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Performance appraisal model

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I. Contents of getting performance appraisal model

Many appraisal types exist; from traditional to trendy, simple to complex, highly structured to
open-ended. Some of these types have been shown to work better but the reality is that
appraisal types and systems should be as unique to a company as possible. If you are searching
for an employee appraisal method that provides meaningful data, ensure that no matter what it
suits the culture of your workplace and we recommend that you keep it as simple as it can be.
Here is a great overview of the most popular and common appraisal methods for a variety of
business models.
To begin, we must first analyze the parties involved with the various appraisal methods. Overall,
performance appraisals can be set up to incorporate feedback from 3 different sources2:

Feedback from the employee being evaluated

Feedback from the manager/supervisor
Feedback from other stakeholders (peers, customers etc.)

Self-Evaluation Method
Self evaluations are a great way to kick-off reviews. A self-evaluation is when the employee is
asked to judge their own performance against predetermined criteria. The advantage of this kind
of an appraisal is that the employee is allowed to give his input into his performance appraisal,
and the company can use this self-appraisal along with the standard appraisal to give a more

rounded employee review. The disadvantage is that an employee may not be able to evaluate
their own performance objectively, giving himself an artificially high performance grade and
making the self-appraisal less valuable1. Employee self-evaluations help to demystify the
appraisal process and can provide interesting insight into gaps between employee and manager
ratings. Self appraisals also help to ensure that employees have read and hopefully have analyzed
every corner of their performance. For more information on self-evaluations, please read the
emPerform post: Self-Evaluations: Useful or Not?
Technically, employees should be encouraged to keep ongoing journal notes to document
performance milestones and use those to support their self-assessments; however, technology is
causing this process to shift as employees can now use instant feedback tools within appraisal
systems to send performance notes directly to their managers library of notes. (see emPerform
This method, often called MBO, is designed to include employees in the goal-setting process and
define success by measuring accomplishments against a clearly established set of objectives. If
managers and employees begin the year by working together to list these objectives, the end-ofyear appraisal can simply compare each goal with its final outcome. This method is simple, clear,
and empowers employees in the goal setting process but it disregards non-goal-related success
Graphic Rating Scales
This is probably the most common. Using this method, a supervisor rates an employee on a
numerical scale for a defined set of behaviors, traits, competencies, or completed projects. This
method gains points for simplicity and functionality, but it only works well if both managers and
employees share the same understanding of each point on the scale (for example, on a scale of
one to ten, is an average performance given a mid-range rating or the lowest rating?) or if the
rating categories focus on traits rather than behaviour. For more information about rating
scales, see The Traditional Rating Scales: Needs Improvement
Weighted Checklist Method
A weighted checklist presents the evaluator with a set of yes or no questions that each carry a
predetermined value. Questions may include, for example, Does the employee follow directions
carefully? or Does the employee make frequent mistakes? The numerical value of each
answer is then added and applied to an overall determination of his or her success. These kinds

of questions must be both worded and weighted carefully or the results can become confusing.
But when properly executed, the method is clear and allows easy comparison between each
employee and the next.
Paired Comparison Analysis
This option relies on a grid that presents numerical values for each employee based on an
established set of criteria. After the values are collected, they can be reviewed against other
values presented in the same format and affected by the same factors. This method can be
complex and labor intensive if done manually, but it allows the kinds of apple-and-orange
comparisons that often present philosophical challenges to HR managers who need to
standardize evaluation methods across groups of employees facing very different tasks.
Essay Evaluation Method
The Essay method is the grandfather of methods. This method provides managers with an openended opportunity to describe an employees strengths and weaknesses in short essays. Essay
evaluations give supervisors a chance to assess behaviors within a complex context, but it
removes some of the easy comparability of the paired-comparison method above and leaves a lot
of room for confusion. Essay Evaluations are very unstructured and are often riddled with bias. If
this was one of the first methods used to evaluate performance it is no wonder why evaluations
have been given a bad rep. There is still a place for essays, but in a different form. Todays essays
are shorter, specific, and usually used to support a rating. Appraisal software like emPerform also
gives manager writing assistant tools for tackling such compositions.
Critical Incident Method
Like the essay method above, the critical incident method allows supervisors to describe an
employees excellent or poor response to situations arising during the year in question. This
method keeps answers open-ended, flexible, multi-dimensional, and respectful of context. But it
also resists standardization and comparison, and if the incidents arent recorded and discussed as
they occur, a subjective assessment made weeks or months later may have limited value.
Gathering feedback from multiple sources is a great way to ensure employees are rated fairly and
accurately. 360 feedback incorporates data from peers, supervisors and even outside parties like
customers and suppliers. This broad feedback can provide a multi-dimensional picture of
performance that can cancel the influence of bias or outlying data points. The goal is to paint an
accurate picture of employees strengths and weaknesses. 360 feedback can be collected to gauge

