Login
+852 3001-6560
Request a demo

Types of Performance Appraisal Systems

Frequenty Asked Questions

Types of Performance Appraisal Systems

COMPARATIVE APPROACHES

RANKING

Method
The process of comparing employees’ performance against others and listing employees in order from highest achievers to lowest achievers. This can be a general ranking within the group or one which is separated out into different skill areas, or competencies required to perform the job.

Advantages
Generally simple to use and easy to implement.

Disadvantages
Highly subjective and can be inaccurate, particularly when the employees being compared are not performing similar tasks or where the manager does not have in-depth knowledge of the job requirements. There is no way of telling whether performance is objectively good or bad, it merely ranks employees against each-other, so they could all be high-achievers or low-achievers. High potential for bias and separating mid-ranked employees can also be challenging.

GRADING

Method
The process of rating an employees’ performance in terms of set categories, such as poor, satisfactory, or highly satisfactory by matching performance with the definitions of each category.

Advantages
Addresses each employee’s performance against objective criteria without comparing to other employees.

Disadvantages
Focusses on individual performance alone and does not provide a good idea of where the employees’ performance sits in relation to others. This can also be too simplistic and subjective.

FORCED DISTRIBUTION

Method
A variation of grading whereby a set proportion of employees must fall within set categories, similar to that of a normal curve/bell-shaped curve.

Advantages
Avoids managers rating all employees as satisfactory, unsatisfactory or exceptional due to the fixed percentages required in each grade. High performers and under-performers are easier to spot.

Disadvantages
Employees can feel this method is harsh, may damage trust and potentially create harmful rivalry between staff.

ATTRIBUTE APPROACHES

GRAPHIC SCALES / RATING

Method
The process of attributing an employees’ performance (including personal characteristics and/or work behaviours) to a representative numeric scale from 1 to 5. Unsatisfactory performance is usually denoted by “1”, and performance which exceeds expectations is usually rated at 5.

Advantages
Easy to use.

Disadvantages
This is a particularly unreliable method of assessing performance. Assessable criteria may not be suited to all jobs, criteria often overlaps and it can be hard to justify low ratings.

CRITICAL INCIDENTS

Method
The process whereby a supervisor keeps a journal of times when an employee has performed particularly well or poorly on the job over a period of time. The supervisor draws upon these critical incidents to assess the employees overall performance level.

Advantages
If the journal is kept over a long period of time, it can be an accurate and objective way of assessing actual work behaviour and outputs and provides transparency.

Disadvantages
Success will depend on the manager taking accurate, objective and timely notes, but largely focusses on past behavior and examples of high performance or low performance and when the manager chooses to record incidents.

BEHAVIOURAL APPROACHES

BEHAVIOURALLY ANCHORED RATING SCALES (BARS)

Method
An extension of the critical incidents approach, the BARS technique involves creating a list of job-specific behaviors (from highly desirable through to unsatisfactory) based on different elements of job performance, e.g. job knowledge, attendance, productivity etc.

Advantages
Job-specific and provides clear performance standards in a number of areas, is objective and more transparent by avoiding general number scales.

Disadvantages
Can be difficult to create, takes a lot of time to prepare and needs to be created individually for each job to be assessed.

Superior performance

Always early to work and completed preparatory tasks before opening time, including:

  • sorted mail and distributed deliveries to appropriate desks
  • checked phone messages, passed messages on to appropriate people
  • turned off phone night-mode
  • checked all emails and send to appropriate person / flag for revisiting
  • checked fax machine for new messages and distributed appropriately
  • looks professional and with a positive demeanour
  • checks that front desk looks neat and tidy, office plants are watered and area is free of any tripping hazards
  • cleans office kitchen area and unpacks dishwasher
  • turns “open” sign around on front door.

Very good performance

Mostly arrives early to work and completed preparatory tasks before opening time, and has:

  • sorted mail and distributed deliveries to appropriate desks
  • checked phone messages, pass messages on to appropriate people
  • turn off phone night-mode
  • checked all emails
  • check fax machine for new messages and distributes appropriately
  • looks professional and with a positive demeanour
  • turns “open” sign around on front door.

