What is a Performance Review?

A ‘performance review’ is a formal process in which an employee’s job performance and contributions are assessed and evaluated by their supervisor or manager. The purpose of a performance review is to provide feedback, discuss strengths and areas for improvement, set performance goals, and make decisions related to promotions, salary adjustments, or other performance-related matters. Performance reviews are typically conducted on a regular basis, such as annually or semi-annually, although the frequency can vary depending on the organisation’s policies and practices.

Here are some key aspects of a performance review:

Evaluation of Performance: During a performance review, the supervisor evaluates the employee’s performance based on predefined criteria and expectations. This can include assessing the employee’s job knowledge, skills, productivity, quality of work, communication, teamwork, problem-solving abilities, adherence to policies and procedures, and overall contributions to the organization.

Feedback and Discussion: The performance review provides an opportunity for the supervisor to provide constructive feedback to the employee regarding their performance. This feedback can be both positive, acknowledging areas where the employee has excelled, and constructive, identifying areas where improvement is needed. The review typically involves a two-way discussion, allowing the employee to share their perspectives, ask questions, and seek clarifications.

Goal Setting: Performance reviews often involve setting goals and objectives for the upcoming performance period. These goals are aligned with the employee’s role, departmental or organisational objectives, and personal development needs. Clear, specific, and measurable goals are established to guide the employee’s performance and provide a basis for future performance evaluations.

Development and Training Opportunities: Performance reviews may identify areas where the employee could benefit from additional training, professional development, or skill enhancement. This can involve discussing opportunities for learning, attending workshops or courses, or participating in mentoring or coaching programs. The review process helps identify areas where the employee can grow and improve their skills.

Performance Improvement Plans: In cases where an employee’s performance falls below expectations, a performance review may trigger the development of a performance improvement plan (PIP). A PIP outlines specific actions, timelines, and support mechanisms to help the employee address performance gaps and improve their job performance.

Performance-related Decisions: Performance reviews often influence important decisions related to the employee’s career progression, salary adjustments, promotions, or other performance-related matters. The review serves as a basis for recognising exceptional performance, addressing performance concerns, and making informed decisions that align with the organisation’s talent management strategies.

It’s important to note that performance reviews should be conducted in a fair, objective, and constructive manner, focusing on providing meaningful feedback and fostering employee development. The process should be supported by documentation, such as performance records, work samples, and documented incidents or achievements, to ensure accuracy and consistency. Effective performance reviews contribute to employee engagement, professional growth, and the overall success of the organisation.