Online Performance Review

How to Effectively Design and Use an Online Performance Review

Clarify, Record and Develop Job Expectations

An Online Performance Review is an opportunity to record, clarify, and develop job requirements and achievements for an employee and manager. These should be clearly defined and measurable.

Through the process of the review, you’re able to address successes as well as plan for changes and improvements in the upcoming time period for each employee.

To streamline the review process you can use an online rather than a printed version of the review. An online version can be filled out more quickly, and it’s highly customisable, letting you choose what to include based on your organisation or group’s needs.

Performance data will also be quickly available online, and it allows managers or HR professionals to access data quickly no matter where they are.

Online review forms can also encourage more candid feedback, which can lead to more open and detailed discussions.

Individual or Global Review?

As a company you’ll consider whether your performance review form should be specific to each job role or group in your company (individual review forms), or if you should have a general review form for all of your associates (global review forms).

This is a common dilemma, and both options have pros and cons:

Pros for a Global Form:

  • Provides a global view of your employees
  • Ability to measure/gauge core values across all employees
  • Company goals can be applied clearly to all employees
  • Easier to maintain

Cons for Global Form:

  • Does not provide particular insight into individual performers
  • KPIs particular to role are more difficult to measure
  • Job description goals are not always applicable

Pros for an Individual Form:

  • Provides individual insight to an employee’s performance
  • Engages employee in terms of their individual progression
  • Enables a manager to calibrate their performers objectively
  • Departmental goals can be applied clearly to employee

Cons for an Individual Form:

  • Does not provide insight into your global culture
  • Requires constant maintenance (matching job descriptions to reviews)
  • May not link individual metrics to company goals

A third option, a hybrid form, would include a section of questions that are asked of all employees as well as a section of questions that is related to specific expectations for a particular job role.

Once you’ve decided which direction to take, you can start to think about the questions that you’ll include in the form.


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How Often to Conduct Reviews

With many companies, performance reviews are only done once a year and are always tied directly to salary decisions.

A better process may be to have performance reviews quarterly or every six-months. These reviews can be shorter and may serve to keep everyone on track to meet their goals.

This is especially true if your organisation has a more dynamic environment where new projects and goals are added on a regular basis.

Additionally, doing a review more often can facilitate better communication between managers and employees; it won’t be possible to be out of sync for close to a year before a discussion is held.

More frequent one-on-one meetings with managers to go over performance on a monthly basis can also help pave the way for an effective performance review when it comes time.

Reviews are About Both Employees and Managers

Both the employee and the manager should fill out review forms. Then the completed forms can be used in the performance review discussion.

A review is as much about how a manager has communicated expectations as it is about the employee’s progress towards meeting goals.

During the review, the results from the online review form can guide the discussion. If for some reason job role and performance expectations were not clearly communicated, the discussion may be more about that communication and the resetting of expectations for the future.

If goals and expectations in all areas have been clearly communicated, then the discussion can focus on the results of the performance review form, as it indicates the employee’s efforts towards meeting the goals.

This ability to compare expectations to results is the foundation of a successful performance review.

Use the Review to Choose New Goals

During your performance review evaluation period, it’s also a good time to decide on what the next set of goals will be and to make sure that they are clearly understood.

The idea is to always set up the employee for success moving forward.

Going Above and Beyond for Better Value

There are some ways that you can modify your online performance review form that may provide even more value to your team.

Two additional features to consider:

  • Include logic so that only pertinent questions are seen. For instance, in the survey template you may add logic so that particular questions are not shown if they do not apply. As an example, if you want to have a review form that is used by everyone but want to ask or two additional questions based on the office location, you can use logic to make this happen in your survey.
  • Include a review of the survey response that is emailed out automatically to the employee and manager at the end of the survey. The content of the email can then be brought to the review discussion.


You know how valuable your brand is to your customers, and you spend a lot of time making sure that you provide great products and service for them. Your internal customers (employees) deserve the same value!

By ensuring that your Online Performance Review is based on the employee’s job role and the goals of the company, you will be well on your way to providing a cohesive, consistent, experience for your most valued assets.


Using an online performance review form can help make it easier to gather needed information. HR team members can work with management to design a form that makes it easy to give feedback. Managers and employees can use the results to guide review conversations.

It is vital to understand that the Online Performance review is a very important tool that lays the groundwork for employee success.

Start exploring and discover what’s out there.