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Definition of performance appraisal

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I. Contents of getting definition of performance appraisal

A performance appraisal system is an integral employee practice of the macro human resources
(HR) framework of an organization. It is a formal--and at times informal--and documented
process of the performance of workers, professionals and other staff members of an organization.
All professionally managed businesses and enterprises have performance appraisal systems to
measure the intrinsic worth and work performance of employees and encourage, motivate and
reward them based on their performances.
A performance appraisal system is part of the HR planning process of an organization. Welldefined structures, frameworks and procedures define a workable and effective performance
appraisal system. A systematic and timely use of the system reflects the commitment of business
owners, enterprise top management and HR personnel toward their employees and extended
workforce. Its deployment and usage involves detailed and periodic assessment and grading of
an employee's overall performance, future potential, organizational commitment and the
resulting promotions and rewards.
Detailed Employee Appraisal
Performance appraisals can be done semiannually or annually depending on specific
organizational policies. Some appraisals can be of shorter duration for new inductees and trainee
employees. IT firms and many technology-centric businesses tend to have quarterly performance
appraisals of employees. An employee's performance over the defined period is placed under
scrutiny. He is evaluated on various parameters and organization-centric metrics such as

teamwork ethic, consistency in job performance, individual performance, professional attitude,

goal orientation and targets achieved.
HR Department's Strategic Role
The HR department of an organization plays a strategic role in establishing an organization's
performance appraisal system. HR personnel and occasionally external HR management
consultants devise the structured templates, employee evaluation worksheets, detailed
questionnaires and other performance evaluation documents. Business unit managers,
supervisors and other project leaders fill up the forms, develop and scrutinize reports generated
and formally assess the employees along with the HR team. Rewards, revised compensation
packages, incentives and pay raises are then given based on the recommendations and reviews of
respective managers.
Immediate Boss/Manager's Influence
During the course of employment in an organization, most employees work under or report to
immediate supervisors or managers. An immediate boss or senior executive often has the closest
and up-front view of an employee's work ethic, specific roles and responsibilities, capabilities
and overall performance during a particular time period. The inputs, reports and reviews of
employees under her stewardship play a crucial role in an organizational performance appraisal
system and can often make the difference between a timely promotion and maintaining of status
Organizational Benefits
An effectively framed and accepted performance appraisal system showcases the professional
working standards and governance ethics of an organization. Performance appraisals and reviews
keep employees competitive and committed about their defined roles and responsibilities. HR
top management use tools and techniques in performance appraisal systems to keep track of the
regular performers and occasional laggards and nonperforming employees. This checks-andbalances system and the cycle of rewards and benefits keep employees motivated and impacts
long-term organizational performance.


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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