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How to make an Employee appraisal form

Employee evaluations (also known as ‘appraisals’ or ‘performance reviews’) are meetings held between employees and supervisors allowing them to discuss the employee’s performance in the workplace. An employee appraisal form is the document used to record the outcomes of the employee evaluation.

Show staff that your business encourages and supports their employees’ professional development and takes into consideration their progression within the business. This performance review form allows you to discuss an employee's overall performance and assess their promotion potential.

Use this appraisal form if:

  • you are a business located in England, Wales or Scotland

  • you are assessing and evaluating an employee’s performance or their suitability for a promotion

This appraisal form covers:

  • the employee’s details (eg name and role)

  • the reporting and review managers’ details

  • the employee’s objectives

  • areas of strength and improvement

  • training and development opportunities

  • an employee performance rating

  • whether the employee is suitable for a promotion 

  • what roles the employee may be suitable for based on their experience 

  • what roles the employee may be suitable for with further training

Using an employee appraisal form ensures that employee appraisals are dealt with consistently and clearly. It also allows employers to maintain a clear record of an employee’s performance and all performance assessments. For more information, read Employee evaluations.

The employee and the reporting manager (ie the manager completing the appraisal form), who is typically the employee’s line manager, should be involved in the evaluation process. This will generally involve an appraisal meeting, held in a quiet and comfortable area of the workplace away from other colleagues.

The reporting manager’s manager (the ‘review manager’) should also be involved in the appraisal process to monitor the appraisal and ensure its fairness and credibility. While the review manager will not typically be present at the appraisal meeting itself, they should review the completed employee appraisal form.

For more information, read Employee evaluations.

There is no set standard for evaluating employee performance, but businesses should have a clear and fair approach towards appraisals. To conduct employee evaluations, different factors should be considered, including the employee’s strengths and weaknesses, their individual goals and their performance towards these objectives. For more information, read Employee evaluations.

Based on the overall assessment of the employee’s performance, a performance rating should be assigned. An employee’s performance can be:

  • outstanding - if the employee exceeded their objectives and more than fully demonstrated their competencies

  • standard - if the employee is on par with what is expected of them in their role, is meeting their objectives and demonstrating their competencies at required levels

  • below standard with development needs - if the employee is meeting and demonstrating some, but not all, of their objectives and competencies and requires further support and development

  • unsatisfactory - if the employee’s performance is unacceptable as they are not meeting the expectations of the role, not meeting their objectives and not demonstrating their competencies

This employee appraisal covers the following:

Objectives

These are the employee’s objectives against which their performance is being evaluated. Such objectives should be agreed between the employee and their line manager in advance.

When measuring an employee’s performance against an objective, this employee appraisal form allows you to set out if:

  • the objective has been achieved

  • the objective is on track to being met

  • the employee is underperforming in meeting the objective

Where relevant (eg if the employee is underperforming), a reason for the progress towards the objective should be provided, taking into account any factors influencing the employee’s progress (eg technical errors).

Areas of strength

These are the areas within the employee’s role that they are particularly strong at and should be developed further. Where relevant, provide a reason for and/or example of the area of strength.

Areas of improvement

These are the areas in which the employee can improve and optimise their performance. The appraisal should set out how this can be done by, for example,  providing further support and training. Where relevant, provide a reason for and an example of the area of improvement

Training and/or other development actions

This covers any relevant training the employee may need or benefit from to exceed in their role. These activities are not restricted to training courses and may include coaching, involvement in other projects, planned experience or any other suitable activity to enhance the employee’s skills, knowledge and behaviour.

Career planning

This covers any career aspirations that the employee has such as taking on additional responsibilities, working in another department or area of the business or taking on additional responsibilities.

Any other discussion points

This covers any additional points mentioned and discussed during the meeting, such as feedback from the employee on how well they are getting along.

Depending on company policy, you should consider different factors, including: 

  • if the employee is exceeding expectations within their role (eg going above and beyond and putting in extra effort to reach and achieve their goals)

  • if the employee is taking on new responsibilities and opportunities

  • how well the employee takes ownership of feedback and criticism

  • where the employee sees themselves progressing in the business and if they want to take on a higher level of responsibility

  • if the employee has the necessary experience to take on additional roles that would be expected of them in a new position

  • if the new position requires training and if the employee shows eagerness to learn

Based on your assessment, the employee appraisal form should set out the employee’s suitability for promotion and the reasons for this assessment. Read Employee evaluations for more information.

This employee potential for promotion review covers the following:

Career aspirations

This sets out the employee’s career aspirations and what they hope to accomplish. For example, they might aspire to be a manager in the next year and to do that they would like to gain additional experience in taking the lead on internal projects. 

Job experience

Evaluate if the employee displays abilities that make them a suitable candidate for a position at the same level but in a different department. You can review their level of progress while with the business, assess what experience they have and compare that to other roles that are available and determine if these skills make the employee a good fit for other positions.

Training and/or development actions

Assess and decide whether the employee may be suitable for other roles with further training and/or development action. It may be that for a particular role the employee requires specific training to demonstrate their suitability. Bear in mind that training doesn’t need to be external and take the form of training courses. Instead, it may involve internal coaching or attachment to other work projects.

Suitability for promotion assessment

Set out the employee’s suitability for promotion based on the overall evaluation. An employee may be deemed:

  • currently suitable for a promotion

  • not currently suitable for a promotion, but could become suitable within a specified time period (eg within the next 12 months) 

  • not suitable for a promotion 

The manager should provide a detailed reason for their assessment. For example, they may wish to include: 

  • an assessment of the employee’s attitude to work

  • the employee’s performance so far measured against their responsibilities

  • how effectively the employee works with others

  • the employee’s contributions to group tasks

Review manager comments

The review manager should review the assessment of the employee’s suitability for promotion and indicate whether they agree or disagree with the assessment. If they disagree with the reporting manager’s assessment, they should indicate what parts of the assessment they disagree with and why.

As part of the appraisal, you should clearly state the outcome of the evaluation and the reasons for this decision. Be factual and precise with the assessment and, where relevant, set out how the employee can improve their performance ready for the next employee evaluation. Make sure that your comments are clear and transparent and that the review is a fair reflection of the employee’s abilities and performance to avoid any potential conflicts (eg discrimination).

After an employee evaluation, the employee should be given an opportunity to review the assessment and all manager comments. This will help the employee better understand their situation and performance and may help them improve their performance. 

After the employee has had a chance to review the evaluation, they should meet with the reporting manager to discuss the appraisal outcome, provide feedback and raise any concerns or questions. If the employee disagrees with the manager’s comments and/or the result of their appraisal, they may be able to raise an appeal. 

For more information, read Employee evaluations.

Ask a lawyer if you:

  • have questions about how to conduct an employee evaluation

  • are unsure about how to promote an employee

  • are based outside England, Wales or Scotland

Other names for Employee appraisal form

Employee performance review form, Appraisal form, Performance review, Employee evaluation form, Job appraisal form.

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