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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Employee Appraisal

Employee appraisal is a systematic approach that provides valuable insights into individual employee contributions and helps organizations make informed decisions regarding promotions, training and development, compensation, and overall workforce management.

The employee appraisal process involves evaluating various aspects of an employee's job performance, including their skills, competencies, accomplishments, and areas for improvement. It serves as a constructive tool for managers and supervisors to provide feedback, set goals, and establish performance expectations. 

What is employee appraisal? 

Employee appraisal, or performance appraisal or performance review, is a process in which an employer evaluates and assesses an employee's job performance, achievements, strengths, areas for improvement, and overall contribution to the organization. 

It typically involves a formal discussion between the employee and their supervisor or manager, where feedback is provided, goals are set, and performance is measured against predetermined criteria.

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Why is employee appraisal important? 

Employee appraisal is important for several reasons:

  1. Performance evaluation: Employee appraisal provides a formal process to assess and evaluate an employee's performance, achievements, and areas for improvement. It allows managers to gauge how well employees meet job expectations and performance standards.
  2. Feedback and development: Appraisals allow employees to provide feedback about their strengths and areas where they can improve. Constructive feedback helps employees understand what they are doing well and where they need to focus their efforts for growth and development.
  3. Goal setting: Appraisals facilitate setting clear employee goals and objectives. By aligning individual goals with the organization's objectives, employees better understand what is expected of them and can work towards specific targets.
  4. Recognition and rewards: Managers can recognize and appreciate employees' achievements and contributions through appraisals. Acknowledging employees' efforts boosts morale, motivation, and engagement, fostering a positive work environment.
  5. Training and skill development: Appraisals highlight areas where employees may require additional training or development opportunities. Identifying skill gaps enables organizations to provide targeted training programs to enhance employee knowledge and capabilities.
  6. Performance improvement: Regular appraisals can identify performance issues or challenges that may be hindering an employee's productivity. By addressing these issues promptly, organizations can implement strategies to improve performance and ensure employees are working at their full potential.
  7. Career growth and succession planning: Appraisals assist in assessing employees' potential for career advancement and growth within the organization. They help identify high-potential employees who may be suitable for leadership roles and succession planning.
  8. Employee engagement and retention: Effective appraisals demonstrate that the organization values its employees and their contributions. This fosters a sense of belonging, commitment, and loyalty, positively impacting employee retention and reducing turnover.
  9. Performance accountability: Appraisals hold employees accountable for their performance by providing a structured process for evaluating their contributions. It establishes a performance management system that ensures employees are responsible for meeting their targets and delivering results.
  10. Organizational performance: When employees receive regular feedback, have clear goals, and receive necessary support, their performance improves. Ultimately, improved individual performance contributes to the overall success and performance of the organization.

How to write appraisal comments for employees? 

When writing appraisal comments for employees, it's important to be clear, specific, and constructive. Here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Be specific: Provide specific examples and details to support your comments. Instead of general statements, focus on specific instances or projects where the employee demonstrated certain skills or behaviors.

Example: "Sarah consistently goes above and beyond in her customer service interactions. Last month, she handled a difficult customer complaint with professionalism and successfully resolved the issue, resulting in positive feedback from the customer."

2. Use objective language: Use objective language that focuses on observable behaviors and outcomes. Avoid personal opinions or assumptions.

Example: "John consistently meets his sales targets, achieving a 20% increase in revenue compared to the previous quarter. He demonstrates strong sales skills by effectively identifying customer needs and providing tailored solutions."

3. Balance strengths and areas for improvement: Acknowledge the employee's strengths and accomplishments, but also provide constructive feedback on areas where they can improve. Offer suggestions or resources for development.

Example: "Linda has shown exceptional project management skills, consistently delivering projects on time and within budget. However, I recommend she further develop her presentation skills to enhance her ability to effectively communicate project updates to stakeholders."

4. Be constructive and future-focused: Provide feedback that can help the employee grow and develop. Focus on actionable suggestions and provide support or resources to assist them in improving their performance.

