Performance Review Evaluation Template

Performance Review Evaluation Template

Ensures employees are reviewed at least annually

Annual Performance Review Form

The Annual Performance Review Form template is a comprehensive form that encourages a 2-way dialogue between manager and employee and records their respective input relating to a previous and upcoming review period. 

Preview the Performance Review Form

Annual Performance Review Form  |  Accompanying Instructions for Staff

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Peformance Review Form

Performance Review Form Features

This HR Toolkit's Performance Review Form template:

  • Is designed to be comprehensive as a menu of all possible components that can be included in a Performance Review Form template
  • Is created in Microsoft Word and can easily be customized to keep only the sections that are relevant to your business. 
  • Created with consistent and professional formatting.
  • Includes shaded form fields and drop down fields for consistent ratings and saving space on the form.
  • Comes with an accompanying Instructions Document used by your staff to complete the form and understand what to expect during the performance review process.

The Performance Review Form template includes the following sections:

My Experience & Satisfaction Levels

Reviewing the Previous Period

Goal Achievement

Other Accomplishments

Areas of Excellence

Areas for Development Identified in Last Review Period

Technical Training & Learning

Position Competencies

Job-Specific Skills

Position Success Traits

Management/Leadership Competencies (managers only)

Planning for next Review Period


Areas for Development

Technical Training & Learning Plan

Summary Rating & Sign Off

Overall Performance Rating for the Review Period

Sign Off

Purpose of Annual Performance Review Form Template

The purpose of the performance review is to create opportunity for an open, two-way conversation between the employee and their manager about: 

  • the employee's experience  at your company
  • their job performance and areas of excellence, areas for development and support
  • and to mutually agree on goals and professional development for the coming period. 

We believe staff should be given meaningful feedback on performance in their job that allows them to maximize job satisfaction, while satisfying the requirements of the position.  That’s why it’s the responsibility of managers to support the career path goals of their employees, while supporting the overall goals of the company.  

While an annual performance review ensures a formal dialogue between manager and employee at least once a year, managers are encouraged to provide ongoing, real-time feedback year round.

Why use a Performance Review Form

  • To ensure employee performance is proactively and consistently managed.
  • To ensure employees are provided with appropriate feedback and resources to support their development.
  • To ensure employees understand the expectations and success traits required for their positions.
  • To set individual and departmental goals for the next review period.

What you risk by not conducting Performance Reviews

  • Staff and managers become out of sync on what's expected from the individual in the position.
  • Performance feedback is not given in a consistent manner.
  • You have no documented rationale on which to reward performance or request improvement.

Performance Management Tips for Small Business

If your company has a merit-based, results-oriented culture, you may want to consider the following: 

  • If formal performance reviews are not in place in your company, you will need to decide how success is to be defined and rewarded.
  • This form provides you with the basics to drive a conversation between employees and managers and at minimum reinforce what works and review what doesn’t work. Small business tends to avoid performance reviews because they believe that they are too complex and time consuming, and that the time can be better spent focusing on the business. However, providing minimum levels of employee feedback IS focusing on the business, since your human resources are what drives your business. It's also the most costly expense on your books. 

The Performance Review Process

Regular, full- and part-time employees and managers work together to prepare a formal evaluation of the employee’s performance once a year, typically before March 31, or 3 months after year end.

The general process:

  1. Employee completes the form and sends to their manager by the communicated deadline.
  2. Manager reviews the completed form and adds ratings and comments. and complete their sections of the form. They are responsible for:
  • Managing and reviewing employee performance.
  • Setting performance objectives.
  • Determining final performance summary ratings.
  1. Manager and employee meet to discuss and sign the completed form.
  2. Final completed form is reviewed by the manager’s manager.
  3. A copy is filed in the employee file. 

Note:  Temporary or term employees, contractors, and consultants do not participate in the annual performance review process.

Performance Review Meetings

Once the employee and the manager have both completed their respective sections of the Performance Review Form, the manager will schedule a meeting with you to discuss it.

This is a great opportunity to have a frank discussion about the employee's experience,  performance in the position, opportunities for growth, and career goals.   The meeting will go something like this:

  1. Review the previous performance period, with a focus on areas where the employee's ratings differ from those of the manager.   
  2. Discuss and finalize the next period’s goals and activities.
  3. If changes need to be made to the form as a result of the meeting, the manager will make them.
  4. The manager will assign a final summary rating in the last section and both will sign off on the form.  If the employee and the manager have a difference of opinion on something, there’s room in the Performance Review Form template to add brief comments or attach longer ones.
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