At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is the Connection between Performance Appraisal and Performance Management?

Carrieanne Larmore
Carrieanne Larmore

The connection between performance appraisal and performance management is that performance appraisals are the most common tool used for performance management. Performance management requires accurate tools to measure and monitor the performance of employees. Performance appraisals allow managers to evaluate performance thoroughly, while also providing the employee with goals and objectives to increase future performance. This appraisal is then passed to human resource (HR) professionals for performance management.

Purpose of performance management includes ensuring that employees are working toward a common goal, have a clear understanding of job expectations, and receive regular performance feedback. It also provides advice for improvement and usually provides rewards for good performance. The most common tool for performance management is performance appraisals since they allow HR to achieve most of their objectives in performance management. Having a performance appraisal and performance management program go hand-in-hand for most organizations since it is one of the most effective methods of achieving performance goals.

Performance appraisals allow managers to evaluate employee performance.
Performance appraisals allow managers to evaluate employee performance.

Designed by HR professionals, performance appraisals maximize the business’s efforts in performance management. They are generally passed on to the frontline managers to evaluate their own teams. Appraisals are an effective performance management tool because they force management to have open dialog with their employees about performance, development and expectations. Some companies use more progressive types of performance appraisals, such as those conducted by coworkers or the employees themselves. They type of appraisal used by the organization depends on the goals it wants to achieve, but performance appraisals carried out by management is the most common method.

Good performance appraisals are conducted on a regular basis.
Good performance appraisals are conducted on a regular basis.

Good performance appraisals are conducted on a regular basis, such as quarterly, semi-annually or yearly. Questions in the appraisal should be objective by requiring the responses to be backed up quantitatively in order to remove management bias. They allow room for management to specify goals and objectives for the employee’s to work on before the next scheduled appraisal. The appraisal should also evaluate the employee’s ability to reach previous goals and objectives that were set at the last appraisal meeting. Employees should know in advance what rewards could be expected at different levels of performance so that there are no surprises.

By having appraisals be fair, objective and goal-oriented, a business is able to better support its performance management objectives. Other tools, such as having a balanced scorecard, may also be required to monitor and improve performance appraisals. Regardless of the tools used to implement an appraisal, it is important that a performance appraisal is continuously evaluated and adjusted to make sure it is an accurate tool for measuring and evaluating employee performance. There is only a strong connection between a performance appraisal and performance management if the performance appraisal is designed and carried out appropriately.

Discussion Comments


@ZipLine-- I don't think that too much relies on appraisals. In some workplaces, appraisals are done just for the sake of having them done. Neither are the results used, nor is any feedback given to the employees. Sometimes the employee does not even see his or her evaluation. This may seem like an extreme example, but it's very common in large, bureaucratic organizations. Obviously, when used this way, appraisals do little for performance management.


@ZipLine-- I think that these are difficult questions to answer because a lot of it is subjective and depends on management and their management styles. Even though two different workplaces may implement the same appraisal method, they may achieve different levels of success.

I personally think that both employees and employers prefer subjective, unbiased appraisal systems which involve a lot of dialogue and feedback. Management by objectives, self-assessment and 360-degree appraisals are some examples. In the latter for example, an employee is evaluated by everyone-- coworkers, peers, supervisors and managers. This is one of the best appraisal systems because the results are the least biased and the most accurate.

I also think that if the right performance appraisal is used and if it is implemented correctly, appraisal can certainly fulfill the goals of performance management. The aim is to align employee objectives with those of the organization, to identify shortcomings in employees as well as the organization and work toward eliminating them so that performance improves. All of this can be done through well carried out, systematic and thorough appraisal systems.


I know which performance appraisal methods managers usually prefer. They tend to prefer straight-forward, questionnaire type individual evaluation. But which type of appraisal method do employees prefer?

And does anyone else feel that too much relies on appraisals? It's difficult to believe that appraisals can fulfill all of the goals of performance management. And if it does, should it?

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Performance appraisals allow managers to evaluate employee performance.
      By: Henry Schmitt
      Performance appraisals allow managers to evaluate employee performance.
    • Good performance appraisals are conducted on a regular basis.
      By: iofoto
      Good performance appraisals are conducted on a regular basis.