Example: "Michael, your attention to detail in your work is commendable. To further enhance your skills, I suggest participating in a time management workshop to improve your efficiency and ensure timely completion of tasks."

5. Maintain a respectful and professional tone: Use a respectful and professional tone in your comments. Avoid overly negative or critical language, and provide feedback that encourages growth rather than discourages.

Example: "Jennifer, your contributions to the team have been valuable. I encourage you to further develop your teamwork and collaboration skills by actively seeking opportunities to share knowledge and support your colleagues."

How effective performance appraisals can increase employee performance? 

Effective performance appraisals can increase employee performance by:

  • Providing clarity: Clear expectations and performance standards communicated during appraisals help employees understand what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated.
  • Setting goals: Appraisals provide an opportunity to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals that align with the employee's role and organizational objectives, giving them a clear direction to work towards.
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses: Appraisals help identify areas where employees excel and areas that need improvement, allowing for targeted development efforts and training opportunities.
  • Providing feedback and recognition: Regular feedback during appraisals, highlighting achievements, and providing constructive feedback motivates employees, boosts morale, and encourages continued growth.
  • Supporting development: Appraisals offer insights into skill gaps and development needs, enabling organizations to provide relevant training and career development opportunities to enhance employee performance.

How to appraise employee performance? 

To appraise employee performance effectively, consider the following steps:

  • Set clear performance criteria: Establish clear performance standards and expectations for each role, ensuring employees understand what they are being evaluated against.
  • Gather relevant data: Collect objective data such as productivity metrics, customer feedback, project outcomes, and behavioral observations to assess performance accurately.
  • Conduct a fair and balanced evaluation: Evaluate employee performance against the predetermined criteria, considering both quantitative and qualitative aspects.
  • Provide constructive feedback: Offer specific feedback on both strengths and areas for improvement, focusing on actionable suggestions for growth.
  • Set goals: Collaboratively establish goals for the upcoming period that align with organizational objectives and the employee's individual development needs.
  • Document the appraisal: Maintain proper records of the appraisal discussion, including agreed-upon goals, feedback, and any action plans for reference and future follow-up.

How to conduct appraisals with employees? 

To conduct appraisals with employees effectively, consider the following tips:

  • Plan ahead: Schedule the appraisal meeting in advance, allowing ample time for preparation and reflection.
  • Create a comfortable environment: Choose a suitable location where both parties can discuss openly and without distractions.
  • Be prepared: Review the employee's performance and gather all relevant data and documentation before the meeting.
  • Encourage employee participation: Make the appraisal a two-way conversation, actively listening to the employee's perspective and encouraging them to share their goals and concerns.
  • Use open-ended questions: Ask questions that promote reflection and encourage the employee to express their thoughts and feelings.
  • Provide feedback and guidance: Offer constructive feedback, focusing on specific examples and behaviors, and provide guidance on areas for improvement and growth.
  • Set clear goals: Collaboratively establish goals for the future, ensuring they are SMART and aligned with the employee's development needs and organizational objectives.
  • Follow-up and support: After the appraisal, continue to support the employee's progress, provide resources or training as needed, and periodically review their performance and development.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

Give 10 employee appraisal phrases examples.

When providing employee appraisal feedback, here are ten phrases that can be used as examples:

  1. "John consistently exceeds expectations and demonstrates exceptional attention to detail in his work."
  2. "Sarah has shown great initiative and takes ownership of her projects, delivering high-quality results."
  3. "Mark consistently meets deadlines and demonstrates excellent time management skills."
  4. "Emma is a strong team player, always willing to help others and contribute to the success of the team."
  5. "Robert has shown a great ability to adapt to change and take on new responsibilities with ease."
  6. "Karen actively seeks feedback and proactively implements suggestions to improve her performance."
  7. "Alex demonstrates strong problem-solving skills, consistently finding innovative solutions to challenges."
  8. "Megan effectively communicates and collaborates with colleagues, contributing to a positive team environment."
  9. "David has shown a strong commitment to his professional development, regularly seeking opportunities to expand his skillset."
  10. "Jennifer has successfully managed difficult situations, maintaining professionalism and resolving conflicts effectively."

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