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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal, also known as performance review or evaluation, is a systematic process used by organizations to assess and evaluate the job performance of employees. It serves as a mechanism for providing feedback, identifying strengths and areas for improvement, setting goals, and making decisions related to compensation, promotions, training, and development.

What is performance appraisal?

Performance appraisal, also known as performance review or evaluation, is a systematic process used by organizations to assess and evaluate the job performance of employees. It involves the collection and analysis of information related to an employee's performance, accomplishments, strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

Performance appraisals serve multiple purposes, including providing feedback to employees, identifying training and development needs, setting performance goals, making decisions related to compensation and promotions, and facilitating communication between managers and employees.

What is the purpose of a performance appraisal?

The purpose of a performance appraisal is to provide feedback to employees regarding their performance, identify strengths and areas for improvement, facilitate goal setting and development planning, determine compensation and promotion decisions, and align individual performance with organizational goals.

When are performance appraisals usually done?

Performance appraisals are typically conducted annually, although some organizations may choose to conduct them semi-annually or quarterly.

What is the difference between performance management and performance appraisals?

Performance management is a broader process that encompasses setting goals, providing feedback, coaching and development, and evaluating performance. Performance appraisals are a component of performance management, focusing specifically on assessing and documenting employees' performance against predetermined goals and standards.

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What does a performance appraisal consists of?

A performance appraisal typically consists of several components aimed at evaluating various aspects of an employee's job performance. These components may vary depending on the organization's specific requirements and the nature of the job role. However, common elements of a performance appraisal include:

  • Goal setting: Establishing clear and measurable performance objectives or goals that align with organizational priorities and individual job responsibilities. These goals serve as benchmarks against which employee performance will be assessed.
  • Regular feedback: Providing ongoing feedback and coaching to employees throughout the appraisal period to address performance issues, recognize achievements, and course-correct as needed. Regular feedback helps employees understand expectations and make improvements in real-time.
  • Evaluation criteria: Defining specific criteria or standards against which employee performance will be assessed. This may include job competencies, productivity, quality of work, customer satisfaction, teamwork, and adherence to company values.
  • Documentation: Documenting performance-related information, including achievements, challenges, and areas for development, to support objective evaluation and decision-making. Documentation may include performance logs, project reports, customer feedback, and disciplinary records.
  • Formal evaluation meeting: Conducting a formal performance review meeting between the employee and their manager to discuss performance ratings, feedback, and goals for the upcoming appraisal period. This meeting provides an opportunity for open dialogue, clarification of expectations, and goal-setting for future performance improvement.
  • Performance ratings: Assigning performance ratings or scores based on the evaluation criteria and feedback gathered throughout the performance appraisal period. These ratings may be numerical (e.g., on a scale of 1 to 5) or descriptive (e.g., exceeds expectations, meets expectations, needs improvement).

What is the primary use of performance appraisal information?

The primary use of performance appraisal information is to make decisions related to employee development, compensation, promotions, training needs, succession planning, and performance improvement initiatives.

What are the 5 methods of performance appraisal?

The five common methods of performance appraisal include:

  • Graphic Rating Scales
  • Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS)
  • Management by Objectives (MBO)
  • 360-Degree Feedback
  • Critical Incident Technique

What are the 3 types of performance appraisal?

The three main types of performance appraisal are:

  • Objective-based appraisals
  • Behavioral appraisals
  • Results-oriented appraisals.

What can employees do to avoid surprises during performance appraisals?

