International Journal of Academic Research and ReflectionVol. 5, No. 3, 2017 ISSN 2309-0405 Progressive Academic Publishing, UKPage 66 CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL Dr. Tabitha G Murerwa ABSTRACT Organizations have developed distinct and discrete categories for numerous functions and activities. Career development and performance appraisal are set apart from each other. Career development and performance appraisal, organizations make use of the relationship between these two functions. When career development and performance appraisal are viewed as supporting each other, each becomes stronger. Each is in a better position to achieve the broad organizational objective of increasing the contributions of human resources. To achieve mutual support, career development and performance appraisal do not need to be functionally intertwined –that is, they don't need to be done at the same time, by the same people, or even from the same part of the organization. They don’t require the togetherness of most marriages, but mutual respect would help. Thus the two systems are separate but related. Each maintains its own functions and methods, but each benefits from shared objectives, recognition, concern, and communication. If the systems remain separate, how can they be mutually supportive? The answer involves filling in some gaps that now exist in each. Those gaps concern the key players –managers and employees –and their roles. Typically, managers take charge of performance appraisals while employees take charge of career development. A relationship between the two paves the way for a more active role for managers in career development and a more active role for employees in performance appraisal. Such a relationship requires a shift in the traditional view of performance appraisal and career development. They should be seen not as management tools (used for directing and controlling employees) but as management values. As management values, both processes are the joint responsibilities of managers and employees, and both are essential to the development and contributions of human talent. This poses a significant challenge for the human resources (HR) professional, who will need to act as the catalyst bringing performance appraisal and career development together and keeping their relationship mutually beneficial. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL Performance appraisal has been little more than a written “report card,” sometimes with additional face-to-face meetings for goal setting (for example, management by objectives). Typically, however, the performance-appraisal process is merely an annual occasion for managers to assess the performance of those they supervise and, often, to link that assessment to compensation decisions.