Published November 16th, 2020
What is a Performance Appraisal?
A performance appraisal is a monthly, quarterly, or annual review of employees’ contributions to the business. It helps identify employee gaps and training opportunities to boost their productivity. It serves as an objective avenue for supervisors and employees to give feedback to justify compensation movements, bonuses, or termination decisions. It is typically conducted with a performance appraisal form.
This article will feature:
- the definition of an appraisal form;
- 3 basic uses of an effective performance appraisal;
- basic elements of an appraisal form;
- appraisal format: which one to use?;
- what do you write in an appraisal form?
- tool used to improve staff appraisal processes; and
- free downloadable performance appraisal forms you can customize and use.
An appraisal form also called an employee performance appraisal form, is a tool used by people managers and HR teams to measure and benchmark the performance of employees. It helps evaluate the contributions and achievements of employees during a specific timeline.
A well-structured appraisal form and appraisal process enable benchmarking across teams and divisions to identify staff career development opportunities and areas for improvement.
A performance appraisal is directed toward these three basic uses:
- to provide adequate feedback to each person on his or her performance;
- to serve as a basis for modifying or changing behavior toward more effective working habits; and
- to provide data to managers with which they may judge future job assignments and compensation.
Learn how to conduct an effective performance appraisal here.
Whether used by supervisors, the people team, or employees themselves, appraisal forms feature standard elements that help facilitate a complete review process. Here are three fundamental fields of an appraisal form:
A rating system
Supervisors, and even employees themselves, rate or measure employee performance for a specific timeline using key team and business metrics. Attendance, productivity, quality of work, the achievement of targets, etc, are examples of items being rated.
Appraisal forms can include sections for qualitative feedback from peers or supervisors mentioning employee commendations or opportunities for improvement.
The ratings and contents of employee appraisals need to be acknowledged or confirmed by both employees and supervisors. Appraisal forms typically include the signatures of both employees and supervisors to confirm the validity of the appraisal.
Performance appraisals can be a daunting task because of how tedious the entire process can be. Choosing the right appraisal format for a company’s specific context can help make it easier for all stakeholders—human resource coordinator, finance head, direct manager, colleagues, and subordinates—to efficiently carry out appraisals as hassle-free as possible. Listed below are the two most common types of appraisal formats you can try implementing in your workplace:
360-Degree Appraisal Format
A 360-degree performance review is probably the most comprehensive appraisal format as it entails feedback not only from your direct manager and team members, but also from your peers and in some cases, from the boss of your boss and department heads. This appraisal format is for organizations that can spare enough time, effort, and resources and have adequately trained personnel for executing 360-degree appraisals. Sample 360-degree appraisal format questions include:
- Are this employee’s solutions to problems clear and effective?
- Does the employee take the lead on projects or assignments?
- Do you believe this employee is honest, ethical, and trustworthy?
Management by Objectives (MBOs) Appraisal Format
MBO is an appraisal format, where at the beginning of each period such as quarterly, biennially, or annually and upon the approval of upper management, both the employee and his/her manager set objectives and key results aligned with the overall company goals, and at the end of each period, evaluate the former’s performance warrants a pay increase based on meeting set objectives.
For small- to medium-sized companies, MBOs can be the most optimal appraisal format to practice as the process is more manageable at their scale and it can still be easily monitored and followed through for continued professional and business growth. The two most common types of MBOs with examples are:
- Increase mobile app downloads by 15% through carrying out at least 5 experiments that improve user experience
- Reach 10,000 more customers who use our product at least once a week by integrating it with a new feature
Personal Development Objectives
- Master iAuditor analytics by knowing exactly how I can get the data I need on my own
- Develop better work relationships by participating in our team lunch time every Wednesday
Appraisal forms vary depending on the organizational standards. It helps measure employee performance for possible career progression. It is an objective written discussion of employee productivity, feedback, attendance, and quality of work. Here are some of the items that should be included in the appraisal form:
- Goals – Indicate achievements and milestones throughout the year with respect to the annual goals that have been set with the manager in the previous cycle.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – Include the key progress and strategic improvements that have been achieved during the performance review cycle.
- Development areas – Indicate failures with a positive reaffirmation.
- Disciplinary acts – Employee appraisals don’t only cover job performances but encompass employee attitude towards work as well.
- Future Plans – Cover additional learnings or skills that would help employees to achieve other goals to improve current performances.
Employee appraisals are part and parcel of organizations that intend to measure employee performance. Paper-based staff appraisal processes, however, can create an administrative burden requiring scanning of documents (including staff signatures) as well as data re-entry for benchmarking purposes.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a web and mobile platform that can help streamline your appraisal workflows. Eliminate costs and time spent scanning appraisal forms. With the iAuditor mobile app and software, you are empowered to:
- Create mobile-ready performance appraisal templates and performance review templates
- Automatically save and organize all appraisal reports online in a secure cloud.
- Easily export all staff performance appraisal ratings into excel or any application using API integration or view the results on the iAuditor Analytics dashboard.
To help you get started we have created 5 appraisal templates you can download and customize for your relevant teams and people managers. Get started with these templates to begin streamlining your appraisal processes.
Featured Performance Appraisal Forms
Employee Performance Appraisal Form
This employee or staff performance appraisal form can be used to assess the overall performance of an employee and it helps identify areas of commendation as well as areas that require remediation. Use this customizable digital staff appraisal form to:
- serve as a scorecard to grade attendance, job knowledge, skills, quality of work, productivity, teamwork, team targets, and behavior; and
- rate the overall performance of employees depending on the total percentage score.
Check out the PDF to see an annual performance appraisal form sample.
Employee Performance Appraisal Template
An employee performance appraisal template is used by managers to evaluate employees during annual appraisal. Use this digital performance appraisal template as an annual appraisal form to document employees’ contributions or achievements during the appraisal period, performance summary, and future objectives. Complete the appraisal template with the staff’s annual performance appraisal rating and enter the employee’s and manager’s signatures.
Employee Appraisal Form
This comprehensive general employee appraisal form can be used to conduct the annual performance evaluation of an employee. This template includes details of the staff member being appraised, rating scores for performance assessment (position expertise, leadership, supervision, productivity, soft and interpersonal skills and behavior), training and development plans, and incidents happened within the year. You may also include detailed comments on the performance of your employee. Provide an overall performance score and affix the digital signatures of both the appraiser and appraisee to verify completion of the appraisal.
Employee Performance Review Template
Use this employee performance review template to help measure and benchmark work performance of an employee and use it as a basis for salary adjustments. Supervisors and managers can utilize this digital form to help their subordinates form an action plan to improve performance.
This self-appraisal form can be used by employees to reflect and evaluate their performance over-time. Digital signatures were provided to validate discussion with the supervisor.