This training manual was developed by Dr. Betsy Shoenfelt,
Professor of Psychology for use in supervisory performance
appraisal training sessions. Dr. Shoenfelt has authorized the
availability of this on-line document.
THE ROLE OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
IN PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
A WORKSHOP FOR
WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY
Dr. Betsy Shoenfelt
Department of Psychology
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY 42101
December 2003/January 2004
1. To provide an overview of effective performance management systems, that
is, the process involved and the essential components of systems that will help
ensure the accuracy, fairness, and acceptance of performance evaluations and
2. To identify the essential components of an evaluation system from a legal
perspective and a practical perspective.
3. To identify and increase understanding of two methods for overcoming error
and bias in the appraisal process: formats and rater training. To gain some
experience (in an abbreviated form) with these methods.
4. To identify the characteristics of effective performance objectives.
5. To identify supervisory activities before, during, and after the appraisal that
will increase the accuracy, fairness, and acceptance of the evaluation.
6. To provide guidelines for giving feedback that will increase the employee's
receptivity, understanding, and acceptance of that feedback. To gain experience
providing such feedback in the context of the appraisal discussion.
7. To provide guidelines for documentation of performance within the appraisal
system (if time allows).
THE ROLE OF PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
IN PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
- CONTENTS -
THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM...........................................7
LEGAL IMPLICATIONS FOR PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
CASE LAW PRESCRIPTIONS FOR APPRAISAL SYSTEMS...........................8
PERSONNEL PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR APPRAISAL...........10
APPROACHES AND OBJECTIVES OF APPRAISAL......................................12
ERROR AND BIAS IN APPRAISAL: HOW TO PREVENT IT........................15
COMMON RATING ERRORS............................................................................16
OVERCOMING RATING ERRORS: FORMATS AND TRAINING................17
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE GOAL STATEMENTS........................19
SELECTION OF MEASURES OF GOAL ATTAINMENT................................21
SUPERVISORY ACTIVITIES BEFORE, DURING, & AFTER APPRAISAL..22
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR ADDRESSING PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS...28
FACTORS AFFECTING PERCEPTIONS OF FAIRNESS.................................30
GUIDELINES IN PREPARING DOCUMENTATION.......................................31
SUGGESTIONS FOR WRITING DESCRIPTIONS OF BEHAVIOR................32
A primary responsibility of a supervisor is to manage the performance of his/her subordinates.
Performance management is an ongoing, year-round activity and involves much more than the annual
performance review conference. Performance management has three distinct components:
1. Defining performance, including organizational objectives and strategies.
2. Measurement of performance.
3. Communication between the supervisor and subordinate about the extent to which the
employee’s performance fits with organizational expectations.
Performance appraisal is one component of performance management. Ongoing communication
between the supervisor and subordinate is an integral part of performance management. The
supervisor’s role is to understand performance standards and expectations and to help the employee
understand his/her responsibilities and how to meet them. The employee’s role is to understand the
performance standards and expectations and how his/her behavior fits with those criteria.
Performance management is crucial to organizational effectiveness. Yet, many supervisors are
reluctant to conduct appraisals and provide feedback. There are several reasons why this is so. The
most obvious is that it takes time. Many managers feel feedback and communication take time away
from other work. However, a supervisor who complains that it takes too much time to provide
performance goals and feedback to subordinates may be misconstruing his/her job. Defining and
communicating about performance with the subordinate is one of the major duties of a supervisor.
Performance management should not be viewed as distractions from more important tasks.
Other reasons supervisors avoid the evaluation process include the desire to avoid giving negative
feedback, fear of experiencing the dissatisfaction of some incumbents with the outcome of the
evaluation, fear they may be challenged on their evaluations, and even the fear that they may be
named as a party to a lawsuit brought by an incumbent charging unfairness.
However, there are guidelines for performance management that, if followed, ensure the accuracy of
evaluations, the perceived fairness of the evaluations by workers, meeting legal standards for
evaluations, and the effectiveness of performance management for achieving organizational
The Evaluation Process JOB ANALYSIS
Identify Specific The system should be based on some type
of job analysis. That is, analyzing the job to
Establish Job identify the relevant dimensions of
performance and the requirements for
effective performance in each job
(Measure/Rate) SETTING PERFORMANCE
with Employee The job requirements must be translated
into levels of acceptable and unacceptable
performance. The standards should be
clearly identified in behavioral terms.
Performance Objectives. The job standards should be applied to each individual to identify
specific performance goals/objectives.
Job Expectations. It should be determined how the individual will meet these objectives in
concrete, behavioral terms. This provides very clear job expectations for the individual
Observation and Feedback. Observation and feedback should be on-going throughout the
appraisal period. The supervisor should let the employee know what s/he is doing right and
where s/he is falling short in meeting the objectives. This allows the employee the
opportunity to correct his/her actions and get back on track to meet the performance goals.
Evaluation. At the end of the appraisal period, the supervisor must compare the performance
of the employee to the standard and determine where the employee falls.
Appraisal Discussion. The supervisor should meet with the employee and discuss each
dimension of performance in terms of whether or not the employee met the performance
goals. New objectives and behavioral expectations should be set in consideration of
attainments and deficiencies.
The process of performance appraisal, not the mechanics, determine the overall effectiveness of this
essential organizational activity.
LEGAL IMPLICATIONS FOR PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
- CASE LAW PRESCRIPTIONS FOR APPRAISAL SYSTEMS -
1. Standards for evaluation should be based on an analysis of job requirements. Perform a
thorough analysis of the job to determine tasks and responsibilities necessary for successful job
2. Performance standards must be communicated to employees and raters. Incorporate
these characteristics into a rating instrument with written, definitive standards that are
provided to all raters and ratees.
3. Employees should be evaluated on specific dimensions of job performance rather than
on a single global or overall measure. The dimensions of performance should be on an
appraisal instrument that is compatible with the results of some form of job analysis. The items
for each dimension and the assignment of weights for the dimensions and items should be based
on their relevance as determined in the job analysis.
4. Performance dimensions should be defined in behavioral terms and supported by
objective, observable evidence. Courts have ruled against evaluation methods that place undue
reliance on general character traits, opinion-based subjectivity, without identifiable criteria based
on quality or quantity of work or specific performance that were supported by some kind of
5. Train raters to use the performance appraisal system properly. This involves instruction
on how to apply performance standards when making judgments. The uniform application of
standards is extremely important. Individual raters should be assessed for validity in their
When possible, more than one rater should be used, particularly when ratings are to be closely
tied to important personnel decisions. The use of more than one rater diminishes the influence,
idiosyncrasies, and the biases of any single rater. However, any rater must be capable of
adequately observing and appraising performance. Otherwise, the valid ratings of a single rater
may be negated by the invalid ratings of others.
