Job Evaluation and Performance Appraisal

Abstract

Several challenges are being faced by the organization in meeting the expectations of its target customers and organizations own set goals. It has been difficult to increase efficiency, accountability, and transparency concerning services provided by the organization. The organization is obligated to create a performance culture by putting more effort and great importance in motivation, development and optimal utilization of human resources to achieve both cliental and organizational goals.

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To ensure that a common set of fundamental principles is applied to achieve this, the implementation of performance appraisal system has to be established. Adapting to the system may be customized so that it fits perfectly to the needs of the organization. People who are employed in the organization whether on contract or permanent basis must have their performance managed and appraised so that it matches the fundamental principles that have been set out in this manual.

Implementation of a performance appraisal system is regarded as another step of better achieving the set organizational goals which are focused, result-oriented and accountable (Edenborough, 2007). The system will enable the organization to move from being subjective and focus on employee characteristics and attributes which should match the outputs, results and which rewards good performance and applies appropriate sanctions for poor performance.

The system is set to be a customized one so that as it is continuously being monitored, adjustments can be made over time as we learn from experience. Developing a performance appraisal system is a major task for the organization and it should be realized that it will take some time for some rewards to be fully realized. The following research project sets out to explain the effectiveness of having a performance appraisal system in a public sector organization.

Literature review

The aim of implementing a performance appraisal system is to help the organization evaluate the job performance of its employees so that appropriate corrective measures may be put in place together with good management decisions to be made. According to DelPo (2007), “a basic control system will consist of control standards, measurement, and corrective action. Control standards are based on organizational duties which are mostly spelled out according to departmental goals.” These goals tend to reflect on the role played by performance appraisal in the organization.

On the other hand, measurement deals with the actual process carried out during appraisal. These processes may entail the appraiser, appraisal criteria, appraisal methods, and appraisal timing. Corrective actions involve the feedback process after completing the performance appraisal process.

What is performance appraisal?

Performance appraisal also known as employee appraisal or merit rating is a technique used to evaluate employees personality and performance by the supervisors or other qualified persons. According to Schwartz (2001) “Merit rating of an employee is the process of evaluating the employee’s performance on the job in terms of the requirements of the job”. This is a way through which employers can assess the worth of an employee concerning job requirements. Most of these procedures are usually informal formal programs that are used in working organizations to evaluate the personalities and contributions of individuals to the organization. (Daley 2002)

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Importance of performance appraisal

The performance appraisal system is regarded as an important part of the organizational management system. Organizations are obligated to create a performance culture which is defined as the efforts put by employees to continuously improve on what they do this is where everyone working in the organization is supposed to put more effort and great importance in motivation development and optimal utilization of human resources to achieve both cliental and organizational goals. In most cases, a performance appraisal is established for the following reasons

  1. To unify all rating procedures so that employees are rated on the same qualities using the same method of measurement
  2. To keep a record of each employee’s performance to determine wages, salary increase, wage increase, incentive pay transfer and promotion
  3. Help motivate employees to perform better and eliminate personal prejudices by developing better knowledge and understanding of the employees
  4. Help determine what kind of training programs are needed by employees and decide on correct placement of employees
  5. To enable an employee to be aware of his/her performance level to take necessary steps in self-development
  6. To identify poor performers and find ways to help them get back on track and also lay the protocols to fire poor performers lawfully and fairly if they don’t improve.

According to Edenborough (2007), there is a relationship between organizational characteristics and the uses of performance appraisal. Several key factors help an organization to effectively design an effective performance appraisal system related to management processes

Implementing the performance management and appraisal process

The top management of the organization must understand the kind of system going to be put in place and provide their support for it to be successful. An internal implementation team should be established to know who will be responsible for communicating plans for implementing the system for the staff to have a clear understanding of what they are required to do.

Framework for effective performance appraisal system

Establish work objectives and standards

A work plan is perceived as an important tool in managing performance. An effective work plan will always include an organization work objects and standards. Organizations should have plans that are realistic and measurable which are in line with the inputs and experiences of all functioning areas of the organization. Set objectives should be specific to the period under consideration, achievable and with an element of challenge. Standards are targets that can be used to quantify and qualify performance indicators since they are more specific than objectives (Grote, 2006).