Good performance

Sometimes arrives early to work and completes preparatory tasks before office opens:

  • sorts and distributes mail
  • checks phone and fax messages and distributes to appropriate people
  • presentable appearance
  • turns off phone night mode
  • turns “open” sign around on front door.

Acceptable performance

Arrives on time to work and gets preparatory tasks completed as office opens:
• Checks phone and fax messages and distributes to appropriate people,
• turns off phone night mode and
• turns “open” sign around on front door.

Marginal performance Occasionally arrives late to work,
• sometimes forgets to turn “open” sign around and turn off night-mode switch.

Poor performance Is often late to work, frequently forgets to turn off phone night-mode, appearance is often unprofessional.

Unsatisfactory performance Often/always late for work, appearance is unprofessional, poor demeanour, forgets to/does not distribute mail, messages, faxes or emails to people, misses phone calls etc.

 

BEHAVIOURAL OBSERVATION SCALES

Method
The process of creating a list of preferred behavior required to execute a job gathered by the critical incidents method. Employees are assessed on how regularly they display these behaviors on a scale ranging from 1 to 5. “Almost never” equates to “1” and “almost always” equates to “5”.

Advantages
Similar to BARS (see above)

Disadvantages
Similar to BARS (see above)

ESSAY / NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION

Method
Involves a manager writing down their opinion of the employees’ work-related behavior in their own words. Generally descriptions will be provided in response to a few broad questions relating to the employees’ performance.

Advantages
This technique is useful when used in addition to other methods of appraisal to provide context and help qualify ratings.

Disadvantages
Is very subjective and impacted by managers writing skills and their ability to convey their opinion effectively. This can also be very time consuming and is difficult to find common trends in manager essays for performance comparison purposes.

MANAGEMENT BY OBJECTIVES

Method
A collaborative approach whereby a manager and employee agree on set objectives and responsibility areas and meet to review results at regular intervals. Performance will be evaluated depending on the achievement of goals.

Advantages
Job specific, is very clear and can be highly motivating. Ensures achievement of short term goals and continued improvement.

Disadvantages
Can result in a lack of freedom to be innovative and a lack of ownership of decisions and commitment. It is hard to compare performance, measure improvement and can lead to the setting of “easy to achieve” or short term goals.

FORCED CHOICE

Method
Selection of a number of explanations which reflect the employees work performance most accurately. Outcomes are graded by using a hidden formula.

Advantages
Manager prejudice is diminished due to the undisclosed formula used to assess employees.

Disadvantages
Needs to be implemented by experts so can be difficult, expensive and take a long time.

FIELD REVIEW

Method
A technique whereby appraisers and human resources specialists come together to discuss apraisee results.

Advantages
Effective in reducing Manager prejudice and analysing performance accurately and objectively.

Disadvantages
Can by very costly, time intensive and may be met by resistance from managers.

ASSESSMENT CENTRE

Method
A technique whereby groups of employees are assessed using a variety of methods, simulations and exercises. May also be valuable to identify performance potential.

Advantages
Is an impartial technique which can simultaneously be a training exercise to improve performance and identify talent.

Disadvantages
Can be very costly, time intensive and unsuited to small organisations given the use of simulations.

SELF-ASSESSMENT

Method
Where an individual employee appraises their own performance to be followed up with their supervisor to discuss results and compare appraisals.

Advantages
A collaborative approach with makes sure employees are involved in the process and can help in setting goals for future performance and improve commitment.

Disadvantages
Cannot be relied upon as the only source of evaluation, there needs to be a follow up with a manager. Employee ratings often don’t match supervisor ratings and can be a source of tension.

THE BALANCED SCORECARD

Method
Designed as an organisational performance evaluation tool, the balanced scorecard assesses performance from different perspectives comprising; the customers’ view of the business, the internal environment view, growth and learning and the financial perspective.

Let us help you get things started.

Call +852 3001-6560 or

Request a demo