There are many different types of critical appraisal processes out there that are designed to help the managers of a company to appraise the performances of the employees that work for them. Critical appraisals are based on performance. "Performance appraisal is the process by which an employee's contribution to the organization during a specified period of time is assessed". These appraisals should be used constructively to find the employees strengths and weaknesses. When these are discussed with the employee, it would be productive to give the employees some feedback on how they can improve in the areas which they are found to be the weakest in. This helps not just the manager to evaluate the employee but also helps the employee with being able to recognize and understand where they have some room for improvement.
There are many different types of appraisal processes because some processes work better in some industries and situations than others. The critical appraisal is more than just an appraisal of the performance of the employee but is also an appraisal of how the organization is progressing and whether the employees are working toward the correct goals.
An effective appraisal does many things. It defines what the organizations goals are, empowers the employees, measures the performance of the employees, and provides feedback and coaching. John Flanagan's critical appraisal approach where critical incidents are focused on is widely used. In this approach the appraiser uses incidents where the employee performed especially good or poorly. This lets the appraiser focus not on the entire set of behaviors that the employee can exhibit but on specific issues or rewards. The employee then has clear examples of what type of behavior is acceptable and what type is not. This can have its drawbacks. Sometimes, a person does not get a clear view of the issues when only taking into account a little piece. Issues can be missed if the focus is too narrow. At the same time, the focus could also be on the wrong issues. For example, if someone mostly did their job efficiently but made some sort of major mistake and this mistake was the critical incident that was focused on, the manager risks giving the impression that the employee has done a poor job completely. This can lead the manager to making an unfair judgment call or can lead to frustration on the employee side because they do not feel valued. Another issue is the time that it takes to record all the incidents that have occurred.