Performance Appraisal Form:
What is it and why you need one

The performance appraisal form explained here is intended as a guide in the process of preparing the appraisal form for use by your organization.

You can design appraisal forms in the way best suited to organizational needs.

There is no particular method of performance evaluation in a format that is suitable for every case and every occasion for all times in an organization. Methods can change and must change as and when a better method is found that is suitable.

Your organization may even want to do away with performance appraisal and appraisal forms with it. You may want to concentrate on improving the competence and skills of your people, instead.

What is clear is that certain information is prohibited by legislation in many countries. This covers every type of performance appraisal forms.

Sample Performance Evaluation Form Shows that Context Counts
Organizations usually choose a particular type of performance appraisal form based on their policies and priorities.

It can happen, though, that organizations may just drift along not really knowing which format is the most suitable in their particular situation.

Excessive experimentation may prove expensive and disastrous.

Types of Appraisal Methods

The types of performance evaluation form available either on-line or off-line indicate the types of information required.

Appraisal methods include:

  • Forced Choice
  • Management By Objectives
  • Rating Method
  • Factors Comparison
  • Behaviorally Anchored Rating System
  • Essays / Descriptive Narratives
  • Critical Incidents
  • Team Assessment
  • 360 Degree Appraisal

Purposes of Appraisal

These include:

  • to assess annual performance;
  • to evaluate a probationer's performance to determine whether he or she is fit for continued employment;
  • for counseling purpose;
  • to determine skill and / or knowledge level for training and development purposes;
  • to assist in decision regarding task assignment, secondment or deployment;
  • as a form of opinion survey.

Performance Appraisal Form Must Comply With Employment Laws

Forms must not ask for information on date of birth and age in compliance with anti-discrimination legislation.

Employment laws such as those in the United States and European Union member-countries provide legislation on age discrimination.

For example, it is not advisable to include date of birth and age under the UK Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.

Notes in Performance Appraisal Forms

The "Notes", indicate the purpose of the appraisal and remind appraisers and appraisees on various important matters related to the appraisal.

Instruction for Performance Appraisers

Every appraiser needs guidance on the process of performance evaluation such as when and how to conduct discussions, and how to prepare annual targets.

Rating Scales

The rating scales stated in Performance Evaluation forms help supervisors how to evaluate the performance of their subordinates.

Examples of rating scales are as stated below.

  1. 5: Outstanding performance;
  2. 4: Exceeds expectation;
  3. 3: Meets expectation;
  4. 2: Improvement needed;
  5. 1: Unsatisfactory / unacceptable performance.
  1. 5: More than exceed targets;
  2. 4: Exceeds all targets;
  3. 3: Meets most targets:;
  4. 2: Meets some targets:;
  5. 1: Meets very few targets.

You may find that some of the words used in the rating scales are not easy to understand or apply. Most often you find that you need explanation to have some understanding of the level of performance required for each rating scale. They are not easily actionable.

Performance Factors

Appraisal must address corporate responsibility such as corporate social responsibility, integrity and ethics.

The development of the whole person (that is, a holistic development method) determines the way the appraisal is designed and conducted. But many organizations fail to take this into consideration.

The form usually requires performance factors such as:

  • job knowledge
  • problem solving
  • dependability
  • teamwork
  • work quality
  • communication
  • performance summary

Some organizations divide the form into 2 Parts:

    PART A:
  1. Section 1: Required administrative steps before interview
  2. Section 2: Instructions to appraiser including the requirement to give appraisee a copy of the form.
  3. Section 3: Rating Standards and Measures
  4. Section 4: Rating Performance Scales:
    • not satisfactory
    • marginal achievement
    • achieved to expectation
    • achieved more than expected
    • achieved much more than expected
    • achieved excellence / exceptional achievement

    These are subjective and do not mean much to an untrained assessor. (Also note the rating scales stated above)

    PART B:

  5. Section 5: for Appraisee (employee or assessee) to complete
  6. Section 6: General behavior description by the appraiser and / or
  7. a list of factors that the appraiser needs to evaluate

The front page usually asks for the appraisee's and appraiser's names and signature. Assessee's signature does not signify agreement to the evaluation made. The dates the appraisee and appraiser have made entries are respectively entered.

Under Section 5, the appraisee states understanding of duties and responsibilities, objectives for the past 12 months, points for discussion, score of capability and knowledge and performance.

Under Section 6, the appraiser states the purpose of appraisee's job, review discussion points, lists objectives of appraisal and compare with that of the appraisee, scores appraisee's capability and knowledge and compare.

The appraiser then discusses points of interests especially training and development needs, agrees on appraisee's career direction, discusses and agrees on skills and capability requirement and objectives to help appraisee attain the required personal training subject to budget.

Other aspects of Performance Appraisal Form

Some appraisal forms require the assessor to specify the factors upon which the assessee is evaluated.

There are performance appraisal forms that contain only a few factors for evaluation. Some organizations do this. They can focus on a few very important factors. It is easy to understand and implement.

A well-designed performance evaluation form can help facilitate a more effective employee performance management that achieves defined targets.

Lastly, do not allow the use of forms become an obsession that affects actual performance.

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