In the current business environment, companies have increasingly used performance appraisal methods to align their human resources activities and policies in ensuring promoting the realization of organizational goals and objectives. Practice and research have shifted from their narrow focus on psychometric evaluation of issues to the developmental performance appraisal. Performance appraisal promotes the performance of a business by enriching the employees with experiences, attitudes, and skills. This contributes to the performance of a business by improving the effectiveness and efficiency within a business/organization. Performance appraisal aligns the efforts of employees with that of the organization. This forms the basis of designing organizational activities that focus on employee growth and development alongside enabling the business/organization to realize its objectives (Atwood, 2007).
Structure of this essay paper
This essay is divided into three sections. The first section discusses the benefits of performance appraisal to an organization. It presents the benefits associated with a well-prepared performance appraisal, pre-appraisal activities that ensure success of performance appraisal, and problems that might occur when giving feedback to the employee. In addition, this section discusses the steps that managers can follow during performance appraisal processes and post-appraisal activities. The benefits of working with employees in building their career goals within the company are also identified. Secondly, this essay analyzes the models used for evaluating team performance. This provides a discussion on the differences between the evaluation team and individual performance using different concepts of succession planning. The last section provides a summary of the above review and provides recommendations on ways of improving the outcomes of the study.
Section A: Benefits performance appraisal systems within the company
Lyster and Arthur (2007) defined performance appraisal as the process where an individual's work and performance at the workplace are assessed. It identifies, evaluates, and develops the work performance of the employees in an organization. This ensures effective achievement of the set organizational goals and objectives while benefiting the employees in terms of provision of feedback, recognition, providing for work needs and guidance to the employees. Behavioral anchored rating scale (BARS), graphic rating scales, behavioral observation scales (BOS), management by objectives (MBO), and mixed standard rating scales are some of the methods employed by the management teams of most companies. Organizations engage in performance appraisal for several purposes. Organizations conduct performance appraisal to affect the behavior of their employees through feedback processes. It also provides justification of some of the actions of human resource management such as termination, promotion, and transfer. Many advantages accrue from the information acquired from the performance appraisal process. Some of the benefits include increasing knowledge related to the effectiveness of the placement and selection programs, training and meeting the developmental needs of the employees. Simmons-Welburn & McNeil (2004) contended that performance appraisal allows organizations to differentiate between good and poor performance hence, the success of an organization.
Cleveland and associates developed a classification system of reasons for conducting performance appraisal in an organization. The reasons, according to the classification include documentation, between person decisions (individuals receive the promotion), within person decisions (feedback related to strengths and weaknesses), and documentation purposes. Organizations use performance appraisal for two key purposes. This includes serving the different management functions such as making decisions related to the performance of the employee and promoting their developmental needs (Singer & Griffith, 2010). This implies that it acts as an instrument for evaluating employee performance. Zhu (2009) examined the purposes of performance appraisal and found out that evaluative functions of performance appraisal include promotion, recognition, and layoffs among other functions while developmental functions entail identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an employee.
A well prepared and presented performance appraisal brings numerous benefits to the company. According to Lyster and Arthur (2007), it provides a business with stronger results. This occurs when the increased commitment of the employees towards achieving their personal and organizational goals. A well-structured and delivered performance appraisal increases the efficiency in the execution of the assigned organizational activities. This arises from the increased associate satisfaction among the employees towards their job and employee relationship with the managers. It also provides employees with opportunities to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. This provides them with greater opportunities for development and advancement in the workplace. Activities such as employee recognition and provision of rewards give them opportunities for further development at their work place. Consequently, this increases the skills, opportunities for development, and confidence among the employees (Eeckhout, 2010).
It is highly appreciable that pre-appraisal activities influence the success and outcomes of the performance appraisal. Pre-appraisal activities provide the appraiser and appraisee the opportunity to discuss the structure, components, and the time of the appraisal. One of the pre-appraisal activities that facilitate the success of the process is the appraiser arranging for a meeting with the employee. This allows them to review the method of performance appraisal and develop an agreed departure. This meeting also provides participants with opportunities to establish objectives, standards, and expectations of the performance appraisal.
In addition, pre-appraisal activities entail communicating the objectives, standards and expectations to the employee. This should use formal means that ensure interaction and sharing of ideas and feelings related to the developed objectives. The appraiser must then give enough time to the employee to perform and achieve the set goals and objectives. This allows the employee to perfect their skills and identify areas of weaknesses that might affect the realization of the set objectives. The appraiser should assess and measure the performance of the employee prior to the actual appraisal. This ensures that the employee receives the necessary support on areas of weakness identified before the appraisal (Simmons-Welburn & McNeil, 2004).
However, not all performance appraisal processes become successful. Some appraisers might fail to communicate the results of the appraisal while others may have limited experience in effective delivery of the appraisal decisions. Managers with limited experience often confuse the performance appraisal of an employee with personality appraisal. This encourages inaccurate feedbacks on the performance level of the employee. An appraiser might fail to identify the areas of employee strengths, but focus on employee weaknesses. This leads to failure to deliver constructive feedback on the performance of the employee, which demoralizes them. An effective performance appraisal should take a conversional approach to delivering the desired results in an efficient manner. Failing to offer an employee with a chance to explain the results of the feedback makes it ineffective. Some employers surprise their employees with negative results of the appraisal. It is recommendable that employers provide employees with general feedback on their performance on a regular basis to make them aware of the standard of their work. This reduces conflicts resulting from surprises to the employees (Lyster & Arthur, 2007).
There are steps that managers can follow to ensure that the appraisal process provides value to the company and the employee. One of these steps is developing an appraisal method prior to the process. This includes the use of methods such as the 360-degree feedback that provides a fair view of the performance of the employee. It may also entail allowing the employee to evaluate him/herself prior to the process. Secondly, the manager should develop a trusting relationship and show respect to the employee. Both verbal and non-verbal cues of communication play a significant role in this stage as it determines the outcome of the process. