How to Find the Best Performance Appraisal Methods for Your Team (Part 1)

Posted by Michelle • March 15, 2016 (Last modified August 21, 2018) • 3 min read

Managing employee performance is a delicate process. Weeding out inefficiency and determining where a company’s strengths lie isn’t just a hop, skip and jump away. Every company is different and within every company are even more distinct teams.

The performance appraisal process is important because it supports the development of the employees and by extension, the company, but knowing which performance appraisal methods are right for your teams can be challenging. So, let’s break down some of the most common performance appraisal methods being carried out by today’s managers.

Manager-Driven Methods for Employee Appraisals

At the forefront of the performance appraisal process is managers, but as the person most likely involved in the day-to-day supervision of their team members, it can be difficult to know which method will make a positive influence on performance instead of disrupt employee engagement or morale. Did you know 40 percent of Millennials feel managers are too vague in performance conversations? One important thing to remember is employees want this feedback to improve themselves so make it count.

Essay Evaluation Method: Managers that use this method write essays describing the employee’s strengths and weaknesses with suggestions for improvement. These work well with smaller companies, but can become challenging as an organization’s structure and staff grows. It’s highly recommended that this performance appraisal method is supported by employee evaluation software that offers writing assistance tools or rater bias reporting to combat against bias judgment and provide more clarity for the appraisee.

For example: During Jessie’s performance review, her manager might want to outline her dedication to meeting project deadlines and her attention to detail. But Jessie tends to keep herself closed off so her manager should encourage her to collaborate more with her team a few times a week.

Management by Objectives: This method is rather straightforward and used by most companies, especially large ones. Managers work through the goal setting process with employees and then compare results at the end of the year. MBO is a great way to engage employees in their own performance goals and does wonders for accountability. Just be sure those performance goals also align with organizational goals. Don’t put employee performance goals in a vacuum.

For example: Derek set his goal as decreasing his project budget by 15%, which directly impacts organizational goals as well.

Graphic Rating Scales: With this method, managers rate employees on a scale based off predetermined behaviors, skills, or competencies. This gives employers flexibility in terms of how they choose to scale and what attributes to base the scale off of.

For example, a scale of “frequency” might be used to assess how often an employee completes a project, meets project standards and follows the appropriate project processes. This method is especially useful for teams with frequent projects, but can be used in just about any environment. One key thing to remember is standards of which these ratings are based off of have to be explicitly clear to and understood by employees.

Finding the best performance appraisal methods means taking a look at the resources employers have at their disposal, evaluating the work environment and type of work teams primarily complete and taking into account the dynamic that exists between managers and employees. It may take some trial and error to find what works for your company, but the journey will be worth it.

Tune in next time to learn about peer and employee-driven appraisal methods!

Let Trakstar help optimize your company’s performance appraisal process. Sign up for your employee evaluation software demo today!


Don't Miss Out on More Great HR Articles!

Subscribe to get the latest, greatest HR and Talent Development content straight to your inbox.