16 Performance Review Templates to Help HR Streamline Success

Re-engineer your performance review conversations in a way that adds value for your managers, your employees, and your business. 

Performance reviews are a key step in the employee evaluation process. They provide a valuable opportunity for managers and employees to:

  • assess performance
  • set goals
  • provide feedback
  • discuss growth & development opportunities

But without a proper framework, performance reviews can become bureaucratic, ineffective, and disengaging. That's where performance review templates come in. Using performance review templates, organizations can streamline the employee review process. HR leaders can ensure consistency and help managers create a constructive feedback culture that supports employee development and employee engagement.

In this blog, we'll explore:

  • The role of performance review templates and their key components
  • The importance of constructive feedback
  • Performance review templates to inspire your reviews
  • Strategies for effective implementation
  • The benefits of performance review software

Understanding the role of performance reviews

Before we dive into performance review templates, let's discuss the role of performance reviews in performance management. Performance reviews—when implemented well—enable employees to grow and develop. They help employees contribute to the success of your organization. Performance reviews:

  • Help open communication between managers and employees
  • Align employee performance with organizational goals
  • Support employee growth and development

The Importance of Constructive Feedback in Performance Reviews

Perhaps the most essential component of performance reviews is constructive feedback. Performance feedback plays a vital role in boosting employee performance and expediting growth. It helps managers help employees grow, develop, and improve. Great feedback is:

  • Specific: uses examples and data
  • Frequent: is timely, not saved for annual review conversations
  • Outcome-focused: put into context of meaningful performance goals and objectives
  • Positive: shares what employees are doing well
  • Conversational: encourages employees to share their perspective

Quantum Workplace research shows that employees who receive more frequent feedback are 2X more engaged, 3X less likely to apply or seek other jobs, and 1.4X more likely to stay at your organization. Helpful feedback isn't just a soft suggestion—it's key to engagement and retention!

Check out our 170+ performance review examples, comments, and phrases to inspire your next employee review. 

Elevating performance reviews from administrative tasks to strategic initiatives

Performance reviews can help align teams around your organization's strategic initiatives and goals. These conversations are paramount for driving employee and business success. Reviews can also boost employee engagement and improve your culture. By emphasizing the value of feedback, you can position reviews as catalysts for development and career growth.

Simple performance review templates help HR and managers:

Streamline the performance review process. You'll need to put some work in up front to develop your templates. But once you've created them, it's easy for everyone to launch and complete reviews. Spending less time on manual and clunky processes helps everyone stay focused on the most important work.

Create consistency. Implementing performance review templates is a good way to level the playing field. It helps ensure reviewers across your teams evaluate and discuss performance similarly. It helps managers review objectively. And it helps employees see the review process as clear and fair.

Do feedback better. Feedback is not an inherent skill—it's a practiced one. Performance review templates give managers guardrails for giving feedback. You can help ensure feedback is clear and actionable, ultimately helping employees grow and improve.


What are the key elements of a good performance review template?

A best practices performance review form includes clear and specific performance criteria. It includes examples of employee accomplishments and areas for improvement, taking a balanced approach. It should include a rating system—but don't make the rating the central focus. It should have plenty of space for comments and feedback for the reviewer and the employee. And it should be focused on the future, helping fuel employee growth with goals and development plans.

Key Components of an Effective Performance Review Template

An effective performance review process involves several key components. Each component helps ensure review conversations are meaningful, transparent, and fair. A well-designed performance appraisal template provides consistent structure across the organization. It also reduces the administrative burden on managers. Managers can launch effective conversations with ease.

  • Rating scale. A rating scale helps quantify employee performance using predefined criteria. It allows for a fair and standardized evaluation process. Be careful not to focus on the rating too much in the actual review conversation. It's meant to help identify gaps in perception between managers and employees—not serve as a focal point.
  • Performance review summary. A summary provides an overview of an employee's overall performance during the review period. It should cover a holistic view of contributions, accomplishments, and areas for improvement.
  • Performance goals. Performance goals should be central to any performance conversation. Managers and employees should take part in goal-setting together outside of the review. Review conversations should address progress, performance, and next steps on those goal identified as key performance goals.
  • Performance competencies. Review should include core competencies necessary to job performance and development. Assessing relevant skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving can help identify role-related strengths and areas in need of development.
  • Templated questions. Outside of goals and competencies, what else is important to employee success in your organization? Create a fuller picture of performance by incorporating performance review questions on company core values, organizational priorities, required trainings, or other areas of interest.
  • Two-way comments. This might be the most important component of any performance review process. Expect managers and employees to participate equally. Employees should clearly understand topics of discussion. And they should have the chance to contribute through self-rating and contextual comments.

