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Employee Evaluation Form

Employee evaluations are crucial for helping new hires and tenured team members alike improve and grow as professionals, learn how to better serve your organization, and feel motivated to reach personal and company-wide goals.

But for these evaluations to be effective, consider recording your feedback using an employee evaluation form.

In this article, we’ll break down best practices when it comes to filling out employee evaluation forms, including how to best use this important document, answers to a few of the most common questions employers have and examples and templates to get you started.

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What is an employee evaluation form?

One of the most common purposes of an employee evaluation form is to assess employee performance, goals and achievements as part of a quarterly or annual review process. Often, employers use these performance reviews to determine whether an employee qualifies for a raise, bonus or promotion.

However, employee review forms may also be used to document areas of opportunity or measure whether or not an employee has corrected previously cited problems. This documentation gives employees a clear path to improvement, and also provides employers with a clear paper trail to support disciplinary action, termination and other difficult HR decisions.

Related: Performance Appraisal Forms: A Guide for Managers

Goals of employee evaluation forms

An employee evaluation form achieves three primary objectives:

1. Organize feedback before a performance review

Taking time to record feedback before meeting with an employee is critical to the success of the evaluation. Preparing and organizing your thoughts ahead of time will make for a smoother, more effective performance review meeting and give greater clarity for the employee you’re reviewing.

2. Document employee strengths, weaknesses and areas of opportunity

As time passes, it’s easy to forget the benchmarks and objectives you’ve laid out for an employee. Documenting achievements, challenges and progress towards improvement is essential for HR purposes as well as your records.

3. Create a roadmap for employee success

An employee evaluation form provides a clear synopsis of where an employee is excelling and where they need to improve. By having specific goals to reference, they’ll know where to focus their energies in the weeks or months ahead.

Related: How to Create a Performance Improvement Plan

What to include in an employee evaluation form

The information you include in your evaluation form typically depends on an employee’s department or level within the organization, but here are a few essential elements all forms should include:

Basic information about the employee and their reviewing manager. In addition to the names of the employee and the person conducting the review, the form should also specify the review period and the date the evaluation is shared. Including a date can help you and your employees track their progress over time.

An easy-to-understand and consistent rating system. Whether you’re ranking skills from 1 to 10, poor to excellent or some other form of measurement, make sure the method is clear. Consider including a rubric for additional transparency.

For example, you might choose to rate your employees on criteria like job knowledge, work quality, communication, teamwork and decision-making skills using the following scoring system:

  • 1 = Poor
  • 2 = Fair
  • 3 = Satisfactory
  • 4 = Good
  • 5 = Excellent

Clear, specific and measurable goals. The best way to help employees meet their performance goals is to make sure they understand them in the first place. Share what you want them to accomplish, as well as the timeframe for reaching these goals and how their success will be measured.

Additional comments. Maybe you’d like to make a note of a particular project, highlight a key accomplishment or expand on a piece of feedback listed in another part of the form. Whatever the case, leaving extra space for comments helps you document all of the information you’d like to share with your employees.

Objective language. Employee evaluations can easily become subjective or ambiguous, so stay objective to avoid bias. Try using specific numbers whenever possible.

Comparisons to past evaluations. Looking back at your employees’ past evaluation forms can help you spot patterns and determine if they’re improving or still need to work on certain areas. For example, in the comments section of the employee review form, you could write: “Last year, [employee name] scored 3 for communication skills, so it was great to see her try different methods to improve her score by two points over the last several months.”

Employee evaluation form template

Employee’s name:
Job title:
Reviewer name: [name of supervisor, manager, etc.]
Review period: [date range being assessed]
Date of performance review:

Rating scale: [add rating rubric]

[Criteria/objective 1]: [score]

[Criteria/objective 2]: [score]

[Criteria/objective 3]: [score]

[Criteria/objective 4]: [score]

[Criteria/objective 5]: [score]

Overall rating: [employee score]/[total points]

Achievements: [bullet or paragraph format]

Areas of improvement: [bullet or paragraph format]

Professional development goals: [bullet or paragraph format]

[Additional comments if needed]

Employee evaluation form example

Employee’s name: Amy Johnson
Job title: Email Marketing Specialist
Department: Marketing
Reviewer name: Alex Smith
Review period: April 1 – June 30, 2020
Date: July 15, 2020

Rating scale:
1 = Unsatisfactory
2 = Requires improvement
3 = Meets standards
4 = Exceeds expectations
5 = Outstanding

Work quality: 4
Amy consistently delivers high quality, on-time work that is free from errors and contributes to the success of the company.

Collaboration: 3
During the review period, Amy regularly worked with her coworkers to develop three successful email campaigns. However, she could also benefit from reaching out to team members in different departments — especially engineering — to remove roadblocks that sometimes slow down her work.

Adaptability: 5
Amy adapted to major changes in her team this quarter, including a company-wide reorganization that required her to move to a new team. She has handled the change well and integrated seamlessly with her new team.

Initiative: 4
Last quarter, Amy received a score of 2 for initiative. This quarter, she improved her score by 2 points by sharing her ideas more frequently, holding regular office hours to assist her coworkers with email-related questions and taking more risks with her email strategies.

Impact: 5
Amy’s work on email campaigns this quarter contributed to the highest open, click-through and email conversion rates in the company’s history.

Overall rating: 21/25


  • Achieved record-high open, CTR and conversions for new email campaign.
  • Established first ever marketing office hours to improve the effectiveness of the team.
  • Developed a new system for tracking email metrics.

Areas of improvement:

  • To overcome the technical roadblocks she sometimes faces, Amy could benefit from developing a relationship with our engineering team to improve the speed of her work and come up with new, interactive elements for emails.
  • Build on the momentum she’s made in improving her Initiative score by continuing to take risks with her work and share her ideas with the rest of the team.

FAQs about employee evaluation forms

Who should fill out the employee evaluation form?

In some organizations, the HR manager fills out the evaluation. However, in other businesses, the employee’s direct supervisor or the department head completes the form. The short answer is: whoever is conducting the review with the employee should be the person who fills out the document. This helps eliminate any confusion or misinterpretation and helps foster more honest and direct conversations.

Some companies also include self-evaluations and/or peer feedback within performance reviews. In this case, both the employee and whoever leads the employee review meeting will each fill out the employee evaluation form or a portion of the form.

Should I share employee evaluation forms with the employee?

Every organization has to decide whether or not to share evaluation forms with the employee being evaluated. Whatever you choose, make sure to stay consistent with your policy — i.e., you shouldn’t share evaluations with some employees and not others.

Some companies choose to share a full copy of the form with employees while others only share a specific element of the document, such as an employee’s goals for the next review period. Other companies choose not to share forms at all to prevent employees from inadvertently sharing confidential information with one another, such as salary information.

What do you write in a performance evaluation?

When writing an employee performance evaluation, start by choosing the criteria to grade your employees on. This criteria may vary based on the department and role level. For example, an individual contributor might be graded on criteria like communication, job knowledge and productivity, while a people manager might be graded on criteria like leadership skills and innovation.

Be sure to include both positive and constructive feedback so employees know what they’re doing right and understand where they can improve.

Read more: How to Write Impactful Performance Review Phrases (With Examples)

While you can conduct a performance review without a formal employee evaluation form, your employees will notice if you take the time to prepare ahead of time. Using a standardized employee review document is a straightforward and effective way for organizations to track employee performance and ensure critical conversations are on record.

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