Three Types of Performance Appraisals

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Three Types of Performance Appraisals
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
In employee performance management, performance appraisals are an important method to detect the strengths and weaknesses of employees and improve those through the right trainings and practices.
In fact, we can distinguish 3 types of performance appraisals:
  1. TRAIT APPRAISALS: The first type refers to the physical and/or phychological traits of individuals. Different types of jobs may require different traits, where other traits are generally valuable in any job. For example, a high level of conscientiousness and cognitive ability are generally related to higher performance. As such, it can be relevant to assess individual characteristics of your workforce.
  2. BEHAVIORAL APPRAISALS: This type of appraisal refers to the actions taken by a person, in other words those are the behaviours of individuals. Behavioral appraisals assess what actions individuals take at work, which is different from (but influenced by) the personal traits of that person. This type of appraisal is considered as a better option than a trait appraisal, because actions can be directly observed. Therefore, such appraisals are more valid in evaluating performance.
  3. RESULTS/OUTCOMES APPRAISALS: The last type of performance appraisal is considered the most accurate one. This type measures the objectives achieved through a work process and measures the results that an employee or individual has accomplished over time. The main disadvantages of this approach is that the results are often also affected by factors beyond the control of the individual that is being appraised. Also the objectives might have been set too low or too high to be able to accomplish them. Nevertheless, as organizational success is measured by results, this type of appraisal is still the most accurate measurement.
Source: Lussier, R.N. And Hendon, J.R. “Human Resource Management: Functions, Applications, Skill Development” SAGE Publications

Three Similar Types of Performance Appraisals
Giridhar, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
This is very good. In my organization, a similar approach was taken, but called:
  3. RESULTS APPRAISALS, defined as a measurable CHANGE an individual helped to produce. This change is identified and agreed at the beginning of the year. Since the staff begins with an end in mind, there is a better chance of improved performance.
Given the typical difficulties in performance appraisal, your approach is fresh and useful.

Choosing the Right Type of Performance Appraisal to Use
Ray Uday Shankar Prasad, India, Member
Work situations are different in different organizations. Hence, any uniform appraisal practice is likely to give misleading results. Therefore, the appraisal format should relate to the nature of job, expectations from the person situated in the job and tools available to him to give optimum results.
And even if these factors are satisfied, the result of performance appraisal may vary between persons placed in similar situation. Other factors such as the working environment, peer group support, the role of leader are of critical importance too.
Most importantly it should always be borne in mind that the purpose of performance appraisal is to identify weaknesses and strengths of an employee, and to put in action a plan to reduce areas of weaknesses and align the employee to the objectives of the organization.

Differentiating Types of Appraisals
Good attempt to differentiate these types. But it is a herculean task to identify the Trait factors for each job. Also, this requires a very complicated study of the psychologic aspects of each job's requirement. Training those who are the appraisers is another difficulty.
Because of the above, the general tendency is to club the behavioral and the trait factors into one calling it "Behavioral Traits" which is a combination of both.
May be for some senior positions, rather jobs, an attempt can be made to have a set of the psychological factors which obviously differ from organization to organization. However even then due diligence is needed to establish a broadly acceptable set of these factors, because of human limitations in understanding human psychology in a position context from an organizational perspective.

Three Similar Performance Appraisal Types
Carlos Marques, Strategy Consultant, Portugal, Member
Any system aiming to be successful should comprise this three factors:
- Competences Appraisals
- Attitudes Appraisals
- Results Appraisals
or by Anneke’s words Trait, Behavioural and Results.
The first two are linked to the job description and position requirements and how the individual matches those desired patterns.
The last one should be linked and aligned with the institution’s (business or public administration) strategy and objectives.
The weakness reported can be very diluted if, when setting the individual goals, we look for past performance and results, the improvement effort required for the new goal, and the existing conditions and resources. Also bearing in mind that this improvement effort should be relatively similar along all organization.

Selecting the Right Appraisal Mechanism Depends on the Goal
Kurt Ludikovsky, Consultant, Austria, Member
If we talk about assessing someone’s performance, the GOAL need to be defined first. I agree very much whit what @Ray Uday Shankar Prasad said above.
It is first dependent on the Job. It makes a difference if a backoffice clerk or a front office consultant has to be appraised, or a senior leader with hundreds of employees.
Performance is about achievement of goals - common or organisational goals. So there for me are three important areas: Achievement, Behaviour and Quality. So how much did you achieve, how did you do it (in relation to your human environment) and how satisfied are your 'customers' with it.
This requires that the goals and expectations have been clearly defined (SMART), which is the most difficult issue.
Any strength and weakness appraisals is just a tool for the development and should identify where the person can build on and where to improve. But this also requires that the company/organisation will offer support through training and guidance.
So the most important thing is that companies need to write down where to head to.

