HR Glossary


What is Appraisal?

Appraisal is the process of assessing an employee’s job performance and determining his or her suitability for future assignments. The appraisal process typically includes the review of the employee’s work history, job duties, and performance against specific goals and objectives. The appraisal results may be used to determine the employee’s salary increase, bonus, and/or promotion potential.

What is the difference between the various appraisal methods?

There are a variety of appraisal methods, but the most common are ranking, forced distribution, bell curve, and paired comparisons.

Ranking is the simplest appraisal method and is used to compare employees against each other. The employees are ranked from best to worst, and the manager then decides what to do with the rankings.

Forced distribution is similar to ranking, but instead of ranking employees against each other, they are rank ordered according to their performance. This method is often used in conjunction with a bell curve, which is a curve that shows the distribution of scores. In a bell curve, most employees are clustered around the average score, with a few employees scoring higher or lower.

Paired comparisons is a more subjective appraisal method that is used to compare employees against each other. In this method, the employees are paired up and then compared. The manager then decides which employee is better.

Who uses Appraisal?

Appraisal is typically used by managers in order to assess an employee’s work performance and to provide feedback. Appraisal can also be used to identify development needs and to recommend training programs. Additionally, appraisals can be used to determine an employee’s salary or other forms of compensation. Finally, appraisals can be used to identify employees who may be at risk of termination or who may be in need of additional support.


Stay one step ahead.

Be the first to hear about tips, tricks and data-driven best practices for HR professionals.