Types of performance reviews

Types of performance reviews

Performance review (or performance evaluation) is an essential process to analyze how effectively human resources are used for meeting the company’s business goals as well as access how well each employee is utilizing their potential. Approaches to performance review vary from organization to organization; some see it as an ongoing, regular process while others conduct the review by occasion with a specific purpose in mind (i.e. mergers, changes in the organizational structure, the opening of a new department, etc.). 

How employees benefit from performance reviews

After the review, each employee gets objective and measurable evaluation of their performance and attitude towards work. The results of review are used to create employee development plans, set career goals and improve performance if it’s not up to the required standards. In its turn, while setting personal goals which will benefit to the organization in general, employees feel the significance of their contribution and involvement, and this increases their level of job satisfaction.   

What’s in it for the organization

To cut the long story short, reviewing employee performance is imperative to keep control over the company’s human resource processes. Dynamics of evaluation results demonstrates the efficiency with which human resources are used and developed to allow the management to reward top performers and modify the HR policies if necessary.  

A performance evaluation is an assessment used for your employees to gauge their growth and skill evolution, and there are many ways of doing so. Below are listed a few different types of employee evaluation methods:

1. Team Assessment

Yes, it is important to judge every individual employee’s improvement, but that should not completely overlook the team. By evaluating the group, you can understand how every member contributes something to the team’s ultimate results and make adjustments as necessary.

2. Skill Evaluation

Whether a person is competent or not goes far beyond their performance. Three factors need to be taken into account for skill evaluation: KSA.


K: Knowledge 

S: Skills

A: Attitude


Knowledge measures whether the employee has mastery over cognitive functions, skills measure the physical know-how, and attitude gauges whether or not the person is motivated enough to work. All these factors combined provide a better image of how well the employee is doing.

3. Goals and Results

This approach to employee performance evaluation takes into account whether the person in question has achieved enough in a given period of time. This is a quantitative approach and mostly deals with achievements like the number of deals closed, customer satisfaction, etc.

Basically, this is a report of an employee’s performance, taking into account whether they met the expectations set upon them by the company, as cut and dry it can be.

4. Leader Assessment

Leader assessments are often overlooked, but really, they are almost more important than employee assessments. This is because it is the leader’s job to guide the employees to success, and if the leader is incompetent, it spells complete disaster for the team at large. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that leaders be subject to the same levels of performance evaluation as the employees.


•    Self-review
Without downplaying the significance of manager’s review, it’s important to hear the employee’s voice too. The self-review process involves answering the questionnaire items to evaluate performance, competencies and attitude. It is usually followed by a performance interview with a manager to discuss the problem aspects of work and determine the strategy for growth. 

•    360-degree review
When the assessment is conducted by one person, it’s difficult to get a complete picture of employee’s performance. That is why this method so popular with the companies from diverse industries – it assumes collecting feedback from coworkers, managers, subordinates, etc. Various types of people an employee deals with during the working process form the comprehensive profile of not only skills and knowledge, but also behavior and interpersonal skills. 

•    Management by objectives
Sometimes employees might feel negative about the review process because the performance standards are too high or aren’t properly defined by management. To avoid misunderstanding, use the method of management by objectives. Working closely with the manager, an employee should develop measurable, specific goals to be achieved within a set deadline. This method makes it easier to work towards the goal as the employee knows what success looks like. 

•    Probationary review
How to find out whether the prospective employee will be performing at a level expected from them and fit the organizational culture? To minimize the wrong hires, people are often employed on probationary terms first.  During this period, usually lasting from 3 to 6 months, employee’s adherence to performance standards and personal traits are monitored to make the final hiring decision.  

•    Graphic rating scale
This method has gained popularity due to its simplicity and adaptability to access performance regardless of the position level and industry. It is used to evaluate the quality of employee’s work (usually on a scale from unsatisfactory to outstanding), but the assessment can also be trait-centered (i.e. it can cover employee’s adaptability, autonomy, or reliability).

Each of the above methods is helpful in the assessment of employee’s performance; however, the combination of two or more methods will ensure more accurate and objective results. The review process is only the first step, though – it should be followed by a meaningful conversation between the employee and manager to discuss noticeable performance issues and create an employee development plan.


Articles you may also like:

Performance evaluation tips for HR managers

Developing employee performance plan

More articles in category : HR management
Get our news

Get more HR trends, news, tips and guides with our newsletter