To Performance Appraisal Performance appraisal may be defined as a structured formal interaction between a subordinate and supervisor, that usually takes the form of a periodic interview (annual or semi-annual), in which the work performance of the subordinate is examined and discussed, with a view to identifying weaknesses and strengths as well as opportunities for improvement and skills development. In many organizations – but not all – appraisal results are used, either directly or indirectly, to help determine reward outcomes.
That is, the appraisal results are used to identify the better performing employees who should get the majority of available merit pay increases, bonuses, and promotions. By the same token, appraisal results are used to identify the poorer performers who may require some form of counseling, or in extreme cases, demotion, dismissal or decreases in pay. (Organizations need to be aware of laws in their country that might restrict their capacity to dismiss employees or decrease pay. )
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Whether this is an appropriate use of performance appraisal – the assignment and justification of rewards and penalties – is a very uncertain and contentious matter. Objectives of Performance Appraisal Perhaps the most significant objective of appraisal is that, in the rush and bustle of daily working life, it offers a rare chance for a supervisor and subordinate to have “time out” for a one-on-one discussion of important work issues that might not otherwise be addressed. Almost universally, where performance appraisal is conducted properly, both supervisors and subordinates have reported the experience as beneficial and positive.
Appraisal offers a valuable opportunity to focus on work activities and goals, to identify and correct existing problems, and to encourage better future performance. Thus the performance of the whole organization is enhanced. For many employees, an “official” appraisal interview may be the only time they get to have exclusive, uninterrupted access to their supervisor. Said one employee of a large organization after his first formal performance appraisal, “In twenty years of work, that’s the first time anyone has ever bothered to sit down and tell me how I’m doing. The value of this intense and purposeful interaction between a supervisors and subordinate should not be underestimated. [pic] Motivation and Satisfaction Performance appraisal can have a profound effect on levels of employee motivation and satisfaction – for better as well as for worse. Performance appraisal provides employees with recognition for their work efforts. The power of social recognition as an incentive has been long noted. In fact, there is evidence that human beings will even prefer negative recognition in preference to no recognition at all.
If nothing else, the existence of an appraisal program indicates to an employee that the organization is genuinely interested in their individual performance and development. This alone can have a positive influence on the individual’s sense of worth, commitment and belonging. The strength and prevalence of this natural human desire for individual recognition should not be overlooked. Absenteeism and turnover rates in some organizations might be greatly reduced if more attention were paid to it. Regular performance appraisal, at least, is a good start. pic] Training and Development Performance appraisal offers an excellent opportunity – perhaps the best that will ever occur – for a supervisor and subordinate to recognize and agree upon individual training and development needs. During the discussion of an employee’s work performance, the presence or absence of work skills can become very obvious – even to those who habitually reject the idea of training for them! Performance appraisal can make the need for training more pressing and relevant by linking it clearly to performance outcomes and future career aspirations.
From the point of view of the organization as a whole, consolidated appraisal data can form a picture of the overall demand for training. This data may be analysed by variables such as sex, department, etc. In this respect, performance appraisal can provide a regular and efficient training needs audit for the entire organization. [pic] Recruitment and Induction Appraisal data can be used to monitor the success of the organization’s recruitment and induction practices. For example, how well are the employees performing who were hired in the past two years?
Appraisal data can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of changes in recruitment strategies. By following the yearly data related to new hires (and given sufficient numbers on which to base the analysis) it is possible to assess whether the general quality of the workforce is improving, staying steady, or declining. [pic] Employee Evaluation Though often understated or even denied, evaluation is a legitimate and major objective of performance appraisal. But the need to evaluate (i. e. , to judge) is also an ongoing source of tension, since evaluative and developmental priorities appear to frequently clash.
Yet at its most basic level, performance appraisal is the process of examining and evaluating the performance of an individual. Though organizations have a clear right – some would say a duty – to conduct such evaluations of performance, many still recoil from the idea. To them, the explicit process of judgement can be dehumanizing and demoralizing and a source of anxiety and distress to employees. It is been said by some that appraisal cannot serve the needs of evaluation and development at the same time; it must be one or the other. Appraisal Methods
In a landmark study, Locher & Teel (1977) found that the three most common appraisal methods in general use are rating scales (56%), essay methods (25%) and results- oriented or MBO methods (13%). For a description of each, follow the button links on the left. Certain techniques in performance appraisal have been thoroughly investigated, and some have been found to yield better results than others. [pic] Encourage Discussion Research studies show that employees are likely to feel more satisfied with their appraisal result if they have the chance to talk freely and discuss their performance.
It is also more likely that such employees will be better able to meet future performance goals. (e. g. , Nemeroff & Wexley, 1979) Employees are also more likely to feel that the appraisal process is fair if they are given a chance to talk about their performance. This especially so when they are permitted to challenge and appeal against their evaluation. (Greenberg, 1986). [pic] Constructive Intention It is very important that employees recognize that negative appraisal feedback is provided with a constructive intention, i. e. to help them overcome present difficulties and to improve their future performance. Employees will be less anxious about criticism, and more likely to find it useful, when the believe that the appraiser’s intentions are helpful and constructive. (Fedor et al. 1989) In contrast, other studies (e. g. , Baron, 1988) have reported that “destructive criticism” – which is vague, ill-informed, unfair or harshly presented – will lead to problems such as anger, resentment, tension and workplace conflict, as well as increased resistance to improvement, denial of problems, and poorer performance. pic] Set Performance Goals It has been shown in numerous studies that goal-setting is an important element in employee motivation. Goals can stimulate employee effort, focus attention, increase persistence, and encourage employees to find new and better ways to work. The useful of goals as a stimulus to human motivation is one of the best supported theories in management. It is also quite clear that goals which are “… specific, difficult and accepted by employees will lead to higher levels of performance than easy, vague goals (such as do your best) or no goals at all. ” (H [pic] Appraiser Credibility
It is important that the appraiser (usually the employee’s supervisor) be well-informed and credible. Appraisers should feel comfortable with the techniques of appraisal, and should be knowledgeable about the employee’s job and performance. When these conditions exist, employees are more likely to view the appraisal process as accurate and fair. They also express more acceptance of the appraiser’s feedback and a greater willingness to change. Bibliography www. performance appraisal. com/harris. htm www. performance appraisal. com/Simone locke et al . , 1994 Harris and Dj Simone,1994 Greenberg, 1986 Fedor et al , 1989