Top 10 Performance Appraisal Methods to Boost Productivity in 2019

By Danni White - Last Updated on August 1, 2019
Performance Appraisal Methods

Performance appraisal is a term many people dread hearing. While it is possible that an evaluation can lead to a raise or promotion, it could just as easily lead to termination or just staying still. Worse, though, is usually hearing the negative things about oneself.

However, evaluations are necessary for the success of the company. Employees need affirmation in the areas they do well and know in which areas they need to improve. This does not mean that it must be a negative experience, though.

Top Performance Appraisal Methods to Consider

Consider these ten performance appraisal methods to use in your company.

1. Trait Focused Method

The trait focused appraisal is one method that gauges characteristics such as dependability and punctuality. The idea behind it is to build a positive culture and work ethics in a company. It has been known to build a friendly yet competitive work environment while still displaying positive attributes such as helpfulness.

2. Essay Evaluation

The essay evaluation is quite different than checking some boxes on a sheet of paper. Instead, the appraiser writes a full essay about the employee that describes in detail where the employee does well, where they should improve, notable moments, their character, and more. It should explain why the appraiser has come to those conclusions as opposed to just stating what is right or wrong.

3. Graphics Rating Scale

The graphics rating scale method is an extremely simple one. It is a linear scale that rates both personality and job performance, usually on a scale of one to five. It is fast and simple yet straightforward and effective.

4. Management by Objectives

The management by objectives, or MBO, a method is one in which management and employees work together to clearly define goals. They then work out a plan for the employee to reach those goals. After a period, management and the employee meet back up to discuss progress.

This method is effective in that it is not just the manager laying out factors by which the employee is judged. Instead, it is a team effort through which both the manager and employee can discuss their thoughts and feelings. As the assessment is more of a team effort, the employee does not feel so scrutinized.

5. 360 Degree Assessment

The 360 degree appraisals are both ongoing and holistic, possibly the most thorough of all the types of performance appraisal methods. It is not merely management giving feedback, nor even just management and the employee. Instead, it is completed by multiple coworkers and managers that meet the employee, including oneself. Because it is a compilation of evaluations, it is unbiased and gives a full view of the employee’s performance. The fact that it is ongoing means that the employee does not have to wait for a yearly appraisal to see how well they are doing. They consistently know what they are doing well and what they need to work on.

6. Psychological Appraisals

Psychological appraisals are a unique approach to performance evaluations. These are performed by qualified psychologists who conduct different types of tests on an employee. The results of these tests are indicative of the employee’s future performance and leadership qualities. This type of evaluation is much more concerned with future performance than past performance.


BARS, or behaviorally anchored rating scales, is a comprehensive evaluation that measures quantitative factors by numerical ratings. It is specifically effective due to it providing clear standards and feedback. It is also a consistent evaluation and much more straightforward since it is stated in numbers.

8. Checklist Scale

The checklist scale is a very generic type of performance appraisal. It is literally a checklist of characteristics and traits that the evaluator either checks or does not according to whether they believe the employee possesses them. Of all those on the list, this one is most likely the least effective. However, it can be made more effective by making it a weighted checklist because it then gives the employee a numerical goal to work toward.

9. Peer Review

Where a 360-degree review includes coworkers’ and management’s feedback from any and all levels, peer reviews only include feedback from the employee’s peers. He or she is assessed according to how peers view their collaboration, teamwork, and other skills. This information is not only helpful for the employee but also when putting together teams or looking to fill leadership roles.

10. Self-Evaluation

Rather than being done alone, self-evaluation can be added to other appraisal methods. It is beneficial for several reasons. First, the employee learns to do self-evaluations throughout the year so that they can improve all year. Second, they become engaged in the process, and that makes them feel a little more invested. Finally, it opens a better opportunity for communication between the employee and management.

As much as performance appraisal can be time-consuming and scary to some, it is necessary to perform them. If a company does not, then employees do not know if they are performing satisfactorily. By completing performance appraisal on a consistent basis, employees consistently have goals to work towards, all of which leads to greater productivity.

To begin, management should decide how often they would like to complete them as this can help decide which method to use. For instance, if you choose to perform them every month or as an ongoing task, you could opt for a less time-consuming one such as the 360-degree method. For a once a year evaluation, it would be more prudent to perform in-depth ones. Choose the method you would like to use and begin putting it into action today.

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at, a top B2B digital destination for C-Level executives, technologists, and marketers. Bython Media is also the parent company of,, List.Events, and

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at, a top B2B digital destin...

Related Posts.