Types of Performance Appraisals

Performance appraisals are an important part of management.
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Your boss probably dreads your performance appraisal more than you do. That’s why she keeps getting reminder memos and emails from the human resources department about deadlines for completing evaluations. Even though most people fear and dislike their part in the performance appraisal process, appraisals are a key element in management. There are various criteria and formats for performance appraisals, and the most effective appraisals are performed consistently at least once or twice per year to assess employee achievements toward goals, strengths and weaknesses

Graphic Rating Scale

This is a common performance review type that has employee ratings such as 1 through 5 or unsatisfactory through exceeds expectations. It includes your employee self-rating and your boss’s ratings in each area of work related to your position. The appraisal includes comments from your boss and your comments, and many performance appraisals that use graphic rating scales include goal setting.

360-Degree Feedback

The 360-degree feedback performance appraisal doesn’t involve walking around in circles, but it does include input from everyone you work with. Instead of the traditional feedback from your boss only, the 360-degree appraisal includes performance input from your co-workers, subordinates if any, management and even customers and vendors. Don’t worry -- it’s anonymous, so you won’t be coming to work the day after your review knowing who gave you low points for attendance and productivity. If you're the boss, it might seem like this is a short-cut, with others reviewing your employee, but you'll still have to add your input and use it as a supplement, not a substitute.

Management by Objectives

MBO appraisals, management by objectives, are based on key results areas that are set at the beginning of the appraisal period, usually the beginning of the year. Your boss discusses the main areas in which you are expected to produce results, what kind of results the company expects and how you can achieve those results. If you're the boss, this type of performance appraisal lets you set the objectives, such as a minimum of $10,000 in sales per month or at least 100 customer service calls per day, and compare the results to measurements.


Ranking in performance appraisals compares one employee to another, putting them in order from best to worst or most to least effective overall. This isn’t a favored method of evaluators or employees because of its limitations comparing employees from different groups and accounting for similar levels of performance.

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