To avoid surprises during performance appraisals, employees can take proactive steps to manage their performance and communication throughout the appraisal period. Here are some strategies employees can employ:

  • Regular communication: Maintain open and ongoing communication with your manager throughout the year to discuss expectations, seek feedback, and address any performance-related concerns or challenges. Regular check-ins provide an opportunity to course-correct and make adjustments as needed before the formal appraisal.
  • Self-assessment: Take initiative in conducting a self-assessment of your performance against established goals and criteria. Reflect on your accomplishments, areas of improvement, and any obstacles encountered. This self-awareness can help you anticipate feedback and identify areas for development.
  • Goal alignment: Ensure alignment between your individual goals and objectives and those of the organization. Seek clarification from your manager if there are any ambiguities or changes in priorities. By staying aligned with organizational goals, you can better position yourself for success during the performance appraisal.
  • Seek feedback: Actively seek feedback from colleagues, peers, and other stakeholders to gain multiple perspectives on your performance and areas for development. Constructive feedback from different sources can help you identify blind spots and address them proactively.
  • Document achievements: Keep a record of your accomplishments, contributions, and progress toward goals throughout the appraisal period. Documenting your achievements provides tangible evidence of your performance and helps you prepare to discuss your accomplishments during the performance appraisal meeting.
  • Prepare documentation: Gather relevant documentation and evidence of your achievements, contributions, and progress toward goals to support your performance appraisal discussions. This may include performance reports, project summaries, customer testimonials, or any other relevant artifacts that demonstrate your impact and value to the organization.

What is the importance of performance appraisal?

Performance appraisal serves as a vital tool for organizations to effectively manage their human resources. It helps in aligning individual goals with organizational objectives, fostering employee development and engagement, and improving overall productivity and performance within the workforce.

What is a merit-based performance appraisal system?

A merit-based performance appraisal system is a method of evaluating employee performance and determining rewards or compensation based on demonstrated merit, achievement, and contributions to the organization.

In a merit-based system, employees are assessed against predetermined performance criteria or standards, and rewards such as salary increases, bonuses, promotions, or other incentives are allocated based on the quality and quantity of their performance relative to these criteria.

Merit-based performance appraisal systems aim to recognize and reward employees who consistently perform at a high level, contribute to the organization's success, and demonstrate alignment with its goals and values. This approach is intended to incentivize excellence, drive motivation, and foster a culture of performance and accountability within the organization.

What are the models of performance appraisal?

Performance appraisal models can be categorized into:

  • Trait-based models: Focus on evaluating individual characteristics, attributes, and traits such as attitude, initiative, and communication skills.
  • Behavioral-based models: Assess observable behaviors and actions demonstrated by employees in the workplace, emphasizing specific actions and outcomes.
  • Results-based models: Measure performance based on achieved outcomes, results, and accomplishments against predetermined goals and objectives.
  • Competency-based models: Evaluate performance against predetermined competencies and skills required for successful job performance.

What is the purpose of a performance appraisal?

The purpose of a performance appraisal is multifaceted and serves several key objectives within an organization:

  • Feedback and improvement: Performance appraisals provide employees with feedback on their job performance, strengths, areas for improvement, and progress toward goals. This feedback helps employees understand how their work contributes to organizational objectives and identify opportunities for growth and development.
  • Goal setting and alignment: Performance appraisals facilitate the setting of performance goals and objectives that align with organizational priorities and individual job responsibilities. By establishing clear expectations, employees are better positioned to focus their efforts and resources on activities that drive value and achieve desired outcomes.
  • Decision making: Performance appraisals inform important decisions related to compensation, promotions, bonuses, training and development, and other aspects of talent management. These decisions are based on an objective assessment of employee performance and contributions, ensuring fairness and transparency in reward allocation and career advancement.
  • Communication and engagement: Performance appraisals provide a structured platform for communication between managers and employees, fostering dialogue, collaboration, and mutual understanding. Regular performance discussions help build trust, clarify expectations, address concerns, and strengthen the manager-employee relationship.

When are performance appraisals usually done?

