Employers run the gambit on which method and models they use for performance appraisals. Each method and model have merit, but each also has potential issues. In this article, we will look at a few common performance appraisals and how to successfully use them to improve outcomes.
Psychological Appraisals: Appraisal theory
Psychological Appraisals are generally used to assess an employee’s intellectual capacity, emotional stability, analytic skills, personality traits, etc. These are assessed using by using various psychological tests, and discussion. On the surface, this appraisal method seems like it would be beneficial for corporations, but it requires a significant amount of time and investment. Additionally, most psychological assessment programs available are largely unreliable. Most assessments will provide little useful or actionable data with little return on investment. If you are using this kind of assessment for employee appraisals, be prepared to have unreliable results and lost hours invested in doing the assessments.
BARS: Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales
BARS is a method of assessment that measures the specific behaviors required for positions. Often this methodology is associated with the required core competencies associated with various positions in a company. The most useful aspect of using BARS is the ability to use numerical ratings, where any particular behavior is judged via a spectrum from exceptional to unsatisfactory. Additionally, the advantages of this methodology are based on specific jobs and measured against a job description’s associated core competencies. The BARS method helps maintain fairness (or appearance of fairness) and consistency.
However, there are a few issues with BARS. For the methodology to work, each position in the company needs to have a separate appraisal form, so if you want to apply this to an overall organization it will require fully understanding each and every position in the company and not any differences in job descriptions even if job titles might be as generic as “associate”. Additionally, BARS will require to be updated as job descriptions or behaviors migrate or change over time into new ways of doing business. Additionally, evaluators need to have specific data associated with behaviors to avoid making the evaluation overly subjective.
360-degree feedback is a performance appraisal system that collects feedback across multiple spheres of impact. The appraisal system uses self-appraisals, managerial reviews, peer reviews, subordinate reviews, client reviews, and across department reviews. Most of this is done via the use of a questionnaire form, where an individual is ranked based on strengths and weaknesses. The benefit of this type of appraisal system is reducing bias while offering clearer performance ratings based on competence. Using this type of feedback can be rolled out quickly and effectively while being less time-intensive than other methods.
360-degree reviews help with improving an individual’s awareness of their personal performance, helps with encouraging self-improvement and development. It also promotes employee engagement. However, there are a few associated issues. The types of questions need to be a mix of forward-looking questions, rather than merely backward-looking questions. Also, using this method alone may be fraught with subjective raters, however increasing the number of participants will hopefully limit their effect.
MBO: OKRs, SMART, and more
Management by objectives (MBO) is an appraisal method used to help identify organize, plan, measure, and communicate a company’s objectives. This method of appraisal is beneficial due to goals and objectives are targets employees need or ought to achieve. It is an ongoing appraisal method and can be measured and assessed at almost every stage. MBOs ought to be applied as a company-wide process and is integrated at every level of the company. From corporate objectives to individual objectives, the employee and company have clear goals, and the means to measure accomplishments and failures.
The MBO process is primarily a feedback loop of planning, monitoring, reviewing, and repeat. It helps develop company-wide accountability and employee engagement while being data-driven. Some potential short-comings stem from poorly designed objectives, lack of involvement. However, if your company utilizes MBO systems, like SMART or OKRs, it allows companies to measure and collect quantitative and qualitative data for better data-driven decision making. beepnow’s beepHR has built-in performance management, that uses AI and blockchain technologies. You can perform 360-degree reviews, manage OKRs, and collect data for use for monitoring. beepHR makes performance management easier, improve productivity, performance, and accountability by using beepHR.