What Is an Evaluation Form? (With Explanation and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 3 November 2022 | Published 29 November 2021

Updated 3 November 2022

Published 29 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most professionals encounter an evaluation form during their careers, whether as the person evaluating someone else or as the person being evaluated. Evaluations may require the evaluator's name or be anonymous, depending on who creates the form, and they may be in hard copy or digital form. Learning more about these documents can help you write one as a manager or better understand your own evaluation as a team member.

In this article, we explain what an evaluation form is, what its usage and purpose is, the common fields found in such a form and share some tips for creating or filling up the form.

Related: What Are the Common Types of Career Aptitude Tests?

What is an evaluation form?

An evaluation form is a tool professionals can use to give and receive feedback. It usually contains questions that help the person complete the form. They can use the questions as a prompt to evaluate or give feedback and opinions about another person. They typically complete this form when appraising or reviewing another team member. This document can have different structures depending on the industry and purpose. For example, a manager writing an annual evaluation might use a different form than someone writing a form focused on someone's improvements.

One place you may use these documents is at the workplace, between colleagues and managers. Many companies use some sort of form during their review of employees' performance and standards. Alternatively, you may find these forms at customer service stations, where clients may review your performance. Restaurants may also have these forms to help understand their customers' taste preferences.

Related: 9 Essential Critical Thinking Skills and How to Develop Them

What is an evaluation form used for?

An evaluation form is a tool you can use to give feedback about people. They can make the feedback process faster since the questions in the form are standard questions and the evaluator provides feedback from similar aspects. Managers usually use the results of the form to gauge team productivity and to understand how their employees are doing during the annual performance review. Some companies may require employees to get good evaluations from their colleagues for their promotions or pay increments.

Some forms may be anonymous to get more honest feedback. People may feel safer and may not fear any repercussions if their feedback is not traceable to them. That said, anonymous feedback may have the drawback of being false. The person being evaluated may also not be able to reach out to the evaluator to solve their differences, if any.

Related: What Is a Key Performance Index? Importance, Types and Samples

What are some common fields found in an evaluation form?

You can customise the form for your individual needs and purposes by adding different questions or input fields. The purpose of these forms is the same, which is to get information. These are some fields that are commonly found in an evaluation form, which you may encounter during your career:

Name

This field could be to collect the name of the evaluator. Alternatively, it could collect the name of the person being evaluated. If the evaluation is anonymous, the evaluator may choose to omit writing their name to avoid being identified.

Department

Again, this field may relate to either the evaluator or the person being evaluated. Stating your department helps when consolidating feedback for review. The reviewer may not be familiar with all the employees in the company, and it may be quicker to sort the employees by department before reviewing the feedback.

Manager

This field could be useful to help assess the effectiveness of the manager indirectly. If employees working under a certain manager have a track record of scoring good ratings during their performance evaluations, it could point to the manager's good management of his staff. It may be worthwhile for this manager to share employee management tips with other teams.

Contact details

This field relates to the evaluator. Providing your contact details could help facilitate follow-ups after the evaluation and help solve any differences between the evaluator and the person being evaluated. It also ensures that they keep the evaluator accountable for any feedback given in the form.

Achievements of the person being evaluated

The evaluator may list all the favourable points about the person being evaluated in this section. Reflect instances of good work or outstanding performance here. This section may not look the same for all evaluations. This section may take on the format of an open-ended question or a multiple-choice question. Alternatively, the form creator could have provided a scale for the evaluator to rate the person being evaluated.

Areas for improvement for the person being evaluated

Apart from obtaining good reviews, a performance review also involves getting information about some examples of desirable improvements and upgrades. In this section, the evaluator sets out what they hope the person being evaluated could improve on in the future to be a better employee. You may wish to omit this section if you wish to maintain a survey with no open-ended questions.

Related: How To Assess Yourself (With Self-Evaluation Examples)

A ratings scale

If the form poses questions for the evaluator to pick a number on a scale, it very likely comes with a ratings scale as well. This rating scale helps guide the evaluator in their decision-making and to maintain consistency in evaluating the employees. A five-point scale is common as it's intuitive and not overly burdensome, but other numbers are also acceptable. Choose an even-numbered rating scale if you prefer your evaluator to avoid giving average ratings for all employees.

General comments

This field introduces some flexibility into the form. Including a section on general comments may be helpful, as the evaluator has the opportunity and space to provide other feedback about the person being evaluated, which the form creator may not have thought about. Some evaluators may also use this opportunity to compliment the person being evaluated or thank them for their hard work. These comments could be very positive and inspire the person being evaluated to work harder.

Related: How to Write an Effective Recommendation Letter

Tips when completing or creating a form for employee evaluation

Here are some tips for when you complete or create a form:

Completing the form

It's important to be impartial in giving feedback. The evaluation form is a tool to obtain fair and accurate feedback about a person and not an opportunity to complain about or spread false accusations about a person. You may wish to discuss your feedback with another trusted person to avoid biases. Remember that you're accountable for the evaluation you give, and it's important that you include accurate and fair information. Some forms may contain negative feedback. When writing constructive criticism, try to keep the overall language professional and actionable by showing the recipient how they can improve.

You may also wish to write words of encouragement or anecdotes to praise any person who has been kind to you during your evaluation of that person. These small but genuine notes have the potential to encourage a tired employee. They also go a long way in reinforcing a positive culture in the company. Building a harmonious and trusted network in the office eventually pays off and benefits all employees in the long run.

Related: How to Give 360 Feedback to Your Boss (Steps and Benefits)

Creating the form

A good form is easy to read and very intuitive for the user. Individuals usually fill forms up without the guidance of the form creator. Therefore, it's good if they easily understand the keywords in the fields without the need for explanation. This means that the fields are typically short, simple and not confusing. If there are more complex fields, consider adding an asterisk at the end of the field and elaborate on what information they seek at the bottom of the box or on the back page of the form.

Formatting the form properly can help with obtaining quality feedback. Typically, these forms are one or two pages in length so that the evaluator does not tire of filling up the form. Regardless, there's no fixed rule as to the length of the form, and you may create a longer or shorter form. You may wish to consider whether to include boxes for open-ended questions or use a rating scale to help save space. If a rating scale is a tool for giving ratings, be clear about what each point of the scale means.

Related: 47 Useful Performance Review Phrases By Skills (With Examples)

Explore more articles