Frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

What is a performance appraisal?

Performance appraisals are one-to-one reviews between a manager and an employee. They help employers to recognize and reward workers fairly and enable workers to understand what they contribute to their organization and where they can improve and develop.

Well managed performance appraisals of all types are motivating for employees, because they help them work towards their own career goals as well as hitting employer targets.

A traditional performance appraisal happens once a year, though there may be interim reviews at more frequent intervals, so the manager and employee can talk about how they’re getting on. The appraisal will review progress against a set of objectives, agreed at the start of the year or during a set performance period.

Employees may need to bring evidence of achievements to their review, including feedback from colleagues or customers (this is sometimes called 360-degree feedback) or prepare information that shows what they’ve done to meet their objectives. A supportive manager will discuss attainment to date, recognizing achievement and highlighting areas for more focus. The employee and manager may discuss training or support needs and other factors affecting progress and agree actions to stay on course.

The rating and report that an employee receives in their performance review may determine their bonus, pay rise and/or promotion, so it’s can be a very significant meeting for financial as well as developmental and career reasons.

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