What Are the Different Types of Performance Appraisal?

Employee performance appraisals exist so you can have a means of tracking employee progress. It can seem that tracking progress isn't an essential to every job description, however, understanding where employees are performing well and where weaknesses exist is imperative to company growth and long-term employee satisfaction. Different types of performance appraisals help identify different aspects of employee success.

The Standard Rating Scale

A rating scale takes certain behaviors, goals and traits and scores them on a scale. Every employee or team member is graded by the same standards giving insights about key team players not just individuals. Rating scales are usually numerically based, for example using a scale of one to five with five being the best possible performance. It is also possible that rating scales simply rate things as "poor, standard, and excellent," or even as simple as "acceptable or unacceptable."

Self-Assessment Appraisal

You might not want to waste time on self-assessments if you buy into the false notion that everyone will rate themselves with high scores. Employees are very aware of where they excel and where they struggle. Getting a self-assessment gives you an insight to their thinking. You might not see from a managerial standpoint that a person is struggling with computer skills, but a self-assessment could show you a lack of confidence someone has in this area.

It is useful to have employees rate themselves according to the same scale standards that managers rate them. This helps both leadership and the employee see gaps in performance understanding. As part of the self-assessment, ask employees to set their own goals for the next month or quarter. This helps managers get buy-in regarding goals from employees and also see what employee motivation is for bigger success.

360-Degree Feedback

This assessment style is more time consuming than other assessment methods, because it requires feedback from everyone an employee works with. The 360-degree feedback method looks at performance by gaining reviews from managers, co-workers, subordinates and other metrics conducted by sales data or customer feedback. It takes a holistic view of the employee from a performance and behavioral level. This method of review is a good way to see if an employee is a good candidate for promotion and leadership.

Management by Objectives 

This method of performance appraisal is common among sales staff but isn't limited to that department. MOB reviews performance based on how well the employee meets his goals. Goals could include sales numbers, deadline meetings or new certifications. You can look at goals and see very clearly if an employee is meeting the goals or not. This is a very black and white method of evaluation.


Make sure performance appraisals are conducted consistently. If you designate quarterly appraisals, make sure to do this so that employees are expecting and prepared for the appraisals. Inconsistent action makes it seem like reviews are not important.