Frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

What is the performance review process?

A performance review process is a structured way for employers to assess, recognize and reward workers fairly. Performance reviews help workers understand what they contribute to their organization and where they can improve and develop.

The performance review is a regular opportunity to discuss and act on career development ambitions. It’s a discussion of attainment and ambition – usually focused on an employee’s previously agreed objectives for the year and how effectively they’ve achieved them. Performance reviews can be motivating for employees, because they help them work towards their own goals and draw management attention to their skills and potential, as well as hitting employer targets. They can be very significant for individual employees when the outcome of the review determines pay rise, bonus and next career steps.

There are different ways to set up the performance review process. It often includes a formal annual review, where the employee is rated and rewarded in salary or bonus, with interim reviews throughout the preceding year.

There may be a structured preparation process, with review forms or evidence requests to complete and feedback to gather from colleagues or clients (sometimes called 360-degree feedback.) HR teams need to manage the performance review process, making sure it’s consistent and fair throughout the organization, whichever manager carries out the review.

Some organizations use a continuous feedback process rather than annual or quarterly snapshot reviews – this may be managed through an online performance review system that records feedback and insight throughout the year.

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