What Are the Different Performance Appraisal Types?

M. Kayo

There are a number of different performance appraisal types that can be used to evaluate and assess the performance levels of employees, managers, contractors, vendors and any other type of professional relationship. Choosing the right type of appraisal may be a critical factor in motivating or aggravating those individuals being appraised. Some of the different performance appraisal types include the weighted checklist, management by objectives, critical incident rating, and the 360-degree performance appraisal. An appraisal or evaluation is essentially the process of passing judgment on an individual's work, behavior, competency to perform, and contribution in helping an organization or company reach certain goals. Most people being appraised take the appraisal very seriously, and some even take it personally. When considering these different performance appraisal types, keep these things in mind.

It is important to keep employees aware of performance metrics or evaluation strategies used to assess their work.
It is important to keep employees aware of performance metrics or evaluation strategies used to assess their work.

The weighted checklist method of performance appraisal consists of a collection of statements or list of employee performance criteria that are applicable to specific duties or behaviors related to a particular job or position. Each item on the list is assigned a number from one to seven with seven representing the highest rating. This information is then divided into two columns and a number is assigned to each item on the list for the employee being evaluated. The number placed in column one represents the overall perceived importance of the item listed, while the second number in column two represents how well an employee is doing on this performance item.

Choosing the right type of appraisal may be a critical factor in motivating the individuals being evaluated.
Choosing the right type of appraisal may be a critical factor in motivating the individuals being evaluated.

Using a set of mutually created, tangible, quantifiable, and verifiable goals to evaluate employee performance is the purpose of the management by objectives (MBO) appraisal method. The intention of this evaluation method is to encourage managers and employees to work together to establish attainable goals or benchmarks which enables employees to have more control over their job responsibilities and work behaviors. This method focuses more on accomplishing the goal and less on how that goal is accomplished. MBO allows managers to get the most out of employees by simply focusing on achievable goals. It gives the employee more creative freedom to make his or her own decisions about individual job performance.

The critical incident appraisal method utilizes a list of effective and ineffective behaviors or job related tasks and is usually prepared by the manager or supervisor. A manager will keep a log for each individual employee that records specific critical incidents or events which represent an employees superior or inferior behavior on the job. When the time rolls around for employee evaluations, the manager will use this recorded information to assess an employee's performance for the past year. Drawbacks to this method include an inordinate amount of attention for negative incidents and the added time required by close supervision in order to maintain a record of incidents.

360-degree performance appraisals involve a process by which employees may offer anonymous feedback to managers, peers, and co-workers while receiving anonymous feedback from anyone within the company or organization. Performance appraisal types of this sort typically involve the anonymous evaluations from eight to 10 people and may be as simple as completing an evaluation form or providing a more complete written description appraising an employee. Employees will also complete a self-evaluation. This appraisal offers an effective method for determining employee performance because it is anonymous and provides a well-rounded indication of an employee's strengths and weaknesses. Of all the performance appraisal types, this one is perhaps the most useful and accurate.

Managers often use a checklist to evaluate employee performance.
Managers often use a checklist to evaluate employee performance.

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Discussion Comments


As an employee, I don't like the management by objectives (MOB) type of performance appraisal. Even though this type of appraisal should be used to find shortcomings in both employee performance and organizational function, it is used mostly used for the former. I think too much pressure is placed on employees in MOB.


@turquoise-- The 360-degree performance appraisal method is accurate but unfortunately it is not utilized very often because it takes much longer than other appraisal systems and can be more costly as well.

An alternative to this method that's also easier to apply is the self-assessment method where the employee is asked to evaluate himself or herself. The results are then discussed with the supervisor or manager.

The advantage of this method is that the employee is given the opportunity to remind management of achievements and contributions, as well as shortcomings. This method improves communication and understanding between management and employees and is an unbiased appraisal type.


I just found out about the 360-degree performance appraisal method and I think that it's a great idea. Usually performance appraisal is only done by a supervisor and this type of appraisal is far from being objective in my view. Supervisors sometimes do not remember all of our accomplishments and tend to be biased in their opinions. Getting feedback and evaluations from multiple groups in an organization will give a much more accurate and objective evaluation for an employee. I completely agree with the article in this sense.

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