Appraisal Methods

What Are The Main Performance Appraisal Methods?

If the intention is to evaluate Performance Appraisal, there are several paths to take, both objective and subjective.

However, for this dynamic to be coherent within an organization, it is necessary to adhere to one or more methodologies, ensuring the application of the same rules for all evaluators and evaluated.

Below, we present some recognized methods, which can be applied either alone or in conjunction with others to generate the desired result.

We were inspired by the text “ The evolution of performance Performance appraisal evaluation in organizations ”, by Alonso Luiz Pereira, to explain traditional methodologies.

Simple Comparison Or Assignment Of Degrees Performance Appraisal

It is an analysis that, as the name suggests, compares the members of a team following a parameter determined by the evaluator .

This parameter is usually one of the people on the team itself, which serves as an example to define who most fits into one of the 6 grades of the assessment:

  • Too bad
  • Roomy
  • Regular
  • Bom
  • Excellent
  • Exceptional.
  • Performance Appraisal

Simple and straightforward, this methodology was already quite popular in the past decades.

However, it has serious limitations for giving labels – sometimes negative – to employees, increasing competitiveness and not allowing space for individual and collective evolution.

Binary Comparison Performance Appraisal

It is a more elaborate type of comparison between the members of a team, which becomes complex when the team is composed of many people.

The performance of each employee is compared to that of colleagues, noted horizontally.

If it has better performance , it receives a + sign; if he performs worse than his colleague, he gets a – sign.

The + sign corresponds to 1 point, and the minus sign to zero. Finally, one more point is added.

Then, we obtain a ranking ordered by performance, which, from best to worst, would look like this in our example: Maria (3 points), João (2 points), Clarice (1 point).

Binary comparison is also outdated , as it assigns labels and often harms the organizational climate by rating some as better than colleagues.

Forced Choice Performance Appraisal

Created by US Army technicians during World War II, this method is based on the premise that, in any organization, there is a normal performance curve .

That is, there will always be employees with average (regular) performance, others with below-average (bad or poor) and above-expected (good or excellent) performance.

Employees are placed in one of these groups, so that those who do best are promoted or rewarded .

The curve created by the military corresponds to:

  • 10% with poor performance
  • 20% with poor performance
  • 40% with regular performance
  • 20% with good performance
  • 10% with optimal performance.

Graphic Scale

Part of details about the expected performance to assign indicators or points according to the performance of the person being evaluated.

Explaining better, it can be applied through:

  • Performance indicators : statements that the employee had excellent, good, fair or poor performance
  • Scoring : phrases determine a range of points according to the result achieved by the contributor.

The graphic scale was and still is one of the most used methodologies within companies, especially those that have many employees and are more bureaucratic.

Its strengths are simplicity and clarity about the rules , however, it ends up becoming subjective, leaving to the evaluator the task of judging the past activities of the evaluated.

Descriptive Phrases of Performance Appraisal

It consists of a list with the same number of pairs of sentences that indicate positive and negative behavior of those evaluated.

Beside these statements, the evaluator can mark YES or NO, with YES representing 1 positive or negative point, depending on the nature of the sentence.

Positive behaviors add one point to the result, while negative behaviors subtract one point.

The answer NO always indicates zero, that is, it does not add or subtract points.

Finally, the sum of all points is performed to arrive at an overall assessment .

To be successful with descriptive phrases, you need to craft these statements based on the company’s mission and values.

If the corporate culture requires flexibility , for example, the positive sentence could be included:

  • The employee deals with problems flexibly and seeks new solutions.

Or the negative sentence:

  • The employee has little flexibility and ability to adapt to changes.

Critical Incidents

Considering the existence of events with normal, very positive or very negative results, the method dispenses with what is normal .

Participants are then evaluated according to very positive or very negative incidents, classified as critical.

Although it is simple to apply, this methodology disregards most of the work and conduct of employees on a day-to-day basis.

Evaluation By Objectives

Performance Appraisal

Modern and focused on the future, this assessment was created from the concept of Management by Objectives (APO), by Peter Drucker.

Its purpose is to align the organization’s objectives with those of its employees, ensuring commitment through an environment that seeks continuous improvement .

It all starts with defining objectives and goals for the improvement of the company as a whole, a department or a team.

At this stage, employees and leaders decide together the priorities for a given period, the steps (goals) and actions that must be taken to achieve the expected result.

During the routine, evaluators act as educators , giving positive and negative feedback and highlighting the strengths of each team member, so that the team remains motivated and involved.

Thus, the assessment is carried out daily and favoring learning so that the company evolves based on the skills of its human resources.

Below, we comment on the most modern types of assessment, which were inspired by the Assessment by Objectives.


Following parameters established by the company, leaders and the HR department, the employees themselves answer about their performance .

It can be used alone, but this option leaves room for distortions.

Therefore, it is most common for it to be combined with other types of assessment.

Evaluation By Leaders, Peers Or Team

These ratings are given according to the rater.

Managers must follow HR’s recommendations to apply questionnaires, phrases, interviews and other evaluation techniques , in addition to providing feedback to those evaluated.

There are also companies that prefer that the entire team evaluate each of its members to obtain a less biased result.

360 Degree Evaluation Performance Appraisal

It is a mix of the last modalities we mentioned, being characterized by a combination of self-assessment and assessment of everyone who lives with the employee.

Managers, colleagues, subordinates, partners, customers and suppliers give their opinion on the performance of the person being evaluated, culminating in a broader perspective that is closer to reality.

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