Understanding Rating and Ranking Systems and Their Limitations In Improving Performance

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What's the most common method used in performance appraisals? It's an easy question. it's not 360 degree feedback. It's not narratives and anecdotal methods. It's not direct observation and using actual metrics of productivity.

It's employee ratings.

Sadly, rating employees on some sort of scale, while common, is one of the worst ways to both evaluate performance, and improve performance. And when coupled with ranking employees with respect to each other, the entire process ends up NOT able to identify the most valuable or even weakest employees, resulting in poor decisions.

This is such an important element in the workplace that we've devoted this page to understanding ratings, their evil cousins, employee rankings, and their limitations.

First, All About Documenting Employee Performance

Rating systems, and for that matter the completion of paper or computer based forms constitute a process of documenting employee performance. It's a simple process -- simply recording and saving information.

The Various Employee Performance Documentation Methods

Narrative And Critical Incident Methods

MBO - Management By Objectives

Bringing MBO Into The 21st Century - Step 1 (coming soon)

360 Degree Feedback


About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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We Believe

  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?

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  • Email: ceo@work911.com
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  • 722 St. Isidore Rd.
  • Casselman
  • Ontario
  • Canada, K0A 1M0