These plans should be well communicated and understood by all the members of staff especially the outcome of its work. There are two types of objectives, work, and standards; Continuing and time-limited. Continuing work and objectives involves identifying the most important work to be done to achieve the continuing objective. While time-limited identifies specific work and objectives and specific results necessary for an organization to accomplish a continuing objective. Performance indicators include;

  • Quality: how well is a task performed?
  • Quantity: how much is produced?
  • Timeliness: by when is the task completed?

Most of organizations objectives are found in planning systems. Characteristics of good organization standards include; can be measurable, clear and concise, realistic and attainable flexible and they should be stated where they are applicable.

Defined job description

In management, job description is a tool that is used to provide information that is factual, concise, precise and unambiguous regarding the nature of one’s job. It outlines what kind of duties, responsibilities, and conditions an individual assigned to a particular job must accomplish. It also outlines the accountability for actions and results in terms of the total components of the job. It is important to have clearly defined job descriptions to help in conducting the performance appraisal process at ease. Performance assessment will be conducted as per the ability of an employee to accomplish tasks as stipulated in one’s job description.

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Measure progress and Result

The review period will involve both the employees and their manager’s monitoring and measuring progress and result. This is a process that involves the need to have precise and accurate records that can be used to compare actual performance with the objectives of work and standards. There should be a source of information that is related to each standard. It is usually a two communication process for it to be effective. While conducting an appraisal, the same records and reports which may be informed of written reports, staffs meeting or workgroup meetings will be used based on qualified judgment.

Sample

Performance evaluation form

Statement of policy

Baseband Organization believes in conducting an evaluating performance test on its employees. The evaluation will be in the form of a formal written document that will help the employee develop in his/ her working skills to provide an opportunity for compensation, promotion, transfer, and retention. The evaluation process will be conducted on a job-related basis and will consider both supervisory and co-worker opinion.

It is the organization’s responsibility to monitor its employee’s effort continuously and maintain the appropriate records of employee accomplishments and behavior to guarantee that the information provided for the appraisal process is accurate, representative and relevant by the evaluation period. These records are confidential hence cannot be availed to any unauthorized people. All employees are requested not to discuss any information regarding appraisals or share any information of the same matter with other employees. Each employee must receive a copy of their record after the evaluation exercise is over (Goel 2008).

General guidelines

Supervisor
  1. Ensure each performance review session is conducted carefully by looking keenly into employee’s performance records from the previous year. Does it reflect their current role in the department?
  2. Review whether their goals were met and what obstacle they faced during that time
  3. Evaluate employee’s future opportunity for career development in terms of
  4. Schedule and hold the performance discussion with the employee, discuss employee’s developmental and career goals.
  5. Submit the final performance result and give a copy to the employer and principal administrator.

Employee

  1. Prepare for the session by reviewing the goals one had set during the previous evaluation period. What obstacles did you encounter and how did you deal with them
  2. Note the areas you succeed exemplary and where you failed miserably. What do you intend to do next?
  3. Consider development opportunities that would help you develop and improve on your contribution
  4. Think of anyone to speak to other than your supervisor before the evaluation process. Notify the supervisor before the review meeting.

Rate the employee’s behavior by selecting the number corresponding with the most appropriate response

  1. Immediate improvement needed– not accomplishing tasks as required. Has to always be supervised and directed. Must be aware of performance defaults and correct them immediately.
  2. Standard performer– accomplished tasks are almost to the expectation of the job requirement. Needs to be supervised to complete tasks on time.
  3. Causative performance– performs tasks as expected of a fully qualified and competent person.

Name:

Date:

Job Title:

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Structure for the performance appraisal interview

Set the scene

Appropriate details must be communicated to employees by their supervisor to confirm the interview. Information must include the purpose of the meeting, time dedicated for the process and what subjects are due for discussion

Review past performance

The supervisor must look back at your previous performance records. He/she should also encourage the employee to give one’s opinion to ensure that the employee is allowed to express their views. The supervisor is responsible for giving back feedback on your performance throughout the year (Aswathappa 2008).

