What is a Performance Appraisal?

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What is a performance appraisal and how does it work? In a traditional performance appraisal, an employee is reviewed by his manager or managers. The manager typically fills out a human resources form about the employee. Sometimes the manager’s review is also accompanied by a self-evaluation.

Performance Review Timing

These reviews typically take place annually or semi-annually and are accompanied by a meeting between the manager and employee (and, occasionally, a human resources representative).

Typically, performance reviews done annually, although more and more companies are adding bi-annual and quarterly reviews to track performance. 

What Takes Place During a Performance Appraisal

The self-evaluation that some employers include in the review allows the employee to critically evaluate his or her goals, role at the company, training, compensation, and the office environment. These evaluations can be done online, in person, over the phone, or even through a survey. After submitting the review, the reviewer (often a supervisor or manager) will review the employee and his or her responses to the self-evaluation.

While a performance review can seem nerve-wracking, there should be little to no surprises in the meeting. If there is a problem for either party, a meeting should be called well in advance to correct the situation. You should go into your performance review confident and leave refreshed and ready to tackle any issues that arose. 

Goals of Performance Appraisals

Companies sometimes use performance appraisals to make decisions regarding salaries and promotions.

However, other companies choose to use appraisals solely to discuss and assess a worker’s strengths and weaknesses. Usually, a person's first review will not start for at least six months to a year after employment to give them plenty of time to adjust to their new position.

Performance reviews are also a great time to discuss your interest in more responsibility or career guidance. Your supervisor will appreciate that you value his or her opinion on the next step of your career. 

Also Known As: performance review, performance evaluation, annual review

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