Definitions and Scope

 Definition: Performance appraisal is a method of evaluating thebehaviour of employees in a work organization which normally includes quantitative and qualitative aspects of job performance. Performance here refers to the degree of accomplishment of the tasks that make-up an individual’s job. Under performance appraisal, he evaluates not only the performance of a worker but also his potential for development.


Scope: Seen in the light of the definition above, performance appraisalhas quite a number of factors in it to be considered.

 Firstly, it is an appraisal of the employee’s capabilities and potential capabilities. It is a rating of an employee’s trait.

 Secondly, it is an assessment of data on work done.

 Therefore it is not an appraisal of an individual’s trait alone but an objective measure of work done, wrong facts and figures. Taking these two factors together performance appraisal can be seen to be concerned with assessment of both behaviour and performance.

 Thirdly, it has an aim, which is to allow decision to be made in relation to training, development, promotion and increment in salary.

           Reasons for Appraisal

To provide information about the performance ranks based on which decisions regarding fixing of salaries, confirmation, promotion, transfers and demotions are taken.

 Provide feedback information about the level of achievement and behaviour of subordinates. This information helps to review the performance of the subordinates rectifying performance deficiencies and to set new standards of work if necessary.

 Provide information which helps to counsel the subordinates.

 Provide information to diagnose deficiency in employees regarding skill knowledge, determine training and development needs and to prescribe the means for employee growth.

 Provides information for correct placement.

 To prevent grievances and in disciplinary action. 

    Difficulties with Appraisal

 As noted earlier performance appraisal is an intricate and complex affair. A. G. Cole cites three difficulties concerning both accuracy and fairness of approaches.

 They are

The construction of the appraisal

The style in which the appraisal is done

 The culture of the organization

The Appraisal Document


 The target of appraisal can either be performance or behaviour of an employee. The instrument or document use for appraisal, usually indicates what is that is being appraised. A.G. Cole gives the characteristics of forms which seek information about the person rather than about his performance as:


(i)                Generalized criteria.


(ii)             Generalized ratings of performance


(iii)           Individual qualities rather than results


(iv)           Box ticking as a method of performance 

Appraisal Styles

 There are three basic approaches to appraisal interview, they are as follows:


Tell and Sell Approach:  Herethemanagertellshis


subordinates how he is doing, and endeavours to persuade him to


accept what has been decided for him in terms of improvement.


(2)              Tell and Listen Approach: Where the manager tells hissubordinates how he is doing, but then sits back and listens to the individual’s point of view both about the appraisal and about any follow up action required.


(3)              Problem -Solving Approach: Here the manager effectively putsaside the role of the judge inorder to join the subordinate in mutual reflection on progress and mutual discussion about required action.

Rating Scales in Performance Appraisal

 Which ever factor is being measured here – behaviou r or performance appraisers still have to measure individual performance which they do by the use of one or more scales.

 Linear / Graphic Rating Scales


  1.                   Behavioural Scales: This type of appraisal seeks informationabout the employee rather than his or her performance.


  1.                   Free written Reports: Here, the appraiser writes essay typeanswers to question set on the appraisal of documents. 

Appraisal Interviews

 This is a face-to-face meeting the employee and his manager or supervisor. Its aim is to discuss the subject of each item on the appraisal form. This is related to open rather than the confidential appraisal method.

It has a number of objectives.


                     To evaluate the subordinates recent performance


                     To formulate job improvement plans


                     To identify problems and /or examine possible opportunities related to the job.


                     To improve superior and subordinates.


                     To provide feedback on job performance to the employee.


                     To provide rational for salary reviews


                     To identify potential performance/possibilities for promotional or transfer.


To identify training and development needs

Source National Open University of Nigeria


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