What to avoid in an employee performance review template?

There are a few things to avoid in your performance reviews. Your performance review templates can help address some of these performance review pitfalls:

  • Don't include vague or unclear language. Instead, be specific and to the point. Encourage managers and employees to include specific examples and behaviors in their comments.
  • Don't let bias or subjectivity creep in. Having good data on employee performance throughout the year helps. Think feedback, recognition, goal progress, and more.
  • Don't take a "kitchen sink" approach. If there's too many factors to evaluate, reviews will easily get out of hand and lack focus. Focus on the most important goals and competencies.

Types of performance review templates

Your teams should have a variety of performance conversations outside the annual review. Research shows employees prefer weekly 1-on-1s to check in on performance. Incorporate a few of the templates below into your performance management cycle. The templates will help bring structure to your process that benefits everyone in your organization.

1. Quantum Workplace's GOOD Performance Review Template


good performance review

The GOOD template is a special template to us! Quantum Workplace uses this very template for our own monthly manager-employee performance conversations. It's a staple in our company culture (learn more about that here!).

A GOOD stands for Goals, Obstacles, Opportunities, and Decisions. This template is great for monthly 1-on-1s. It helps managers and employees zoom out and revisit the big picture.


  • What long-term goals have we agreed to?
  • How have things gone since we last spoke?
  • What are our plans until next time?


  • What's standing in your way?
  • What have I noticed getting in your way?
  • What can I do to help you?


  • What are you proud of that people don't know about?
  • Do you feel you're growing toward where you need to be?
  • What could be done to make this your dream job?


  • What actions will you take before next time?
  • What actions will I take before next time?
  • What other big decisions did we make?

Pros: Encourages conversation, reflection, and future planning

Cons: Doesn't include metrics by which to measure or compare employees (we don't encourage that anyway)

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2. Quarterly Check-In Template


quarterly performance check-in

If monthly performance conversations aren't feasible, we recommend having them at least quarterly. Managers and direct reports should collaboratively review an employee's performance, discuss action plans, and look to the future. This worksheet will guide you through topics of discussion for quarterly performance conversations.

Reflect on the past:

  • What were the highlights of your past month/quarter?
  • What did not go well last month/quarter?
  • What are your goals for the upcoming month/quarter?

Make a plan:

  • What would make the next 60-90 days successful for you at work?
  • What kind of support do you need to achieve your goals?
  • How will you measure or track your progress on these goals?
  • What steps will you take to attain these goals?

Look to the future:

  • What are your goals for next quarter?
  • Do you understand how your personal goals align with team goals?

Pros: Employees and managers can act on findings more quickly

Cons: Isn't always focused on long-term goals of the company and employee

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3. Mid-Year Performance Review Template


mid-year performance review

A mid-year performance review is a prime opportunity to check on goals and adjust them as needed. It should focus on key highlights, obstacles, and a plan for the future.

Reflect on the past:

  • What were the highlights of your year so far?
  • What did not go well in the last 6 months?
  • How have things gone since we last spoke?

Make a plan:

  • What would make the next 180 days successful for you?
  • What kind of support do you need to achieve your goals?
  • How will you measure or track your progress on these goals?
  • What steps will you take to attain these goals?

Look to the future:

  • What are your goals for the rest of this year?
  • What can you do to positively impact your performance in the next 6 months?
  • What can you do to positively impact your performance toward your ideal role?
  • Do you understand how your personal goals align with team goals?

Pros: Allows managers and employees to recalibrate before the year is over

Cons: Leaves a long gap between performance reviews if this is all you do

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4. Annual Performance Review Template


annual performance review

The annual performance review is for summarizing performance across the year. It's also a good opportunity to discover what goals employees would like to prioritize before the next performance review.

Reflect on the past:

  • What were the highlights of your year?
  • What did not go well this year?

Make a plan:

  • What personal goals should we set for this year?
  • What professional goals should we set for this year?
  • What kind of support do you need to achieve your goals?
  • How will you measure or track your progress on these goals?
  • What steps will you take to attain these goals?

Look to the future:

  • What performance impact(s) can I make moving forward?
  • How do you see your personal goals aligning with team goals and the organization’s mission?

Pros: Allows managers and employees to look at the big picture of an employee's performance

Cons: It's tough to review an entire year of performance in one conversation

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5. One-Page Performance Review Template

If you're looking for the absolute basics, check out this one-page employee evaluation form from Seismic.

