This article throws light upon the top eight methods of performance appraisal. The methods are: 1. Ranking 2. Person to Person Comparison 3. Grading 4. Graphic Seals Method 5. Check List 6. Forced Choice Description Method 7. Critical Incidents Method 8. Essay Description.

Performance Appraisal: Method # 1. Ranking:

It is the oldest and simplest method of performance appraisal. The workers are evaluated by superior on an overall basis and then they are ranked in order from highest to the lowest. Mere the employee in first rank will be considered as a best employee.

There is another technique of ranking known as “Paired Comparison”. The paired comparison method requires the supervisor to compare each employee with every other employee working under him on the overall basis.

For example: there are five employees A, B, C, D and E. Employee A’s performance is compared to B’s and a decision is made concerning whose is the better performance. Then A is compared to C, D and E. Thus the total number of pairs will be received by using the following formula.


N (N-1)/2 N refers to all employees under the supervisor.

Performance Appraisal: Method # 2. Person-To-Person Comparison:

This may be called as “factor comparison” Under this method, certain factors are selected for the comparison, like leadership, initiative, dependability, reliability etc. The 5-point scale is designed for each factor by the rater. A scale of man is also created for each factor putting the best at the top and worst at the bottom, an average man in the middle for the scale, and one below the average and one above the average.

This system of measurement is used today in job evaluation being known as ‘factor-comparison method’. Though it is highly useful in measuring job, it has very limited use in measuring people.

Performance Appraisal: Method # 3. Grading:

This method assesses the degree of certain qualities required for the job such as reliability and dependability. The degree is usually reliability and dependability. The degree is usually measured on a scale (Excellent, very good, good, average, poor). Then the actual performance of each employee is compared with these grade, and the person is allocated to the grade which best describes his performance.


This system is sometimes modified into a forced distribution system. Certain percentage may be fixed for each grade such as 10% of the total personnel must go into the top grade, 20% to the second and so on. It is not useful in a small group.

Performance Appraisal: Method # 4. Graphic Scale Method:

It is a most commonly used method. It assesses a person on the quality and quantity of his work divided into a number of factors. These factors can be categorized as employee characteristics and employee contributions.

The employee characteristics include qualities such as initiative, leadership, dependability, cooperativeness, enthusiasm, loyalty, decisiveness, emotional stability, maturity, analytical ability, co-ordination and co-operation.

The employee contribution include quantity and quality of work, responsibilities undertaken, results achieved, devotion to the organization, attitudes toward superiors as well as subordinates, versatility in communication etc.


These traits are then evaluated on a “continuous” scale from unsatisfactory to outstanding, wherein the rater puts his mark somewhere along this scale based on his judgment of that particular trait.

Performance Appraisal: Method # 5. Checklist:

Under this method, a checklist is prepared in the form of a series of questions concerning the employee and his behaviour. Rater reads the questions before the concerned employee and the employee answers the questions in ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Here rater does not evaluate employee performance. He merely reports and final rating is made by the personnel department.

Performance Appraisal: Method # 6. Forced Choice Method:

This is another method designed to reduce bias and establish objective standards of comparison between individuals. In this method, the rating elements are several descriptive statements including those that best fit the individual being rated and those that fit the least.


The rater is forced to choose among these statements, leaving no grounds to make his own. These statements then weighed and scored by judges other than the rater and the workers are ranked according to these scores.

Performance Appraisal: Method # 7. Critical Incident Model:

The critical incident technique of rating is also known as the “critical requirement system” or the “performance record programme”. Under this method, the superior continuously records the incidents in any way affecting the behaviour of subordinates, positively or negatively. These incidents are recorded systematically under different categories or columns duly provided in a specifically designed Note-book.

Daily recording of these incidents seems to be most appreciable; otherwise the supervisor may forget them. It is clear that here the emphasis is sought to be shifted in the rating from assessing traits to emphasizing behaviour.


Performance Appraisal: Method # 8. Essay Descriptions:

This is the traditional way of appraising employee performance. A confidential report by the immediate supervisor is still a major determinant of the subordinate’s promotion or transfer.

The supervisor writes about a paragraph on his subordinate’s strengths, weaknesses, intelligence, attitude to work, attendance, conduct and character, work efficiency etc. The format and pattern of the report varies with each supervisor.