Performance appraisal and performance management
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I. Contents of getting performance appraisal and performance
Performance management is so much more than the performance appraisal. It is now more vital
than ever, with all councils needing to effectively implement the NSW Integrated Planning and
Reporting framework (IPR), and all staff, managers, senior managers and councillors needing to
work as a team to achieve the IPR related programs and plans.
Unfortunately, far too many organisations are ineffective in making performance management a
reality. Both managers and staff are often uncomfortable with performance appraisals –
managers don’t like to judge, and staff don’t like to be judged. So they defer the process as long
as they can, and then finally pay lip service to what it should be. The manager makes very
generalised comments about the staff member’s performance, often failing to recognise good
performance and not assertively confronting poor performance.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If the manager practices ‘the art of no surprises’, staff members
will have had effective coaching, support and constructive feedback throughout the review
period, and will know what to expect from the annual review.
Performance management starts with giving staff the bigger picture (showing how each person’s
role fits in with their team and the Council’s programs/plans). It includes the setting of specific,
measurable, achievable goals and key performance indicators (KPIs), and ensuring that all team
members understand and are committed to those goals/KPIs.
It includes providing effective coaching, feedback and delegation, recognising good
performance, effectively managing poor performance, and supporting staff with their learning
and development needs. Furthermore, it involves having timely, effective performance reviews,
which take into account each team member’s performance over the entire review period, and
which are an honest two-way discussion.
This session will highlight the critical success factors for performance management, and how to
make performance management work for you, your team and the Council.
III. Performance appraisal methods
1. Essay Method
In this method the rater writes down the employee
description in detail within a number of broad categories
like, overall impression of performance, promoteability
of employee, existing capabilities and qualifications of
performing jobs, strengths and weaknesses and training
needs of the employee. Advantage – It is extremely
useful in filing information gaps about the employees
that often occur in a better-structured checklist.
Disadvantages – It its highly dependent upon the writing
skills of rater and most of them are not good writers.
They may get confused success depends on the memory
power of raters.
2. Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales
statements of effective and ineffective behaviors
determine the points. They are said to be
behaviorally anchored. The rater is supposed to
say, which behavior describes the employee
performance. Advantages – helps overcome rating
errors. Disadvantages – Suffers from distortions
inherent in most rating techniques.
3. Rating Scale
Rating scales consists of several numerical scales
representing job related performance criterions such as
dependability, initiative, output, attendance, attitude etc.
Each scales ranges from excellent to poor. The total
numerical scores are computed and final conclusions are
derived. Advantages – Adaptability, easy to use, low cost,
every type of job can be evaluated, large number of
employees covered, no formal training required.
Disadvantages – Rater’s biases
4. Checklist method
Under this method, checklist of statements of traits of
employee in the form of Yes or No based questions is
prepared. Here the rater only does the reporting or
checking and HR department does the actual evaluation.
Advantages – economy, ease of administration, limited
training required, standardization. Disadvantages – Raters
biases, use of improper weighs by HR, does not allow
rater to give relative ratings
The ranking system requires the rater to rank his
subordinates on overall performance. This consists in
simply putting a man in a rank order. Under this method,
the ranking of an employee in a work group is done
against that of another employee. The relative position of
each employee is tested in terms of his numerical rank. It
may also be done by ranking a person on his job
performance against another member of the competitive
Advantages of Ranking Method
Employees are ranked according to their
It is easier to rank the best and the worst
Limitations of Ranking Method
The “whole man” is compared with another
“whole man” in this method. In practice, it is very difficult
to compare individuals possessing various individual
This method speaks only of the position where an
employee stands in his group. It does not test anything
about how much better or how much worse an employee
is when compared to another employee.
When a large number of employees are working,
ranking of individuals become a difficult issue.
There is no systematic procedure for ranking
individuals in the organization. The ranking system does
not eliminate the possibility of snap judgements.
6. Critical Incidents Method
The approach is focused on certain critical behaviors of
employee that makes all the difference in the
performance. Supervisors as and when they occur record
such incidents. Advantages – Evaluations are based on
actual job behaviors, ratings are supported by
descriptions, feedback is easy, reduces recency biases,
chances of subordinate improvement are high.
Disadvantages – Negative incidents can be prioritized,
forgetting incidents, overly close supervision; feedback
may be too much and may appear to be punishment.
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