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Human Resources Management - Performance And Potential Appraisal

Long Time – honoured methods - Performance And Potential Appraisal

   Posted On :  12.06.2018 11:49 pm

Ranking is the oldest and simple method of appraisal in which a person is ranked against others on the basis of certain traits or characteristics.

Long Time – honoured methods

Ranking Method

Ranking is the oldest and simple method of appraisal in which a person is ranked against others on the basis of certain traits or characteristics. This is very simple method when the number of persons to be ranked is small because ranking has to be given on the basis of traits which are not easily determinable, unlike marks in an examination. The method has limited value for performance appraisal as the difference in ranks do not indicate absolute or equal differences of ability between individuals.

Paired comparison

Paired comparison method is a slight variation of ranking system. This method is adopted for use in the large groups. In this method, each person is compared with other persons taking only one at a time. Usually, the only trait that is considered is the overall suitability to perform the job. The appraiser puts a tick mark against the person whom he considers the better of the two, and the final ranking is determined by the number of times that person is judged better than others.


This is a method where certain categories of abilities of performance are defined well in advance. Persons are put in a particular category depending on their traits and characteristics. The categories may be outstanding, good, average, poor, very poor or may be in terms of letter like A,B,C,D etc., with A indicating the best and D indicating the worst.
The actual performance of the employees is measured against these grades. This method is generally useful for promotion based on performance.

Forced Distribution Method

As there is a tendency to rank many of the employees high, forced distribution method has been adopted. In this method, the appraiser is forced to appraise the appraisees according to the pattern of a normal curve. The basic assumption in this method is that the employee’s performance confirms to a normal statistical distribution. For example 10 percent of the employees may be rated as excellent, 20 per cent as above average, 40 per cent as average, 20 per cent below average and 10 per cent as poor. The basic advantage of this method is that it overcomes the problem of adopting a central tendency of rating most of the employees to a point, particularly high or near high to appease them.

Forced – Choice Method

The forced – choice rating method contains a series of group statements and the appraiser checks how effectively the statement describes each individual under evaluation. Though both of them describe the characteristics of an employee, the appraiser is forced to tick only one which appears to be more descriptive of the employee. Out of these two statements, only one statement is considered for final analysis of rating. For example, an appraiser may be given the following two statements.

1. The employee is hard working

2. The employee gives clear instructions to his subordinates.

Both these statements are positive but the appraiser is asked to rate only one which is more descriptive of his subordinate’s behaviour. This is done to avoid subjectivity in rating. Out of the above two statements, only one statement is to be considered for final ranking. The final rating is done on the basis of all sets of statements. This method is more objective but it involves lot of problems in constructing such sets of statements.

Check – List Method

Under this method HR department prepares a series of questions. Each question has alternative answers ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The appraiser concerned has to tick appropriate answers relevant to the appraisals.

Some of the same questions are:

Is he / she interested in the job                                           Yes/No
Is he / she regular on the job                                              Yes / No

Does he / she show uniform behaviour to all                       Yes /No
Is he / she willing to help other employers                           Yes / No
Does he / she maintain discipline                                        Yes / No
Fifty to hundred questions including many bearing efficiency and concentration may be asked. Different questions may have different weightage of scores. After filling the questionnaire by the appraiser who observes the employees will be sent to HR department, which will compute total score and evaluate.

Critical Incidence Method

In this method, only critical incidents and behaviour associated with these incidents are taken for evaluation. This method involves three steps. A test of noteworthy on the job behaviour (good or bad) is prepared. A group of experts then assigns scale values depending on the degree of desirability for the job. Finally, a check list of incidents which define good and bad employees is prepared. The appraiser is given this checklist for rating. The basic idea behind this rating is to apprise the people who can do well in critical situations because in normal situation most employees work alike. This method is useful to find potential employees who can be useful in critical situation.

Graphic Scale Method

Graphic scale is also known as linear rating scale. This is most commonly used method of performance appraisal. In this method, a printed appraisal form is used for each appraisee. The form contains various employee characteristics and his job performance. The various characteristics are leadership, dependability, cooperativeness, enthusiasm, creativity, analytical ability, decisiveness, emotional maturity etc., depending on the level of the employee. Job performance includes quantity and quality of work performance, specific targets achieved, regularity of attendance etc. The degree of quality may be measured on three point or five point scale. On five point scale, ‘excellent, very good, average, poor or very poor’ may be used for measurements.

Essay Method

Instead of using structured forms for performance appraisal, some companies use free essay method. In essay method appraiser assesses the employees on certain parameters in his own word. Such parameters may be
1. Work performance in terms of quality, quantity and costs.

2. Knowledge about the job

3. Knowledge about organizational policies, procedures and rules,

4. Employee’s characteristics and behaviour

5. Employee’s strength and weakness

6. Overall suitability of the employee;

7. Employee’s potentiality

8. Training and development needs of the employee

The essay method is useful in providing fruitful information about an employee on the basis of which he can be appraised. The difficulty in free essay method is each appraiser may use his own style and perception, which may give rise to difficulty in analysis.

Field Review Method

In the field review method, an employee is not appraised by his direct superior but by another person, usually from HR department. The reason is that such a person may take more objective view in appraisal as he is not under pressure as the superior of the employee may be. The appraiser , in this case, appraises the employee based on his records of output and other quantitative information such as absenteeism, late coming etc. The appraiser also conducts interviews of the employees and his superior to ascertain qualitative aspects of job performance. This method is more suitable for promotion purpose.

Tags : Human Resources Management - Performance And Potential Appraisal
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