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Everything You Need To Know About Performance Appraisals

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Everything You Need To Know About Performance Appraisals


As a manager, your ability to inform your teams about the successful high-impact behaviors they exhibit or skills that need further development is a critical practice in determining your business’ overall ability to reach its goals and find success.

In this post, learn how a performance appraisal will help you give employees direction, the different types of performance appraisals, and example comments to include when you schedule those 1:1 sessions.

Businesses use performance appraisals to understand employee progress, give raises or promotions, create paths for further development, or, sometimes, discuss terminations.

These appraisals typically happen multiple times per year at different intervals, like quarterly, annually, or specific periods that make sense to your business. The goal, however, is for managers to conduct them regularly enough that employees always understand how they are doing.

Performance Appraisal Methods

There are different ways to conduct performance appraisals that can depend on your business’s individual needs, or on a manager-to-manager basis, depending on what you think is a best practice. Below we’ll go over the most popular types of performance appraisal methods.

1. Management by Objectives

Management by Objectives (MBO) is a popular sales management style that is also used for performance appraisals.

With this strategy, the manager and employee work together to set goals the employee will strive to meet during a specific period. During the performance appraisal session, they will review how the employee has or has not met the goals, and set new goals that will be evaluated during the next appraisal period.

2. 360-Degree Feedback

The 360-Degree Feedback method uses feedback from an employee’s self-evaluation, manager evaluation, peers, and if applicable, direct reports and customers.

This method is valuable as it provides employees with a big picture view of their performance across multiple perspectives and areas of business, rather than just a manager’s perspective. It also gives employees an understanding of how their actions affect various people at their place of work, not just how their job progress does or does not help the company meet its goals.

3. Self-Evaluation

The self-evaluation performance appraisal is when employees rate their performance based on a set list of criteria provided by management. When employees assess their own performance, they take a critical look at their progress to truly understand their efforts.

It’s important to note that, when using this method, employees may struggle to analyze their performance from an outside perspective and rate themselves too high or too low. Therefore, managers may find that this process is best supplemented by manager feedback, where you respond to employee evaluations with your insights into their performance.

4. Behavior Checklist

Using a behavior checklist for performance appraisals is when a manager has a list of traits required for the position (i.e., works well with others) and checks off those that an employee embodies and leaves blank the ones that need improvement.

This method is relatively straightforward as the checklist explicitly states desired behaviors, so those that aren’t checked off can be used to spark valuable conversation about further skill development.

5. Rating Scale

The Rating Scale performance appraisal uses a set of skills expected for a specific job that a manager uses to evaluate an employee, usually on a scale of 1-4 from meeting expectations to exceeding expectations.

At the end of the scale, the employee receives a total score calculated from each of the ratings.

Performance Appraisal Comments

Regardless of the appraisal method used, it’s essential to give feedback that is helpful to the employee and teaches them about their performance. Below we’ll go over some examples of comments that can be made during a performance appraisal session, whether written or spoken.

Organization Performance Appraisal Comment

Positive Comments

  • “You’re incredibly organized, which allows you to be efficient and timely in completing your tasks.”

Needs Improvement Comments

  • “You might benefit from spending more time organizing and planning for your tasks before you begin working on them.”

Time Management Performance Appraisal Comment

Positive Comments

  • “You always meet deadlines and prioritize your work in an organized manager.”

Needs Improvement Comments

  • “I’d like to see you pay careful attention to deadlines and develop a time management system that helps you meet due dates.”

Leadership Performance Appraisal Comments

  positive comments needs improvement comments
For someone with direct reports “You effectively manage your teams and are a fair and encouraging leader. Members of your team consistently refer to you as a role model.” “I’d like to see you spend more time working with employees that face roadblocks rather than encouraging them to find every solution on their own.”
For someone without direct reports “You’re always able to step up to the plate and take charge when the opportunity arises, and you work to be supportive of your teammates.” “I’d like to see you take the lead on projects that arise that are related to your expertise and skillset.”

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Performance Appraisal Comments

Positive Comments

  • “You’re always able to think critically and review all of the facts of a situation before making decisions.”

Needs Improvement Comments

  • “Sometimes you act too quickly when problems arise, so I think you can benefit from spending more time analyzing a problem before jumping into a solution.”

Productivity Performance Appraisal Comments

Positive Comments

  • “You’re detail-oriented, which allows you to be productive at work and effectively organize and complete tasks on time.”

Needs Improvement Comments

  • “I’d like to see you be more productive at work, so improving your organization and time management skills may be helpful.”

Teamwork Performance Appraisal Comments

Positive Comments

  • “You work well with others and are supportive of your team members’ needs. You’re always ready to help when asked and respectful of others and their positions.”