Agree on new targets

After assessing the year’s performance, with the consent of the employee, the supervisor is encouraged to point out and agree with the employee on new performance objectives and targets for the coming year.

Agree on training and development needs

It is only after setting the objectives that one can effectively discuss about development and training needs. This may involve off the job training attending classes to learn more all this to improve an employee’s knowledge and skills to achieve new targets.

Agree on action and follow-up measures

In conclusion, both parties should confirm the dates agreed for appropriate follow-up procedures and also have written confirmation on what has been approved by both parties

Assess Performance

This will be used to determine how well or poorly an individual is performing. When assessing performance, key work objectives and standards are used as guidelines to determine the results. Actions plans are developed to improve or correct deficiencies and exploit opportunities that may arise when working towards set objectives and standards. How an individual can carry out tasks is one of the ways used to indicate how effectively you are performing key roles. In the performance appraisal system, assessing the action plans accomplished will be used to evaluate employees’ key work, objectives and standards since key objectives, work and standards are what are used to measure the total individual’s effort.

DelPo (2007) states that “assessing people’s performance is more effective when it begins at an individual level through assessing an individual owns work and result (self-assessment).” The information will help one to realize some of the aspects of one’s responsibility. When a person dedicates ample time and energy to carefully analyze some of the critical aspects that have significantly impacted on the overall performance, it becomes easy to conduct an assessing task. One of the best ways to encourage this kind of assessment is to avail of a copy of the appraisal form before the meeting. All the measures and standards should be as agreed to avoid any misunderstandings.

Secure understanding and acceptance

One of the objectives of a performance appraisal is to motivate people to improve their performance. This will always depend on the extent to which employees understand the significance of conducting this process, the significance of the ratings and their ability to agree that the results are valid. To ensure that employees understand and accept this kind of a system, a meeting should be scheduled after appraisal documents are completed (Schwartz, 2001). A copy of the appraisal should be administered to the individual whose work is going to be appraised during the meeting. As the supervisor, your copy will include the final results together with any necessary comments and exceptions including the information that both you (supervisor) and the employee could not agree upon. All this information should be regarded as personal and therefore it is kept as a confidential record.

Timing

By the organization’s goals, a performance appraisal would be conducted annually at the end of the organization’s financial year hence a 12-month review cycle provides a lengthy period between developing an individual’s personalities and contributions.

Coaching and feedback

Feedback should be part of every management process and should be based on observed and verifiable work-related behaviors, actions, results, and statements. An effective feedback is essential to employees as it helps to sustain a good communication process by providing opportunities to improve performance when necessary. Observing employees’ performance reinforces some form of feedback as information on performance may impact employee’s confidence together with managerial confidence. (Chandra 2004).

Effective performance feedback should view observation as the raw data upon which evaluation of performance can be used. Managers and supervisors need to take time and observe how employees carry out their day-to-day work as this will enable them to understand their employees better as they interact through talking which provides the feedback required (Grote, 2002).

This also helps the management be aware of where performance needs improvement early instead of waiting for an annual meeting. Coaching is a way through which supervisors can help improve an employee’s performance. This is a process of assisting others to realize their potential and to achieve their performance goals. Coaching can be used as a tool for addressing problems related to performance for example when an employee is not applying skills or knowledge learned during training or when an employee faces an upcoming challenge (Goel, 2008).

Future goals and objectives

The main aim of performance appraisals is to plan how an employee can improve his/her skill to provide more output in the future. Employers are encouraged to implement ways of building on strengths and improve on weaknesses (Arun & Rachana, 2001). Employees are also encouraged to help each other reach their full prospective. After the interview, the supervisor should give time for employees to create new developmental plans.