Performance appraisals are typically conducted at regular intervals, with the frequency varying depending on organizational policies, industry norms, and the nature of the job role. Common timings for performance appraisals include:

  • Annual reviews: Many organizations conduct performance appraisals on an annual basis, typically at the end of the fiscal year or during the employee's anniversary month. Annual reviews provide a comprehensive assessment of performance over the past year and set goals for the upcoming year.
  • Semi-annual or quarterly reviews: Some organizations opt for more frequent performance reviews, such as semi-annual or quarterly appraisals. These shorter intervals allow for more regular feedback and course correction, particularly in fast-paced environments or roles with rapidly changing responsibilities.
  • Probationary period reviews: Performance appraisals may also be conducted at the end of an employee's probationary period, typically within the first few months of employment. These reviews assess the employee's performance during the probationary period and determine whether to confirm their employment status.
  • Project or milestone reviews: In addition to regular performance appraisals, organizations may conduct reviews following the completion of significant projects, milestones, or key deliverables. These reviews evaluate the employee's performance in specific contexts and provide targeted feedback for improvement.

Why is performance appraisal important?

Performance appraisal is important because it helps improve employee performance, facilitates communication between managers and employees, supports career development and succession planning, informs decision-making related to compensation and promotions, and contributes to overall organizational effectiveness.

Why is performance appraisal important?

Performance appraisal is important for several reasons:

  • It provides feedback to employees on their performance.
  • It identifies areas for improvement and development.
  • It informs decisions regarding compensation and promotions.
  • It supports career development and succession planning.
  • It facilitates communication between managers and employees.
  • It helps align individual performance with organizational goals.

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.

How to fill performance appraisal form?

Filling out a performance appraisal form involves several steps to ensure a thorough and accurate evaluation of employee performance:

  • Review the form: Familiarize yourself with the performance appraisal form and understand the criteria and rating scales used to evaluate performance. Pay attention to specific competencies, goals, or behaviors that are being assessed.
  • Gather information: Collect relevant information and documentation to support your assessment, such as performance metrics, project outcomes, customer feedback, and examples of achievements or challenges.
  • Evaluate performance: Assess the employee's performance against the criteria outlined in the appraisal form. Consider both quantitative measures (e.g., productivity, quality, efficiency) and qualitative factors (e.g., communication skills, teamwork, leadership).
  • Provide feedback: Offer specific and constructive feedback on the employee's strengths, areas for improvement, and opportunities for growth. Use examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points and provide context for your assessment.
  • Rate performance: Assign ratings or scores to each performance category based on the employee's demonstrated performance. Use the rating scale provided in the appraisal form to indicate the level of achievement or proficiency for each criterion.
  • Document comments: Use the space provided in the performance appraisal form to document comments, observations, and recommendations for the employee's development. Be clear, objective, and professional in your feedback, avoiding personal biases or subjective judgments.
  • Set goals: Collaborate with the employee to establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for the upcoming performance period. Ensure that goals are aligned with organizational objectives and address areas identified for improvement.

How to write performance appraisal (examples)?

Writing performance appraisal examples involves providing specific, measurable, and objective feedback on an employee's performance, accomplishments, strengths, and areas for improvement. Here are some tips for crafting effective performance appraisal examples:

  • Be specific: Provide concrete examples and specific instances to illustrate the employee's performance. Avoid vague or general statements and focus on describing observable behaviors and outcomes.
  • Use quantitative data: Incorporate quantitative metrics and performance indicators whenever possible to support your evaluation. Use data such as sales numbers, project deadlines met, customer satisfaction scores, or error rates to quantify the employee's contributions.
  • Highlight achievements: Recognize the employee's achievements, accomplishments, and contributions to the organization. Celebrate successes and acknowledge instances where the employee has exceeded expectations or gone above and beyond their job responsibilities.
  • Address areas for improvement: Identify areas where the employee can improve and provide constructive feedback on how to do so. Offer specific suggestions, resources, or development opportunities to support the employee in addressing their areas of weakness.
  • Focus on behavior: Evaluate the employee's behavior, actions, and performance outcomes rather than making judgments about their character or personality. Keep your feedback objective, professional, and focused on observable facts.
  • Tailor feedback to goals: Align your feedback with the employee's performance goals, job responsibilities, and organizational objectives. Connect the employee's performance to the broader mission and vision of the organization.

Who typically performs an appraisal?

Performance appraisals are typically conducted by an employee's immediate supervisor or manager, although in some cases, they may involve input from peers, subordinates, or other stakeholders.

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