Pros: Quick and straightforward—has a defined rating scale

Cons: Leaves little room for additional information; doesn't encourage two-way discussion

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6. Self-Assessment Template



A self-assessment review helps employees reflect on their own performance. They can identify barriers and opportunities to discuss with their managers. It helps employees have a voice in their own development path—and provides managers with valuable coaching insight.

Questions to ask:

  • In what ways can you improve your performance?
  • What actions are needed to support the improvement?
  • What barriers or hurdles exist to improving your performance?
  • What metrics/milestones can we use to make sure you’re on track?
  • How will you hold yourself accountable for achieving goals and results?

Share examples of good performance:




Share examples where you could improve:




Pros: Instills reflective habits in employees and encourages them to own their own performance

Cons: Doesn't account for feedback from peers and managers

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7. Upward Feedback Template


upward feedback

It's important for managers to gather feedback on their own performance as well. Upward feedback allows employees to share feedback on their manager with their manager's boss. After receiving this feedback, managers can discuss areas of opportunity and collaborate with their team to grow and improve.

Level set on support needed:

  • What can [manager] do to help you be more engaged?
  • How is [manager] setting you up for success?
  • [Manager] brings focus to important, tasks, ideas, or messages.
  • How does [manager] ensure employees are in the right role?

Ask for feedback:

  • What are some things I do well as your manager?
  • What is one area that I can improve as your manager?

Pros: Opens up the door for a two-way conversation about manager effectiveness

Cons: Employees might be worried about the consequences of providing feedback

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8. Team Performance Review Template


team performance review

High-performing teams are the key to organizational success. Use this template to build trust by creating an open feedback culture among teams. Ideally, teams can discuss performance openly, sharing roadblocks and hardships and developing solutions.

Reflect on the past:

  • Any individual and/or team highlights worth sharing?
  • Any individual and/or team lows worth sharing?

Review team goals and objectives (monthly, quarterly, annually):

  • Review company mission, vision, and purpose.
  • Celebrate wins and successes.

Make a plan:

  • What individual goals could you set that would help assist overall team or company goals?

Look to the future:

  • How can you contribute to other projects or tasks for which our team is responsible?

Pros: Gives a sense of how an overall team, not just individuals, is performing

Cons: Extremely high or low scores by a few individuals can skew results

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9. 360 Performance Review Template


360 performance review

A 360 review helps managers get feedback from an employee's team. Managers can develop a broader perspective of an employee's performance, shedding light on strengths or challenges that might not be obvious. Use this sample template to gather feedback from the people that your employees work with every day for a diverse set of data.

Note: A 360 typically looks at several core concepts such as those related to performance, accountability, trust and respect, upholding company values, and more. This is example content to get you started.

Performance Self: On a scale of 1-5, rate your ability to hold others accountable.

  • Peer: On a scale of 1-5, rate [employee’s] ability to meet the goals he/she set.
  • Open-ended: Tell me about a time when [employee] held others accountable for desired results.

Accountability Self: On a scale of 1-5, rate your ability to bring energy to the workplace.

  • Peer: On a scale of 1-5, rate the level of energy that [employee] brings to the workplace.
  • Open-ended: Is [employee] more likely to use intrinsic or extrinsic motivations?

Pros: Shines a light on the entirely of an employee's actions, not just what the manager witnesses

Cons: Could be difficult for some employees to judge accurately

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10. Professional Development Template


professional development

Professional development and career growth are key drivers of employee engagement and performance. Use this template to check on the alignment of employee strengths, skills, goals, and job role. Then discuss their goals and what steps they will need to take to reach their goals. Focus on career development and growth over the next 3-5 years.

Address alignment:

  • Which of your strengths are underutilized in your current role?
  • What are your current career priorities and goals that most excite you?
  • How do you think this job aligns with your personal values?

Discuss development:

  • What barriers or hurdles exist to achieving your professional goals?
  • Are there any learning opportunities that you would like to participate in?
  • What can you start/stop/keep doing to help you reach your professional goals?

Talk through training and goals:

  • What new or improved skills would help you be more effective in your role?
  • What new or improved skills would help you be more efficient in your role?
  • What skills are needed to reach your long- and short-term goals?

Pros: Allows aligned expectations to be compared pre- and post-performance cycle

Cons: Can be fairly general

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11. Performance Improvement Template


performance improvement

If an employee isn't meeting expectations, it might be time for performance improvement plan. Use this template to discover what's hindering performance and to create a plan to improve it. Managers and employees can discuss opportunities and work toward success together.

