An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

Performance Review

What Is a Performance Review?

A performance review is a formal assessment in which a manager evaluates an employee’s work performance, identifies strengths and weaknesses, offers feedback, and sets goals for future performance.

Performance reviews are also called performance appraisals, performance evaluations, or employee evaluations.

What Are Common Goals for Performance Reviews?

Performance reviews should help employees understand:

Most managers use performance reviews to recognize high performing employees, correct performance issues before they become insurmountable, communicate expectations, encourage growth and development, and foster employee engagement.

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Do Most Companies Still Host an Annual Performance Review?

While many companies maintain an annual performance review cadence, it's no longer standard. Today, more companies are embracing frequent feedback. Managers conduct quarterly, monthly, or even weekly reviews.

In fact, some organizations are doing away with formal performance reviews altogether. Instead, these organizations favor more casual manager check-ins and one-on-ones.

What's a Self Evaluation Performance Review?

A self evaluation performance review invites employees to reflect on their work, skillset, and areas of improvement.

Self assessments help to balance a manager's feedback. If there are major discrepancies between a manager and employee's evaluations, human resources can provide additional support and mediation.

Self Assessment Tips for Employees

If you're preparing for a self assessment, try using the following tactics:

7 Performance Review Comments to Avoid

For performance reviews to succeed, managers and employees alike should come prepared to discuss and reflect together.

However, managers have the authority to substantially affect their employees' careers—so it's their job to facilitate a civil and productive conversation.

Here are seven topics managers should avoid to keep things constructive:

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