What Is a Performance Report?

A performance report is a formal report that assesses and summarizes the performance of an employee, student, program, or anything similar or related. 

According to an online article published by Gallup, a small percentage of only 14% of employees strongly agree that performance reviews inspire them to improve. As much as $35 million per year is lost in working hours for an organization of 10,000 employees to participate in performance evaluations. Moreover, the same article further states that just 22% of employees strongly agree that pay and other incentives motivate them to do what is best for their company.  

How Can I Improve My Performance?

How one can improve their performance in school, at the workplace or in general has always been the universal question. In pursuit of growth and development, the need for improvement has always been at the core of the pursuit. So what can you do to improve your performance? The following examples below are some simple yet powerful tips that can help augment and boost your performance. 

Be open to criticism. Receiving criticism is not always the easiest thing to do. But sometimes, people need a glaring reality check for them to change their behavior and improve their lot. Thus, it is important to be open to criticism and be willing to learn from others, no matter how negative a comment may seem. Beneath the criticism, you can usually find an opportunity to learn and improve on a particular area, whether it is professional or personal. What’s important is that you can sift through the critical feedback and build on it positively. However, you also need to keep in mind that there is a fine line between constructive criticism and blatant degradation and insult. There are people who do not offer the former and instead just criticize others for the sake of putting them down. Thus, it is also important to accept criticism from people whom you trust and people who have your best interest in mind. Practice continuous learning. Another important reminder to keep is to practice continuous learning. Constant improvement entails constant and consistent learning. You stop growing when you remain stagnant and static in your job. Therefore, it is always important to seek out new learning opportunities and experiences. There is always something to gain when you make the effort to learn. This does not only apply to office environments and professional spaces, you can continue to learn even outside the confines of the workplace. Improvement shouldn’t be just limited to professional abilities. Self-improvement and personal growth matter just as much. Make the effort to seek out these opportunities for improvement. Whether it is taking up a new skill, upgrading an old one, or even simply learning from other people’s experience. Get into the habit. To be able to sustain your professional and personal improvement, you need to develop the right habits. In this case, it’s all about consistency. Improvement is not just a one-time event that you can accomplish overnight. It is a life-long process that requires consistent and progressive effort. It may not be easy, but it does get easier as you continue to build the habit. If the appropriate habits are in place, it will eventually become second nature and constant improvement will become part of your DNA. Getting into the habit of improvement does not necessarily require a huge overhaul or drastic change in lifestyle. Even the simplest modifications to your daily routine like taking a few minutes out of each day to learn something new is already a small step in the right direction.

Sample Areas of Performance

There can be many ways to improve one’s performance. Of course, the criteria for measuring performance will usually depend on the evaluating body. From technical skills to interpersonal qualities, the range of different areas can be broad and comprehensive. The following examples described below are just some examples of specific performance areas that may be subject to evaluation.    

