Methods of Performance Appraisals (PA)

The performance appraisal methods may be classified into three categories as shown below:
Performance Appraisal Methods:
Individual’s evaluation methods:
1) Confidential report
2) Essay evaluation
3) Critical incidents
4) Checklists
5) Graphic rating scale
6) Behaviourally anchored rating scales
7) Forced choice method
8) MBO
Multiple person evaluation methods:
1) Ranking
2) Paired comparison
3) Forced distribution.
Other methods:
1) Group Appraisal
2) HRA
3) Assessment centre
4) Filed view.
Individual Evaluation methods:
Under the individual evaluation methods of merit rating, employees are evaluated one at time without comparing them with other employees in the organization.
Confidential report: It is mostly used in government organizations. It is a descriptive report prepared generally at the end of every year by the employee’s immediate superior. The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the subordinate. The report is not data based. The impressions of the superior about the subordinate are merely recorded, it does not offer any feedback to the appraisee. The appriasee is not very sure about why his rating have fallen despite his best efforts, why others are rated high when compared to him, How to rectify his mistakes if any, on what basis he is going to be evaluated next year. Since the report is generally not made public and hence no feedback is available, the subjective analysis of the superior is likely to be hotly contested. In recent years, due to pressure from courts and trade unions, the details of a negative confidential report are given to the appraisee
Essay evaluation:
Under this method the rater is asked to express the strong as well as weak points of the employee’s behaviour. This technique is normally used with a combination of the graphic rating scale because the rater can elaborately present the scale by substantiating an explanation for his ratings. While preparing the essay on the employees the rater considers the following factor: (1) job knowledge and potential of the employees,(2) Employee’s understanding of the company’s programs , policies, objectives etc. (3) The employee’s relations with co-workers and superiors, (4) the employee’s general planning, organizing and controlling ability (5) The attitudes and perceptions of the employees in general.

Essay evaluation is a non-quantitative technique. This method is advantageous in at least one sense, i.e. the essay provides of a good deal of information about the employees and also reveals more about the evaluator. The essay evaluation method however suffers from the following limitations.
It is highly subjective; the supervisor may write a biased essay . The employees who are sycophants will be evaluated more favourably than others employees.
Some evaluators may be poor in writing essays on employee performance. Others may be superficial in explanation and use flowery language which may not reflect the actual performance of the employees. It is very difficult to find effective writers now a days.
The appraiser is required to find time prepare the essay. A busy appraiser may write the essay hurriedly without properly assessing the actual performance of the worker. On the other hand, if the appraiser takes a long time then it becomes uneconomical from the point of view of the firm, because the time of the evaluator (supervisor) is costly.
Critical incident techniques:
Under this method the manager prepares a list of statements of eventually effective and ineffective behaviour of an employee. These critical incidents or events represent the outstanding or poor behaviour of employees on the job. The manager maintains logs on each employees, whereby he periodically records critical incidents of the worker’s behaviour. At the end of the rating period, these recorded critical incidents are used in the evaluation of the workers’ performance.
Source: HRM text book.

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