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Difference between Performance Management and Performance Appraisal

Difference between Performance Management and Performance Appraisal
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In this blog, we will take a closer look at these two approaches, their differences, and when to use each one. By the end, you will have a clearer picture of whether you should opt for the ongoing journey of Performance Management or the annual assessment of Performance Appraisal to drive success in your organization.

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Definition of Performance Management

Performance Management is a strategic approach used by managers to oversee and assess employees’ work, creating an environment that enables individuals to excel in line with the organization’s objectives. It is a widely adopted practice in both the private and public sectors. Performance management is not a one-time thing. It is an ongoing journey, like a road trip that never ends. It is about helping employees succeed now and in the future, ensuring they contribute to the organization’s overall mission and growth. It’s a way for employees and organizations to work together to achieve the goals of an organization.

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Definition of Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is a systematic process within a company’s performance management system that assesses an employee’s job performance in alignment with predetermined goals. These goals are usually set annually through collaboration with their manager. It serves to provide employees with feedback, guide decisions on pay raises and bonuses, and highlight areas requiring improvement. Consistently poor performance may lead to disciplinary action or termination. Given its impact on an individual’s career, performance appraisals can induce stress in employees.

Key Differences between Performance Management and Performance Appraisal

Performance management and performance appraisal are distinct processes. Performance management is a continuous practice that emphasizes the development of individual goals aligned with organizational objectives. In contrast, performance appraisal is periodic, mainly evaluates past performance, and guides administrative decisions such as compensation and promotions. 

Understanding the differences is very important for effective employee management. Let’s know more:

Aspect Performance ManagementPerformance Appraisal
Scope and PurposeOngoing, comprehensive process that focuses on employee development and aligning individual goals with organizational objectives. It aims to improve overall performance and growth.Periodic growth is usually an annual process that primarily evaluates an employee’s past performance and provides feedback. The main goal is to assess performance and determine compensation or promotions.
Feedback and CoachingProvides regular, real-time feedback and coaching. Managers and employees engage in continuous discussions to improve performance and skills.Typically, provides feedback during the appraisal process, and coaching may not be as continuous or comprehensive.
TimingContinuous throughout the year, adapting to changing goals and objectivesUsually a one-time or annual event, with a set timeframe for the assessment
ResponsibilityInvolves both employees and managers in setting goals, monitoring progress, and improving performance. It is a collaborative effortPrimarily led by managers or supervisors, who evaluate and provide feedback to employees
GoalThe main focus is on long-term development, aligning individual performance with organizational objectives, and enhancing skills and capabilitiesFocuses primarily on short-term assessment, reviewing past performance, and setting goals for the next appraisal period
Rewards and RecognitionRecognition and rewards may occur continuously throughout the year for achieving milestones and performance improvementsRewards are often tied to the annual appraisal results, such as pay raises, bonuses, or promotions
Long-Term vs. Short-TermFocuses on long-term growth and development, nurturing skills and capabilities that benefit the employee and the organization over timePrimarily focuses on short-term performance, evaluating the employee’s recent achievements and areas for improvement within a specific timeframe

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Performance Management Vs. Performance Appraisal: Which One Should You Choose?

If you are aiming to enhance employee performance and drive your organization towards its goals, performance management emerges as the preferred choice. It offers a more extensive and strategic approach when compared to performance appraisals.

On the other hand, if your main focus is on assessing employee performance for administrative reasons like compensation and promotion determinations, then performance appraisal might serve your needs. However, it is important to emphasize that performance appraisal should not operate in isolation. For it to be truly effective, it needs to be seamlessly integrated with other performance management components, including goal setting, ongoing feedback, and employee development.


The choice between performance management and performance appraisal depends on your organizational goals. Performance management focuses on long-term growth and development, while performance appraisal assesses short-term performance for administrative purposes. Both can be valuable tools when used in harmony, with performance appraisal complementing the broader performance management approach for a well-rounded employee development strategy.

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