Three Types of Performance Appraisal
L. B. Dogarawa, Analyst, Nigeria, Member
I rather see performance appraisal as results-based only. The so-called traits, behaviour, psychology etc and similar coinage are already implied in the results or outcomes of the appraisee’s job.
It does not matter whether an organisation is private or public; service or manufacturing; small or big; local or foreign; old or new, it is the results of work done within a given period that is being measured.
The point of departure is at the process of appraisal and the system used. Traditionally, appraisals are done annually. However, I advocated for monthly performance appraisal. This brings us to the system of performance appraisal. Most public sector organisations in developing economies use manual system which is often associated with last-minute-dot-com biases. Automated or software based performance appraisal is the second system and it is regarded as bias-free. In fact, recent study of a bank in Kaduna-Nigeria by Dorah Tarfa who is one of my MBA supervisees has confirmed this.

3 Sources for Performance Appraisal
Rebecca Roe, United States, Premium Member
Accomplishments stated in an appraisal show employees that management has paid attention and has measurable outcomes to actually evaluate performance, rather than emotion and third party opinions.
I agree that behavioral aspects of performance, especially in team settings and service industries, are important to the mission and values that each employee is required to embody at the start.
I have seen some unfair practices in evaluations and I always felt that averaging input from self plus 2 peers (one selected by the employee and one selected by the supervisor) shows impartiality and is often the best way. It is uncanny (Editor:~ mysterious) that the peer evaluation selected by the employee from their "friend" usually is the most harsh.

Performance Appraisal Types
Anjan Kumar Paul, Teacher, Bangladesh, Member
@Rebecca Roe: I agree with your comment and you appear to describe 360 degree performance systems. I think for proper evaluation an employee performance needs to be evaluated from all corners without bias.

Another Performance Appraisal Type?
OSHUN, GRACE OKAIMA , Lecturer, Nigeria, Member
In order to ensure fairness, an employee appraisal should be measured against the organisation’s GOALS AND OBJECTIVES. These must previously have been agreed on between management and the employee. Therefore, achievement of these goals and objectives ought to be the basis for appraising an employee.

SMART Types of Performance Appraisal
Ajay kapoor, CxO / Board, India, Member
Note that these 3 types differ in their ability to allow SMART goal setting. Especially when assessing behaviour compentency and when using a 360 feedback appraisal system.
After all, we have learned goal setting should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound.

MBO for Performance Appraisals
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Premium Member
Besides the mentioned types in Anneke article, there is another way of performance appraisals: the management by objectives (MBO) approach. The MBO approach is result-oriented as it measures employee performance by examining (jointly) predetermined work objectives. MBO can overcome some problems that arise as a result of assuming that traits and behaviors are needed for job success. Instead of traits and behaviors, MBO focuses on the result/outcomes and not on traits and behavior which are someone’s subjective opinion of someone else’s abilities.

MBO and 360 Evaluation
Kurt Ludikovsky, Consultant, Austria, Member
Practicing the 360 evaluation I believe to be the (currently) best available tool. @Gandhi Heryanto, I agree with the MBO but disagree that this is the only measure and explain why:
- MBO is good for the manager as well as the employee to make clear WHAT has to be done,
- But this does not include any behavioral objectives (HOW). This is especially important if the employee has to work with customers, peers and employees. Because if he doesn't behave this will have impact on the whole organisation and/or business.
There might also be a quality dimension.

Maturity and Performance Appraisals
John Maddalena, CEO, South Africa, Member
Agree that there are different perspectives that must be considered.
We have developed "maturity models" following King II/III recommendations, i.e. the potential of any function is dependent on the influence of three environments:
  1. GOVERNANCE MATURITY: this is almost invariant (i.e. good management) across all functions.
  2. PROCESS MATURITY: this is function-specific.
  3. BEHAVIOUR MATURITY: this has some universal (human) traits, some management traits, and some function-specific traits. One way to identify function-relevant behaviour is to consider all interfaces that function must bridge (in normal operation), where behaviour could affect performance.
Rather than have a separate maturity model for behaviour, we build governance and process models, and feed in behavioural features into the statements, where appropriate.

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