Traditional methods of performance evaluation

Table of Contents

Are you unsure if traditional performance appraisal methods are a good fit for your organization? These methods are traditional HR practices that include an annual review of employee job performance. In this article we will discuss how traditional performance appraisal methods work and their advantages and disadvantages, so you can make a decision about whether they are right for your company.

You will find a list of the pros and cons associated with the use of traditional performance appraisal methods. Read the article and at the end you will know if they fit with your organization’s culture and needs, or what adjustments you could make.

Performance appraisal is a tool used to measure the performance of an individual in an organization or company. It is done primarily to reward and recognize employees who perform exceptionally well, improve the performance of employees who are below average, and identify poor performers so that they can be counseled or provided training to improve their performance. Traditional methods of performance appraisal include observation of on-the-job behavior, subjective evaluation by managers, and interviewing peers and subordinates.

The first thing I want to say is that I do not agree with the traditional way in which they are usually executed, and even less with the temporality with which they are executed, once a year. The objective should be to help people improve, and reward them for it. And not to give them a prize at the end of the year if they have done well.

First, because the company does not know what it is rewarding, the result is not always synonymous with good work, second, because in the effort to reward the results and not the processes or improvements, they give awards to many who do not deserve it and this confuses winners and losers. Some companies are already changing this and I will comment on more effective alternatives.


What traditional methods of evaluation are there?


There are many different ways to manage the performance appraisal process. One of them is the traditional methods. The traditional approach to performance appraisal is an annual, event-driven process that sets aside a lot of time for a subjective review process. This is done in an attempt to provide feedback to the individual employee on areas where improvement is needed and areas where strengths were demonstrated.

Types of traditional performance appraisal

  • Self-Assessment: is the method in which an employee reviews his or her own performance and makes a judgment on his or her performance.
  • 180 appraisal: is the evaluation in which managers or supervisors rate the people they work with at least once every six months.
  • 360 Evaluation: employees are evaluated based on 360 degrees of their work. To do this, feedback is gathered from peers, subordinates and supervisors to get a complete picture of how the individual is performing in his or her position. If a more comprehensive evaluation is desired, customers and suppliers can be included.

Advantages of traditional performance appraisal methods

Traditional performance appraisal methods have advantages that cannot be denied in any organization. From a large company to a smaller institution, implementing an appraisal system can bring advantages such as:

  • It allows HR professionals to offer development opportunities to those who need it, as well as set expectations with new hires or transfers in the organization.
  • It provides a clear feedback loop on an employee’s performance, which can be used to develop goals and improvement plans.
  • Employers are able to identify skills that need to be improved in order for employees to realize their full potential.
  • Allows employers and managers/supervisors the opportunity to provide individualized coaching or support when needed.

Disadvantages of traditional performance appraisal methods.

But it’s not all rosy with traditional performance appraisal methods, or perhaps, it might be. It all depends on the needs of your organization. It is important to keep in mind the disadvantages that traditional methods can bring:

  • Employees can become frustrated by the lack of objective dialogue about what they do well, which prevents them from feeling fulfilled at work. This contributes to high employee turnover.
  • In many organizations, traditional appraisal is event-based and annual. This means that managers have limited time to observe their employees at work and make judgments about their performance during certain events each year, often leading to subjective reviews that may not reflect the best outcome.
  • These methods are also limited due to their reliance on a single score for evaluation, which is often flawed as it may not be an accurate reflection of an employee’s performance.
  • They rely heavily on subjective opinions when attempting to measure objective data such as productivity or risk management ability, which can lead to misjudgment.
  • When remote work is involved, they are difficult to implement and limit opportunities to detect training plans or activities that improve employee well-being and prevent burn-out.

Does all this sound like it could impede the growth of your company? If so, continue to the next point and you will find new opportunities for the growth of your employees and your organization.

New Performance Appraisal Techniques

If you’re the performance leader of a company and you want to know how your team members are doing, there’s a more effective way to evaluate employee performance than traditional methods such as annual reviews. It’s called continuous feedback.

With this new approach, employees receive regular feedback on their performance from their managers and peers throughout the year, rather than waiting for an annual review by HR professionals.

The new approach also seeks to focus the evaluation not just on the employee, but on the overall success of the organization. On how each individual member can improve their performance in order for the company to succeed and grow in an agile way. This approach makes a lot more sense, don’t you think? Measurement under the new methodologies seeks to measure results on a more frequent basis: quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily. In this way, an employee and his or her leader can improve performance and implement action and improvement plans quickly.

Some of the new methodologies are:

  • Objectives and Key Results (OKR’s): Objectives Key Results (OKR’s) are a type of goal setting methodology that focuses on measurable results. This approach must include certain aspects, such as actionable objectives and responsible parties. They are usually set quarterly and measured weekly or monthly as needed.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s): The acronym KPI stands for “Key Performance Indicator” These are indicators designed to measure the success of an organization. These indicators usually summarize a metric important to the survival of the organization, such as revenue or profitability. KPIs are usually numerical values so that they can be measured, and often cover multiple aspects or parameters of a company.
  • SMARTEEL Goals: The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound, Environmentally Sound, Ethical and Legal. These are time-bound goals that are easily achievable by the individual.

These new methodologies include quite efficient and agile feedback sessions, perfect for remote work and work by objectives:

  • Daily’s: this approach consists of an evaluation of the day’s work and an assessment of the success of the day’s objectives. These dailys are usually done with a single person, but can be done with groups or facilitated in front of the entire team.
  • One-to-one: One-to-one meetings are one of the most common methods managers use to improve employee performance. This is a regular meeting between the manager and a specific employee. The purpose of this meeting is for the employee to receive feedback on their work, and for the manager to provide them with more information on what they are doing well and areas that need improvement.

What method of performance appraisal should I implement?

If you want to have an organization with a high-performing work team and a good work climate, I invite you to ask yourself the following questions before choosing a methodology:

  • Do you want your employees to work towards the organization’s objectives?
  • Do you want your employees to work as a team and towards the same goal?
  • Do you want your employees to get continuous feedback so that they can improve or boost their performance in the short term?
  • Do you want to have the best work environment between leaders and collaborators?
  • Are you looking to retain the best talent in your organization and avoid talent drain?

If you answered YES to the above questions (we are sure you did), do not hesitate to choose a modern methodology for your organization. In the complete guide on performance evaluation you will find tips and everything you need to know to implement a correct performance evaluation system.

Finally, don’t forget that the well-being of your employees will help them to be more committed to their goals and to perform better in the organization. ChVmpionMind is a tool that helps to promote employee well-being and help them develop their physical, mental and professional potential. You can get to know ChVmpionMind and implement it in your organization when you think it is necessary.

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