6. Documentation of evaluation should be required. Several cases have made reference to
the need to justify a number on a rating form with details of what a person did or did not do.
Thus, if an adverse personnel decision is made on the basis of an appraisal, detailed
documentation must be presented to "explain" a rating. Credibility is enhanced with documented
performance appraisal ratings and specific instances of poor performance.
Such documentation could be in the form of a record of critical incidents, with the date, time,
witnesses, and details noted. It is probably best to keep documentation requirements as uniform
as possible across ratees. Such uniformity might help avoid the impression that the supervisor
was "out to get" certain individuals by maintaining a detailed log of unacceptable behaviors
while apparently not worrying about those considered to be effective performers. Given
evidence of adverse impact, the presentation of a log or diary with virtually nothing in it but
negative entries regarding minorities and females would probably be damaging to the
organization's position that safeguards had been taken to prevent bias.
7. A formal appeals process should be established. A review of ratings by upper-level
personnel is desirable. A formal appeals process would create the impression that raters must
defend their judgments and ratees will be allowed their "day in court" to rebut such judgments.
An appeals process would also underscore the importance of appraisal as a supervisory function
and would perhaps make raters more conscientious about rating.
8. Provide some form of performance counseling or corrective guidance to assist poor
performers in improving their performance. Review appraisal results with employees.
The courts look favorably on these practices. There are a number of methods that are valid and
legally defensible. An appraisal system that meets these criteria should be in good shape.
Management Tips for Avoiding Legal Challenges
to Your Performance Evaluations
1. Documentation such as written performance appraisals can be your protection against
wrongful lawsuits charging discrimination. An organization is allowed to terminate employment
for someone for any reason except certain prohibited reasons (EEO, etc.). As long as you
document poor or deteriorating performance, generally an individual may be terminated on that
basis and the organization has protection against claims of discrimination.
2. On the other hand, if you do conduct written performance appraisals, but treat workers with
similar appraisals differently, you may be subject to charges of discrimination.
3. Where performance appraisals are based on bias, stereotypes, or prejudice, you are subject to
claims of discrimination. Supervisors need to undergo training to learn to conduct evaluations
that are not biased and evaluations that are free from prejudgments.
4. Ensure there are precautions against inappropriate disclosures. An employer may be subject to
claims of privacy invasion or defamation under certain circumstances. (Without the consent of
the employee, either unintentionally or intentionally communicating false information about the
employee that causes harm or loss of reputation may be defamation. False evaluation may be
false information, evaluation on improper criteria, evaluation that fails to include information to
justify or explain a poor appraisal, or when a rater changes a prior evaluation to justify a
subsequent adverse action against the employee.)
5. If your employee manual or other materials state that you will conduct appraisals, failure to
conduct them may make you open to claims of negligence. (Employee is entitled to feedback and
the opportunity to correct performance.)
6. Documentation of discipline, appraisals, warnings, and comments should be retained in each
employee’s file and a copy should be given to the employee to provide him/her with the
opportunity to appeal the action.
GOOD PERSONNEL PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
Legal recommendations correspond very strongly to practical recommendations from
performance appraisal experts.
The professional literature on performance appraisal consistently suggests some practices that
should be followed in developing and implementing an appraisal system. These suggestions
stem from both practical and legal concerns and are summarized below.
1. Base the appraisal system on a job analysis. Conduct a job analysis to ascertain
specific dimensions of performance and the behaviors necessary for successful job
performance. Incorporate these dimensions and behaviors into a rating instrument(s).
Standards for performance should be objectively stated, preferably in behavioral and/or
outcome-related terms. Unstandardized, vague, or non-job-related criteria are
2. Provide written instructions for implementing all phases of the system.
3. Train supervisors to use the rating instrument properly. This involves instruction on
how to apply performance standards when making judgments. The uniform application
of standards is extremely important.
4. Raters should have direct (first-hand, i.e., they have observed performance or its
outcomes) knowledge of the individuals they are evaluating. When multiple sources
are used, consistency across sources should be analyzed.
5. Performance standards should be clearly communicated to the employee prior to the
beginning of the appraisal period. Likewise, the consequences of failing to meet the
performance standards should be clearly communicated to the employee.
6. Feedback should be provided to employees on an on-going basis, i.e., not only in the
annual performance review. The results of the annual evaluation should not be
unexpected. In addition, if the employee is not performing up to standard, on-going
feedback provides an opportunity for immediate improvement before the annual rating.
The feedback should be specific, behavioral, and tied to the performance standards.
7. Documentation should be provided for evaluations. This justification is especially
important for extreme ratings (high or low). The documentation should be done
throughout the appraisal period. It should be specific and should be related to the
8. Invite written comments from the employee.
9. An improvement plan with a timetable and specific benchmarks should be provided
for anyone who falls below the standard. Provide some form of performance
counseling or corrective guidance to assist poor performers in improving their
10. Allow employees to review appraisal results. Require the employee to sign-off on the
appraisal, indicating that they have reviewed the appraisal.
11. Formal appeal mechanisms and review of ratings by upper-level personnel is
12. The organization should document evaluations and reasons for termination decisions.
Good news is that when you do performance appraisal correctly, you don't have to worry about
legal concerns. Nothing indicates that there must be a common format (i.e., rating scale) across
all departments. However, any format should be based on job requirements and should be stated
in objective terminology (i.e., behavior or outcomes). The general procedure for the appraisal
system should have common elements.
