Employee evaluation forms can inform which questions to ask during a performance review, remove bias, and help protect your company against legal disputes. Read on to learn how to create an employee evaluation form, get top tips for creating these forms, and access 2 free evaluation templates.
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- Employee evaluation forms bring consistency and fairness to employee performance evaluations. They’re usually used during performance reviews but can also be used for annual appraisals and one-off goal setting or during capability meetings.
- Employee evaluation forms support professional development, increase communication between workers and managers, and protect your business against legal disputes.
- You can tailor these evaluation forms to employees’ roles and your business’ unique needs.
- To create great employee evaluation forms, you can use a rating system, include open-ended questions, incorporate a section for feedback, and more.
Employee evaluation forms help businesses maintain consistency and fairness in evaluations, provide a way for managers to communicate expectations, and offer workers the chance to receive feedback and improve their performance. They also help managers determine which questions to ask during performance reviews. Since these forms also ensure fairness, they even protect companies from legal disputes.
In this article, we explore what an employee evaluation form is and its benefits and provide some handy templates for creating employee evaluation forms. We also go through some top tips for creating a great employee evaluation form.
Free Download: Your Employee Evaluation Form ⤵
What Is an Employee Evaluation Form?
An employee evaluation form is a form managers and supervisors use to assess employees’ behaviors, and evaluate and manage their performance. They’re typically completed by a supervisor or manager who is responsible for overseeing the employee’s work and is familiar with their performance. This way, they can provide constructive feedback on the employee’s strengths and areas for improvement.
Evaluation forms are used during the performance review process and are usually between 1 and 3 pages in length, depending on what you’re hoping to assess. You can also have employees provide self-assessments as part of the evaluation process.
The forms can grade employee skills like communication, job knowledge, teamworking, and initiative. They can also include how well employees meet key performance indicators (KPIs), targets, service level agreements (SLAs), and more. The benefit of creating your own employee evaluation form is that you can tailor it to measure whatever competencies are important to your business.
After completing employee evaluation forms, you can identify areas where an employee may need additional training or development. Likewise, you can use this insight to set goals for your team members. You’ll then typically hold a meeting with your employees to discuss the results of the evaluation. This usually happens during monthly or quarterly reviews but you can also use the forms for one-off goal setting or for capability meetings.
Why Use an Employee Evaluation Form?
There are a number of reasons to use employee evaluation forms. You can use them to:
Maintain fairness in performance assessments
Employee evaluation forms provide a standardized process for evaluating workers in the same role on the same criteria. This helps create consistency and fairness. In turn, it removes the possibility of bias or favoritism.
You can use different evaluation forms for different roles to ensure that workers are being fairly assessed against their specific job responsibilities.
Support professional development
Employee evaluation forms provide a fair and objective way to assess employee performance and identify areas where employees need additional training or development opportunities. This can help workers build new skills and progress within your organization.
Professional development opportunities don’t always have to be promotions. They can also include lateral moves to another role or department, a worker hosting new hire or group training, or an employee taking on extra responsibilities.
Document employee progress
Holding regular employee evaluations and keeping a record of the evaluation forms creates a written record of employee progress. This is beneficial when you’re completing performance appraisals or deciding who deserves a promotion or raise.
Rather than basing your decisions on how employees have been performing recently, this bank of documentation can help you make fair and unbiased decisions based on historical data.
Pro Tip: Use an employee management software like Connecteam to keep track of all evaluations and the employees entire timeline at your company. This makes it very easy for your HR staff to conduct regular, fact-based reviews.
Increase feedback and communication
Evaluation forms offer a structured way for you to provide documented feedback to your employees. This feedback can include an employee’s strengths, areas of improvement, and contribution to the business. You can also include feedback regarding timekeeping, days missed due to absence, general conduct at work, career goals, and more.
Offering feedback at work is critical to employee success. A survey by Gallup found that employees who review regular feedback are 3.6 times more likely to say they’re motivated to do outstanding work. This will benefit your customers, your entire team, and ultimately, your bottom line.
Protect your business from legal disputes
Employee evaluation forms can provide legal protection for your business as well.
For example, say you have to fire an employee for poor performance. However, this employee claims they performed well, and they believe you fired them on discriminatory grounds. They may try to raise a legal claim against you. You will be in a better situation legally if you can provide evidence of the worker’s poor performance through historic employee evaluation forms.
Be sure to have employees sign their employee evaluation forms after you hold their evaluation meeting. You should also sign the document, and then photocopy the form. Give your employees a copy of the form, and keep the other in their files. In addition, you can back the record up in secure, cloud-based HR management software.
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Tips For Creating An Employee Evaluation Form
Have a specific focus
Ensure that your evaluation form has a clear focus, such as job performance, competencies, or goals and objectives.
For example, if you’re assessing job performance, you can include questions that evaluate the worker’s ability to achieve KPIs and fulfill the basic responsibilities of their role.
Define the criteria for evaluation
Consider what competencies, responsibilities, skills, and/or behaviors are most important to assess for success in your organization. You can do this by reviewing job descriptions and refreshing your memory on the company’s mission and values.
For example, evaluation criteria might include strong communication skills, a positive attitude, and a willingness to collaborate with others.
Customize forms for different roles
Tailoring forms to each position you’re evaluating ensures you’re assessing the skills and competencies most important to that job. In turn, this ensures that your evaluations are fair. Employees won’t be assessed based on criteria that aren’t relevant to their roles.
