Performance Reviews Versus Performance Appraisals

What’s the difference between a Performance Review and a Performance Appraisal?  Though there are no formal or official distinctions between a Performance Review and a Performance Appraisal, and both terms are frequently used interchangeably, we advise clients to think of Performance Reviews as part of the performance acceleration process and Performance Appraisals as an event.

Performance Appraisals are the formal appraisal document a supervisor delivers to their direct report on the organization’s official Performance Appraisal form.  The event occurs either annually or semi-annually and often encompasses a salary adjustment.  The lengthy form is filed in the employee’s file and rarely referenced again.

Performance Reviews are informal reviews between a supervisor and their direct report as a part of a process in which the direct report’s performance is discussed and adjustments are communicated and tracked.  The review should cover previously communicated topics and take place at least quarterly; lengthy performance forms are not used (blank paper and/or 5×7 cards work best).  In some cases, clients have found doing this quarterly satisfies their Performance Appraisal, but your corporate form need not be abandoned if used during a more formal event.  We suggest Performance Reviews include four simple questions:

  • What did you accomplish last quarter?
  • What are you going to accomplish this quarter?
  • What are you going to do to develop?
  • How did you demonstrate the organization’s core values?

The Performance Reviews should drive the Performance Appraisal event.  Use Performance Appraisals AND Performance Reviews to empower your direct reports for success.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

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