Vincy Workplace
October 7, 2011
Understanding performance appraisals

A performance appraisal, performance evaluation or performance review is the equivalent of getting a report card for the work you perform on the job. Some companies do it on a quarterly or annual basis or every two weeks for summer employees, and some organizations do not do it at all.{{more}} With the Christmas holiday and new year fast approaching, many companies may take the opportunity to evaluate how their employees perform. It can be a stressful time if you are not sure about your performance, but it can also be a positive experience if you have been performing above average and have proof of that performance. Let’s help you better understand the process.

The appraisal looks at three main areas:

1. It measures your performance.

Supervisors use appraisals to determine who gets promoted and who receives bonuses and salary increases. It is your responsibility as much as it is your supervisor’s to know how you are performing. Prepare for your appraisal by keeping track of all the projects you complete and any feedback you receive along the way. The information in your appraisal should not be a surprise if you are having regular conversations with your supervisor.

2. It identifies areas of development.

Your appraisal should reveal your areas of strengths and the areas that need improving. If the company is pleased with your performance and resources are available, then they mostly likely will invest in you by providing training and development opportunities to enhance your skills. It’s also a great goal-setting tool that allows you to grow professionally.

3. It helps the company make decisions.

Companies merge, downsize, reorganize and expand on a regular basis, and in many cases the performance evaluations are key to helping the company decide who should stay when downsizing and who should be promoted when expanding.

Some companies do a great job of evaluating their employees and others do not. That’s why it is your job to communicate with your supervisor on a regular basis to see how you are doing. Waiting until the day of the evaluation to learn you are not doing well may be an indication that you have not done your due diligence.

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Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

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