Essay by BERITAHUniversity, Bachelor's May 2004

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Purpose of Performance Appraisals

A performance appraisal can be defined as "a structured formal interaction between a subordinate and supervisor, that usually takes the form of a periodic interview [annual or semi-annual], in which the work performance of the subordinate is examined and discussed, with a view to identifying weaknesses and strengths as well as opportunities for improvement and skills development." As methods of measuring performance are imperative in assessing a company's success or failure, performance appraisals are necessary in assessing the employee base that is responsible for the company's overall performance.

Historically, the primary participants in a performance appraisal are the supervisor and the subordinate. However, as performance appraisal methods have continued to evolve, the evaluators have grown to include a greater range of participants from peers to customers. In addition to an expansion in the participant base, the function of performance appraisals has also grown to encompass various purposes.

A popular reasoning behind performance appraisals surrounds the human resources component of justifying promotions, raises and terminations. A performance appraisal provides a formal means for the employer in determining whether or not an employee has the necessary qualifications for either a promotion and/or raise.

Performance appraisals can also focus on an employee's development, as the primary objective. While utilizing performance appraisals as a career development tool for the employee, a company is able to improve communication and strengthen their employer/employee relationship. Providing performance feedback to an employee allows both the employer and employee to determine any training and development needs in order to support an employee's career growth. An employer's interest in their employee's career development can contribute to an employee's morale and loyalty to the organization. Utilizing performance appraisals as a development tool also helps stimulate communication between the employer and employee. It allows for the opportunity for...