The Appraisal system refers to the process of evaluating employees’ performance against organizational goals, values, and mission (Crote & Crote, 1996, p. 204). The process is mutually beneficial to employers and employees. On one hand, it helps organizations to understand whether employees have been performing to managerial expectations; the other hand represents employees, who get to understand whether their efforts in relevant tasks had a positive impact on their employers. Owing to the fact that employees and employers have much to gain from this process, it is important that both stakeholders be involved in the formulation of organizational appraisal systems. This would result in the development of appraisal employing best practices. Some of the elements that need to be included in organizational appraisal systems are detailed in subsequent sections of this report. The application of best appraisal system practices would lead to well understood and motivated labor force vital in meeting both individual and organizational goals (McLaughlin, 1992, p. 6).
The use of clear communication channels at the development and application stages will help in keeping employees informed (DelPo, 2007, p. 197). At the development stage, senior management should ensure asking employee’s inputs, which could be done at the departmental level. This would be a good start because incorporating members of the labor force would make them feel appreciated. They will actually feel that it is them who owns the process, not the senior management or board of directors. At the implementation stage, management should ensure that employees are being informed of the time when the assessment would take place and what will be checked. Such measures will provide employees with time to prepare themselves; this could even see them improving their performance.
Regular appraisals help organizations track whether recommendations made to employees have been followed. The short period between assessments is especially important because management and employees would not have forgotten what was discussed previously. In addition, it would help employees in developing their own short-term goals, which they can work towards improving their performance. This regular communication between both stakeholders has a greater chance of improving working relationships between them, which leads to efficiency and higher productivity. It is therefore important for organizations to consider performing an appraisal on a regular basis, the most preferred period being quarterly.
As organizations develop appraisal systems, it is important for them to include frameworks that would help employees in their attempts to attain recommendations. This could be done at the departmental level, where supervisors would be tasked with the responsibilities of ensuring employees had all they needed to attain goals set in previous appraisals. Organizations should also consider developing appraisal offices or committees that would serve as points of reference. Individuals serving in appraisal committees should feel obliged to keep employees informed on the need to attain goals made in previous assessments. Employees should use the presence of appraisal offices to their advantage, though asking for counsel when in need.
Successful appraisal systems are the ones that recognize efforts made by individual employees and reward them effectively. This measure should be undertaken every time appraisal results are commutated to stakeholders. In order to motivate the rest of the labor force to increase their productivity, the appraisal committee should recommend that results of employees being recognized. On seeing collogues’ performance and subsequent recognition, the other members of the labor force would feel compelled to improve their performance. On the other hand, employees being recognized will most likely do all they could to maintain their newly earned position in the company. The competition that will accrue from employees will end up increasing efficiency and firm productivity.
Members of the labor force that continue to show underperformance in concurrent appraisal sessions should be reassigned to other duties. Those who continue to underperform in duties less demanding should be relieved of their duties in the companies and subsequently allowed to resign. However, the appraisal committee should work closely with such employees, especially when their underperformance becomes clear in less demanding jobs (Rao, 2004, p. 130). The committee should be the one to recommend to the management the measures that should be taken on such employees. This would make the remaining employees understand the seriousness of the matter at hand.
Successful appraisal frameworks are the ones that provide regular meetings between the management and appraisal committees. These meetings are meant to provide employees with opportunities to answer queries from appraisal committees. Employees could also ask for specific clarifications regarding their ratings. In addition, underperformers would be provided with an opportunity to inform management on their needs, or what would make them improve performance. These meetings, therefore, serve as feedback sessions for organizations’ employees. As mentioned earlier, more frequent appraisals and concurrent meetings would be beneficial to organizations and their labor force.
As mentioned previously, the use of a specific committee or office to perform appraisal activities. Small organizations, which are not willing to employ new staff, should consider using contracted appraisal professionals. These would be economical because such consultants would be used in appraisal periods only. Apart from cost savings, small businesses would benefit from professionals’ knowledge on different aspects of organizational needs. This is because the consultants are well exposed to many small businesses, a wealth of information that cannot be found internally.
Regular appraisal meetings are the best place for employees to express their needs. The appraisal committee should subsequently recommend to the management what should be done in improving employee performance. Since the committee would include individuals with professional experience in human resource management, it shall be able to recommend to the management individual employee needs. This could include retraining, leave, increase or decrease in employee assignments. Doing this regularly would end up forming a labor force that is up-to-date with happening sin relevant specialties.
Organizations should not wait for the time for appraisals so as to collect views from employees. Instead, appraisal committees should develop mechanisms that would allow employees to forward suggestions or complaints when they arise. Collecting information from members of the labor force at all times shall help in solving crises faster. This could be done through questionnaires. Employees should be asked to fill these questioners on regular basis and forward them to the committee.
The use of an appraisal system in gauging employee performance should thus form an integral part of any organizations daily activities. This is important because employees get to understand whether their hard work is helping their employer achieve the set goals. Senior management gains the understanding of how employees are performing their responsibilities, and thus assign duties according assignees efficiency. This results to well informed management and labor force, both of which are most important stakeholders in their relevant organizations.
Crote, D. & Crote, R. 1996. Performance Appraisal Guide. New York, AMACOM.
Delpo, A. 2007. Performance Appraisal. Berkeley, Nelo.
McLaughlin, T. 1992. Improving Appraisal System Elements. Provo. Brigham Young University.
Rao, 2004. Managing Appraisal Systems. Boston, Sage.