Different Performance Appraisal Methods Give You Different Results

Performance appraisal methods differ in suitability and effectiveness.

Adopt the right methods for maximum results. Do not just follow any method used by other organizations. Just because it is effective there, it does not mean it is suitable for your organization. There are different circumstances.

The appraisal methods stated herein are some of the many methods used in employee performance appraisal. Some refer to a list of eleven different methods. Here, there are twelve. You will remember that performance appraisal is one of the things you need to do in performance management.

Let us look at the various performance appraisal methods.

  1. Graphic Rating Scale
  2. This method assesses the position of employees between the minimum and maximum of a rating scale.

    You can use this method to rate a general group of employees such as clerks or general workers.

    It is suitable for task-oriented jobs.

    The problem with this method is that it lacks total job evaluation elements. Thus, you cannot truly see the actual performance of the employee.

    But it is believed that this is the most commonly used method now.

  3. Forced Choice
  4. The forced choice method is another performance appraisal method you can use.

    Appraisal is based on a choice from a number of pre-written statements. There is no provision for a rating that you think falls between two choices. This is the reason why it is called forced choice.

    The end result is a "bell-shaped" evaluation results. The majority of employees will fall around the middle range. There are very few people in the non-performance and outstanding performance ranges of the scale.

    This method does not truly reflect actual performance level of employees. One of the risks is that superiors may rate all their people within the middle range. This does not serve any purpose. But it can lead to dissatisfaction.

  5. Management by Objectives
  6. Management by Objectives (MBO) is one of the more popular performance appraisal methods among organizations.

    MBO requires you to establish the objectives of the job.

    The questions asked in performance appraisal is whether these objectives are achieved by employees and to what extent.

    This method is suitable for assessing the performance of managers.

  7. Essay Type Method
  8. This performance appraisal method requires you to prepare descriptive narratives to assess performance on the job.

    It is either structured or unstructured. If you use the structure method, you need to find suitable performance measures and standards.

    In unstructured method, the supervisor is required to state in essay form the performance level of the employee.

  9. Critical incidents
  10. Another appraisal method is the critical incidents method.

    This is similar to essay appraisal method. It requires the supervisor to keep a log on employees performance.

    The assessor will submit an essay on the poor or outstanding performance of the employee. The problem is that he or she may come to arbitrary conclusions.

    As in the case of the essay type of appraisal, it is necessity to keep an on-going log.

  11. Ranking and Paired Comparison
In the ranking method and paired comparison method, employees are arranged from the highest to the lowest performer.

These methods are subjective in nature and the factors used are not prepared against performance standards.

This can lead to awkwardness as people do not strictly fall within the lowest, the highest or average performers.

Other Performance Appraisal Methods

These include:

  • Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale
  • This is suitable for either professional or technical jobs.

    It is combination of the critical incident technique and the rating scale method.

    This method identifies behaviors that demonstrate high performance. But it requires the preparation of detailed performance levels ranging from 1 for very poor to 5 for very good or from 1 for extremely poor to 7 for extremely good. How good is "good" and how poor is "poor" is something that every assessor must understand well. If not the results may not reflect actual performance.

  • Weighted checklist
  • These are sets of objectives or statements on employee behavior. The assessor will determine which sets of behavior fit the employee. The supervisor is required to make a choice between "yes" and "no" answers.

  • Forced distribution
  • This is similar to the forced choice method as both end up with a "bell shape" result.

    But in forced distribution, the assessor may have to add a few employees to the very poor or outstanding in order to arrive at a required number of people for those groups.

  • Performance test
  • This is to assess whether the employee can perform the specified tasks. For example, whether a crane operator can correctly operate the the crane while on-loading or off-loading goods.
  • Team appraisal
  • Many are yet to accept this method of appraising performance.

    It does not reflect individual performance level.

    Every member of the team is given the same reward for every member of the team including those who had made minimum contribution. There is the possibility of the presence of free riders.

  • 360 degree appraisal
  • Several parties are required to assess the same employee. These include the employee himself / herself, working colleagues as internal customers, the superior, outside parties such as customers and suppliers.

    There are some organizations that use this appraisal method. It is yet to gain wide acceptance. Most organizations are not yet ready to implement this far-reaching evaluation method.

Regularity of Review

It is usual to implement fixed review dates or periods.

You may fix the review as a yearly or twice a year activity.

Performance appraisal is also conducted before an employee is confirmed in service.

Choosing the Most Suitable Performance Appraisal Methods

Take time to determine which appraisal method is the most suitable for your organization. You may want to consider using different methods for different groups of jobs.

Caution is advised. Using the wrong method can cause chaos in the workplace. Managers need to remember that not everyone accepts performance appraisal as being effective. They give more emphasis to developing their people.

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