reviews

360 feedback review process, the team members identify weaknesses and strengths, which they use to plan future professional growth.

Primary goal: collect a holistic view of the individual strengths and weaknesses and help each participant to improve and grow.

Reviewers: self-evaluation, manager, peer, direct reports.

Frequency: once or twice a year.

Benefits:

  • Structured holistic feedback.
  • Personal professional growth.
  • Faster team growth and better collaboration.

Common pitfalls:

  • Need to follow up (don't "collect and forget").
  • Encourage critical feedback (don't avoid tough conversation).
  • Don't focus only on weaknesses.

Preferred visibility (sharing):

  • Anonymous for the recipient, non-anonymous for HRs (to encourage honest, holistic feedback from peers/managers, but allow HRs specify/calibrate when needed).

Sample questions:

  • What did this person do really well?
  • What could this person improve on?
  • This person is open-minded and accepts feedback.
  • This person often shares ideas and suggestions.
  • What actions/behaviors should this person start [stop/continue] doing?

Leadership reviews

During the Leadership reviews, managers receive feedback from their direct reports and become better. 70% of employees leave managers, not companies. That's why your managers need to be empowering leaders.

Primary goal: give managers honest feedback from their direct reports and help managers understand how their manager style affects their team.

Reviewers: direct reports.

Frequency: once a year.

Benefits:

  • Valuable feedback for new/inexperienced managers.
  • Aligns manager expectations with their teams.
  • Better manager-employee collaboration.
  • Managers that receive upward feedback perform better (study from Applied Psychology).

Common pitfalls:

  • Employees might be afraid/uncomfortable to share critical feedback.
  • Communicate the results of the review and actions taken, show that you listen to the feedback.
  • Never punish (directly or indirectly) employees for the critical feedback.

Preferred visibility (sharing):

  • Anonymous for all (to create safe space for employees to share feedback).

Sample questions:

  • My manager empowers me without micromanaging.
  • My manager is productive and results-oriented.
  • My manager is an excellent communicator.
  • My manager and I regularly have meaningful discussions about my career development.
  • My manager has the knowledge needed to advise the team.
  • My manager and I have consistent and productive 1:1s.

Performance reviews

During the Performance reviews, participants evaluate on the goals achievements and expectations, as well as align on individual performance.

Primary goal: align on the objectives, identify and fix the gap in skills and competencies, evaluate the individual performance.

Reviewers: self-evaluation, manager (+ sometimes peers).

Frequency: two or more times a year.

Benefits:

  • Helps teams stay aligned on goals.
  • Timely feedback and actions to correct goals/performance.
  • Increased team productivity.


Common pitfalls
:

  • Don't make performance reviews focused on compensation and promotion only.
  • Most employees feel like they are not reaching their full potential at work. Address these concerns during the performance reviews.
  • Recognizes the contribution of all team members in the team.

Preferred visibility (sharing):

  • Non-anonymous for all.

Sample questions:

  • The person delivered on his/her commitments.
  • How would you rate the quality of this person's work?
  • I understand how my work makes an impact on my team goals.
  • I am happy and satisfied with my role.

Summary

These are just a few most common examples of the employee performance reviews that high-productive teams conduct. Use them as a source of inspiration and guidance to design your review process that would leverage the potential of your team and help them achieve better results.

Looking for the professional software that can help you conduct and manage performance reviews that fit your company needs? Check out Plai's Reviews functionality.