Types of performance review

Types of performance review

Performance reviews allow an organisation to see if its human resources are optimised or are instrumental to achieving company goals. Organisations want to develop employees into top talent who have realized their potential. Performance reviews help to do so in the following ways:

  • Objective and measurable evaluation of an employee’s performance and attitude towards work
  • Coming up with employee development plans, career goals, and performance improvement measures
  • Tracking employee engagement and involvement in the organisation
  • Evaluating whether human resource processes develop and reward top performers

There are five key types of performance review. See which suits your organisation best.


Just as important as a manager’s review, the self-review allows the organisation to understand the employee’s perspective. It is important because it allows the employee to reflect on their performance and reacquaint themselves with the company’s standards.

Furthermore, it communicates to employees that their opinion matters. The process typically involves a questionnaire with items that pertain to performance, competencies, and attitude. It also usually ends with an interview with a manager to hash out work problems and formulate a strategy for growth.

360-degree review

A 360 review provides a multi-dimensional perspective of an employee’s performance. It allows organisations to include multiple reviewers such as supervisors, peers, and subordinates for balanced and well-rounded feedback. These reviews result in a fair and more accurate picture of an employee’s behaviour and identification of strengths and blind spots that can be targeted for development or correction. When compared against a self-review, the employee can gain a much deeper understanding of their skills and what they need to do improve and advance in the company.

Management by objectives (MBO)

Not all performance reviews are created equal. Often, employees may feel that the performance standards of a review process are too high or too vague. To mitigate this, an MBO is utilised, wherein an employee is encouraged to develop and meet their own specific measurable goals within a fixed time frame.

This kind of goal setting forces managers to think about planning for results or achieving objectives. In other words, MBO is instrumental to goal-oriented management. It can be applied in performance appraisal, organisational development, long-range planning, and so on.

Probationary period

A probationary period is often used to find out if a fresh hire is fit for the company culture and can perform their role at the accepted standards, usually within three to six months. This approach is not only used to gauge an employee's compliance with performance standards, but it also designed to minimise wrong hires. An employee’s character traits and interpersonal skills are also monitored to make the final hiring decision.

Graphic rating scale

This performance review method makes use of a list of behaviours that are important for effective performance. Ratings for each trait are usually on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being non-existent and 5 being excellent. Ratings are at times relevant to the behaviour being measured. For verbal communication skills, for instance, the ratings should be fluent, inconsistent, and so on.

These scales can be applied to work and to traits like adaptability, autonomy, and reliability. However, ambiguous behaviours such as loyalty and honesty are avoided. Due to its simplicity, the method can assess performance regardless of level and industry and has become widely popular among businesses.

Often, the combination of two or more methods results in performance reviews that are more accurate, objective, and meaningful. This is crucial as the basis of an employee development plan, which in turn can cultivate your talent pool, arguably the greatest resource of your organisation.

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