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: Organisational Behaviour Adviser

Jonny is the CIPD’s Adviser for Organisational Behaviour. He has had a varied career in researching employment and people management issues, working at the Institute for Employment Studies and Roffey Park Institute before joining the CIPD in 2012. A central focus in his work is applying behavioural science insights to core aspects of people management. Recently he has led programmes of work doing this in the areas of recruitment, reward and performance management. 

Jonny is also committed to helping HR practitioners make better use of evidence to make better decisions. He runs the CIPD Applied Research Conference, which exists to strengthen links between academic research and HR practice. 

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