Approaches to performance appraisal

Three approaches are to be adapted to performance appraisal. These approaches are discussed below:

1. Trait Approach: As the term implies, this approach involves rating the individual employee’s personal traits or characteristics such as initiative, decisiveness and dependability. Though used commonly by management, this approach is considered to be the weakest. This basically arises from the fact that these traits are ambiguous relative the actual job performance and the needed improvement. Appraising someone having low initiative does not say anything precise about how to improve. Also this can trigger a defensive reaction on the part of the employee being appraised.

2. Behavioral Approach: Approach points directly to the persons’ actual work behavior rather than a trait like his or her personality. For example, it can be focused to seek information as to the employee works alone on all projects, on most projects or about half of projects. Similarly, whether he or she teams up with others on major project or works alone on all major projects.
When these behavioral patterns are coupled with performance rating, appraisal is enhanced.

3. Results Approach: This approach focuses on the product or the outcome of one’s effort. It seeks to identify and evaluate what has been accomplished by an employee subject to appraisal. Management by objectives MBO) is usually regarded as the most appropriate format for using the results approach.

Performance appraisal is undertaken to serve a variety of management purposes. The controversy regarding which approach is best can only be resolved when you consider the reasons for doing the appraisals. Hence, the contingency approach has an overarching consideration here.

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