The Best Employee Performance Appraisal System for Employers


Perhaps you are wondering, or asking yourself about the most effective way to evaluate your staffs at work. The truth is that there are many methods adopted by organizations on the process of evaluating the performance of their staffs. The most popular method being senior/junior appraisal where there is direct engagement of one on one appraisal. This method has proven to be non-effective and biased as personal differences could influence the ratings for subordinates. After thorough research and considering all elements of an effective appraisal system, a more comprehensive appraisal program known as “360 degrees performance appraisal system” has proved its effectiveness. The finer details of this appraisal are as explained below;

About 360 degrees performance appraisal system

This system takes into account not only the personal attributes of the individual but also their delivery of negotiated and agreed targets delivered under the overall company performance contract. This makes it possible to clearly measure the contribution of individual members of staff to the overall performance of the company. There are two instruments used in the appraisal of all staffs.

The first instrument is used by the Departmental evaluation committee, a peer, an employee working below the rank of appraisee, customer and self to award scores on personal attributes. This part is coordinated by the Head of Human resource and carries a 40% score. The second instrument (Performance Contract) is used to assess staff on the basis of negotiated and agreed targets by the members of staff and their Heads of Department. This is coordinated by the Staff Performance Officer in the Human Resource Department and shall carry a 60% score.

The 360-degree feedback system is a full circle evaluation feedback system based on ratings of performance by people familiar with an employee’s management styles, competencies and behaviours. It enables organizational members to receive a broad perspective on their performance from subordinates, peers, self-assessment, managers in the organizational hierarchy (e.g. departmental evaluation committees), and from people that receive services from employees (customers), with a view to pinpointing areas for improvement. This modification ensures that appraisees are evaluated objectively on measurable targets.

Benefits of the 360-Degree Feedback System

360-Degree Feedback System Staff evaluation is essential in determining Human Resources capacity gaps with the intention of bridging them through staff development and capacity building. While the value of the 360-degree feedback is often seen in terms of individual development, the aggregate reporting of all recipients’ results can provide valuable data for the company as a whole. The 360 – degree feedback system allows companies to:

  1. Take advantage of under-utilized personnel strengths to increase productivity;
  2. Avoid the trap of counting on skills that may be weak in the organization;
  3. Make succession planning more accurate;
  4. Design more efficient training initiatives, and;
  5. Support the organization in marketing the skills of its members;
  6. Integrating performance contracting into the appraisal system;
  7. Increasing objectivity of the appraisal system through the use of measurable targets;
  8. Linking appraisal to the mandate of the University and responsibilities of the University staff.
  9. Apply human assets data to the valuation of the organization;

The Role of the Departmental Evaluation Committee:

The Departmental Evaluation Committee, comprising of not less than three persons, is required to coordinate the entire Performance Appraisal process as follows:

  1. The HOD shall receive performance appraisal forms from the HOD Human Resource.
  2. The HOD shall issue appraisal forms to members of staff and ensure they complete personal particulars (biodata) and self-assessment sections, only.
  3. The HOD shall constitute a Departmental Evaluation Committee.
  4. Departmental Evaluation Committees shall complete their section on the appraisal.
  5. The Departmental Evaluation Committee shall ensure each staff nominates a set of three people for each section in appraisal form.
  6. Departmental Evaluation Committees shall independently select one suitable appraiser from the lists of nominees for each section provided by the Appraisee to complete the appraisal sections.

Departmental Evaluation Committees shall convene meetings so as to provide feedback to employees by:

  1. Identifying weaknesses and highlighting areas requiring work improvement, e.g. attitude towards work, dependability and resourcefulness, communication skills, punctuality and attendance, initiative and creativity, etc
  2. Identifying strengths and drawing attention to prospects for skills development;
  3. The HOD shall forward the completed appraisal forms for all staff together with minutes of the meetings held in respect of appraisal to the HOD Human Resource. Note: Departments with less than five members of staff can team up with other departments to form the committee.
  4. Design and Format of the Performance Appraisal Form.

The performance appraisal Form should be designed in six sections as follows:

Section I – Biodata/ Personal Particulars

This section shall be completed by the member of staff being appraised, who shall provide Biodata and a summary of their job description, qualifications and technical skills. This section shall carry no weight.

Section II – Self Assessment

The members of staff being appraised are required to state their strengths, outstanding contributions made to their             Department/Division and also provide general comments about the nature of their work. The self-assessment section shall carry a total weight of 5% for all staff.

Section III – Appraisal on Values and Staff competency

This section should be completed by the HOD through Departmental Evaluation Committees constituted as stated above. It is important to maintain the confidentiality of the information compiled. Evaluations by Departmental Evaluation Committees are the most traditional source of employee feedback. Evaluation Committees should observe and measure all facets of an employee’s productivity with objective mind-sets to make a fair evaluation. General comments on unique traits, competencies or inabilities should be written in brief in the space provided at the end of each section.

Section IV – Peer Evaluation

This section should be completed by peers or persons within the same rank/grade as the person being appraised. Peers are often the most relevant evaluators of their colleagues’ performance as they have a unique perspective on a co-worker’s job performance. Peers are generally very receptive to the concept of rating each other, which presents significant contributions such as validity and reliability of the information provided.

Appraisee shall nominate three peers from which the Departmental evaluation committee shall independently select one.

Section V – Evaluation by Employees Working below Rank of Appraisee

This section shall be completed by employees working below the rank of the person being appraised. Subordinate evaluation is sometimes referred to as the “Upward Appraisal Process” or “Subordinates Appraising Managers (SAM)”. Subordinate evaluation is among the most significant yet controversial features of the 360-degree feedback as this group possesses unique, often essential perspectives which provide valuable data on the performance elements concerning managerial or supervisory behaviours and the interpersonal skills of managers/supervisors. Confidentiality in this evaluation is extremely important as there is usually great reluctance or even fear concerning the implementation of this rating dimension. Subordinates will simply not participate or will give irrational or dishonest feedback if they fear reprisal from their superiors. Appraisees shall nominate three persons below the rank of the appraised (who directly report to the appraisee) from which the Departmental evaluation committee shall independently select one.

Section VI – Customer Evaluation

This section shall be completed by people who receive services from persons being appraised. Those involved in the appraisal may include suppliers, sponsors, parents, collaborators, donors, staff or members of the general public. This section has five attributes with a total score of 15%. The score obtained will help identify the appraisee’s areas of strength as well as the areas they have difficulties and may require support.

Evaluation of Performance Contract

The performance of duties forms a key component of appraising staff. This shall assess the extent to which individual members of staff contribute to the performance of the organization by delivering on set targets. The evaluation shall be based on negotiated and agreed targets. The evaluation shall be based on actual performance relative to the set targets. The evaluation shall be coordinated by the Staff Performance Management Office. It shall contribute 60% and the assessment shall be assessed on a rating scale as follows:

Appraisal ratings

Score: Poor 0, Fair 1, Good 2, Very Good 3, Excellent 4

Note: Appraisers should provide explanatory notes for both poor and excellent ratings. Performance Summary (To be completed by the HOD, Human Resource) Overall scores The HOD, Human Resource shall receive scores from the various sections and compute the overall scores for each staff.

Performance Grades the HOD; HR shall assign a performance grade based on the overall score as follows:

Overall Score Range (%)


85-100 – Excellent

70-84 – Very Good

50-69 – Good

40-49 – Fair

0-39 – Poor

Feedback The Head HR shall write to the appraisee informing them of their performance in the appraisal. A copy of this letter will be held in the Personal File of the appraisee and will form the basis of reward/sanction.

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