Q:

What are performance appraisals?

A:

Quick Answer

Performance appraisals are annual reviews that assess an employee’s performance. They create a permanent record that the employer uses for various reasons. The human resources department uses performance appraisals to create better job descriptions over time, determine the best rate of pay for the job and establish performance metrics for the position.

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Full Answer

Performance appraisals help determine an employee’s raises and future promotions. Managers inform employees what their raise is after assessing their performance. Additionally, when an employee applies for other jobs internally, interviewing managers review performance appraisals. They assess the employee’s strengths and weakness, using information in the performance appraisal. Performance appraisals help interviewing managers decide whether to hire a job candidate or not.

Most employees do not like performance appraisals, because they are subjective. Managers providing feedback do not define performance in the same way. In fact, there is a tendency for managers to be too lenient, allowing underperformers to receive similar raises to high achievers.

Employees also dislike the way some managers provide feedback. Managers tend to document problematic areas and situations throughout the year and then itemize the occurrences at the end of the year, in one feedback session. Employees see the practice as overwhelming, and it does not help them correct problems immediately.

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