Performance reviews are great opportunities for entry-level and younger employees as they formulate effective career path plans for the short and long-term. The workplace equivalent of a report card, these appraisals benefit managers as well, by assisting both parties in bringing out their respective best.

The following performance aspects can be accurately assessed using an effective review process:


If an employee is struggling with tasks or lagging behind quotas, the issue could be a lack of quality training, which can be identified during a performance appraisal.

  • As noted by HR expert and author Donald Kirkpatrick, “A supervisor’s role in evaluation is akin to a sports coach in recognizing that their team can’t win unless every player can perform in peak condition.”
  • As an added benefit, common training problems that show up across work groups can reflect systemic issues that need to be addressed company-wide.


Private employers often base compensation decisions on individual merit, as well as the company’s financial performance. Review results are essential to whether or not employees have earned a salary increase.


Performance appraisals provide a look at how and what an employee is doing, with emphasis on their skill set, knowledge, initiative and participation in the company’s vision. This is a reflection of how prepared an individual is to assume greater responsibility.

  • If multiple employees are vying for the same promotion, reviews offer supervisors the documentation and hard data to justify their choice.

Disciplinary Action

Documented appraisal results constitute a legitimate paper trail in case of administrative or legal proceedings to prove employee negligence, willful disobedience, harassment or criminal behavior.

Performance Improvement

If an individual is not succeeding in their job or improving on past performance, an evaluation document can be used to develop a performance improvement plan.

  • A PIP provides more detailed goals with more frequent feedback to a struggling employee.
  • The purpose of a PIP is improvement, but if that goal falls short, it can justify disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Career Development

A productive performance review discussion helps an employee determine if they’ve chosen the right career path. Feedback is valuable in charting a future course in which both the individual and the company can put the employee’s interests and talents to the best possible use.

Fine Tuning Your Evaluation Process

As you head into 2014, here are some tips for making your performance review process as robust and effective as possible:

  • Be prepared. Maintain employee files where you record specific instances of both positive and negative performance. This will help you reflect on specific examples and conduct a meaningful review.
  • Follow up. Solicit current employee feedback by holding “pulse reviews” periodically during the year. One recent poll noted that 98 percent of employees found annual reviews “unnecessary” because participants had the daunting task of looking back at a full 12 months’ worth of events, goals and data.
  • Utilize self-reviews. These give employees a tool to reflect on – and give managers better information as workers are likely to remember more details.

Everyone wants to perform well at their job. A well-designed and implemented performance review can keep your rising stars on the right path to success – a winning outcome for them, as well as your company.

The team at Magellan Search & Staffing can provide additional insight and resources on performance appraisals and other tools to enhance your HR planning. Give us a call today! If you are looking for staffing agencies in Philadelphia, contact us today.