Comparison of Appraisal Prescriptions
• LEGAL IMPLICATIONS • PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS
• Based on job analysis • Based on job analysis
• Specific performance dimensions • Specific performance dimensions
• Written objective standards • Written objective standards
• Performance standards • Performance standards
communicated to worker communicated to worker
• Dimensions of performance defined • Identify behaviors of successful
• Train raters • Train raters
Comparison of Appraisal Prescriptions
• LEGAL IMPLICATIONS • PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS
• Based on job analysis • Based on job analysis
• Specific performance dimensions • Specific performance dimensions
• Written objective standards • Written objective standards
• Performance standards • Performance standards
communicated to worker communicated to worker
• Dimensions of performance defined • Identify behaviors of successful
• Train raters • Train raters
• Documentation • Documentation
• Formal appeals process • Formal appeals process
• Corrective guidance to poor • Improvement plan with timetable
performers • On -going Feedback
APPROACHES AND OBJECTIVES OF APPRAISAL
The primary purpose of performance appraisal is to improve employee performance levels. This
typically takes two distinct approaches:
1. ADMINISTRATIVE APPROACH
The first and traditional approach has been the use of evaluations to make administrative
decisions about employees. Some of the decisions involve rewards, such as who will be
promoted or who will receive salary increases. Others are more neutral such as who would
benefit from training, while others are punitive such as who should be warned, disciplined, or
terminated. These decisions are often based on how effectively employees perform their job.
Effective reward allocation requires valid performance evaluation which differentiates employees
according to a quantifiable scoring system. The evaluation instrument must be sensitive to
differences in performance in order to distinguish across performers. The documentation required
for such decisions must be facilitated by the performance appraisal format.
COMMUNICATION. Performance management systems should let subordinates know where
they stand, how well they are doing, and what changes in their behavior are required for effective
Performance appraisal should provided a context to communicate:
• Work to be accomplished
• Performance expectations (goals: what, how, when)
• Feedback concerning current performance
To provide feedback and improve performance, the evaluation should be:
• unambiguous and clearly specify the job-related performance expected
• use behavioral terminology
• set behavioral target goals for ratees to work toward
• use a problem-solving focus that culminates in a specific plan for performance
improvement, if needed.
2. DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH
The second approach to performance management focuses on the development of employees so
they may perform their tasks more effectively. That is, to identify strengths on which to
capitalize and weaknesses as areas of improvement. Performance management systems should
provide a means for coaching and counseling subordinates to train and develop them to their full
The focus to develop employees so they can perform their tasks more effectively:
• What the employee can do: training, more effort, different tools or methods, etcWhat the
organization can do: provide training, equipment, tools, time, etc.
The identification of promotional potential requires that job-related PAs have several dimensions
in the incumbents job the same or similar to the job to which the incumbent may be promoted.
The PA should also permit comparative ranking of the ratees, measure the contribution to
departmental objectives, and perhaps capture the ratee's career aspirations and long-term goals.
While the objectives of the administrative and developmental approaches are similar (i.e.,
employee improvement), the processes through which the objective are accomplished are quite
dissimilar. The administrative uses of appraisal necessarily emphasize the authority of the
superior over the subordinate and tend to be oriented toward the measurement of past
performance. The developmental approach, on the other hand, tends to emphasize subordinate
contributions to both work and planning (goal setting) and evaluation of completed work and
focuses on how performance levels can be improved in the future.
These two approaches to appraisal necessarily conflict to some extent. For example, the use of
appraisals by superiors for administrative decisions may inhibit the subordinate's openness with
and trust in the manager which is necessary in using appraisals to aid development. Supervisors
may find it necessary to separate the two approaches and hold separate conferences: one for
administrative purposes and one for developmental purposes.
In this regard, appraisals are viewed primarily as mechanisms for increasing employee
commitment or motivation for task accomplishment. The feedback the employee receives
through the appraisal process can be helpful in more effectively directing work energies toward
the goals of the organization.
Objectives for the Two Approaches to
• Administrative Objectives • Developmental Objectives
– To provide feedback so the – To coach, council, develop
employee knows where s/he potential
– To motivate through recognition
– To develop data for and support
administrative purposes (e.g.,
– To diagnose problems and
salary, promotion, etc.)
develop plans to correct them
– To provide a means for
– To develop commitment to the
communicating those decisions
organization through career
– To deal with unsatisfactory planning
– To strengthen relationship –
mechanism, objective basis for
decisions – e.g., discipline or
WITHIN A THOROUGH PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM . . .
1. Translate organizational goals into individual performance objectives/requirements.
2. Communicate their expectations regarding employee performance.
3. Provide feedback to employees.
4. Coach the employee on how to achieve job objectives/requirements.
5. Diagnose the employee's relative strengths and weaknesses
6. Determine a developmental plan for improving job performance and ability
Employees should get answers to:
1. What am I expected to do?
2. How well am I doing? How will I know if I am doing well?
3. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
4. How can I do a better job or contribute more?
The organization should:
1. Convey to employees what is expected of them.
2. Set priorities and objectives.
3. Provide support for accomplishing objectives.
4. Respond to problems.
ERROR AND BIAS IN PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL: HOW TO PREVENT IT
Supervisory ratings are the most frequently used method of performance evaluation. However,
since ratings depend on human judgment, they are subject to error and biases. There are a number
of different methods for rating job performance; each attempts to reduce error in some way. No
method of performance evaluation is completely error-free. Error and bias may be associated
with raters (e.g., lack of first-hand knowledge of employee performance, personal values), ratees
(e.g., job tenure, race), various situational and organizational characteristics, or some interaction
Error and bias can be reduced sharply, however, through the development and use of sound rating
formats and through training in the technical and human aspects of the rating process. Raters can
be trained to increase the accuracy of their ratings and to eliminate or avoid some of the most
common types of errors. Practice in objectively observing and recording behavior will improve
the accuracy of performance evaluations.
COMMON RATING ERRORS
Performance ratings should reflect actual performance, not irrelevant or incorrect information.
The following are brief descriptions of some of the more common rating errors.
Leniency and Severity - Committed by the rater who is either too easy or overly harsh in rating
employees. May be caused by inaccurate frames of reference or standards.
Central Tendency - Rater consistently rates employees close to the midpoint of the scale when
the employee's performance warrants a substantially higher or lower rating. This error may occur
when the rater has insufficient information to accurately rate the individual, so the supervisor
gives an average or “middle of the road” rating.
Halo - Rater inappropriately generalizes from one aspects of an individual's performance on the
job to other dimensions of performance. This error occurs because the rater fails to discriminate
different levels of performance on various dimensions of performance. Most workers are better at
some tasks and perform less well on other tasks.
Contrast Effect - Tendency for a rater to evaluate a worker relative to other individuals rather
than in comparison to the performance standards.
First Impression Error - Tendency for the rater to make an initial favorable or unfavorable
judgment about a worker then to ignore (or perceptually distort) subsequent information, thereby
supporting the initial impression (self-fulfilling prophecy).
