I'm looking for a template to get started on writing a performance review.

There didn't seem to be any specifics for laying them out, or what information to include (Other than the job description, which I wrote).

Can somebody point me to a good example (or if I missed something in one of the podcasts, point me in the right direction).

tcomeau's picture
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Check out WilDuke's comment in this thread:
as a place to start.


tlhausmann's picture
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[quote="akinsgre"]I'm looking for a template to get started on writing a performance review.[/quote]

I'll echo the MT recommendation to use the SEER writing method. It helps keep things concise.

Refer to:

or use the manager tools google search box and enter SEER

Mark's picture
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I don't understand. Why do you need a template?

For 90% of managers, the point of SEER and Sum-Ex essentially IS the template.

Do you not have a corporate form?

And finally... folks, be careful about using my recommended form. We have not published our cast on that document, it is quite outside the mainstream, and it is being misrepresented here. For many here, I wouldn't want to be defending using it to a boss who has never seen it.


akinsgre's picture

From listening to the podcasts, I understand that the performance review is "created" by doing a sequence of activities.

- Writing a Job Description.
- Describing how the employee's behavior matches positively, or negatively, to the job description
- Rating that comparison

My understanding is that SEER, or Sum-EX, helps with the second activity.

I used MT suggestions for the first task. The third task is obvious.

However, I hoped a template would put this in a presentable format that would support my verbal communication of the review.

Yes, we have a template, but I have only briefly seen it so far. I asked my boss for a copy of each employees review (I didn't write those this year, but will be present when they are delivered). However, I'm anticipating doing quarterly reviews, and thought a more concise format for the quarterly reviews would be helpful.

Mark's picture
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I just have to say that I would never have characterized our casts the way you did. I am not saying you are wrong at ALL, but perhaps I can suggest a different way of looking at it.

First off, writing a job description is only necessary if there ISN'T one, and you feel it is NECESSARY to help you describe the behaviors you observed within a context.

Lots of reviews happen WITHOUT descriptions, and that's fine. (Not ideal, but fine).

I would describe the first step as GATHERING DATA...about the direct's performance.

I think you're right that step two (in your description) is about characterizing a direct's performance.

But here's the key: the "template" is really whatever form your company has dictated for you. I would URGE you to not use your own, or create one, if there is possibly one that your company uses.

Think of it this way: a company has a way of paying people. Maybe it's checks, maybe it's automatic deposit. You wouldn't go to them and say, no, I want mine in cash every 6 weeks.

Same with reviews. Start with finding out what the company requires of its managers....


akinsgre's picture


Honestly, I listen to many of the podcasts over and over again. Sometimes I'm a little dense, unfortunately.

Perhaps I'm caught in a "Chicken / Egg" situation. It feels to me that I can't give meaningful feedback because folks don't really have goals. They don't have goals because expectations (job descriptions) haven't been clearly set. Job descriptions are embedded in reviews that haven't been consistently delivered, and don't appear to have much weight for my directs.

I understand what you're saying about the template.

The job descriptions don't exist yet. I just sent a draft to my boss for his input.

I'm hoping that the reviews, going forward, can reflect the performance of each direct against their goals.

Mark's picture
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Well said.

So, create the JD's. Makes sense.

But perhaps it's just that word "template" that is a problem.

I think of your firm's annual review form as the template. I'm not "right", that's just my definition. What's your definition, as you're using it?


akinsgre's picture

But perhaps it's just that word "template" that is a problem.

I think of your firm's annual review form as the template. I'm not "right", that's just my definition. What's your definition, as you're using it?


I agree with that definition. I just hadn't thought of the impact of replacing my firm's existing form.

The review form isn't that different from what I've seen before. It isn't overly long, or complicated.

However, the directs to whom a review has been delivered don't seem to retain any information from the review.

One of them even expressed pleasure at receiving a 2 on a 1 - 5 scale. Until I pointed out that 5 was the best grade he could achieve. Obviously something was missed in the delivery.

I thought, like many things discussed in MT, this is one that I could do better than average. Again, though, I understand the point of using an existing template.

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss.

terrih's picture

I emailed HR to see if they have revised the company's performance review form yet... I remember the director saying a year ago that he didn't like it.

The return email says, no, and "If you have seen any out there, that you like, please feel free to send down to us for review."

So I'm off to click the links in this thread. 8)

If anyone has any further suggestions while I'm doing that, fire away!