Performance appraisals are one of many performance management tools that aim to ensure employees’ performance contributes to business objectives, and should be used as part of a holistic approach to managing performance. Increasingly, the value of annual performance appraisals is being challenged and some question the value of any kind of performance appraisal.

This factsheet outlines the elements of performance appraisals, unpacking the role of line managers and the skills they require to carry out performance reviews. It looks at changing methods of gathering and giving feedback - a critical part of the performance appraisal. The factsheet also explains what both parties should do to prepare for an appraisal meeting, which should never be a top-down conversation but an open exchange of views.

CIPD viewpoint

What is performance appraisal?

Approaches to performance appraisal

How to review performance

Appraisal skills


Further reading

This factsheet was last updated by Jonny Gifford.

Jonny Gifford

Jonny Gifford: Employee Relations and Engagement Adviser

Jonny is a Research Adviser at the CIPD, specialising in employee relations and engagement, other interests include CSR, diversity, leadership and organisational development. He has had a varied career in researching employment and people management issues

Prior to joining CIPD in 2012, he was Principal Researcher at Roffey Park Institute and before that, Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). Jonny has an MA in Social Research and Comparative Labour Studies from Warwick University and a BA in Social Anthropology from Sussex University.

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