performance but can also be executed solely for development (often the case with
leadership/executive 360s).
There are two types of 360 feedback that can be incorporated into appraisals:
Structured 360 Feedback
This 360 method gathers appraisal information from an employees peers and direct reports as
well as his or her supervisor in a very structured manner. This method traditionally involves the
formal collection of information from many people using a survey. This method can be
expensive and time consuming to execute depending on a companys delivery. If you are looking
for an appraisal software system, ensure that the one you choose has an integrated survey tools
for conducting 360 surveys and incorporating the results into the reviews (see emPerform 360).
This cuts back on cost and gives companies the control over executing as many custom 360s as
Unstructured 360 Feedback
The impact of using Unstructured feedback is relatively new in the appraisal world and is
making a huge difference in performance management and business success. Unstructured
feedback is typically being collected year-round via technology-enabled appraisals where
comments, journal notes, and feedback are collected as it happens. This type of feedback serves
as a summary of performance throughout the cycle and is greatly increasing the accuracy of
appraisals as managers have access to a library of notes to help support evaluation decisions. (see
emPerform tag).
A winning appraisal strategy is the one that best suits your organization, but dont be scared to
shake things up to get better results. Revisit your appraisal forms and the collection methods
regularly to see if it is being used properly and to its best potential by managers and staff.
Incorporating elements from all types in the simplest way possible will ensure that your
organization is doing all that it can to develop employee performance year-round instead of
treating performance management as an annual event.
If you are looking for performance appraisal software that if flexible enough to accommodate
your unique appraisal methods, consider emPerform, a platform with multiple utilities that can
help you create the appraisal models that best suit your needs. emPerform offers an unlimited
number of custom appraisals and workflows so that you can tailor your model regardless of
company structure and requirements

III. Performance appraisal methods

1. Essay Method
In this method the rater writes down the employee
description in detail within a number of broad categories
like, overall impression of performance, promoteability
of employee, existing capabilities and qualifications of
performing jobs, strengths and weaknesses and training
needs of the employee. Advantage It is extremely
useful in filing information gaps about the employees
that often occur in a better-structured checklist.
Disadvantages It its highly dependent upon the writing
skills of rater and most of them are not good writers.
They may get confused success depends on the memory
power of raters.

2. Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales

statements of effective and ineffective behaviors
determine the points. They are said to be
behaviorally anchored. The rater is supposed to
say, which behavior describes the employee
performance. Advantages helps overcome rating
errors. Disadvantages Suffers from distortions
inherent in most rating techniques.

3. Rating Scale

Rating scales consists of several numerical scales

representing job related performance criterions such as
dependability, initiative, output, attendance, attitude etc.
Each scales ranges from excellent to poor. The total
numerical scores are computed and final conclusions are
derived. Advantages Adaptability, easy to use, low cost,
every type of job can be evaluated, large number of
employees covered, no formal training required.
Disadvantages Raters biases

4. Checklist method
Under this method, checklist of statements of traits of
employee in the form of Yes or No based questions is
prepared. Here the rater only does the reporting or
checking and HR department does the actual evaluation.
Advantages economy, ease of administration, limited
training required, standardization. Disadvantages Raters
biases, use of improper weighs by HR, does not allow
rater to give relative ratings

5.Ranking Method
The ranking system requires the rater to rank his
subordinates on overall performance. This consists in
simply putting a man in a rank order. Under this method,
the ranking of an employee in a work group is done
against that of another employee. The relative position of
each employee is tested in terms of his numerical rank. It
may also be done by ranking a person on his job
performance against another member of the competitive
Advantages of Ranking Method
Employees are ranked according to their
performance levels.
It is easier to rank the best and the worst
Limitations of Ranking Method
The whole man is compared with another
whole man in this method. In practice, it is very difficult
to compare individuals possessing various individual
This method speaks only of the position where an
employee stands in his group. It does not test anything
about how much better or how much worse an employee
is when compared to another employee.
When a large number of employees are working,
ranking of individuals become a difficult issue.
There is no systematic procedure for ranking
individuals in the organization. The ranking system does
not eliminate the possibility of snap judgements.

6. Critical Incidents Method

The approach is focused on certain critical behaviors of

employee that makes all the difference in the
performance. Supervisors as and when they occur record
such incidents. Advantages Evaluations are based on
actual job behaviors, ratings are supported by
descriptions, feedback is easy, reduces recency biases,
chances of subordinate improvement are high.
Disadvantages Negative incidents can be prioritized,
forgetting incidents, overly close supervision; feedback
may be too much and may appear to be punishment.

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