Performance Appraisal Methods
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principles of psychology are codified in software,
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August 25, 2015.
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In a landmark study, Locher
& Teel (1977) found that the three most common appraisal methods
in general use are rating scales (56%), essay methods (25%) and results-
or MBO methods (13%). For a description of each, follow the button links
on the left.
Certain techniques in performance appraisal have been
thoroughly investigated, and some have been found to yield better results
Research studies show that employees are likely to
feel more satisfied with their appraisal result if they have the chance
to talk freely and discuss their performance. It is also more likely that
such employees will be better able to meet future performance goals. (e.g.,
Nemeroff & Wexley, 1979).
also more likely to feel that the appraisal process is fair if they are
given a chance to talk about their performance. This especially so when
they are permitted to challenge and appeal against their evaluation. (Greenberg,
It is very important that employees recognize that
negative appraisal feedback is provided with a constructive intention,
i.e., to help them overcome present difficulties and to improve their future
performance. Employees will be less anxious about criticism, and more likely
to find it useful, when the believe that the appraiser's intentions are
helpful and constructive. (Fedor et al., 1989)
other studies (e.g., Baron, 1988) have reported
that "destructive criticism" - which is vague, ill-informed,
unfair or harshly presented - will lead to problems such as anger, resentment,
tension and workplace conflict, as well as increased resistance to improvement,
denial of problems, and poorer performance.
Set Performance Goals
It has been shown in numerous studies that goal-setting
is an important element in employee motivation. Goals can stimulate employee
effort, focus attention, increase persistence, and encourage employees
to find new and better ways to work. (e.g., Locke,et
of goals as a stimulus to human motivation is one of the best supported
theories in management. It is also quite clear that goals which are "...specific,
difficult and accepted by employees will lead to higher levels of performance
than easy, vague goals (such as do your best) or no goals at all."
(Harris & DiSimone, 1994)
It is important that the appraiser (usually the employee's
supervisor) be well-informed and credible. Appraisers should feel comfortable
with the techniques of appraisal, and should be knowledgeable about the
employee's job and performance.
conditions exist, employees are more likely to view the appraisal process
as accurate and fair. They also express more acceptance of the appraiser's
feedback and a greater willingness to change. (Bannister,
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