Purpose and process of performance reviews


Produce a briefing guide to Line Managers who are new to your company which, using best practice guidelines:

  •  Explains the frequency, purpose and process of performance reviews/appraisals
  •  Identifies and explains how a manager should deal with both good and poor performance
  • Describes what information is available to both the Manager and Employee to support the Performance Management process – for example in preparation for an appraisal

The briefing guide should be short and focused to keep the Manager’s attention and act as a reminder for the future, but can refer to other documents and sources of information. 


Purpose and process of performance reviews

Performance reviews/appraisals is a method of evaluating and documenting an employee’s performance (Garcarz & Wilcock, 2005). A performance appraisal is an integral component in career development of employees in an organization. Performance appraisals are conducted in order to assess the productivity or job performance of individual employees. This helps to develop strategies for performance improvement both at the individual and organizational levels. A performance appraisal is also used as a platform for basing employment decisions such as promotions, award of bonuses, transfers, terminations, and others. Performance appraisals can be used by the management as a communication tool; they provide feedback on employee performance with regard to organizational expectations. Line managers can also use them in administration of wages and salaries. Performance appraisals are also applicable in selecting employees for performing particular projects.

Different organizations conduct performance appraisals in different time periods. It is recommended that performance appraisals be conducted at least once per year. Line managers should also note that performance appraisal can also be conducted on periodic basis such as on monthly or quarterly basis depending on the nature of job. For instance in routine jobs, line managers should conduct performance appraisals periodically such as on a monthly basis. Employees performing non-routine jobs which involve long-term goal setting should best be appraised on an annual basis (Garcarz & Wilcock, 2005). Performance appraisals can be conducted in six steps. The process entails a review of the employee’s position description, identifying the specific position elements to be employed in evaluating the employee, identifying job elements to be rated, measurements to be employed and lastly to identify goals for the employee.

How a manager should deal with both good and poor performance

Managers should not assume good performance. Good performance should be dealt by giving rewards. Once the managers are aware of good performance, they should reward the employee for motivation purposes. It is also important to recognize and acknowledge good performance among employees. Managers should also provide opportunities for further development to those who perform well.

Failure to address poor performance among employees may be detrimental to the entire organization. There are a number of measures managers can take to correct poor performance. First, managers should compare the performance of the individual employees with expected performance. The expected performance may be set targets or relative performance of other employees in a similar position. Second, the manager should establish causes or reason behind the poor performance. Various reasons such as sickness, low motivation, poor working conditions, and others may be the reason for poor performance. Lastly, a manager should try and come up with possible remedies to the poor performance. Solutions may include increasing pay, training and development, providing bonuses, and other tangible solutions (Armstrong, 2008).

Available information to both the manager and employee to support the performance management process

There various sources of data that can provide crucial details to support the performance management process. The first source is from objective production in the organization. Objective production involves collecting information on performance details such as sales figures or production numbers.  Personnel data may also be a source of information. This involves analysing employees based on factors such as accidents at the workplace and absenteeism. Judgmental evaluation can also be used whereby the management employs specific raters to assess employee performance. Behavioural checklists can also provide quality information to support the performance management process. This involves analysing employees’ behaviour which may indicate whether an employee is a good or bad performer.


Armstrong, M. (2008). How to be an even better manager: A complete A-Z of proven techniques &             essential skills. London: Kogan Page.

Garcarz, W., & Wilcock, E. (2005). Statutory and mandatory training in health and social care: A             toolkit for good practice. Oxford: Radcliffe Pub.

Purposes of performance management and relationship to business objectives