Employee Performance Appraisals

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Introduction

The current evaluation form for the company doesn’t seem to capture the most important elements of performance appraisal. Performance evaluation for employees is a momentous task that seeks to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each worker and how the latter can be improved to boost the returns of the company.

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Firstly, the issue of friendliness towards other co-workers as part of performance appraisal is not a very necessary component to put into consideration bearing in mind employees can maintain a friendly status without positively affecting the returns of a company. Although the engineer seems to be not in a friendly mood with other workers, his work has been impressive. In fact, the suggestions he made at the plant led to huge savings for the company. Hence, the clashing personality should not be used per se as the basis for evaluating the engineer.

The second point of concern is on neatness in the working space. The engineer received a low-medium rating according to the plant manager. Again, this evaluation component ignores the engineer’s positive input into the company. Being neat is almost inconsequential as far as performance appraisal is concerned in this manufacturing plant. Again, this is a weak evaluation standpoint that does not address the key performance indicators for the company.

Lastly, the plant manager awards the engineer a low medium rating owing to his poor attitude towards coworkers. The poor attitude of the engineer is also demonstrated when he fails to be attentive when the manager is talking to the group. At this point, it is evident that the engineer is receiving a low rating because of the general dislike by the manager who is also evaluating him. This kind of appraisal is rather subjective and may be skewed depending on how an employee relates with the top management in spite of impressive work performance.

The discussion

The process of performance evaluation should target the needs of an organization in a more direct manner. Therefore, it is imperative to evaluate the most pragmatic details touching on the performance of an employee. For instance, the level at which an employee is familiar with the company policies and procedures is paramount (Barnett & Dawkins, 2005). Employees who have their job knowledge at their fingertips are well placed to perform better than those who do not understand their job descriptions. Hence, job knowledge is worth evaluating during performance appraisals. Productivity is an all-around requirement that should be evaluated on a regular basis. Thus, the quantity of high-quality work produced by an employee in addition to the ability to set priorities, manage time properly and also meet the set deadlines are all relevant details for performance evaluation.

The levels of responsibility or being initiative are powerful ingredients that should be included in the performance evaluation process (McKenna, 2000). Employees ought to be in a position to accept and meet the requirements of work assigned to them. They should also be evaluated on their ability to initiate leadership or decision-making. Besides, the resourcefulness or adaptability of employees is equally relevant when considered as part of performance appraisal. Other areas that can be evaluated include but are not limited to supervisory skills as well as attendance and punctuality at the workplace.

Performance evaluation serves the purpose of appraising the progress of employees. The evaluation criteria can be used to determine where an employee is due for a promotion or salary hike (Barnett & Dawkins, 2005). Moreover, the appraisals can be used to pinpoint loopholes in capacity building and training of employees. Therefore, performance evaluation should be as effective as possible because it is an important source of decision-making in an organization.

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One of the common set of evaluation criteria worth considering is setting objectives. Managers should set goals and timelines when these goals are to be achieved so that employees can steer their effort in the right direction.

The second most important set of evaluation criteria is the fairness of the evaluation criteria. The assessment of employee performance should be done in an impartial manner as much as possible.

Involving supervisors, peers and subordinates in the evaluation process have its own merit in the sense that they will feel a sense of belonging and value in the organization (McKenna, 2000). At the point where objectives are being formulated, peers, supervisors and subordinates will be able to give their input and work smart towards achieving them. It is also advantageous because these groups usually form the bulk of company employees and involving them in the evaluation process ensures they are part and parcel of the procedure. Objectives will be achieved sooner when they participate in the process.

Nevertheless, the challenge arises when they have to rate themselves after a given evaluation period. To begin with, there may be no common pool of records that pertains to the performance where they can be rated on a common platform. Besides, the rating may also require expert knowledge which most of these employees may not have. Lastly, the probability of awarding themselves higher ratings is almost inevitable. The main rationale behind performance evaluation for employees is to provide a feedback system on their general performance rating at work and consequently chart the way forward on how to improve on the weak areas. Several methods are used in performance appraisal.