For instance, say you’re evaluating a salesperson. In your form, include questions that assess the employee’s ability to meet sales targets and build relationships with customers.
Include the review period
On the form, note the period of time you’ll be referencing during your evaluation. For instance, if you’re reviewing an employee’s performance over the last 3 months, note the exact dates on the form—e.g., January 3, 2023 to April 3, 2023.
Use a rating system
A rating system is a pre-set scale to measure an employee’s performance, behaviors, or competencies in a standardized way. This helps you provide objective assessments and ensures your evaluations are fair.
A rating scale can be:
- Numerical. For example, a scale of 1-5, where 1 means poor performance and 5 means excellent performance.
- Descriptive. For example, “very poor,” “poor,” “fair,” “very good,” and “outstanding.”
- Visual. For example, a star scale or smiley faces, usually 5 or 10 total.
- Traffic lights. For example, red means underperforming, yellow means meeting expectations, and green means exceeding expectations.
Use clear, objective language
Avoid complex phrases or technical jargon in your employee evaluation forms. Use language that’s clear and easy to understand.
Likewise, it’s important to use objective language. Avoid subjective or emotional language that could be open to interpretation.
For instance, don’t include a question like, “Do you feel that the employee is lazy?” “Lazy” is a subjective term and is too emotional to be used in an employee evaluation form. Instead, you can ask, “How consistently does the employee meet their performance targets?”
Use both closed-ended and open-ended questions
Including closed-ended and open-ended questions in these forms is a great way to ensure you’re gathering quantitative and qualitative data on employee performance.
Closed-ended questions have limited responses. Typically, you answer them with “yes” or “no,” “true” or “false,” or some other predetermined response from a range of options (such as in a rating scale). They usually provide quantitative information.
An example of a closed-ended question would be, “On a scale of 1-10, how well does the employee collaborate with coworkers?” Answers can range from “1: Needs significant improvement” to “10: Consistently exceeds expectations.”
Open-ended questions can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no.” They provide qualitative information. An example of an open-ended question is, “What areas do you feel the employee needs to improve upon?”
Make room for feedback
Beyond closed-ended and open-ended questions, be sure to include space for comments and general feedback for employees. You can include a small section for feedback after each question, or place a larger box at the end of the evaluation form.
It’s a good idea to note within the form that the evaluator should include both positive and negative feedback and use direct but polite language when doing so. This ensures feedback is balanced and constructive.
Read our in depth review of the best employee feedback tools
For instance, “Great job handling customers’ concerns and providing solutions that satisfied their needs. However, you used some terms that customers may not have been familiar with, which may have caused confusion. I advise using simpler terms to make explanations easier to understand. Overall, I appreciate your efforts in ensuring our customers are happy.”
In addition, evaluators should point to real-world examples when leaving comments on the form. For instance, when giving negative feedback about timekeeping, provide specific instances of when the employee was late.
Include a section to discuss SMART goals
In your form, add a space to outline goals that the employee can work toward following their evaluation. These goals should be SMART:
- Specific. For example, “improve timekeeping” isn’t specific. However, an employee being 5 minutes early for each shift is specific.
- Measurable. For example, an employee can aim to increase their sales revenue by 20% from the first quarter to the second quarter.
- Achievable. Is the goal achievable from the point the employee is at now? For example, they can’t go from signing 1 client a month to signing 10 clients a month overnight. An achievable goal could be to move from signing 1 client to 3 clients per month within the next quarter. This can be increased at a later date so the employee continues to make progress.
- Relevant. Is the goal relevant to the employee and your business? For instance, a relevant goal would be for a hotel manager to increase customer satisfaction scores by 10% within the next 3 months.
- Time-bound. For example, a project manager can aim to complete a commercial construction project within 6 months. This goal is time-bound because it has a specific deadline.
It’s vital that employees’ performance evaluations remain confidential. Details shouldn’t be discussed with anyone other than the employee and their manager or supervisor. Likewise, workers shouldn’t have access to physical employee evaluation forms that aren’t their own.
To ensure confidentiality, securely store copies of completed employee evaluation forms. You can do this either by storing them in a locked filing cabinet or storing forms digitally, such as in a document management system.
If you go the digital route, ensure forms are password-protected and set appropriate access permissions for each form. Only workers and their managers or supervisors should have access to their evaluation forms.
Employee Evaluation Form Templates
We’ve included 2 free employee review templates both you and your employees can use to evaluate their job performance.
One is a template for a standard evaluation form that you, as a manager, will complete. The other is a template for a self-review form that employees can complete during self-assessment.
Standard employee performance evaluation form
Free Download: Standard Employee Performance Evaluation Form ⤵
With self-assessment forms, the clue is in the name: Your team members fill them in themselves. From their scoring, you can then open up a conversation about why they scored themselves this way. For example, if an employee has marked themselves poorly for attendance but they’ve never missed a day’s work, ask them why.
Typically, a self-review form will use a predetermined rating system. Employees will mark themselves against key competencies for their job role.
Free Download: Employee Self-Assessment Form ⤵
Employee evaluation forms provide you with a straightforward way to assess your employees’ performance and behavior. Using these forms, you can also provide constructive employee feedback, set and share goals, and identify employees’ strengths and areas for improvement.
Since these forms provide a standardized way to evaluate employees, they ensure fairness across assessments. This helps protect you in the unlikely event of a legal dispute.
By following the tips outlined in this article, and by using our free templates, you can ensure that you create fair, efficient, and easy-to-follow employee evaluation forms.