What Is The Difference Between Objective And Subjective Performance Appraisal Methods?

Objective vs. Subjective Performance Appraisal Methods

Brief Overview

Objective and subjective performance appraisal methods are two different approaches used to evaluate an employee’s performance in the workplace.

Objective Performance Appraisal Methods

  1. Focus on measurable outcomes and results.
  2. Use specific metrics and data to evaluate performance.
  3. Less prone to bias as they are based on concrete evidence.
  4. Examples include sales targets achieved, number of projects completed on time, etc.
  5. Provide a clear and quantifiable assessment of performance.

Subjective Performance Appraisal Methods

  1. Rely on personal judgments and opinions of supervisors or peers.
  2. Can be influenced by biases and personal relationships.
  3. Include methods like ranking, rating scales, and narrative evaluations.
  4. Allow for a more holistic view of an employee’s performance.
  5. May lack objectivity and consistency in evaluations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which method is more commonly used in performance appraisals?

Objective performance appraisal methods are generally preferred for their reliability and objectivity.

2. Are subjective methods completely unreliable?

Subjective methods can provide valuable insights but may be influenced by personal biases.

3. How can organizations ensure fairness in performance appraisals?

By using a combination of objective and subjective methods and providing training to reduce biases.

4. Can subjective methods be more beneficial in certain situations?

Yes, subjective methods can be useful for evaluating soft skills and behaviors that are not easily quantifiable.

5. How can employees prepare for performance appraisals using both methods?

By setting clear goals and documenting their achievements to support their performance.

6. What are some examples of objective performance appraisal criteria?

Sales targets met, projects completed on time, customer satisfaction ratings, etc.

7. How can organizations choose the right method for their performance appraisals?

By considering the nature of the job, the goals of the appraisal, and the resources available for evaluation.


Objective performance appraisal methods rely on measurable outcomes and data, while subjective methods involve personal judgments and opinions. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, and a combination of both may provide a more comprehensive evaluation of employee performance.

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