Similar-to-Me Error/Friendship Bias - Tendency on part of rater to judge persons they perceive
as similar to themselves more favorably.
The most common rating error is “Leniency,” where the rater gives ratings higher than the ratee
deserves. That is, the rater gives ratings at the high end of the scale even though the employee’s
actual performance does not merit the high ratings. The rater could be described as being “too
There are several reasons why leniency occurs.
• Reason 1: The supervisor is uncomfortable giving negative feedback or average feedback.
Remember that accurate feedback is necessary for any improvement to occur.
• Reason 2: The supervisor has unusually low performance standards. Recognize the need
to use the rating guidelines, not personal standards
• Reason 3: The supervisor assumes other supervisors will be lenient and does not want his/
her workers to suffer by comparison. This “second-guessing” defeats the whole evaluation
• Reason 4: The supervisor fears retaliation from subordinates for giving negative feedback
When appraisals are done appropriately, following the guidelines, they will be perceived
Despite any of these stated reasons, giving lenient ratings is an error and causes bias because the
artificially high ratings do not accurately reflect the employee’s performance level. In fact, a
lenient rater tends to over-reward poor performers and frustrate good performers who feel their
good performance is not being differentiated from the poor performers.
OVERCOMING RATING ERRORS: FORMATS AND TRAINING
There are two general approaches to overcoming rating errors. The first approach involves the
development and use of rating formats to help prevent errors. The second approach involves
training raters to be accurate in making ratings and to avoid making errors. These two
approaches should be used in conjunction for the best results.
There are a number of formats that can be used for making performance appraisal ratings. The
specific format that is best for a given organization depends upon the objectives the organization
is hoping to achieve through performance appraisal as well as the particular types of errors that
are likely to occur in the specific situation.
There are three general suggestions in selecting an appraisal format:
1. Build as much structure as possible. Use a job analysis to specify what is really relevant to
effective job performance, that is, to identify relevant dimensions of performance. Set standards
of performance and provide examples of actual job behavior that illustrate different levels of
performance on all performance dimensions. Provide instruction on how to properly use the
2. As much as possible, the evaluation of the behavior should be removed from the
observation of behavior. Standards should be set and behavioral examples of different levels of
performance should be identified prior to implementing the format. The rater should know
standards prior to observing performance. The behavior should be observed then compared to the
standards. The rater can focus on observing and recording the behavior of the worker. The
"evaluative" part of the process will have been determined beforehand when the standards were
3. Do not require raters to make judgments they are not competent to make. Do not ask
them to make judgements beyond those they can make accurately. Raters must know the job, the
standards of performance, and have sufficient familiarity with the worker to make the rating. For
example, if the format requires a judgment of frequency, ensure the raters have had sufficient
opportunity to observe the ratees so their ratings are accurate.
Formats alone cannot produce valid appraisals. They cannot specify everything a rater needs to
know or consider in order to rate accurately. The rater must make inferences about performance.
Despite the desire to limit the role of the rater to that of simply an observer, the fact is that the
rater really is an evaluator-judge. It is important that individuals who provide performance
ratings have been trained.
There are three broad objectives in rater training:
1. reduce or eliminate judgmental biases
2. improve observation skills by teaching raters what to attend to
3. improve the ability of raters to communicate appraisal information in an objective,
constructive manner with ratees.
The content of the training falls into four categories:
Rater Error Training attempts to directly reduce rating errors, typically by presenting raters
with examples of common rating errors such as leniency, halo, central tendency, and contrast
errors. After raters are familiar with these errors, they are encouraged to avoid them.
Performance Dimension Training attempts to improve the effectiveness of ratings by
familiarizing raters with the dimensions by which the performance is rated. This is done by
providing descriptions of job qualifications and requirements, reviewing the rating scale used in
the evaluations, and/or having raters participate in the actual development of the rating scale.
Most definitions of jobs assume the tasks performed are similar in some respect. However, it is
important to recognize that there are different dimensions to job performance that should be
reflected in the rating format. It is equally important to recognize that employees have strengths
and weaknesses. A given employee will be better on some dimensions and not as well on other
dimensions. Even the star employee doesn't do everything equally well. Even a poor employee is
worse on some dimensions than on others.
Frame of Reference/Standards Training attempts to provide raters with a frame of reference for
making evaluations of the ratee's performance. The goal is to get raters to share a common
perception of performance standards. A frame of reference is achieved by presenting examples of
job performance to trainees along with the appropriate or "true" ratings assigned to the
performance by "experts".
The rater should know the job. S/he should be able to define each dimension of performance on
the rating format. S/he should know the behaviors needed to perform each dimension of
performance. S/he should know the standards of performance for each dimension. Raters should
have a common understanding of the standards. They should then make evaluations based on
behaviors, not on global impressions.
Behavior Observation Training emphasizes the importance of observing performance so that
the rater will have accurate information on which to base the rating. This includes actually
observing performance, observing objectively, and recalling what was observed accurately. In
recalling information we tend to simplify what we observed by summarizing detailed information
into categories (e.g., poor or good performance) instead of remembering the actual performance.
This evaluative summary makes it difficult to later justify a rating when the specific performance
cannot be recalled. It is better to keep systematic notes on the performance of all subordinates
throughout the appraisal period. The notes should include the actual behavior and the
circumstances under which it occurred. The supervisor should attempt to collect information
relevant to each dimension of performance on the appraisal format and ensure that the behaviors
recorded are representative of the employee’s performance. Effective supervisors should have a
good understanding of what each subordinate has done in terms of results and how each employee
accomplished his/her results in terms of work activities. It has been recommended that
supervisors allot thirty minutes a week to recording performance observations of subordinates.
Information recorded should include the date of the observation, the observed behavior, outcomes
stemming from the behavior, and the supervisor’s impression of performance effectiveness
relative to the standards.
Research has shown that the best way to increase accuracy is to combine Performance Dimension
Training, Performance Standards Training, and Behavior Observation Training. This is
accomplished by familiarizing raters with the specific behaviors that makeup each performance
dimension. By defining these behaviors early in the appraisal process, raters are able to attend to
them and to make independent evaluations of specific behaviors without relying on general,
global impressions. Behavior Observation Training emphasizes objectively observing and
recalling the employee’s performance. Performance Standards Training helps clarify the weight
that should be given each behavior when combining them to determine the final evaluation.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE GOAL STATEMENTS
The effectiveness of a goal depends upon a number of characteristics. All of these characteristics
should be present for the goal to be effective.
