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When it comes to performance appraisals, here's what you need to know about the essay evaluation method

by , 04 July 2014
If you think the only methods to use when conducting performance appraisals are the Management By Objectives (MBO) method, the rating scale as well as the 360 degree method, you're wrong.

Another system you can use is the essay evaluation method.

Continue reading as we tell you all you need to know about the essay evaluation performance appraisal method.

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The essay evaluation method explained

According to performance-appraisal.com, in the essay method approach, the appraiser prepares a written statement about the employee being appraised.

The statement usually concentrates on describing specific strengths and weaknesses in job performance. It also suggests courses of action to remedy the identified problem areas.

What are the pros and cons of the essay evaluation performance appraisal method?

According to the site, the key advantage with the essay evaluation is that it allows you (appraiser) to examine almost any relevant issue or attribute of performance. This contrasts sharply with methods where the appraisal criteria are rigidly defined.

Here, you'll have the freedom to place whatever degree of emphasis on issues or attributes you feel are appropriate. This means the process is open-ended and very flexible.

Now let's take a look at the drawbacks.

According to humanresources.hrvinet.com, the disadvantages of the essay evaluation are that:

  • Some managers may write a biased essay.
  • A busy appraiser may write the essay hurriedly without properly assessing the employee's actual performance.
  • Some evaluators may be poor in writing essays on employee performance. Others may be superficial in explanation and use flowery language which may not reflect employee's actual performance.
  • Apart from that, the essay evaluation method is time consuming and difficult to administer compared to other methods such as the rating scale and a 360 degree appraisal.


Well there you have it. We've given you all the information on the essay evaluation performance appraisal method. Try it out if you like what it has to offer.

PS: For more information on the different types of performance appraisals, check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.



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