HR Glossary  /  Performance and People Management  /  Performance reviews

Performance reviews

What is a performance review? 

A performance review is a component of performance management where an employee’s work responsibilities are critiqued and summarized for a given period. Historically, this period would be a whole year, but organizations are increasingly favouring more frequent appraisals, such as quarterly or monthly.

What is the purpose of a performance review? 

They help to keep everyone informed about progress, clarify expectations (and consequences), develop strategies for improvement, and recognize excellence. All these functions contribute to effective performance management. Performance appraisals are also often the occasion and justification for raises and other compensation changes. 

What does a it include? 

There is no single correct way to structure a performance review, but some elements are essential. Every employee’s performance appraisal should always include feedback and assessments from their direct supervisor, and appraisals should always include self-assessments. Organizations can also use a 360-degree feedback model, which solicits feedback from peers, customers, and colleagues on other teams to provide a holistic understanding of an employee’s performance. Employee perceptions of themselves should be compared with the assessment from their supervisor to provide insight into how and why the employee performs the way they do, and the reasons why they are successful or falling short. 

What is HR’s role in the process? 

HR should develop and provide standard performance review forms (or adopt technologies to use). HR should ensure that these forms and tools are supplemented with policies and online training to clarify their purpose and use. 


  • Performance Management tool 
  • Best Practice Guide 
  • Review Forms
  • Modern Management Training: Engage, Motivate, and Inspire (Immersive) 

Simplify your annual review process and download our free Employer’s Guide today! This guide includes instructions for conducting reviews, a marking scheme for job criteria and responsibilities, an evaluation form for behavioural competencies and goal completion, and key metrics to measure for overall performance results.

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