Employee Performance Appraisal Systems

Performance appraisal notes:

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Regular coaching and performance discussions should take place year-round, but the annual performance appraisal provides an opportunity to formally review each employee’s performance, provide constructive feedback, and set goals for the upcoming year. The process provides a good opportunity for managers and employees to engage in meaningful dialogue.
The performance appraisal provides an opportunity for the organization to assess whether employees are meeting company expectations. If they are not, then the appraisal is an opportunity for the manager to provide guidance or recommend training that might aid an employee’s expected performance. The appraisal also serves as a formal performance record in the event that future employment actions may need to be taken. Finally, employees are provided with an opportunity to share feedback with their managers, express concerns, ask for assistance, and offer suggestions of their own. The appraisal is most effective when it involves two-way communication.
Characteristics of an Effective Appraisal
An effective appraisal has a number of characteristics. First, it is fair and legally sound. A fair appraisal should address performance over the entire appraisal period. To ensure that this happens, the manager must maintain accurate, detailed records of performance and behavior for the entire period. These records should include milestones that the employee has met (or missed), assignments that have been completed (or not completed), any additional duties that the employee has taken on above his or her regular workload, and any other factual evidence of successful or unsuccessful performance. It is best to rely upon objective, easily verified information.
To ensure an appraisal is legally sound, it is important to eliminate certain biases. These typically includesubjective opinions.
appraisals that discriminate on the basis of something other than employee performance.
appraisals that are not inclusive.
An effective appraisal requires prior planning. If the manager spends little time preparing, then it will likely become evident during the appraisal, which, as a result, employees may not take seriously. Finally, an effective appraisal should provide a balance of positive and constructive feedback. It is important to recognize areas where employees have done well. In so doing, it communicates that the manager has noted good performance, rather than simply focusing on what is not going well. It is important to provide honest, constructive feedback in areas where employees are not meeting expectations, or where further development is needed. This type of feedback provides insights about which the employee may not have been aware, or recommendations as to how the employee can develop additional skills.
The Appraisal Meeting
Employees should be made to feel comfortable when the appraisal meeting is held, and encouraged to provide feedback. The meeting should focus on the objective measures and assessments included in the review, with a tone that demonstrates interest in the employee’s development and faith in the employee’s success. The meeting should include setting goals for the upcoming year, to ensure employees clearly understand performance expectations. The meeting should end on a positive note, with employees feeling empowered to succeed and to work through any future challenges.
The performance appraisal process provides a valuable opportunity for employers and employees to engage in constructive dialogue, share feedback with one another, and discuss future goals. Handled effectively, it can be one of the most effective tools a manager has to motivate employees and ultimately improve their performance.
Question 1: What are some common ways of obtaining feedback on one’s performance?
Answer 1: When evaluating employee performance, it is becoming increasingly common to include the perspective of more than that of just the immediate supervisors. One method used to review employees in supervisory roles is to solicit feedback from subordinates. A common instrument in this case is a written questionnaire, sent to each subordinate, asking specific questions about the supervisor’s performance. Questions may center on leadership, decision-making and communication skills, the ability to set reasonable goals, and the extent that the supervisor provides employees with opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge. One drawback to this approach is that subordinates may be reluctant to give negative feedback because they fear the consequences. You can alleviate this concern by offering respondents the option of replying anonymously.
Question 2: When are customer ratings an effective tool?
Answer 2: Customer feedback is valuable as a way of evaluating employees in service jobs. The appraiser may implement a customer feedback survey and distribute it to customers on a regular basis. For example, customers who interact with a certain company account representative may receive a survey. Questions may refer to the quality of service provided and the employee’s responsiveness to the customers’ needs. Combine and incorporate the customer responses into the account representative’s appraisal.
Question 3: Are peer ratings useful?
Answer 3: Peer ratings can be effective in situations where an employee works as a member of a team. Select peers at random or choose them based on the extent they have interacted with the employee. Obtain feedback from multiple peers to eliminate the possibility that one peer may use the opportunity to poorly rate an employee with whom that employee has personal issues.
Question 4: Should employees evaluate themselves?
Answer 4: Include self-evaluations in the appraisal score or as a basis for discussion. In particular, they can provide an opportunity to discuss areas where employees have rated themselves much higher or lower than the ratings of supervisors or peers.
Question 5: What is 360-degree feedback? Should it link to compensation decisions?
Answer 5: In this process (also known as multisource feedback), the employee evaluates him- or herself against a set of performance criteria. The employee’s supervisor and coworkers also evaluate him or her against the same set of criteria. The results undergo a gap analysis, indicating any significant differences between the employee’s personal evaluation and the evaluations of coworkers. The results are a point of departure for developing improvement goals and action plans

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