Sample of Employee Review Methods

Employee Performance Review Process Part 3: A Fresh Perspective on Employee Review Methods

I mentioned in an earlier post on the employee performance review process that most employee review methods have a shelf life. It is good to change things up and take new approaches to delivering performance feedback. A new approach provides employees with input that they probably have not heard before or helps them hear it in a way that’s more effective at reaching them.

Changing Things Up: Three Fresh Employee Review Methods

Do you fret over losing your top employees? Feel confident you’re paying and managing them better than anyone else in your industry. View our webinar Employee Retention: High Impact Performance Management for Engaging and Retaining Your Top Performers and get ahead of the competition.

Here are some different types of employee review methods that you can try if you have not yet done so. Keep in mind that they all have their pros and cons.

1. Employee Peer Reviews

This is a style where employee performance feedback is given by co-workers. Peer reviews can be very effective because an employee will no doubt receive multiple inputs about specific behaviors. Peer reviews can be done in groups or anonymously depending upon the approach that is more appropriate for your company culture. Participants of an employee peer review must be willing to be candid and open about the individual’s performance. But, be careful, because peer reviews can be misused and will need oversight by the HR professional in order to be conducted effectively. Peer reviews should never be used as a replacement for the manager giving an employee direct feedback on specific performance issues.

2. Employee Self-Evaluation

Giving employees the opportunity to provide their own self-evaluation can be another effective approach to the employee review process, if done correctly. It can be a relatively simple process to set up if there is already a good performance review form. The employee can easily fill out the evaluation form for themselves.

This approach can be effective because it can generate really good discussion between the employee and the manager. These discussions should be structured so that the employee and manager cover those areas of the employee’s performance where there is agreement on strengths and weaknesses and where there is disagreement. In the latter, good dialogue can come when the objective of both the employee and the manager is to close the gaps between them. In self-evaluations, it is important that the manager retain the responsibility of final outcomes. This approach will break down and become less effective if the manager allows the employee to dominate the conversation and the outcome.

3. 360 Performance Reviews

This is the “all of the above” approach. 360 performance reviews can give an employee good feedback from many different perspectives, including direct reports and this can be quite effective. Those employees that work directly for a manager know the most about how to make him or her a better manager and that employee feedback can be extremely valuable. Managers must make it safe for their employees to provide feedback, though. There must not be any repercussions for giving the feedback. If there are, it will break down the approach very quickly. Because many more people are involved in the employee review process, 360 performance reviews can be time-consuming. They require a lot more resources to administer so they must be carefully managed so that they do not become a time burden on the organization.

The Value in Changing Employee Review Methods

Changing your performance review process up and trying new approaches every few years can really increase the effectiveness of your performance review process. And, if you’re like me, you’ll get great satisfaction when you take on the status quo. And just maybe, your boss will reflect your good work in your performance review.


John Sporleder

Founder and President, Sporleder Human Capital

Do you have a topic you would like Compensation Today to cover? Write us at

Are your salary review as organized and effective as your performance reviews? Get up-to-date and make sure your external salary market data is specific enough to the education, skills set and experience of employees you want to keep. Give a PayScale demo a try.

Read more about performance and salary reviews in the following blog posts:

Check out these related posts