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Introduction to performance appraisal

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I. Contents of getting introduction to performance appraisal

Performance appraisal is the process of evaluation of individual job performance in order to
make objective human resource decisions. It involves the formal evaluation of an employee's job
performance, feedback to the individual and determination of whether and how the performance
can be improved. The process of performance appraisal occurs both formally and informally.
An informal appraisal is where the manager mentions that a particular job was performed well or
poorly during the performance of the job or immediately after the job is performed. It is
conducted on a day-to-day basis. Formal appraisal occurs annually or semiannually on a
systematic basis. It has four major purposes: (1) to let employees know how their present
performance is being formally rated, (2) to identify those employees who deserve merit raises,
(3) to identify those employees who require additional training, and (4) to identify candidates for
promotion. There are four basic approaches to formal appraisal: (1) a superior's rating of
subordinates, (2) a group of superiors rating subordinates, (3) a group of peers rating a colleague,
and (4) subordinates' rating of bosses. A performance appraisal system has the characteristics of
all feedback control methods. Through this system, managers can obtain information related to
employees, their job performance and the job outcomes. The effectiveness of a performance
appraisal depends on the quality of the control techniques used such as establishing standards,
information, and corrective action.

As performance is multidimensional, performance appraisal methods must consider the various

aspects of a job. Performance rating can either be behavior-oriented or result-oriented. Within the

behavior-oriented category, two important assessment means are graphic rating scales and
behaviorally anchored rating scales.
The appraisal should measure both, the manager's performance in accomplishing goals and plans
as well as his performance as a manager. The system of measuring performance against
verifiable goals should be supplemented by the appraisal of a manager as a manager.
Performance appraisal requires the identification of the strengths and the weaknesses of an
individual. This identification process proves to be the starting point of a career plan.
The formulation of a career strategy involves several steps. These include preparation of a
personal profile, development of long-range personal and professional goals, analysis of the
environmental threats and opportunities, identification of personal strengths and weaknesses,
development of strategic career alternatives, consistency testing and strategic choice,
development of short-range career objectives and action plans, development of contingency
plans, implementation of career plans and monitoring of progress.

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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