CLEAR AND SPECIFIC
A goal should be specific in clear, concise language. Statements usually include an action verb
and a specific outcome. The outcome may be a quantitative measure or the completion of an
Examples of specific, results-oriented goal statements include the following:
• Complete inventory reports with proper documentation by May 16.
• Complete the revision of the safety policy and procedure manual for the building by the
beginning of the fall semester.
• Complete supervisory training in performance appraisal by January 21
General statements like "do your best" and "make a substantial improvement" are vague and
should not be used. Each goal statement should include only one outcome. Detail such as
justification for the goal or the action plan to attain it, while they may support the goal should not
be included in the goal statement itself.
MEASURABLE AND IDENTIFIABLE
If possible, a goal should be stated in terms of a quantitative measure of results. The goal can be
stated in relative terms (e.g., 100% improvement), but it is less confusing to use absolute terms
(e.g., complete 8 hours of professional training). If an accurate measure is not available and
cannot be developed, then the next best thing is an activity for which successful completion can
be verified (e.g., to attend a workshop, to complete a report). Note that some subjectivity may be
necessary in making a judgment about "satisfactory" completion, but the indicators should be
specified in advance.
A goal statement should include a target date or deadline for accomplishment. The date should be
specific (e.g., June 1), not vague (e.g., as soon as possible or next spring). A specific deadline
reduces the chance of misunderstanding about what is expected.
CHALLENGING BUT REALISTIC
A goal should be difficult enough to be perceived as a challenge. This does not necessarily mean
it should require improvement in performance, especially if the performance is already at an
exceptional level or if conditions are worsening. The goal should be challenging but not so
difficult that it appears impossible or unrealistic. In determining whether a goal is realistic, it is
useful to consider prior performance by the same person, people in comparable positions,
available resources, likely conditions that will affect performance, and the amount of time until
The results of attaining the goal should justify the expected costs in resources and work hours.
There is usually a tradeoff between goal difficulty and cost. The harder a goal is, the more effort
and resources are needed to attain it, and the greater is the cost.
Goals should be set for results related to primary responsibilities. Trivial goals interfere with the
attainment of more important goals by competing for attention, time, and energy. Goals should
not be stated in terms of an activity that is only a means to a desired result. For example, a goal
involving product quality should be stated in terms of reducing quality defects or increasing
defect free product - not in terms of increasing frequency of inspections. With respect to personal
development goals, they should have relevance to the organization as well as to the employee.
SELECTION OF MEASURES OF GOAL ATTAINMENT
CONTROLLABLE VERSUS UNCONTROLLABLE OUTCOMES
Performance outcomes that are more controllable by an employee are more appropriate for goal
setting. It is more difficult to measure performance by someone who is part of a team than
performance by someone who works independently. To evaluate someone who is a part of a
team, measure of the person's contribution to the team are more appropriate than measures of
MULTIPLE VERSUS COMPOSITE MEASURES
Sometimes there is no single indicator that accurately represents a goal result. When there are
multiple outcomes for a goal, it is necessary to choose between setting a separate goal for each
outcome or setting a single goal in terms of a composite outcome measure. When a composite
measure is used, the relative importance of each component must be determined in order to assign
different weights to the component outcomes. However, the more adjustments made to a
composite, the more difficult it becomes to identify reasons for particular results.
ONE-TIME VERSUS REPEATED MEASURES
It is usually necessary to decide the frequency of measurement for outcomes and the time interval
over which to aggregate the data. The accuracy of the measure is greater if it is obtained
repeatedly over a period of time rather than only once. Multiple measures averaged over a time
provide a more accurate indicator of performance because random fluctuations are smoothed out.
A longer time interval is especially appropriate for events that occur infrequently. It is not always
easy to determine the appropriate time period over which to aggregate measures. Short
measurement periods provide more opportunity to monitor improvement if there are performance
deficiencies. However, reliability is lower for short time periods; furthermore, it may be more
expensive to collect data frequently, and the measurement process may intrude upon the work.
SUBJECTIVE VERSUS OBJECTIVE MEASURES
The use of either objective or subjective measures has limitations. It is sometimes difficult to
obtain outcome measures that are not contaminated by extraneous factors. Subjective outcome
measures (typically performance ratings) frequently are biased by errors stemming from incorrect
assumptions and attributions.
A CHECKLIST FOR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Is the goal or objective:
_____ 1. Supportive of Departmental/College/University goals?
_____ 2. Deals with important aspects of job?
_____ 3. Measurable with qualitative or quantitative criteria?
_____ 4. Results-oriented?
_____ 5. Specific?
_____ 6. Clearly worded?
_____ 7. Time-binding? (Clear time frame for goal completion)
_____ 8. Achievable?
_____ 9. Challenging?
_____ 10. Supported by authority and resources? (Identify resources needed to accomplish
_____ 11. Backed by an action plan?
SUPERVISORY ACTIVITIES BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER APPRAISAL
BEFORE THE APPRAISAL DISCUSSION
Frequent communication. Once a year appraisal and feedback is not sufficient. Coaching
and feedback should be on-going throughout the appraisal period. Coaching should occur
more frequently with new employees and poor performers. Feedback has maximum
impact when it is given as close as possible to the action. If the employee performs
effectively, tell him/her immediately. If the employee performs ineffectively, tell him/her
immediately. Do not just file these incidents away for discussion nine months later.
Appraisal training. Managers should receive training on how to observe behavior more
accurately and fairly. Training should focus on dimensions and behaviors that are difficult
to rate and/or those that result in disagreement among raters.
Judge your own performance first. We have a tendency to use ourselves as the norm or
standard by which to judge others. Knowing ourselves makes it easier to see others
accurately. The defined standards should be the basis for comparison; not ourselves or
own idiosyncratic preferences.
Encourage subordinate preparation. Research indicates that the more time subordinates
spend prior to that appraisal interview analyzing their job duties, problems on the job, and
the quality of their performance, the more likely they were to be satisfied with the
appraisal process, motivated to improve their own performance, and to actually improve
their performance. Employees should be encouraged or required to evaluate their own
performance against the same standards used by the supervisor.
DURING THE APPRAISAL DISCUSSION
Warm up and encourage participation. Research indicates that the more the employee
feels s/he participated by presenting his/her own ideas and feelings, the more the employee
is likely to feel the supervisor was helpful and constructive, problems were addressed, and
future goals were set. However, the employee must trust the supervisor, be comfortable
participating, and be knowledgeable about the job for the participation to be effective.