Needs Improvement Comments

  • “I’d like to see you devote more time to collaborating with your teammates and being more open to working with them and learning from their experiences.”

Communication Performance Appraisal Comments

Positive Comments

  • “You’re able to effectively communicate all the time, regardless of the situation. I consistently hear from others that they always understand what you’re saying.”

Needs Improvement Comments

  • “I would like to see you practice active listening with your peers and communicating when you feel as though you need help.”

Creativity Performance Appraisal Comments

Positive Comments

  • “You always find unique and creative approaches to your work duties and find solutions to issues that arise.”

Needs Improvement Comments

  • “You tend to focus on traditional processes for solving problems, and I would like to see you branch out and find creative solutions to issues that may come up.”

Performance Appraisal Example

The image below is an example of a performance appraisal using a rating scale. In the template, there is a list of behaviors that the employee is expected to have and use at work, like attention to detail and communication skills.

performance appraisal example: ratings scale performance review

Download This Template Now

The manager or person providing feedback rates the employee on a scale of 1 to 4 based on how they express the skill, from Does Not Meet Expectations to Exceeds Expectations. The employee then receives a total numerical rating that you can use to drive discussions about further development.

When it comes down to your business’s bottom line, employees are direct contributors. Use performance appraisals to help your employees understand their job performance, so they know exactly which behaviors to continue practicing and which areas of opportunity to seek out additional development.

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27 Best About Us and About Me Page Examples [+Templates]

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Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand

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MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow

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MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.


Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 


Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.


Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.


Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 


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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

If you’re thinking about getting a degree at any age, it makes sense to think about the value of that degree. Is the qualification needed for the career you want? Are there alternative paths to that career? Can you develop better skills by gaining experience in work? 

All of these are perfectly valid questions. After all, getting a degree requires a pretty large investment of both time and money. You want to know that you’ll get enough return on that investment to make it worthwhile.

Why marketing?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of entry-level jobs list a bachelor’s degree as a requirement. That doesn’t mean there aren’t alternate ways to get into marketing but having a relevant degree certainly makes your resume more competitive. 

Growth industry

Marketing skills are in demand in the current jobs market. According to a recent report from LinkedIn, marketing job posts grew 63% in just six months last year. Half of those jobs were in the digital and media sectors, meaning digital and content marketing skills are highly valued

Personal Development & Career Path

The reason for this increased demand for marketers is tied to the rise in digital marketing. New methods of marketing have continued to develop out of the digital sector. This means that marketers capable of creating engaging content or managing social media accounts are needed.

This leaves a lot of room for personal development. Young graduates who are well-versed in social media and community management can hit the ground running in digital marketing. Getting on this path early can lead to content strategist and marketing management positions.    

What are the Types of Marketing Degrees?

When we say marketing degree, the term is a bit too general. There are a lot of degree paths that focus on marketing in major or minor ways. The level of degree available will depend on your current education history, but the specific course will be down to your personal choice. 

Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s?

Recent statistics suggest that 74% of US marketing professionals hold a bachelor’s degree. 9% have an associate degree and 8% have a master’s degree. Here’s a quick overview of the differences. 

Associate degrees – 2-year courses that cover marketing and business in a more basic way than bachelor’s qualifications. They’re designed to give students the basic skills needed to apply for entry-level marketing jobs.   

Bachelor’s degrees – 3/4-year courses that cover business and economics. There is a range of bachelor’s courses with marketing at their core, but you’ll also cover wider business topics like management, communication, and administration. 

Master’s degrees – 2-year courses, usually only available if you’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree. MA or MBA courses are designed to develop a deep understanding of complex business topics. They are highly specific, covering areas like strategic marketing or marketing analytics. 

Free to use image from Pixabay

Marketing Specific or Business General? 

This is down to personal choice. There are general business degrees that will cover marketing as a module as well as marketing-specific degrees. There are also multiple universities and colleges, both offline and online, offering different course platforms

If you’re looking at a specific job role or career path, then research which type of degree is most relevant. Remember that you will need to add to your marketing skills if you intend to progress to management roles in the future. 

Check the Modules & Curriculum

This is important, and not only because it lets you see which courses align with your career goals. Marketing has changed significantly over the last decade, even more so if you go back to before the digital age. Many business courses are still behind on current marketing trends. 

What Jobs Look for a Marketing Degree?

Once you’ve got your marketing qualification, what jobs should you be looking for? Here are some job titles and areas you should watch out for, and what qualifications you’ll need for them.

Entry level

If you’re starting with a degree and no experience, or work experience but no degree, take a look at these roles. 

