Performance Reviews Versus Performance Appraisals

What’s the difference between a performance review and a performance appraisal?  Although there are no formal or official distinctions between a performance review and a performance appraisal, and both terms are frequently used interchangeably, 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, leaders have found doing this quarterly satisfies their performance appraisal and the corporate form can be abandoned. The performance reviews should drive the performance appraisal event.

Leaders who use performance appraisals AND performance reviews to empower direct reports find more success.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

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