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Traditional methods of performance appraisal

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I. Contents of getting traditional methods of performance

The top-down performance appraisal method is a traditional method by which a manager is the
sole evaluator of his employees or subordinates. This approach has certain pros and cons relative
to more contemporary 360-degree approaches where employees are evaluated from the top and
by colleagues, customers and partners.
Appraisal Basics
A performance appraisal is a periodic review of an employee's performance relative to his job
expectations. The purpose of a performance appraisal is to motivate employees by providing
positive reinforcement of good performance and identifying areas for growth. Some companies
misuse performance appraisals, causing employees to view them largely as points at which the
manager decides whether to offer a raise or bonus. Instead, they should function as a goal and
performance review and a chance to set new or revised goals going forward.
In a top-down appraisal, the manager and employee typically meet in person to review the
employee's performance. Appraisals often balance a range of objective and subjective evaluation
criteria. Often, the manager follows a predefined evaluation format and scores the employee in a
number of job-related performance areas. This score may include numerical ratings or qualitative
input by the manager. The manager usually goes through each scored area and offers comments
specific to each item.

Managers make several common mistakes in evaluations. Being too strict or lenient is common.
This is where the manager has a scoring system that either overly criticizes performance or does
not offer constructive feedback. The halo effect can cause appraisers to over-score an employee
across the board because of a general liking for him. Inaccurate scoring on various attributes can
confuse the employee. Some managers are simply biased in their scoring because of a personal
like or dislike for the employee.
A performance appraisal should not include major surprises. Managers should communicate
feedback in an ongoing manner to avoid this. Employees should know appraisal standards so that
appraisals align with expectations. Companies need fair and consistent appraisal systems for
managers to protect against possible lawsuits for discrimination. Companies should consider
auditing managers to avoid bias or personal feelings from entering the process. Input from
employees during the evaluation is important.

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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