Appraisal method

Appraisal method
See also

Appraisal method is a formal method of documenting the examples of employee’s both effective and ineffective actions during the rating period. Using appraisal methods towards the employees is a part of performance management, which has been defined as improving organizational performance by developing individuals and teams [1].

Groups of appraisal methods[edit]

Performance of the employees can be nowadays appraised by various techniques and methods. The most popular appraisal methods are distinguished into three groups:

  • comparative appraisals,
  • behavioral appraisals,
  • output-based appraisals.

Comparative appraisal methods[edit]

The group of comparative appraisals contains methods which base on comparing the employees against one another[2]. The most popular comparative appraisal methods are:

  • Ranking – in this method, the manager creates a list of all his subordinates in order from the highest to lowest in terms of performance.
  • Forced distribution - in this kind of appraisal method the supervisor has to assign only a certain proportion of his employees to each of several categories on each evaluative factor. Usually, the scale of forced distribution is divided into five categories (e.g. unsatisfactory, below average, average, good, excellent). For each category the percentage of all subordinates in the group is fixed.
  • Paired comparison - in this method, each employee is compared to every other employee in the rating group in order to choose the best one.

Behavioral appraisal methods[edit]

Behavioral appraisal methods allow the supervisors evaluate each employee’s performance independently, but also relative to relevant job-related behaviors which can lead to potential success. The most popular behavioral appraisal methods are[3]:

  • Graphic rating scale - it allows the supervisor to mar employee’s job performance on a scale (usually five-point or seven-point). This method is very simple; therefore, it became the most frequently used performance appraisal method.
  • Checklist - it is a list of words or statements that are checked by the raters. They choose the statements which match evaluated employee’s behavior.
  • Essay - this method is the written description of the employee’s performance during the rating period.
  • Critical incidents - it is the method of keeping the written record of highly favorable or unfavorable actions of the employee.

Output-based appraisal methods[edit]

For output-based appraisal methods the most relevant criteria are job products. The most popular method in this group is Management by objectives (MBO), which focuses on setting the individual goals to be reached in a specific period of time. MBO appraisal system consists of four stages[4]:

  1. Job review and agreement – on this stage the most important element is to review the job description both by the supervisor and the employee and to agree on employee’s key responsibilities.
  2. Development of performance standards - this stage specifies a satisfactory level of performance. This level must be specific and measurable.
  3. Guided objective setting - The employee sets himself the objectives with the help of the supervisor. These objectives must be possible to achieve. They also can be different from previously set performance standard.
  4. Continuing performance discussions - the supervisor and the employee make use of previously set objectives during the discussions about the employee’s performance and progress. These objectives can be mutually modified.


  1. Koláčková G., Šalková A., Venclová K. (2013), p. 20
  2. Koláčková G., Šalková A., Venclová K. (2013), p. 24
  3. Lee J., Mahesh, M. (2019), p. 454
  4. Lee J., Mahesh, M. (2019), p. 455


Author: Marta Łazarz