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Critical incident method of performance appraisal

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I. Contents of getting critical incident method of performance


appraisal
==================
Performance appraisals are used to evaluate employees' work and productivity, recognize their
accomplishments, identify training opportunities and help the worker develop new skills and set
performance goals for the coming year. Appraisals take many forms, depending on the nature of
the business and its organizational culture. The critical incident appraisal method is based on
objective, observable employee performance, rather than subjective ratings or rankings used in
other appraisal methods.
Critical Incident Definition
Critical incident is a misleading term. It suggests something bad happening, such as a serious
workplace accident. But in performance appraisals, critical incidents can be both good and bad.
What makes them critical is that they are significant in some way, to the employee, manager,
work group or the customer. It can be a difficult project or assignment that was successfully
completed; a situation that challenges a worker's understanding and attitudes; or an incident that
involved conflict, anger, or criticism.
Appraisal Method
The manager describes, in writing, an employee's behavior in critical incidents that occur
throughout the evaluation period. He documents what happened, who was involved and what the
employee did or failed to do. Managers document incidents as they occur, and they may be
positive and negative events. The documented critical incidents are used in preparing the

performance evaluation to identify employee strengths and opportunities for improvement.


Because the nature and severity of critical incidents may vary, managers often assign a score to
each incident. For example, offending an important client would be a negative critical incident
with potentially serious consequences that would outweigh many positive critical incidents.
Advantages
The critical incident method has the advantage of being task-focused. It focuses on the essential
duties of an employee's job and how well she performs those duties. It is based on direct
observation by the manager and not second-hand accounts. In this approach, managers gather
information over time. They keep a log of positive and negative incidents, recorded at the time
they occurred. So, the annual performance appraisal is not overly influenced by an employee's
most recent accomplishments or problems.
It is an effective relationship building tool because the manager must spend more time in the
work area observing and interacting with employees, rather than in her office. This gives her the
opportunity to get to know each worker, to provide coaching and guidance; and to get feedback
on what is working well and what is not. In addition, the critical incident log provides the
required performance or behavior documentation necessary for a manager to take disciplinary
action with an employee.
Process Improvement Tool
Health care, power plants, aviation and other high risk industries use critical incidents as the
starting point for improving processes and reducing risks. Critical incident documentation can
identify areas where workers routinely have problems; where the work flow backs up; or where
safety or security issues occur. The manager can interview those involved to collect information
to supplement his own observations of the incident to help clarify the problem and identify
solutions.
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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
group.
Advantages of Ranking Method
Employees are ranked according to their
performance levels.
It is easier to rank the best and the worst
employee.
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
traits.
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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