Judge performance, not personality. The more supervisors focus on personality and
mannerisms rather than on job-related behavior, the lower the satisfaction of the
subordinate and the lower the likelihood the subordinate will be motivated to change.
Be specific. By being candid and specific, the supervisor offers very clear feedback to the
subordinate concerning past behavior. It also demonstrates knowledge about the
employee's level of job performance and job duties. The supervisor should be specific
about positive as well as negative behaviors on the job.
Be an active listener. The objective of active listening is to ensure understanding of the
speaker's point of view; to try to see things from his/her point of view. It is not to form a
rebuttal or to make your own point. Reflecting or paraphrasing what the speaker has said
indicates active listening. Active listeners are attentive to verbal and nonverbal cues.
They accept what the other is saying without argument or criticism.
Avoid destructive criticism. Destructive criticism is general in nature, frequently delivered
with a biting tone, and often attributes poor performance to internal causes. Destructive
criticism produces negative feelings, can initiate or intensify conflict, and has negative
effects on goals and feelings of self-efficacy.
Set mutually agreeable goals. Goal setting directs effort and increases persistence toward
completing a task. Participation in goal setting frequently increase the acceptance of goals
and thereby increases their effectiveness.
AFTER THE APPRAISAL INTERVIEW
Continue to communicate and assess progress towards goals regularly. Coaching should
be a day-to-day activity. The appraisal interview should be merely a formalized summary
of an on-going process. Periodic feedback in relation to objectives helps keep the
behavior on track, provides a better understanding of the reasons behind a given level of
performance, and ensures the employee knows how well/poorly s/he is performing.
Make organizational rewards contingent on performance. Research indicates that
subordinates that see a link between appraisal results and personnel decisions are more
likely to prepare for the appraisal interview, to actively take part in it, and to be satisfied
with the appraisal system.
SUPERVISORY ACTIVITIES BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER APPRAISAL
BEFORE Communicate frequently with subordinates about their performance.
Get training in performance appraisal.
Judge your own performance first before judging others.
Encourage subordinates to prepare for the interview.
DURING Warm up and encourage subordinate participation.
Judge performance, not personality or mannerisms.
Be an active listener.
Avoid destructive criticism.
Set mutually agreeable goals for future improvement.
AFTER Communicate frequently with subordinates about their performance.
Periodically assess progress toward goals.
Make organizational rewards contingent on performance.
GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK
For the manager who deals predominantly with high quality performers, the performance
appraisal process is an enjoyable one. Although most managers would prefer to work in this type
of situation, most find themselves working with employees whose performance ranges from
unacceptable to exceptional and therefore having to adjust their appraisal to fit each employee.
For the manager who is not trained in counseling on different kinds of performance problems,
adjusting his/her approach to fit the needs of high-quality and lower-quality performers can be
difficult. However, frequently the biggest problem for managers is that employees react to the
appraisal on a personal level, not a professional one. The question is:
What communication approaches can a manager use to more clearly communicate to an
employee what s/he must do to improve performance? At the same time, what approaches
help reduce employee hostility and defensiveness and also generate cooperation in
working to improve performance - to increase acceptance of the information?
Generally, using a problem-solving approach is most effective. Focus on the behavior that is
causing the problem rather than on placing blame. Use a future orientation, that is, what can be
done to improve subsequent performance rather than focusing on the past. Be proactive rather
More specifically, the following are guidelines for giving performance feedback. Note that the
focus is on how the information is presented as well as on the content of the information.
1. Descriptive vs. Evaluative. The way to avoid evoking defensive behavior is by using
descriptive rather than evaluative approaches to the problem. When a supervisor exhibits
evaluative (i.e., blame placing) behavior, it will almost always elicit defensive behavior from the
employee. The more personal, negative, and accusatory the evaluation by the supervisor, the
more hostile and defensive the employee will become.
By stating in a descriptive, non-personal way that a problem exists and then describing that
problem, the supervisor is signaling to the employee that s/he wants to analyze and discuss a
problem, not demean the employee. In such a way, the discussion can move on to the more
constructive elements of the process, that is, the problem solving.
Evaluative: You're a poor long-range planner.
Descriptive: The long-range planning in your proposal needs some
Evaluative: You're careless.
Descriptive: There are many errors in this report.
2. Impact of Behavior vs. Do It Differently. Effective feedback focuses on the impact the
performance has on the unit and other individuals. It is not a demand for change. For example, it
is more effective to say, "When you interrupt me it makes it difficult for me to explain my
position." than "You have to stop interrupting." The latter may reflect your honest opinion, but is
not likely to be as effective in addressing the problem as the former. Helpful feedback is given so
the person can better understand the effect their behavior has on others. It doesn't rule out
discussing different approaches - it just rules out a demand for change.
Demand: You have to get your reports in on time.
Impact: When your report is late it delays the completion of the departmental report.
3. Specific vs. General. Effective feedback gives specific examples of behavior rather than
general ones. For example, it is more effective to say "You have interrupted me four times during
this meeting." than "You always interrupt me." The more specific the feedback, the easier it is for
the person to understand exactly what you mean, to believe what you say, and to develop a plan
for change. It is easy to dismiss generalities such as "always" and "never." It is much more
difficult to dismiss specific descriptions of behavior because the person knows they occurred.
4. Controllable vs. Uncontrollable. Effective feedback concerns behavior the individual can do
something about. Telling someone about something over which they have no control may only
frustrate them and can create resentment.
Uncontrollable: Your co-workers are awfully noisy in the hallway.
Controllable: Your shouting in the hallway disrupted my presentation this morning.
5. Timely vs. Late. Feedback is most effective when it is given as soon as possible after the
occurrence. Of course, "as soon as possible" must be considered in light of your state of mind and
with deference to the feeling of the individual to whom you wish to give the feedback. It is not a
good idea to give feedback when you are angry, when it might embarrass the receiver, or when
the receiver is particularly vulnerable or upset. It is better to wait until a more appropriate time
when you are calm, the recipient is alone and calm.
