Human Resource Management

Traditional Methods of Appraisal

Appraisal of Performance is widely used in society. Parents evaluate their children, professors evaluate their students and employers evaluate their employees. Performance appraisal is the process of assessing the performance and progress of an employee on a given job and his potential for future development. There are 2 classifications of Appraisal.

The first one being the Traditional Method and the Second one being the Modern Method. In this article, we will look at the ‘Traditional Methods of Appraisal’.

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Traditional Methods of Appraisal

1. Confidential Report

This is a traditional method of appraisal. Generally, government organizations use it for appraisal. Employee’s immediate superior prepares this report. It covers the strengths and weaknesses, main achievements and failure, etc. of the employee.

Hence, it becomes a descriptive report for the promotions and transfers of the employees. One of the disadvantages of this method is its dependability on impressions rather than data. This method focuses on evaluation rather than developing employees.

Traditional Methods of Appraisal

2. Free Form or Essay Method

Under this method, the evaluator writes a short essay on the employee’s performance on the basis of overall impressions. It provides a good amount of information about the employee. This method suffers some drawbacks like biases due to the high level of subjectivity, the dependence of evaluation on the writing ability of the evaluator, etc.

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3. Straight Ranking Method

In this technique, the evaluator assigns relative ranks to all the employees in the same work unit doing the same job. The evaluator provides a rank to the employees from good to poor on the basis of their performance. For Example, if five persons A, B, C, D, and E get a rank on the basis of their performance, it will be like:

Employee Rank
A 2
B 1
C 5
D 4
E 3

[Here, 1 means good and 5 stand for poor.]

4. Paired Comparison Method

This traditional method of appraisal is a modification to the straight ranking method. Under this method, unlike the straight ranking method, all the employees are put to relative comparisons. After the comparison, the employee gets a rank on the basis of his status of being better than other employees.

5. Forced Distribution System

In this technique, the rater distributes his rating in the form of a normal frequency distribution. Its basic purpose is to eliminate the rater’s bias of central tendency. This method is extremely easy to apply and understand. One of the disadvantages of this method is that the rater cannot explain why an employee is there in a particular category.

6. Graphic Rating Scales

It is a numerical scale which states different degrees of a particular trait. under this method, the company or organization provides a form to each evaluator. Each form contains many characteristics relating to the personality and performance of the employee. Hence, the rater records his judgment on the employee’s trait on the scale.

7. Checklist Method

This is one of the traditional methods of appraisal. A checklist is nothing but a list of statements that describe the characteristics and performance of employees on the job. the rater ticks/checks to indicate if the employee possesses any specific trait/quality or not.  Hence, the number of ticks describe the rating or result of the employee.

Solved Question on Traditional Methods of Appraisal

Question: Briefly explain the ‘Critical Incident Method’.

Answer: Critical Evaluation Method is a method of appraisal in which the supervisor keeps the record of the critical incidents and events. After checking the event, he checks the response of the employee in that particular situation. The rating or result of the employee depends upon the level of the response of the employee in that particular situation. For Example, checking the response of the employee in the situation of a breakdown of fire in the godown.


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2 responses to “Performance Appraisal”

  1. Ashley Johnson says:

    I liked that you said that one thing to consider when you own a business is to conduct performance appraisals. I would imagine that this would help you to evaluate which areas of the business need improving. I would be sure to have performance appraisals in order to help my business to become more successful.

  2. 9 links says:

    We at 9 links believe for performance appraisal to be done objectively…they should be assessed using psychometric assessments.

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