What Is an Employee Evaluation Form? (Plus How To Create One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

While consistent feedback is important in the workplace, regular written performance evaluations are vital for both the improvement of an employee's work and the organisation as a whole. Employee evaluations help managers assess their team's strengths, capabilities and progress. This, in turn, allows employers to award raises and promotions or implement strategies for professional development if needed. In this article, we discuss what an employee evaluation form is, explain how to fill one out and offer a template to help you write your own.

What is an employee evaluation form?

Managers use employee evaluation forms to measure and manage their employees' work performance. By assessing where their team members stand at their current performance level, managers can identify and address actionable problem areas. Doing so helps them grow as professionals while also increasing company productivity.

Additional benefits of written employee evaluations include developing consistent performance evaluation standards, properly assessing an employee's needs and work satisfaction, increasing motivation and reducing turnover. Once they address any performance issues with their employees, managers keep a record of evaluations to document progress over a longer period of time and refer back to periodically.

Related: How To Write a Self-Evaluation

How to create an employee evaluation

Writing employee performance evaluations involves a standardised process or procedure. Here are the steps you can take to create a performance review evaluation:

1. Review the employee's job description

Have a current copy of each person's job description and check the requirements. After working closely with each member of the team, you might have adjusted your expectations based on each person's typical capabilities and performance. Reviewing each member's job description can provide context for your evaluation based on their expected responsibilities.

As you review job descriptions, think about how well each team member performs their duties and meets the role's requirements. Note what each team member does, when they exceed expectations and which areas they could improve. Consider using these notes to create your evaluation comments.

Related: How To Write a Self-Appraisal

2. Assess their previous performance

If you've worked with a team member for more than one review period, consider reviewing last year's evaluations. Review each form carefully to determine how they have performed in the past. Note any problems they needed to address or areas where they needed improvement.

In addition, check how your team members have improved throughout the year. Emphasise the areas where they have improved and be specific. If your team members have developed new skills, earned certifications or completed training sessions, include this information in your employee evaluations. Review their entire year of work to generate a detailed evaluation that covers all the progress.

3. Compare weaknesses and strengths

Once you've determined whether or note they've improved and found areas where they could make more progress, use previous job descriptions and evaluations to make a list of each team member's weaknesses and strengths. Consider using a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) framework to analyse each team member's strengths and weaknesses. First, consider their strengths, which include areas of speciality, key achievements and positive attributes. Then, take note of their weaknesses, which may include factors that affect their performance. Third, list opportunities for them to excel in their performance. Lastly, outline problems that could affect their performance negatively.

While conducting the SWOT analysis, collect data to back up your claims. You may need sales numbers to highlight your team members' capacity for contributing to the organisation and attendance numbers that demonstrate attendance records. Because your evaluation can affect each team member's ability to advance their careers, it's important to ensure that your evaluations are accurate.

4. Suggest actionable goals

An employee evaluation not only influences annual salary raises and advancement opportunities, but it also helps each member of the team plan for the coming years. As you craft your employee evaluations, find out how you can encourage your team members to give their best and improve their work performance.

Review your employer's strategic plan and your team members' past performance and job descriptions to determine goals you can set for the year ahead. Propose actionable goals that can benefit your team members and the company as a whole. It may be helpful to create SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound) goals. Setting SMART goals can better help your team members improve and excel at their jobs.

Related: How To Write SMART Goals for Your Career (With Examples)

5. Provide constructive feedback

Your team members may have areas and skills that require improvement. Try to provide constructive criticism throughout your evaluations. If you mention a skill or an area your team members haven't yet mastered, suggest a strategy that can help them improve those skills. By giving constructive feedback, you can provide your team members with actionable steps while still creating an objective appraisal of their work performance.

Related: 10 Examples of Positive Feedback (With Tips for Giving It)

6. Ask employees to give input

Give each team member an opportunity to respond to their performance evaluations. Allow them to provide input on your goals, evaluations and comments. The more you involve them throughout the performance appraisal, the more likely they are to feel invested in creating ambitious goals and achieving key objectives.

7. Use a point system

You can create a simple point system for assessing employees based on metrics that are important to the organisation and its success. For instance, you can grade each assignment or quality—such as collaboration, communication and punctuality—on a scale of 0 to 3, with 3 representing excellent performance. At the end of each work performance review, this scale offers a measurable score for each employee. Having a simple and clear point system can better prepare you and your team members for the next steps, such as rewards for top performers and additional training or performance improvement plans for others.

8. Ask open-ended questions

During the in-person performance evaluation, ask open-ended questions and engage with the employee's feedback. Creating a collaborative effort during an evaluation can give freedom to express thoughts, feelings and actions in further detail. For example, if an obstacle prevents an employee from doing their job well, this is when they may approach that issue.

Types of employee evaluation forms

Depending on the situation, you may be assessing an employee (or yourself) with one of several types of performance evaluations. These include:

Management by objectives (MBO)

Management by objectives (MBO) is the evaluation method where employees and managers work together to plan, identify, organise and communicate objectives to focus on during a particular work performance evaluation period. After setting clear objectives, the manager and team members periodically review the progress made so far. They do this to discuss the feasibility of meeting those set objectives.

Behaviourally anchored rating scales (BARS)

Behaviourally anchored rating scales (BARS) bring out both the quantitative and qualitative benefits in a performance evaluation process. This evaluation method compares your work performance with specific behavioural examples anchored to numerical ratings. Each performance level on this scale has multiple BARS statements that describe common behaviours that you or your team members frequently exhibit. These statements serve as a tool to gauge your performance against predetermined standards that apply to your position and job level.

360-degree evaluations

The 360-degree evaluation is a multidimensional work performance review method. It assesses an employee using feedback gathered from the employee's circle of influence, such as direct reports, customers, coworkers and managers. This evaluation method not only eliminates bias in the work performance evaluations but also provides a clearer understanding of an employee's competence.

Employee evaluation form FAQs

The following are answers to some commonly asked questions about forms for employee evaluations:

Why should I use these forms to evaluate employees?

Written evaluations provide a means for managers to give proper and organised feedback during performance evaluations. They keep an accurate record of your team's strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvement. They also keep a record of how each employee evolves over the course of employment.

Who writes an employee evaluation?

This varies, but in small companies, the owner might oversee all employee evaluations. In larger companies, either human resources managers or an employee's direct supervisor may handle performance assessments. Regardless of the company size, the individual who conducts the evaluation is usually the same person who fills out the form. In self-reviews or peer reviews, employees typically fill out their own forms or a portion of the forms.

Can employers share the forms with employees?

Company policies may vary, but there are no direct laws, rules or regulations pertaining to this issue in Hong Kong. How much they share also varies. However, companies usually remain consistent with their choice on sharing written employee feedback.

Are there any legal issues to consider when evaluating employee performance?

Evaluations, including the questions within them, should not discriminate against employees in any manner. Keeping equality and fairness in mind can ensure that all employees receive the same general evaluation questions. It can also ensure that all employees get the same method of performance analysis, barring those unique to individual roles or departments.

Employee evaluation form template

The following template shows what a general employee performance evaluation may look like:

Employee Evaluation

Employee informationEmployee name:
Job title and department:
Name of evaluator:
Review period:
Current date:

Ratings by skill area0: Poor, 1: Fair, 2: Good, 3: ExcellentWork quality
Comments:
Productivity
Comments:

Communication
Comments:

Collaboration
Comments:

Initiative
Comments:

Punctuality
Comments:

Overall rating

Additional notes

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