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Performance Appraisals: Are They Useful?


Performance appraisal is a process of assessing the performance of an employee on an allotted job. It can mean the evaluation of an employee’s performance in the past and in the present relating to their performance guidelines.


Strong performance appraisals are the backbone of effective performance management system as this includes:

  • Clarifying job responsibilities and expectations

  • Enhancing individual and group productivity

  • Developing capabilities through feedback by providing a basis of making HR decisions

  • Improving employee-manager communication channels


Performance appraisals guide the process of determining how well employees do their job. Thus, it is reviewed by the manager to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the employees, so the employee knows where improvements are necessary and how they need to be resolved. Over the years there have been many new types of assessments which have aided how appraisal systems are used in today’s ever-changing business world.

As far as it is concerned the evaluation can be done not only for promotions, salary raises or bonuses but for an employee’s growth and development within the role and for the department or organization. The management review employees progress by setting smart defined objective in order to track their progress over a period. For example: - If managers and employees at the start of the financial year sit down by working together to list out these smart defined objectives and ensuring that they are evaluated against each goal based on their outcomes in the course of the mid & year end appraisal process.

Another example of evaluation that many corporations utilize is the rating method. A rating scale is one of the most used method where a supervisor rates an employee on a numerical scale of 1-4 based on defined set of behaviors, traits, competencies and completed projects. This method delivers a high functionality and is quite simplistic to use.

Other ways of evaluation can include via collection of data from peers, supervisors, and even external parties such as customers and suppliers. The nature of utilizing this method is to bring in a broad multidimensional picture of performance that cannot be influenced by favoritism and it is also a great way to ensure that employees are evaluated fairly and accurately.

As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter which type of the evaluation method (360-degree appraisal system or others) is used. The main goal is to foster communication between managers and employees to make the performance reviews as productive as possible. Depending on companies/industries or the knowledge the HR professional brings to the table; the type of performance appraisals system will vary.


A manager is dependent on its employees, so if the employees work hard and achieve their goals the team is appreciated by management and if they perform poorly, then he is to be criticized. To put it in simple words a manager’s job is tied to its employees; how well the employees perform to a large extent attributes to the success of the department itself, so then a managers aim should be to motivate the employees to work hard and continually improve their performance.

As clearly witnessed in today’s employment era; performance management are so important as it helps in evolving action plans so that teams can improve their performances. A universal approach to performance management will help managers answer questions such as:

  • How can I best measure performance?

  • What is the best way to give my employees feedback on their development?

  • How should I communicate to employees?

  • How to manage poor performance?

Implementing a regular or systematic performance appraisal system; it is recommended that a system is developed in consultation with peers, workers and managers (if there isn’t a system in place). It is highly critical that there are defined linkages between appraisals, rewards and outcomes.


Written by:

Girish Rohra Chawla

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