If you’re hoping to run 360 reviews this quarter, our downloadable performance review template is about to make the process a whole lot easier!
We’ve created a performance review template for each of the 4 stages of 360 reviews, with performance review forms for manager feedback, self reflection, peer feedback, and upward feedback. Our downloads are available in two formats - printable .pdfs for those using a pen-and-paper system and editable .xslx for those managing reviews through Google Sheets or other spreadsheets.
We’re going to be honest with you, though - paper and spreadsheet-based systems are not the most efficient ways to run employee performance reviews. By using a tool like Frankli to automate the really time-consuming parts of running and participating in performance reviews, you could save your teams 100s or 1000s of hours per year, depending on your company’s headcount.
If you’re not ready to make the move to performance review software just yet, we’d still like to share our expertise with you, so we're sharing our performance review template for free. The questions on each performance review form are taken directly from our platform, where they're based on the latest research in organisational psychology. So they should give you a good idea how software like Frankli can help you make reviews not only more efficient but also more impactful.
Before we share the performance review template, let’s answer a few frequently-asked questions about performance reviews.
Sometimes known as multi-rater reviews, 360 reviews gather feedback on an employee’s performance from those who work closely with them. They usually include written feedback from their manager, direct reports and peers, as well as a self-reflection. This helps build a well-rounded and detailed picture of how the employee is performing and what they should do to improve.
When done correctly, 360 reviews can have a hugely positive impact on employee development, productivity, turnover and even profitability (1), so they have benefits for employees, managers and leaders.
Some of our favourite 360 review benefits:
- They produce higher quality feedback than traditional reviews
- They produce more diverse feedback than traditional reviews
- The multi-rater system helps to reduce the chance of unconscious bias
- They provide managers with feedback
- They identify room for improvement for individuals
- They identify room for improvement on a company-wide level
- They’re less intimidating for employees and managers than traditional reviews or in-person feedback
- They offer a good amount of anonymity for the reviewers
- They’re easy to run when using a digital tool like Frankli
As with any type of reviews, 360 reviews can be ineffective if not run correctly. For example, if people give their time and energy to participate in a review, but there’s no follow-up on any issues raised, it can be really disheartening.
Some potential disadvantages of 360 reviews vs traditional reviews:
- They can be ineffective when the wrong participants are chosen, e.g. peers with limited experience working with the review subject
- They can be complicated to run, particularly when using a paper-based or spreadsheet system (we recommend dedicated 360 review software like Frankli)
- They can take a long time to complete, as there are more responses to gather than in traditional reviews
- Unconscious biases can and do still appear in 360 reviews
There are a couple of ways to run 360 reviews, some more effective than others.
Here are the most popular options:
- Pen and paper - reviewers fill out physical forms and return to HR who will review, collate and pass on the feedback
- Spreadsheets - reviewers fill out online forms and return to HR who will review, collate and pass on the feedback
- Non-dedicated survey software, e.g. Survey Monkey - reviewers fill out online surveys and submit to HR who will review, collate and pass on the feedback
- Non-dedicated collaboration software, e.g. Notion - reviewers fill out forms in shared documents for HR to review, collate and pass on the feedback
- Dedicated performance review software, e.g. Frankli - reviewers fill out online forms and responses are automatically organised and processed in the manner chosen by the creator of the review cycle.
When deciding which method to go for, the most important thing to look at is the time employees spend running and completing reviews.
All performance reviews are run at a cost to the company, estimated to be as much as $3,500 per employee, based on lost productivity alone (2). You want to choose a method that saves your people time, which in turn saves the company money, so you should look for dedicated performance review software that automates as much of the process as possible.
There are other considerations too, like security (whether feedback is stored for future reference), accessibility (how easy it is for reviewers to reference real-time employee data like goal progress in the flow of completing a review), response rates (are employees more likely to fill out an online form or a paper form?) and ease of use (does the method help or hinder the employee in giving their highest possible quality of feedback?)
Got more questions? Read our guide to 360 reviews.
1. Run them quarterly or monthly.
When you only look at an individual’s performance once a year, you miss the opportunity to;
- truly understand your people
- address issues before an employee hands in their notice
- gather valuable feedback from all levels of the business
- act on that feedback in real-time, so that it has a meaningful impact on your success
The message here is clear - replace annual performance reviews with quarterly or monthly reviews as soon as possible. Learn more about the potential of moving to quarterly reviews.
2. Focus the questions on the future.
The questions you choose for your performance review surveys are so important - if you get them wrong, they can easily lead your reviewers down the wrong path.
Resist the temptation to focus only on the employee’s past performance. Of course, it’s reasonable to ask about their highlights and challenges from the previous quarter. But remember that the goal of a performance review is to improve future performance, not just dissect the past.
Your people are busy, and there are only so many questions you can ask on a performance review form. So prioritise questions like, “What is one thing this employee should stop doing?” and “What is one thing this employee should start doing?”
Reporting on goal progress is important too, but should not only be done in reviews. An OKR goal-setting tool that integrates with performance review tools like Frankli is ideal.
3. Communicate the goal and purpose of your reviews.
It’s well documented that performance reviews aren’t popular among employees - in one study, just 13% of employees and managers believed their company’s performance review process was useful (3) - but communicating openly with your people can help improve their perceptions.
Consider devoting some time to highlighting the potential benefits of reviews and dispelling any fears in your next All Hands meeting. Outline how performance reviews contribute to company goals, and discuss the reasons behind your choice of review style, method and frequency. If you’ve made an effort to remove unconscious biases from your review processes, discuss this too.
Share data where relevant, and don’t forget to open the floor up for questions and ask your people for feedback on the current review processes - they may help you identify room for improvement.
4. Support your teams with the right tools.
You want to make it easy for employees to complete your performance review forms, but also to complete them to the very best of their ability, and dedicated performance review software is a great way to do this.
Tools like Frankli prompt your people to use real-time employee data like goal progress and feedback from other team members to write richer, more impactful responses. The data is accessible right where your people complete their responses, so there’s no need for sifting through old documents or constant tab switching!
Resources like our sample performance review phrases can be really helpful, too.
5. Continue the conversation.
Performance reviews don’t end when the reviewer has pressed “Submit.” Nor do they compensate for a lack of regular, consistent feedback across your teams.
There are a couple of ways to keep these valuable conversations going. Encourage managers to hold dedicated 1:1 meetings with their direct reports after each performance review, in which the employee can respond to the feedback and together, they can make a plan for improvement.
You can also create a company feedback strategy using our handy guide to ensure that feedback is being consistently shared between review cycles.
Self Reflection, Manager Feedback, Peer Feedback and Upward Review Forms
Our downloads are available in two formats - printable .pdfs for those using a pen-and-paper system and editable .xslx for those managing reviews through Google Sheets or other spreadsheets.
The preview below will give you a good idea of what to expect - there are separate forms for Self Reflection, Manager Feedback, Peer Feedback and Upward Feedback.
1. Gallup, The Secret of Higher Performance. 2. Harvard Business Review, Reinventing Performance Management. 3. Leadership IQ, Performance Appraisal: New Data Reveals Why Employees And Managers Dislike Them.