Management By Objectives Method (MBO)

To begin with, the Management by Objectives Method (MBO) is deemed to be one of the highly recommended performance appraisal methods. The targeted objectives are set by both the organizational management and the workers at large. Thereafter, the set goals and objectives are reviewed or appraised on a periodic basis to see into it that they have been achieved (Barnett & Dawkins, 2005). After the goals have been met, there is a reward system for employees in accordance with their levels of performance. This method of evaluating the performance of employees does not consider the means through which the set objectives are achieved but rather it considers the accomplishment of the objective.

Critical Incident Method

Unlike in the Management by Objectives Methods, the Critical Incident Method does not engage employees in the evaluation process. The managers are endowed with the responsibility of noting down the strengths and weaknesses of the employees (Guerra-López, 2008). These attributes are based on the behavioral characteristics of employees that directly affect their performance at the workplace.

The evaluation record is kept for a given period of time after which it is assessed. Similar to the Management by Objectives Method, the Critical Incident Appraisal technique aims at improving the work quality of employees and the analysis is done after a given period of time, say on annual basis.

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Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales

This appraisal method gives a detailed description of employees on the basis of their particular behavioral patterns (Guerra-López, 2008). The latter is used to assess the performance of employees in terms of whether an employee is effective or not. The procedure entailed in this appraisal method is quite complex because it is a blend of more than one method to achieve desired results.

Behavioral Observation Scales Method

The performance of an employee in an organization is analyzed over a specified period of time using how often the critical incidents are recorded. This method is shrewder than the ones discussed above owing to the fact that it does not provide room for any vague judgment by managers.

It is important for managers to exercise extra caution when carrying out performance evaluations for their employees. If the process is not done accurately, it may grossly affect the performance of the organization owing to incorrect measures taken.

One of the common errors that impact performance evaluation is the Halo Effect(Guerra-López, 2008). This error is common especially when the manager is wrongly influenced by a unique positive or negative performance of an employee just before the evaluation process begins. As a result, the assessor ends up analyzing the employee based on one incidence. The Halo Effect can be avoided by analyzing the overall performance criteria of employees for a considerable length of time and not just on a single outstanding incidence.

Stereotyping is also a common bias that may negatively impact the accuracy of performance appraisals. This error will occur when the assessor rates an employee on the basis of belonging to a certain group of people (Guerra-López, 2008).

When specific documentation on the progress of employees is not in place, it is highly likely that the assessment of their performance will equally lack thorough and as a result, the manager will be compelled to rely on memory. The ability to recall details cannot be relied upon and as such, it may have a negative effect on the final outcome of the process.

Performance evaluations can be improved in a variety of ways. Firstly, company managers should work with preset objectives that have been mutually set by both the managerial and subordinate teams (Barnett & Dawkins, 2005). When the goals and objectives are in place, it will be much easier for the assessors to use common and standard criteria to evaluate employees without any bias or error.

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Furthermore, managers ought to keep all records pertaining to the performance of employees. An appraisal process that relies on the ability to recall is bound to be ineffective.

Conclusion

Finally, performance evaluations should be based on the needs of an organization at any given time (Guerra-López, 2008). It is upon managers to bear in mind that the criteria used to appraise employees should reflect on the output and well-being of the organization. The evaluation process should be objective, impartial and rational.

References

Barnett, I. and Dawkins, S. (2005) “Performance Evaluation”, Burlington: Elsevier Ltd.

Guerra-López, J.I. (2008). “Performance Evaluation: Proven Approaches for Improving Program and Organizational Performance”, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McKenna, F.E. (2000). “Business psychology and organizational behavior”, East Sussex: Psychology Press.

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BusinessEssay. (2021) 'Employee Performance Appraisals'. 5 December.

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BusinessEssay. 2021. "Employee Performance Appraisals." December 5, 2021. https://business-essay.com/employee-performance-appraisals/.

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