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Absolute Ratings

What is Absolute Ratings?


Absolute ratings are a type of performance appraisal method that compares an employee's performance to the firm's standards. Instead of comparing coworkers, evaluation is done on an individual basis. These ratings can be established through work sampling research, production data, or expert opinions. Methods can be qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of the two.

What performance appraisal techniques can be categorized under Absolute Ratings?

1. Essay Appraisal

A qualitative form of absolute standards in which the appraiser writes a narrative to describe the employee's performance, including strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, potential, and so on. The statement is written for individual employees based on the expectations of the organisation. Although appraisers are free to express themselves, it takes a lot of time.

2. Critical Incident

A qualitative method in which each employee's behavioural traits are documented with the goal of evaluating performance rather than personality. The appraisal is more objective because actual behaviours are observed, but negative incidents are more likely to be noticed and remembered than positive incidents.

3. Checklist Appraisal

A simple questionnaire with Yes/No responses in which the appraiser checks off all of the tasks that the employee has successfully completed.

4. Forced Choice Appraisal

A type of checklist in which the rater is given a choice of two to three statements and is asked to select the one that best describes the employee. Although this method reduces personal bias, the statements may not be structured in the most effective way to assess the employee.

5. Graphic Rating Scale

A scale with a list of traits (for example, dependability, teamwork) and a corresponding performance continuum ranging from "below expectations to role model." Individual employees' performance levels for each trait are expected to be rated by the appraiser.

6. BARS (Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales)

A set of descriptive statements about behaviour that are ranked from least to most effective. In order to determine the employee's overall performance, the appraiser must identify the level of effectiveness for each given statement.

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