The supervisor should suggest attainable goals and targets which an employee will attempt to achieve. In harmony, and employee and the supervisor must agree on the ways to help achieve these targets for example by undertaking coaching sessions, training, or educative classes to improve on work practices. Clear guidelines must be stipulated to identify what necessary steps are considered mandatory and the consequences for failure to do as required. The progress towards attaining the objectives will be measured according to the agreed terms in a defined timeframe mostly during the next performance appraisal process (Goel, 2008).

Conclusion

Organizations that have put in place job evaluation guidelines and performance appraisal guidelines are more likely to succeed because organizational members understand the role which they are expected to play and understand the big picture and what they are expected to contribute to making the big picture successful. Identifying the significance of performance feedback in organizations is very crucial because it enables discussions of performance take place more regularly for the benefit of the organization. Frequent, consistent deliberations of performance should occur continuously because employees usually see this as an opportunity of advancement, development and also as a source of motivation.

Beneficial communication amongst organizational employees and those who are supervisors/managers usually assist employees to accurately dedicate more time and effort towards their expected duties and this enables the organizations to get rid of performance-related problems and achieve high levels of optimality. Creating formal structures and more formal periodic reviews enables organizations to develop a culture of accountability and responsibility by ensuring that every employee does what he/she is supposed to do. The importance of job evaluation and the role of appraisals cannot be ignored because it is the key to developing reward systems, organizational training programs, and improving individual/group performance of employees within an organization it is hence vital that every organization regularly evaluates employees.

Recommendation

Performance appraisal and job evaluation is a very important part of human resource management because it enables management to form a basis under which the value and contribution of every employee within the organization can be measured. It is hence necessary that managers create the necessary guidelines under which employees can be evaluated because job evaluation and performance appraisal adds a lot of value to the overall welfare of the organization.

Organizational managers should note that performance appraisal and regular job evaluation is an effective tool that can be used within organizations to improve performance and productivity while at the same time also enable underperforming employees to grow by improving their performance. Moreover, managers should develop formal job evaluation and appraisal guidelines because; they assist in the process of consolidating the relationships between the managers and subordinates by calling for higher levels of commitment. Performance should hence not be avoided but rather instigated within all commercial and noncommercial organizations so that a culture of responsibility within organizations can be fostered.

There are a lot of benefits which are to be realized once organizational managers formulate and implement job evaluation and performance appraisal mechanisms in organizations that outweigh the time, expenses and effort required to put into place the entire job evaluation system into place within organizations. Additionally, well-formulated and implemented Job evaluation systems ensure that organizations can define performance standards of the organization personnel with high levels of clarity within the organizations getting rid of double standards hence assisting the organization to operate at optimum levels.

Secondly, by putting in place job evaluation and performance appraisal systems, organizations can develop good and effective monitoring systems that monitor the performance of every employee. Job evaluation also helps managers be able to discuss the performance of employees regularly and develop appropriate actions and consequences. It is hence necessary that every organization put in place necessary performance evaluation guidelines so that employee performance can be monitored and even improved.

References

Arun K., Rachana S. (2001). Personnel Management Theory And Practice. Baltimore, MD: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors.

Aswathappa K. (2008). Human Resource and Personnel Management. Champaign, IL: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Chandra D. (2004). Principles of Management and Administration. Chicago, IL: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Daley D. M. (2002). Performance appraisal in the public sector: techniques and applications. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

DelPo A. (2007). The performance appraisal handbook: legal & practical rules for managers ;performance appraisal handbook. Bethesda, MD: Nolo.

Edenborough R. (2007). Assessment methods in recruitment, selection & performance: a manager’s guide to psychometric testing, interviews and assessment centres. Philadelphia, PA : Kogan Page Publishers.

Goel B. (2008). Performance Appraisal and Compensation Management: A Modern Approach. Chicago, IL: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Grote C. (2006).The complete guide to performance appraisal. Philadelphia, PA : AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Grote R. C. (2002). The performance appraisal question and answer book: a survival guide for managers. Philadelphia, PA: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Schwartz A.E. (2001). Performance Appraisal: Appraisal and Meeting. New York, NY: Cengage.

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