Performance Appraisals

Regular performance appraisals should be administered to all employees. However, this policy should only be included in the handbook if your organization gives regular appraisals. Limitations should not be placed on your organization if they cannot be met.

For example, it can be harmful to state that appraisals will be given annually if they are generally not completed on time or at all. If included, this policy should provide the minimum standards, rather than the desired standard, for giving appraisals. We also encourage a statement that an appraisal doesn’t automatically signify a pay increase.

If your organization qualifies for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), managers should not reference an employee absences due to FMLA leave in a performance appraisal, especially in a negative fashion. If the employee is excessively absent or tardy, any references in a performance appraisal or disciplinary document should specifically reference all “non-FMLA” absences. Employees may not be penalized for taking unpaid leave that qualifies under the FMLA.

Please note that many states impose greater leave requirements on employers than the federal government. If such a state law applies, the points discussed in this paragraph could also be relevant to any form of employment leave granted by state law.


Performance appraisals will generally be done annually for all employees. More frequent reviews may be given to newly hired individuals and to those who have been promoted during a given year. Managers may conduct special performance reviews of an employee at any time when the employee’s performance, good or bad, warrants special consideration. The performance appraisal has the following objectives:

  • To evaluate how the job has been performed.
  • To discuss performance with the individual concerned.
  • To determine, where necessary, how performance can be improved.
  • To evaluate short-term and long-term goals and potential.

The occasion of a performance review does not automatically signify a pay increase.


Performance appraisal is a continuous process and is not intended as an activity restricted to an annual review. Managers and employees are encouraged to carry out informal, regular discussions concerning job performance throughout the year.

This is a sample handbook policy only. Your organization is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. Accordingly, this document should not be used or adopted by your organization without first being reviewed and approved by a licensed attorney in your area. Brotherhood Mutual assumes no liability in preparation and distribution of this sample document.

Working Together © 2022 Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Updated 9/2021.