Employee Annual Review – What to Include?

In the rapidly evolving IT industry, regular annual employee reviews are a crucial element of human resources management and maintaining employee efficiency. In an era of constantly changing technologies and increasing customer expectations, the ability to constructively assess employee performance is essential for maintaining the company’s competitiveness and innovation. The annual review is not just a formality, but primarily an essential tool that helps identify strengths, areas for improvement, and set future goals.

In this article, we will discuss what an annual employee review in the IT industry should include. We will focus on key elements such as: assessment of technical skills, teamwork, project implementation, innovation, and professional development. We will provide tips on how to formulate constructive feedback and encourage employees to continue their development. We aim to provide practical guidance for managers who want to maximize the potential of annual reviews in the IT industry.

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Table of content

From this article, you will learn:

  • What is an annual employee review?
  • What is the purpose of the annual review?
  • What is the significance of employee assessment?
  • What are the types of employee reviews – examples?
  • What are the criteria for employee evaluation?
  • How to write a sample employee review?
  • What to remember in a supervisor’s review – tips?

What is an Annual Employee Review?

An annual employee review is the process of evaluating an employee’s achievements and performance over the past year. It is a key element of human resources management, allowing for a systematic analysis of work, identifying strengths, areas for improvement, and setting future goals. The annual review supports employees’ professional development and organizational efficiency improvement.

For many employees, the review can be stressful, as they fear that poor results might lead to job loss. In a professional company, this tool is primarily meant to assist both supervisors and subordinates. The annual review should also be seen as an opportunity for deserved promotion, raise, position change, or skill enhancement.

What is the Purpose of an Annual Employee Review?

The annual employee review is not just a formality but a tool aimed at supporting professional development, motivation, and employee engagement. For employees, it is a valuable opportunity to receive feedback and career planning, while for supervisors, it is a crucial element of human resources management, enabling team optimization and achievement of organizational goals. A well-conducted annual review allows both parties to better understand their expectations, needs, and capabilities, leading to effective, harmonious, and satisfying cooperation for both sides.

One Review, Multiple Functions

Information – Performance and Efficiency Evaluation

The primary goal of an annual employee review is to provide information about the employee’s performance and efficiency. It involves comparing the employee’s achievements with previously set goals and assigned tasks. This is an opportunity to identify areas where the employee excels and those that need improvement concerning their tasks. It is also a chance to discuss potential problems such as communication issues and offer support with difficulties the employee may be facing.


The annual review also offers the opportunity to discuss the employee’s professional development. A conversation with the manager can highlight specific skills worth developing and may result in suggestions for appropriate training or courses, which can lead to job satisfaction and loyalty to the company. The IT industry provides considerable opportunities for career advancement.


A positive annual review can significantly impact an employee’s motivation and engagement. Everyone likes their efforts to be recognized and rewarded appropriately. Recognition, even if only verbal, boosts morale and encourages further development. Real opportunities for advancement are crucial for maintaining high levels of job engagement.

Types of Annual Employee Reviews

Annual employee reviews can take various forms, depending on the company’s goals, the nature of the work, and the internal company culture. The choice of a specific type of annual review depends on how many people are involved in the process and the financial resources allocated for this purpose. Here are some of the most popular types of annual employee reviews:

90-Degree Review

This is an evaluation conducted by the supervisor. The advantage of this one-sided review is that it is the simplest to conduct and takes the least time. However, its drawback is the lack of employee self-assessment. This model excludes the possibility of dialogue, so companies that value friendly and respectful employee treatment increasingly avoid this form of review.

180-Degree Review

This model includes both the employer’s evaluation and the employee’s descriptive self-assessment. This way, the employee feels that their perspective is also considered. The review takes the form of a dialogue, allowing for the confrontation of two viewpoints. However, the 180-degree review is far from ideal as it does not consider the opinions of other employees.

270-Degree Review

The 270-degree model includes three perspectives: the employer, the employee being reviewed, and coworkers. Including coworkers in the review process provides a fuller picture of the employee. This makes the review more objective and impartial.

360-Degree Review

The 360-degree review allows for a comprehensive view of the employee and is the most thorough form of review mentioned. This review can involve dozens of respondents. However, it is important to ensure that the evaluators know the employee well enough to provide reliable answers.

Annual Employee Review – Template

Are you a supervisor wondering what to include in an annual employee review? Here is a template based on the 360-degree model. This is a sample framework. While the main points can serve as the “skeleton” of the review, the goals, achievements, and competencies should be individualized and tailored to the employee’s position.

Employee Name: 



Review Date:

  1. Review conducted by: Supervisor and employee’s descriptive self-assessment
    • Goals and Achievements
      • Goal achievement (evaluate specific goals on a scale from 1-5)
      • Comments:
    • Technical Skills and Professional Competencies
      • Technical skills (evaluate specific skills on a scale from 1-5):
        • Programming in Python:
        • Database knowledge:
        • DevOps and CI/CD:
      • Comments:
    • Soft Skills
      • Communication (description and rating on a scale of 1-5)
      • Teamwork (description and rating on a scale of 1-5)
      • Problem-solving and innovation (description and rating on a scale of 1-5)
      • Leadership (if applicable) (description and rating on a scale of 1-5)
      • Comments:
  2. Feedback from Coworkers
    • Strengths
    • Areas for Improvement
    • Comments:
  3. Feedback from Subordinates (if applicable)
    • Strengths
    • Areas for Improvement
    • Comments:
  4. Feedback from Clients (if applicable)
    • Strengths
    • Areas for Improvement
    • Comments:
  5. Overall Evaluation and Summary
    • Overall evaluation (description and rating on a scale of 1-5)
    • Recommendations and development plans (description)
    • Goals for the next year:
      • Goal 1:
      • Goal 2:
      • Goal 3:
    • Comments:
    • Evaluator’s Signature:
    • Employee’s Signature:
    • Date:

Important Points to Remember for the Annual Review

Several crucial factors determine the effectiveness of an annual employee review, which should be remembered during the planning and execution stages. Primarily, it should be tailored to the position and industry. Here are some tips to consider when conducting an annual employee review:

  • Plan the review in advance and ensure it is systematic (nobody likes “pop quizzes”).
  • Appreciate the actions and successes of the subordinate, emphasizing the employee’s strengths, and inform about mistakes and failures in a way that presents them as tips for self-improvement (positive feedback is more powerful than criticism).
  • Focus on facts, not opinions.
  • Be ready to listen and discuss.
  • Ensure a friendly atmosphere.
Hanna Korzeniowska
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