6. Problem Orientation vs. Control Orientation. Effective feedback focuses on the effect the
behavior has, that is, the problem. Attempting to analyze the reasons behind another individual's
behavior is beyond the boundary of effective feedback. Rather than trying to attribute underlying
motives, focus on the impact of the behavior. That is more objective and less likely to cause
A control communicative stance emphasizes the supervisor's power over the subordinate. It is not
likely to be as effective as a problem orientation because, like most of us, employees don't like to
feel dominated by another person and react defensively when they do. The problem orientation
will increase the employee's sense of personal control over whatever the problem is. A problem
orientation conveys a sense of respect for the employee's ability to work on a problem and to
formulate meaningful answers to the problem. Focus on identifying and solving the problem, not
on placing blame or controlling.
7. Positive and Negative vs. Only Negative/Only Positive. Effective feedback can be both
positive and negative. Both are important. Yet there is a tendency to think of feedback in only
negative terms. People are more likely to take negative feedback seriously if they believe that
their positive behavior is also observed and acknowledged. People are more likely to believe the
feedback you give them if they know you are being honest with them in general. Sometimes
being honest involves negative feedback. The ideal is to find a balance between the two. This
does not mean that every time you give someone negative feedback you must strain to find
something positive to say. It does mean that over time there should be a balance. During a
structured feedback session, there should be a balance over the course of the session.
Acceptance is increased when you begin with positive feedback. It also puts the employee at ease
to begin with minor issues and then proceed to the major issues. Some have suggested
sandwiching negative feedback between positive feedback. But it is more important that the
feedback be honest and accurate, that it deals with meaningful issues, and is not trivial.
8. Help vs. Punish. Before you give feedback you should be honest with yourself about your
motivation. Remember, feedback is not a demand to change, nor should it ever be done to punish,
win a point, or dominate the other person. You should only give feedback if you can honestly say
that your motivation is to help the other person (i.e., reinforce good performance, correct
problems, get worker back on track) or strengthen your relationship.
These guidelines for communication are all designed to help the manager reduce the
defensiveness of employees, and as such they share a common base: they emphasize a process of
analysis, rather than appraisal, or employee problems. Of course inherent in the analysis is some
evaluation of past performance. Hopefully the employee will be led to approach this evaluation
from a more participative and less defensive position. Instead of being told simply that he or she
failed, the employee's help is enlisted to pinpoint problems and come up with answers to
problems. An analytical process should emphasize the employee's personal worth and
demonstrate the confidence that management has in the employee's ability to learn from and
improve on past behavior.
Unfortunately, not all employees will be able to recognize and resolve their performance
problems no matter what managers do. But the manager who validates the employee's worth
through supportive, nonevaluative communicative techniques will at least find that his
suggestions to the employee are received with less defensiveness and anger. Constructive
communication techniques, when correctly used, should make the process a little less painful and
intimidating for all concerned.
BEWARE OF DESTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
Destructive (as opposed to “constructive”) criticism is defined as negative feedback that is cruel,
sarcastic, and/or offensive. It usually is general rather than specific, often directed toward
personal characteristics of the employee rather than job-relevant behaviors.
Destructive criticism leads to anger, tension, and resentment on the part of the employee.
Destructive criticism usually occurs after a period in which the supervisor has allowed incidents
of poor performance on the part of the subordinate to pile up. By then the supervisor has strong
emotions attached to the poor performance, and the feedback consequently comes out as
Once one has engaged in destructive criticism, what can be done to correct the situation?
The most direct way to counteract the damaging effect of destructive criticism is with an apology.
The apology should include an explanation that the supervisor did not intend to be cruel, but
instead was trying to set high standards because the work is demanding.
Providing the recipient of the destructive criticism an opportunity to “vent” his or her anger to a
third party makes the situation even worse. It tends to increase the anger and hostility.
If you have delivered destructive feedback, apologize as quickly as possible and make it clear that
you didn’t mean to humiliate the recipient, although you understand that it might appear that way.
The longer the period between the destructive feedback and the apology, the stronger the hostility
and anger that builds up in the recipient.
GUIDELINES FOR RECEIVING FEEDBACK
1. Elicit vs. Wait - ask for feedback
2. Maintain Attention vs. Wander - listen and seek to understand
3. Check vs. Assume - check to ensure understanding
4. Clarify vs. Justify - ensure you understand; do not try to justify, explain, or defend your
5. Ask Others vs. Discount - if the feedback is inconsistent with your opinion, get another
opinion; do not just dismiss the feedback as inaccurate
6. React in a Professional Manner
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR ADDRESSING PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
I. FIRST DEVELOP A CAREFUL DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM
A. State what it is. View a problem as a deviation from the standard.
B. How do you know that it's a problem? What are the signs that indicate a problem?
C. Determine how much the problem is costing the organization in terms of:
1. Work not being done
2. Work not being done on time
3. Problems caused in other parts of the organization
II. TRY TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM
A. Is something preventing the work from being done (properly)?
1. Does the employee have adequate resources to do the job?
2. Are organizational policies/procedures hindering performance?
(conflicting goals, complicated procedures, lack of resources?)
B. Does the employee have enough knowledge or skill to do the work?
1. Does s/he know why it should be done a certain way?
2. Does s/he know how the work contributes to the work of the organization?
3. Does the employee have sufficient knowledge about the work and how it is to
4. Has s/he ever been told that the work is not meeting standards?
C. Try to determine if the job (task) itself has a built-in problem that leads to poor
1. Is the work to difficult for one person?
2. Is the work so disagreeable that it is avoided?
3. Is there no reward or sense of satisfaction in doing the particular task?
III. ACCURATELY RECORD THE RESULTS OF THE SESSION
A. Prepare a rough draft and let the employee review it.
B. Include all expected changes that should occur.
FACTORS AFFECTING PERCEPTIONS
OF FAIRNESS OF THE APPRAISAL SYSTEM
Managers must accept the importance of performance appraisal and feedback as an organizational
goal, they must accept the appraisal system as an effective means for achieving that goal, and they
must accept accurate appraisal as a personal goal. In short, diligent attention to performance
appraisal must be seen as an integral part of the manager's job, not as a make work harassment.
It is also important that the employee accept the appraisal process. Below are identified
characteristics that research indicates affect employee acceptance of the appraisal.
In order for any appraisal system to be used successfully, it must satisfy two basic requirements.
