The Simplest Performance Review Form - Hands Down

the simplest performance review ever

The holidays are just around the corner, as is performance review season for many organizations. For those who would rather eat a bowl of glass than conduct a review, may I suggest the simplest performance review form - ever.

HR & the Dreaded Performance Review Form

While many managers - and often their staff still prefer a comprehensive performance review form and process, a complex process often means a review won't get done. I have seen this time and time again, rinse and repeat.  40% of reviews are done well. 40% are woeful botch jobs. And 20% are never done. At some point, even the keenest HR binder lady eventually gives up on the annual performance review collection war with 'those' managers. And you know who you are!

With contorted faces foaming at the mouth, words like 'inhumane', 'torturous', 'I would rather chew on a cactus' have all been hurled at me during my career, not to mention the occasional threat of violence (no mom, I'm kidding).  And then, like clockwork, there are those mysterious illnesses bestowed upon some managers one week before performance reviews are due.  

The point of a performance review is to mandate a conversation that provides and obtains feedback at least once a year. For many, it's dreaded and akin to that overdue marital conversation you put off into infinity because it's deemed low priority or can be uncomfortable.

The formality and prison-guard management of performance reviews by HR are in place for one reason, and one reason only. Us HR folks are on a mission to eliminate the traumatized shocked faces during termination meetings.  It's a distinct and particular look of shock that veteran HR folks instantly recognize.  It says "You've been telling me I'm brilliant for years".  

I digress.

The Simplest Performance Review Form

I've often tried to recommend to management to adopt the following Simple Performance Review Form. Those businesses that have, never look back.

It's often a tough sell.  Sometimes, simplicity isn't sexy.  Sometimes simplicity means being direct, without hiding behind drop downs and ratings. 

I'll try again in this post.

Here's the simplest performance review form - ever.  It consists of the following 3 fields:  

Section 1.  Rockstar
Here are the top 3 things you do well. Thank you. Keep doing them. 

Section 2. Not so Much
Please work on the following 1 (max 2) areas. (If this is a performance issue, insert <deadline for improvement, resources for improvement, consequences for no improvement>). 

Section 3.  Up your Game
You could benefit from training in the following area. Let's find you some resources. 

Bonus Section. Tell me (optional)
 Is there anything I can do to improve your work experience? (Only use this section if you are open to listening and making changes.)

That's it.  It ensures that your managers have the conversation with staff at least once a year.  No more excuses. No more mystery illnesses in January. And more importantly, this simple performance review form will result in the reduction of tragically shocked faces in termination meetings. 

Check out the HR Toolkit 's Interim Performance Review Form that is similar to this format.

For the rest who prefer the more complex with drop downs and ratings, this Annual Peformance Review Form's for you.  

Ariane Laird Vancouver

Ariane Laird is CEO & Founder of ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her directly from the Inquiry Type drop down menu.