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 or performance evaluations. In the past, many organizations conducted annual performance reviews for their entire workforce; however, more and more companies are moving toward a frequent feedback performance management system in which managers conduct quarterly, monthly, or even weekly reviews. In fact, some organizations are doing away with formal performance reviews altogether in favor of more casual manager check-ins and one-on-ones.

When done right, performance reviews can help employees understand what they’re doing well, how they can improve, how their work aligns with larger company goals, and what is expected of them. Managers who use performance reviews effectively can more easily recognize high performing employees, correct issues before they become insurmountable, communicate expectations, encourage growth and development, and foster employee engagement.

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How Should Employees Prepare for Performance Reviews?

Regardless of whether a performance review is formal or casual, employees should be encouraged to prepare for it. Here are a few suggestions to offer employees that will help the review be successful for both parties:

What Should You NOT Say in a Performance Review?

When giving a performance review, it’s expected that the employee and manager both take it seriously. However, since management is giving the review and has the authority to substantially affect the employee’s career, a lot of the responsibility for keeping things civil and productive falls on them. Here are a few topics and comments for managers especially to avoid in order to help maintain a positive environment.

“I wish I had more time”: Performance reviews should be a priority for managers and employees. They help make sure everyone’s personal goals are aligned with the company’s goals and give valuable insights on ways the employee and the manager can improve. When performance reviews are put first, the entire company can benefit.

Related: Performance Management

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