Address accountability:

  • How did you perform on your goals?
  • What resources would have been helpful in achieving your goals?
  • How can I help keep you accountable for achieving goals and results?
  • How will you keep yourself accountable for meeting goals, deadlines, and results?
  • How are you being efficient or inefficient with your time?

Make a plan:

  • Include specific objectives and key results that will lead to reaching your goal(s). Make sure to include due dates for each OKR or SMART goal to keep on track.
  • Discuss goal progress with your manager or a mentor.
  • If you encounter a barrier to achieving your goal, ask for help in removing or working around the barrier.


  • What is a recent situation you wish you had handled differently?
  • What would you have changed?
  • What are other situations you can use these strengths?

Pros: Can course-correct declining performance and give employees a fair chance to improve

Cons: Can be disengaging

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12. Behavior Change Template


behavior change

Employee behaviors can have a big impact on individual and team success. Use this template to understand and address behaviors that are helping or hindering performance.

Questions to ask:

  • What behaviors do you bring to your work and to the team that have a positive impact?
  • What skills or behaviors would you like to improve or refine?
  • What steps can you take in order to improve or refine these behaviors?

Pros: Helps managers and employees identify issues, needs and barriers together

Cons: An effective conversation can only be had with a self-driven employee

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13. Compensation Check-In


compensation check-in

It's important for managers and employees to talk openly about an employee's compensation. Use this template to talk about compensation, benefits, bonuses, and pay with employees. Managers and employees can get on the same page, answer questions, and keep an open door.

Check in:

  • What questions do you have about how you are paid?
  • What questions do you have about our benefits package?

Follow up:

  • What compensation goals do you have for yourself in the next five or ten years?
  • What questions do you have about the benefits you are currently receiving?
  • How could the organization help you better utilize our benefits?
  • What other benefits would you add to our benefits package?

Pros: Encourages pay transparency among organizations, managers, and employees

Cons: Employee expectations can't be met all the time

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14. 90-Day Review Template


90-day review

New hires deserve to know how they're doing. Use this template to review an employee's first 90 days at an organization after employee onboarding. It will help you set short-term goals and a shared vision for the future and align on role, resources, and goals.

Role clarity:

  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of this job?
  • Are the responsibilities of your role what you expected? Why/why not?
  • What excites you the most about your day-to-day responsibilities?

Training, tools, and resources:

  • Do you have the resources and tools you need to perform your job?
  • What resources and tools could help you perform your job better?
  • Do you have all the information needed to do your job effectively?

Goal setting and alignment:

  • Are there any goals that will be challenging for you to accomplish this month/quarter?
  • Do you understand how your personal goals align with team goals?
  • What do you think will be the keys to your success over the next (6, 9, 12) months?

Pros: Helps provide clarity and early performance feedback for new hires

Cons: Limited to manual labor employees

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15. Goal Setting Conversation Template


goal setting conversations

Goal-setting conversations are an important piece of your performance management puzzle. Your employees need measurable, aligned goals to work toward. Use this template to develop an employee's monthly, quarterly, or annual goals.

Reflect on the past:

  • Share some highlights from last month/quarter/year.
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
  • What other projects or tasks would you like to work on?

Make a plan:

  • What are your goals for the upcoming month/quarter/year?
  • What inspired these goals?
  • What can you start/stop/keep doing to reach your goals?

Address alignment:

  • Do you feel your short- or long-term goals are attainable and realistic?
  • Who here do you lean on to help set short- or long-term goals?
  • How can you contribute to other projects or tasks for which our team is responsible?

Pros: Helps managers and employees set aligned, measurable goals

Cons: Will not be effective if not discussed regularly throughout the performance cycle

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16. Simple 1-on-1 Progress Check


simple 1-on-1 progress check

Formal performance conversations are important. But it's also important managers and employees keep in touch with weekly check-ins. These quick conversations allow managers and employees to address obstacles in real-time. Use this template to facilitate a weekly check in on performance and progress.

  • What’s top of mind for you since our last check-in?
  • How’s the project/task/goal going?
  • Do you have any existing or anticipated roadblocks or challenges we should discuss?

Pros: Quick and frequent check-ins allow for better communication and agility

Cons: Managers need to set dedicated time aside for each employee

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Make your performance review process more effective, efficient, and engaging. Quantum Workplace's performance review software helps your managers and teams prepare for, facilitate, and follow up for better reviews and better performance.


Published March 13, 2024 | Written By Kristin Ryba