  • Sales/customer service roles – These are adjacent roles to marketing where most companies do not ask for prior qualifications. If you don’t have a degree, this is a good place to start.
  • Marketing or public relations intern – Another possibility if you don’t have a degree, or you’re still in education. 
  • Digital/content marketing associate – These roles will almost always require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. A good grasp of new digital and social marketing techniques will be required to succeed. 
  • Copywriter/Bid writer – This is a good route into marketing for those with journalism or literature qualifications. These roles combine aspects of marketing, creative writing, and persuasive writing. 
  • SEO specialist – A more focused form of marketing centered on SEO content optimization. If you know how to optimize a blog post for search engine rankings, this role is for you. Bachelor’s or associate qualifications will be a minimum requirement. 
  • Social media/community manager – Since these are relatively new roles, we tend to see a mix of degree-qualified marketers and people who’ve had success fostering communities or online brands but don’t have on-paper credentials.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

Career Progression

If you have an MA or MBA, or significant experience in one of the above roles, then you can look at these more advanced roles for your career progression.

  • Digital Marketing Manager – A role for experienced marketers that involves running campaigns and coordinating marketing associates. 
  • Senior Marketing Coordinator – A department management level role. Responsible for overall marketing strategy and departmental performance.  
  • Content Strategist – A specialist role that focuses on content strategy. Designing content plans based on demographic and keyword research are a core aspect of this role. 
  • Marketing Analyst – This role involves analyzing customer behaviors and market trends. If you want to move into analysis from a more direct marketing role, you’ll likely need specific data analysis qualifications. 
  • Public Relations Specialist – The public voice of a large organization’s PR team. Managing a brand’s public perception and setting brand-level communication policies like tone of voice.   
  • Experiential Marketing Specialist – This area of marketing is focused on optimizing the customer experience. Experiential specialists have a deep understanding of customer psychology and behaviors. 
  • Corporate Communications Manager – Communications managers are responsible for company-wide communications policies. This is an executive-level role that a marketing coordinator or public relations manager might move up to. 

Average marketing salaries

Across all the roles we’ve discussed above, salaries vary widely. For those entry-level roles, you could be looking at anything from $25 – $40K depending on the role and your experience. 

When it comes to median earnings for marketers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we can get a bit more specific. Recent statistics from Zippia show us that $69,993 p/a is the average for bachelor’s degree holders and $80,365 p/a for master’s degree marketers. 

Image sourced from Zippia.com

Marketing Degree Pros and Cons

So, the question we asked above was “Is a marketing degree worth it?” Yet, in truth, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. The question you need to ask is “Is a marketing degree right for me?” Here’s a summary of the pros and cons that might give you some answers.  

Pros

  • Degree holders have better job prospects and higher earnings potential in marketing
  • You can study highly specific skills with the right courses
  • Gain soft skills like communication and collaboration

Cons

  • High time and money investment required 
  • Diminishing salary returns at higher levels
  • Can be a restrictive environment for self-starters and entrepreneurs

What are Marketing Degree Alternatives?

If you want to stick with education but don’t want to invest four years into a degree, then accredited online courses can provide an alternative. This can be your best choice if you wish to upskill in a specific area like running conference calls from Canada

If higher education really isn’t your thing, the other option is gaining experience. Some businesses prefer internships and training programs for entry-level roles. This allows them to train marketers “their way” rather than re-training someone with more experience.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

How to Decide if a Marketing Degree is Right for You

Ultimately, choosing to do a marketing degree depends on your goals, your preferences, and your talents. Consider all three factors before making your choice. 

Career Goals

Do you want a management position that needs marketing knowledge? What areas of marketing interest you? What skills do you already possess? Answering these three questions will help you define your career path. That will narrow down your course choices. 

If you want to get better at selling small business phone systems in Vancouver, you don’t need a four-year course for that. If you want to develop into high-level marketing roles, then you want that degree. 

Personality

You don’t need a specific personality type to work in marketing. Your personality and interests might determine what area of marketing would suit you best though. For example, if you’re outgoing and creative then public relations or social media management might be for you.    

Investment & Return

Money isn’t everything. But, if you’re going to put the resources into getting a degree, you want to know that you’ll get some return on your investment. From the figures we quoted above, it seems the “optimal” qualification in terms of salary return vs. time and money investment is a bachelor’s degree. 

Average earnings for marketers with a master’s qualification were only $10k higher. This suggests that you’re not really getting a significant financial return for the additional investment. Of course, if that master’s leads to your dream job, you might see it differently.  

Final Thoughts: Forge Your Own Path

Is a marketing degree worth it in 2023? The short answer is yes. Whether that means a marketing degree is right for you, we can’t tell you. Hopefully, though, this guide has given you the information you need to make that choice. 



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