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5 Ways of Assessing Employee Performance

Most Popular Ways of Evaluating Employees

  • Self-Evaluations
  • Graphic Ratings
  • Simple Checklists
  • Expectations
  • Peer Evaluations

In order to successfully assess employees and offer tangible feedback, it is important to have a solid evaluation system. While most companies have slowly built their programs to perfection, the number of employers that continue to struggle in this area is extensive. So, what are some of the easiest and most efficient solutions?

Related resource: Top 10 Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology Online


Companies that rely on self-evaluations often find that their employees are much more interested in the feedback process. The reason is quite obvious as the workers get to provide their own input. Of course, this does not mean that employers will simply allow someone to grade themselves however they please. It just jump-starts the entire venture by getting the personnel to quantify their own performance as they see fit. Once they do so, their managers or HR leaders will have the chance to determine if their opinions align.

Graphic Ratings

Many organizations employ some type of graphic rating to accompany self-evaluations or other feedback forms. This comes as no surprise since quantifications of performances would be extremely difficult to interpret without a number-based scale. Thus, if there is a chart with numbers one through ten on it, with one indicating the worst and ten indicating the best level of performance, the results will be self-explanatory. It will also allow the worker to see just how far or close to the optimal performance level they are in a given fiscal period.

Simple Checklists

If someone prefers to stay away from any numbers when doing their worker assessments, they can instead turn to yes-or-no checklists. One of the greatest advantages of such simple forms is the fact that they require absolutely no explanations as someone will have either met the objective or not. By not using any numbers, there is no need to make additional explanations about what performance level is indicated with each numerical figure. The downside, however, is the fact that there is really not a lot of tangible feedback in yes-or-no checklists and additional write-ups are inevitable.

Expectation Levels

According to Forbes Magazine, having expectation levels is vital for an effective evaluation strategy. A lot of companies struggle in this area, however. The reason being that there are often no clear-cut goals that one can set beforehand. Consider, for instance, a firm where employees must sell 1,000 products during the year to meet the highest level of performance. With intangible skills, there is no way to determine what would be a good number to aim for like that 1,000 from above. Instead, having a couple of expectation levels is the easiest way to offer constructive criticism. Great examples would be the following:

  • Below Average;
  • Met the Expectations;
  • Exceeded Expectations.

Peer Evaluations

Finally, a ton of companies overlook the benefits of using brief peer evaluations. These are add-on forms that someone’s coworkers, preferably from the same level, fill out alongside self-evaluations. That way, the employer has a chance to see how people who spent a lot of time around a certain individual feel about them. If there are any types of discrepancies, they will have tangible evidence that can be used when putting together feedback forms. Not to mention that it will alert managers of potential problems that the worker may not disclose otherwise.

Combining some of the aforementioned is the best way to ensure a smooth process that will help people grow. After all, each of these five methods complements at least a few of the others in a way that will help companies assess employees’ performance fruitfully.