Problem Solving. A critical area of performance that many professional evaluators look at is an individual’s ability and approach to problem solving. In the workplace, this is an essential and fundamental skill because problems are an everyday reality not just at the office, but in life in general. Keep in mind that there may be many different solutions or ways to fix a problem. That is why people who are able to think outside the box and come up with creative approaches to problem solving are highly valuable. Effective problem solving takes both technical knowledge, skill and the right attitude. All three factors are equally important. Lastly, if you are able to garner a good rating in the area of problem solving, then that also speaks to your dependability and overall competence. Teamwork. Another key area in most performance reports or evaluations is teamwork. Organizations are unable to survive without the individual members running its daily operations. This requires members and departments to constantly interact and work with one another. Thus, an individual’s ability to work within a team is vital. Teamwork and cooperation are essential factors that can have a profound effect on one’s job satisfaction, individual performance and even overall well-being. For instance, if an employee struggles to cooperate or finds it difficult to work with colleagues, it could severely and negatively affect the quality of work. It is no question that being a team player is important and for a lot of organizations and companies, it is a quality they expect out of all their employees. Communication. Communication is a major aspect in a typical performance appraisal or report. Along with problem solving and time management, communication skills is probably one of the most basic performance areas. It is important to note that this does not only refer to verbal communication but also effective written communication. Communication is measuring how effective and clear an employee is in conveying a message or in getting their point across. Lastly, communication is not just about conveying but also about listening. People tend to forget that communication encompasses both expression and the ability to listen actively. If an employee communicates effectively and also exhibits superior listening skills and empathy, then he or she ought to rate high in this particular performance area. Initiative. Another possible key area in a performance report is initiative. It is always admirable to see an employee step up and take on responsibility without being asked to. Volunteering to accomplish a task that is’t necessarily your own displays keen initiative. Merely going out of your way to do something that isn’t part of your job description, without being forced or coerced to do so, shows initiative as well. Initiative is an excellent indicator of potential leadership. It is the kind of potential that can be cultivated and nurtured. When there is initiative, there is also a sense of responsibility, responsiveness, and an openness to challenge. And a good leader must possess these values. These traits are worth noting in any performance report or appraisal.

How to Create a Performance Report

To create a performance report, you need to be as objective as possible. There is no room for biases and subjective judgment in a formal performance report. And if you are looking for quick and reliable sample templates to use as reference, download any of the free sample reports above. Choose one that suits your needs and follow the step-by-step guide below.   

Step 1: Basic Information 

The first step is covering all the basic information first. You need to provide details regarding the subject of the performance report. Whose performance is being evaluated? In a lot of cases, employees are subject to regular performance appraisals. This is to determine if the employee is productive and competent to maintain their position or job. Don’t forget to include the complete name, designation of the candidate, and the date of evaluation. You may also include what department they are under, contact information, employee ID number, and other relevant details.       

Step 2: Rubric

The next step is establishing a rubric or measure that will enable you to grade your subject accordingly. There has to be a measure in place to objectively and fairly rate the performance of an employee. A standard criteria will ensure that all candidates subject to evaluation will be treated fairly and equally. Of course, each job or role may have a different set of criteria or rubric. Essentially, this section is meant to be a guide or reference for the evaluator to use. Be sure to include brief instructions or a clear directive as to the use of the rubric. The evaluator should be able to easily comprehend it.       

Step 3: Score and Rating   

Once you have established the appropriate criteria, you can then proceed to the actual evaluation. This section is basically the meat of your report. As the evaluator, it is your duty to help the subject improve and learn. The candidate is relying on you to give a fair assessment and judgment of their abilities. It is important to be objective and fair when rating or grading. If you are unsure of how to proceed, you can start by assessing both the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Highlighting the positive but also addressing the negative is both a reasonable and practical approach to grading.  

Step 4: Recommendations

In a performance report, you do not just end with the final rating or score. You have to include recommendations for the employee to consider and take home. There must be prescriptive and concrete recommendations that the candidate can use. As an evaluator, it is important for you to indicate the next steps in order to help the candidate improve their work performance. The main purpose of a performance report, after all, is to help the employee address any weak areas and maximize their potential. Using the same approach in grading, be sure to exercise objectivity, clarity and fairness when stating your recommendations.     


What is a performance report?

A performance report is a formal written report that is used to gauge an individual’s performance at work, school or any professional environment. It is typically used as a basis to decide whether or not the individual is productive in their current role or position.

How do you write a performance report?

To write a performance report, you need to have a good idea of the candidate’s role or job. Using a standard rubric can help you make a more informed and objective rating. You can refer to the guided tutorial in the previous section for more detailed instructions on how to create a performance report.

What are performance reports used for?

Performance reports can serve several purposes. Typically, it is a report used to evaluate an individual’s performance at work or at school. But it can also be used to gauge a program or project’s success.

Creating a fair and objective performance report should be the primary goal of every evaluator. The point is to help the candidate succeed and improve. Browse the sample templates above to start customizing your own performance report today!