Learn the top 5 employee performance evaluation methods that you can use to evaluate employees

Top 5 employee performance evaluation methods

An effective and comprehensive employee appraisal should involve a number of performance evaluation methods. This way, you will be assured of conducting a 360-degree assessment. It also gives you a broad view of the areas of improvement. You can use a few methods together, to get a holistic overview of your employee’s performance. Here are popular employee performance evaluation methods:

Rating scales

This is among the most commonly used employee performance evaluation methods. This method involves a number of scales, which represent various job performance categories including attendance and punctuality, attitude, initiative, dependability and output among others. Usually, each of the scale ranges from excellent to poor. The total scores are calculated and final conclusions made by the evaluator. The good thing about this method is its ease-of-use, adaptability, and low cost. Furthermore, it can used to assess a large number of employees, different types of jobs and no training that is required to apply the method. However, it has been criticized to allow biases from the evaluators.

Forced-choice method

Just as its name suggests, the rater is forced to make a choice between true and false. The HR department later on carries out the actual assessment. Due to the forced choice, unlike rating scales and checklist methods, the rater biases are minimized or eliminated altogether. However, statements may be wrongly stated.

Critical incident method

This method focuses on certain aspects of employee’s behavior which influence their performance significantly. It is the duty of supervisors to identify and record such incidents which will later inform employee performance evaluation. This method eliminates biases, it facilitates easy feedback, and the ratings are guided by actual job behaviors. However, the supervisors may tend to dwell on negative incidents. The employees may also feel unappreciated as their supervisors constantly reproach them.

Forced distribution method

In this method, the rater groups employees around a high point on a certain rating scale. The rater is mandated to cluster the employees on all points of the rating scale. Proponents of this employee performance evaluation method argue that it conforms to the normal distribution.


In this method, a checklist of employees’ traits is prepared, in the form of yes/no questions. Here the rater is only mandated to check and report whereas the human resource department conducts the actual evaluation. Some of the advantages of the method include its low cost, ease of application and little training needed. Nevertheless, it is also influenced by rater biases.