Performance Appraisal Dictionary

Performance appraisal glossary / dictionary / terms

1. Performance appraisal: also known as employee appraisal, is a method by which the job performance of an employee is evaluated (generally in terms of quality, quantity, cost and time). Performance appraisal is a part of career development.

2. Paired Comparison Method: Ranking employees by making a chart of all possible pairs of the employees for each trait and indicating which is the better Employee of the pair.

3. Forced Distribution Method: Similar to grading on a curve; predetermined percentages of ratees are placed in various categories.

4. Graphic Rating Scale: A scale that lists a number of traits and a range of performance for each. The employee is then rated by identifying the score that best describes his or her performance for each trait.

5. Alternation Ranking Method: Ranking employees from best to worst on a particular trait.

6. Critical Incident Method: Keeping a record of uncommonly good or undesirable examples of an employee’s work-related behavior and reviewing it with the employee at predetermined times.

7. Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS): An appraisal method that aims at combining the benefits of narrative and quantified ratings by anchoring a quantified scale with specific narrative examples of good and poor performance.

8. Management By Objectives (MBO): Involves setting specific measurable goals with each employee and then periodically reviewing the progress made.

9. Unclear Performance Standards: An appraisal scale that is too open to interpretation; instead, include descriptive phrases that define each trait and what is meant by standards like “good” or “unsatisfactory.”

10. Halo Effect: In performance appraisal, the problem that occurs when a supervisor’s rating of a subordinate on one trait biases the rating of that person on other traits.

11. Central Tendency: A tendency to rate all employees the same way, avoiding the high and the low ratings.

12. Strictness / Leniency: The problem that occurs when a supervisor has a tendency to rate all subordinates either high or low.

13. Bias: The tendency to allow individual differences such as age, race, and sex to affect the appraisal rates these employees receive.

14. Appraisal Interviews: An interview in which the supervisor and subordinate review the appraisal and make plans to remedy deficiencies and reinforce strengths.

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