Is A Performance Review The Same As a Performance Appraisal?

Basically, the terms performance review and performance appraisal mean exactly the same thing. Different companies use somewhat different words to describe the process of sitting down (manager and employee) to discuss, appraise, or review performance. There are other terms that also mean the same thing. Here are some synonyms:

  • employee review
  • annual review
  • annual performance review
  • performance evaluation
  • employee evaluation

We prefer terms that stress that the employee and manager work together to discuss performance, rather than terms that focus on the idea that it's the manager's job to appraise or evaluate employee performance. We recommend that companies call them reviews or discussions rather than appraisals or evaluations.

However, it's worth noting an important exception. Performance management does not mean the same thing as these other terms.

See also: What Is Performance Management? and
What Is The Difference Between Performance Management and Performance Appraisal?

About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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We Believe

  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?