Performance appraisal is the process through which the competence and skills of an individual are measured in the workplace. As a function of the human resources department, it is aimed at gauging the capabilities of each individual based on outlined skills. The ratings acquired from appraisals are used by the organization for decision-making purposes.
Performance appraisal ranks as one of the most crucial functions of the human resources department in any organization. The intricate nature of the function culminates from the process itself as well as the outcome of the exercise. As a result, our organization has found itself facing the same challenges rife across the global workplace. In the report, I will delve into the details of the performance appraisal process thereby highlighting the challenges and achievements achieved because of instituting performance appraisal as part of the human resource management functions.
The appraisal scheme
Performance appraisal in my organization is the function of the human resource department. As a result, the human resource manager oversees the whole process. Over the past couple of years, the process has metamorphosed into a simpler and more transparent process whereby employees are appraised based on a wide range of characteristics in order to arrive at a balanced portrayal of performance. The appraisal scheme is pegged to the reward system of the organization.
The performance appraisal of an employee commences straight from the completion of the recruitment process. During this period, the employees are taken through a rigorous training process regarding the expectations of their supervisors. Similarly, their functions are well outlined. Armed with such knowledge, employees have managed to portray exemplary performance standards, thereby propelling the organization to great heights.
Supervisors are charged with the duty of performing day-to-day performance appraisals of the employees. Under such liberal circumstances, the ability to appreciate the capabilities of each individual has become easier with each passing day. Through a continuous appraisal model, employees receive a round-the-year review, which enables the management to incorporate all competencies in the appraisal.
Reporting the Findings
The daily reports regarding employee performance are reviewed at the end of each month. The summary forwarded by the supervisors to the human resources department contains the ratings of each employee accompanied by narration relating to the rationale behind the assigned rating. Over the following twelve months, such reports are forwarded to the human resources department. However, the supervisors and human resources manager meet quarterly to review the reports and discuss any undesirable trends. Such tendencies include persistent absenteeism and chronic underperformance.
The necessity of such meetings is to cater for any training requirements based on the performance of each employee as well as reviewing the skill geography of each department. The supervisors offer both conclusions and recommendations, most of which are debated upon during the meetings. Common practice includes departmental heads brainstorming on the most appropriate way of solving issues on the departmental level. Issues with far-reaching implications are accorded the corresponding review.
Issues Leading To Effective Performance Appraisal
The process of appraising the workforce has experienced a successful run over the years with the supervisors’ effort bearing fruit. Owing to the improved performance of their subordinates, the ratings of each employee are commensurate with the observable performance standards. As a result, the management has resolved to place emphasis on the ratings offered by supervisors based on the fact they are in contact with the employees during the execution of duties.
From the past exercises, ample communication of the expectations by supervisors was a factor that contributed to the success of the appraisal process. Since most of the workers were aware of their functions, the supervisors have an easy time attributing success to competence. The performance of each employee was clear from the organization’s performance in terms of profitability and production efficiency. The communication channels were open and employees were able to access information and required guidelines regarding their roles.
Supervisors were also able to motivate the employees through a conducive working environment characterized by teamwork and cooperation. Since employees appreciated the fact that their efforts are rewarded through good ratings, each employee was able to surpass their targets. Employees have been able to communicate their capabilities to their manager thus easing the process of goal setting. Armed with the skills geography of their departments, supervisors managed to steer the company towards full potential through specialization and diversification alike. The day–to–day performance appraisal has come under huge praise from the employees.
Issues Leading To Ineffective Performance Appraisal
The open communication channels have grown o compromise the appraisal process since most supervisors find it difficult to assign low ratings even for deserving employees. Since the implications of a low rating are adverse and far-reaching, some supervisors are prone to overrate low performers on compassionate grounds. As a result, the high performers have criticized some ratings terming them fictitious owing to the fact that they are always present at the workplace.
Over the years, the reward system based on performance has been viewed as detrimental to the young employees while benefiting long-serving workers. The young employees were of the view that long-term relationships between supervisors and old guards have come in the way of objectivity. As a result, the younger employees posited that they are swamped with work on behalf of the department. However, after the appraisal, most of the credit goes to the long-serving employees. On a similar note, the universal categorization of departmental members accrues advantage to the experienced workforce. In the absence of a mechanism to recognize the efforts of the new employees, rewards never feature in their portfolio until much later.
The information collected was classified according to the departments. The main aim of seeking the information was to examine the views of the workforce regarding the appraisal process. Since the workforce is composed of workmates, access to the required information was the least complicated. I sought to find out the levels of satisfaction with eth current appraisal system. During the assessment, I considered the age of the employee, length of service, the level of management, the type of work, and the size of the department.
With permission from the human resources manager, I inquired from the employees about their opinion regarding the performance appraisal system. Responses to the questions varied based on certain demographic characteristics of the workforce. Appendix 1 displays the information collected during the assessment.
It is impossible to have a universally revered performance appraisal system. The opinion of individuals varies on basic and superficial issues revolving around the process owing to the fact the outcome of the process has financial and career implications. As a result, the management of any organization should find a way to measure the performance of its employees in order to provide an additional facet to tools of motivation. With the immense emphasis on performance in every organization, the appraisal system should address all issues relating to performance and provide supporting evidence for the ratings assigned to the employees. Similarly, supervisors should remain objective and devise models of recognizing excellence in all spheres of the organization.
From the assessment, it is clear that the organization needs to review some aspects of the appraisal process. First, the human resource department should calibrate the reward system to accommodate the influence of experience on the performance of individuals. By so doing, they will be able to reward talent among new employees whose experience does not match that of long-serving employees.
Similarly, balanced objectives should be developed to cater to recent changes in the organization. By so doing, the objectives of the process will support the organization’s strategy. For example, the organization should include vertical and horizontal promotion as a type of reward in addition to cash rewards pegged on performance. By so doing, talent and hard work will be rewarded with the outcome of a more productive organization.
The management should also include a program for self-evaluation for each employee. By so doing, they will be able to collaborate the ratings from the supervisors with what the employee has assigned him or herself. By so doing, employees will be able to contribute to the appraisal process more.
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DelPo, A., The Performance Appraisal Handbook: Legal & Practical Rules for Managers, Nolo, California, 2007, p2-68
Falcone, P., & Sachs, R., T. Productive Performance Appraisals, AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, New York, 2007 p 36-40
Grote, D., & Grote, R., C., The Performance Appraisal Question And Answer Book: A Survival Guide For Managers, AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, New York, 2002. p 45
McKirchy, K., Powerful Performance Appraisals: How to Set Expectations and Work Together to Improve Performance: Easy read Edition Read, HowYouWant.com, US, 2008. p 23-56
Rudman, R., Performance Planning and Review: Making Employee Appraisals work, Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2004, p10-50
Smither, J., W. & London, M. Performance Management: Putting Research into Practice, John Wiley and Sons, San Francisco, 2009, p60