Employee performance appraisals are standard practice in most workplaces — and they’re critical to helping companies and their employees achieve organizational success and growth.
In the world of HR, there are both traditional and modern methods of performance appraisal. We’ll be focusing on the modern methods in this post.
What is a performance appraisal?
In the simplest terms, a performance appraisal is a quarterly or annual evaluation of employee performance and productivity against company goals and objectives. The purpose of the appraisal is to help each employee succeed. The results of the appraisal can help determine promotions and raises or gauge areas where an employee needs to improve their skills.
Modern vs traditional methods of performance appraisal
Certain approaches to performance appraisal — for example, the ranking method, paired comparison, the grading method, and the critical incidents method, among others — are often referred to as traditional methods.
Modern methods of performance appraisal include 360 degree feedback, management by objectives (MBO), psychological appraisals, and the behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS), to name a few.
Each method has strengths and weaknesses, which is likely why there isn’t a universally accepted approach all organizations use.
What’s the difference?
Traditional methods tend to measure an employee’s past performance and focus on assessing employee personality traits — such as initiative, dependability, and leadership potential — while modern methods weigh job achievements more heavily, regardless of the employee’s personality traits, which is thought to be a less biased approach.
5 modern methods of performance appraisal
1. Management by objectives (MBO)
The management by objectives method is an approach that focuses on improving an organization’s performance across the board by articulating clear objectives for the business. The entire team, both management and employees, sets those objectives.
In this approach, an employee and manager work together to identify and plan goals for the employee to reach, usually within a specific time frame. The manager and employee then meet regularly to discuss the employee’s progress and make any adjustments necessary toward the goals and objectives.
2. 360 degree feedback
The 360 degree feedback method is designed to get feedback from all the key players an employee impacts in their day-to-day activities — managers and supervisors, peers, subordinates, and even clients and customers. The employee also completes a self-evaluation.
This method is highly regarded because multiple people are involved in evaluating the employee’s performance.
Organizations typically collect this feedback via an online questionnaire or form. JotForm’s free employee performance review form makes it fast and easy to gather feedback, and it simplifies the evaluation process, whether you use a 360 degree feedback approach or another method.
3. Behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS)
According to HR software company TalentLyft, BARS is “a measuring system which rates employees or trainees according to their performance and specific behavioral patterns.”
This is considered one of the most effective modern methods of performance appraisal because it relies on both quantitative and qualitative forms of measurement. In this approach, the employer compares each employee’s performance with specific behavioral examples that are anchored to numerical ratings.
4. Psychological appraisal
This approach to performance appraisal attempts to evaluate how an employee might perform in the future rather than assessing how they have performed in the past.
A qualified psychologist conducts in-depth interviews, psychological tests, and private conversations to assess an employee. The psychologist analyzes components such as interpersonal skills, cognitive abilities, intellectual traits, leadership skills, personality traits, emotional quotient, and other factors.
5. Assessment center
In the assessment center method, an organization tests its employees on both job capabilities and social interaction skills. Written tests help evaluate ability, while situational exercises and role-playing scenarios assist with determining an employee’s likelihood of success in carrying out responsibilities that are part of their day-to-day role.
Performance appraisals are critical to the success of any organization. The performance appraisal method you choose will depend on your goals and the structure of your business; the right one can help you improve performance and provide growth opportunities across your organization.
One way to simplify the process is to use JotForm’s evaluation forms. Simply start with one of our ready-made forms and customize it with the JotForm Form Builder to create the perfect evaluation for your performance appraisal needs.