It must be relevant to the job(s) in question and it must be acceptable to both the supervisor and
Factors that affect perceptions of fairness:
1. Solicitation of employee input in all phases of the evaluation (development of goals/objectives,
the evaluation itself, and the feedback process) and using it
2. Two-way communication during the appraisal process
3. The opportunity to challenge/rebut the evaluation
4. The rater's knowledge of the ratee's job duties
5. The rater's degree of familiarity with the ratee's work
6. The consistent application of performance standards in all phases of the process
7. Basing ratings on actual performance achieved
8. Basing recommendations for salary/promotions on performance
9. Joint plans developed with the supervisor for eliminating weaknesses
10. Frequency of appraisals (frequent, timely, and informative feedback) (more often is viewed as
11. Trust in the supervisor (lower trust leads to more challenges of the evaluation and more
reluctance by the supervisor to conduct the appraisal).
12. Treat employees with courtesy and respect
13. Ensure employees are not surprised by the outcomes (positive or negative)
14. Ensure employees understand how the system works.
Procedural Justice Issues: Procedural justice refers to perceptions of fairness about the
procedures used to make organizational decisions. Procedural justice influences an employees job
satisfaction and commitment to the organization. Factors impacting procedural justice include:
ability to prepare for the performance discussion (analyzing responsibilities, considering
problems), input solicited from worker prior to the evaluation, presence of two-way
communication during the evaluation interview, possibility to challenge information or
evaluation, supervisor knowledge of job and performance.
Distributive Justice Issues: Distributive justice refers to how outcomes (e.g., raises, promotions,
disciplinary actions) are distributed in the organization. Factors impacting perceptions of
distributive justice include: the extent to which rewards based on performance were fair and made
consistently, and the extent to which rewards were related to performance.
Documentation serves many purposes. One of the most important is to show the reasoning that
led to necessary, though unpleasant, decisions to discipline or terminate employees. However, it
is just as important to document good performance. Written documentation can be a memory
jogger for performance reviews, justification for promotions, raises, or rebuttal to EEO
complaints involving work performance. What you document is performance. The employee's
performance determines what you write.
GUIDELINES IN PREPARING DOCUMENTATION:
1. Be accurate.
2. Document facts, not opinions, i.e., what was done (especially if it was inappropriate
3. Note direct performance observations of actions and results. Do not include hearsay in
4. Do not rely on your memory. Write things down soon after they happen.
5. Do not include documentation that is not behavioral. Describe the behavior, not
personality traits or your attributions.
6. Be consistent in documentation, comments, and actions.
Documentation should cover each relevant performance dimension. The incidents recorded
should mirror the distribution of performance that is observed for each ratee (i.e., incidents
typifying average, above average, and below average performance for each individual).
HOW MUCH DOCUMENTATION?
How much documentation is enough? A useful rule of thumb would be to assume that someone
else at your level with appropriate experience was going to look at your documentation. S/he
should be able to come to the same conclusion you did or should at least be able to say "I see how
you concluded that." That's enough documentation. With an accumulation of incidents, the
supervisor can see a consistent pattern of the employee's behavior.
Documentation can be over done too. If you record page after page of minute details, you waste
time and intimidate your subordinate. Only those aspects of performance that significantly
contribute to or hamper the work effort are appropriate for documentation.
THE ABC's of DOCUMENTATION
• Record objective facts concerning actual performance as it occurs, rather than from
• Record only job-related behavior.
• Record direct observations rather than relying on hearsay.
• Describe specific behavior rather than making evaluative statements or describing an
• Record both positive and negative behaviors rather than emphasizing either.
• Keep the same basic format and level of detail of documentation for each subordinate.
• Be consistent in your documentation, communication, and actions.
SUGGESTIONS FOR WRITING DESCRIPTIONS OF BEHAVIOR
1. Use specific examples or descriptions of behavior, not conclusions about the "goodness" or
"badness" of behavior.
USE THIS: AB told her secretary when the work was to be completed, whether it was to be a
draft or final copy, the appropriate spacing, and the type of paper on which to type it.
NOT THIS: BA gives very good instructions to her secretary. The instructions are clear and
USE THIS: CD met with the subordinate to discuss the performance problem. The issues were
explained to the worker, who reported that he was satisfied with the resolution.
NOT THIS: DC did a good job handling worker problems. She is very considerate.
2. Avoid using statements that make assumptions about an employee's knowledge or attitude;
use descriptions of the behavior.
USE THIS: EF volunteered for the committee and attended every meeting. EF maintained the
minutes for the group and edited the final report.
NOT THIS: FE has a good attitude toward university service. He knows how to run meetings
and does a good job.
3. Avoid generalizations and absolutes; use descriptions of behavior.
USE THIS: GH had his reports done and turned in before the due date both semesters. His
departmental report was completed on the due date.
NOT THIS: HG always meets deadlines. He's the best.
4. Provide sufficient detail so that an assessment can be made of the extent to which
characteristics of the situation beyond the control of the ratee may have affected the behavior.
USE THIS: IJ's failure to present the information at the meeting was due to the cancellation of
the meeting when the conference room was closed for asbestos removal. The information will be
included in the minutes of the meeting to be approved next month.
NOT THIS: It wasn't JI's fault he didn't actually present the information.
TEST YOURSELF ON DOCUMENTATION
1. I've heard that this employee wastes time in on the job.
2. This employee made a technical presentation to a committee meeting, didn't control
the audience, visuals were poor, spoke in a monotonous voice, was unable to respond to
3. This employee’s "know-it-all" attitude interferes with his work.
4. This employee prepared the report within the specified time deadline. Report was
concise, clear, and highlighted impact of Moving to New Levels on the department.
Recommendations were made and favorably evaluated by other department members.
5. During the past year, this employee was too nasty for his own good.
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PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PRACTICE EXERCISE
Think of a subordinate performance situation you either are currently dealing with or have dealt
with in the past. Do not include names or other information that would identify the subordinate.
1. Determine which dimension of performance on the Annual Performance Appraisal format you
are going to evaluate for this exercise. (In an actual evaluation, you would need to rate every
dimension of performance on the format.) Write the selected dimension below.
2. Identify the relevant tasks/responsibilities from the job description that apply to this dimension
3. Identify the standards for performing these tasks.
4. Identify specific examples of actual performance/behavior of this subordinate that represent
the dimension you are using. Try to write examples that represent the range and proportion of
good to poor performance this employee demonstrates.
5a. Then determine whether the employees performance exceeds, meets, or fails to meet the
standard. Write your decision here:___________________
5b. Explain why.
6. If the performance fails to meet the standard, identify what the employee should do to correct
his/her behavior so that it will meet the standard.
7. Briefly outline how you would present performance feedback to this employee regarding this