What Are the Different Job Performance Models?

Jan Fletcher

Job performance models take various approaches that include an evaluation by management, measurements of how many objectives were achieved, and administering competency tests. Employers may also ask an employee's peers or team members to evaluate his or her performance. Some human resource departments bring in a third party to evaluate employees, because managers consider this to be more objective. In manufacturing jobs, sometimes an employee's evaluation is accomplished through a numerical measure of the person's productivity within a certain timeframe. Job performance models may also include such factors as a person's overall character, dependability, or even his or her level of creative contribution, depending upon the industry.

No matter the chosen model, it is important to keep employees aware of performance metrics or evaluation strategies used to assess their work.
No matter the chosen model, it is important to keep employees aware of performance metrics or evaluation strategies used to assess their work.

Many employers use a synthesis of various job performance models to evaluate employees. Often, this is because company management recognizes there are many facets to a worker's productivity and contribution to a company. Most companies tend to divide along the lines of objective and subjective performance evaluations. An objective model looks at a person's job performance by how much work has been accomplished, or by objectively measuring a person's competency through testing.

Employees should have clear job descriptions from which their performance can be measured.
Employees should have clear job descriptions from which their performance can be measured.

Another way of obtaining an objective look at an employee's performance is to bring in a third party. Not infrequently, an employer might use this third party to do a performance review on the entire staff. The idea behind this is that a stranger will not be swayed by emotional attachments, and therefore will be more likely to obtain accurate evaluations of workers.

Subjective job performance models may poll a worker's peers or customers in order to gain insight into what his or her performance is like when supervisors are not watching. Sometimes this type of performance evaluation looks at how a supervisor may treat his or her underlings by assuring them confidentiality, as there may be no other way to obtain this information. Another type of subjective job performance model is to poll the person's coworkers, while assuring them anonymity.

Still another method is to use a subjective job performance model to evaluate highly subjective aspects of performance. For example, the performance of those who work in creative fields may not fit into an analytical framework. Workplace superstars may also be very difficult for a firm to evaluate using an objective performance model, as one brilliant leap of insight could rocket the person to the position of one of the top players in the company. In some organizations, job performance models may be a synthesis of both objective and subjective evaluations.

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Discussion Comments


For some job positions, I don't think that there is any single model that can evaluate performance completely objectively. The reason is because there are factors affecting performance that are not quantifiable or measurable, like creativity.

We can measure how many hours an employee is spending at work, whether they follow the rules and deliver their work in time. But it's very difficult to measure creativity or the efforts that an employee is making outside of the workplace to improve his performance or to serve the goals of an organization. And I think that these immeasurable factors are just as important as the measurable ones.


@fBoyle-- Many employees feel the same way that you do. That's why managers are slowly adapting new job performance models. Some managers have peers or different workplace teams appraise one another. There is also a model where the employee appraises himself or herself. In some sectors, customer feedback about satisfaction can also be used as a form of employee appraisal. Having a third party do it however is probably as objective as it gets.

We should keep in mind however that each workplace is different. The output is different and the type of work is different. So each workplace cannot use the same job performance model. It depends on the type of output. For example, if someone is assessing job performance in a factory, then the performance indicators have to be the quantity and quality of units an employee produces.


I wish our management had a third party evaluate our performance. Right now we have management appraisals for performance measurement. But I don't think that this type of appraisal is fair. The evaluation is always biased.

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