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Types of Performance Appraisal: Trait, Behavioral & Results

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  • 0:46 Trait Appraisal
  • 1:31 Behavioral Appraisal
  • 1:57 Competencies Appraisal
  • 2:28 Results Appraisal
  • 3:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Performance appraisals help organizations and their members measure performance. In this lesson, you'll learn about different standards, or criteria, used in performance appraisals, including trait, competencies, behavioral and results.

Performance Management & Appraisals

Malcolm is a human resource specialist for a pharmaceutical company in the Midwest. He's been asked to review and revise the company's performance appraisal system. This task is part of performance management, which is a management practice focused on developing and implementing processes that help maximize the productivity and effectiveness of the organization and its members.

One of these processes is performance appraisal, which is the process of reviewing and evaluating the performance of individuals or teams on their work tasks. In revising his company's performance appraisal system, he needs to develop a set of criteria, or standards, by which the company will appraise performance. Let's take a look at the primary types of standards used in performance appraisals.

Trait Appraisal

Malcolm can use traits as a standard. A trait is a characteristic that an individual possesses. Traits include things such as appearance, attitude, initiative, work ethic, leadership ability, a sense of ethics, loyalty, adaptability and judgment.

One big issue with using traits as a standard in judging performance is that they are pretty much subjective in nature. On the other hand, if the trait has some legitimate relationship to the job, then it may have some value in appraisal. For example, Malcolm's company expects its pharmaceutical sales reps to be immaculately groomed and professionally dressed. In this case, appearance has relevance and can have some degree of objectivity if a dress code is established.

Behavioral Appraisal

Behaviors can also be used as criteria in performance appraisals. While traits are characteristics, behaviors are actions. Of course, to be effective, the behaviors must be related to the performance being appraised. Malcolm may use behaviors that demonstrate cooperation and team building when developing team appraisals. Salespeople may be assessed on their persistency in making cold calls to doctors to set up appointments.

Competencies Appraisal

Malcolm can also use competencies to assess performance. Competencies are the knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors that a person needs to accomplish a task. For example, Malcolm's company will expect that its research scientists have the education, research skills, observational skills and analytical skills necessary to perform the research activities. An appraisal may assess whether the company's research scientists have displayed the necessary competencies during their appraisal period.

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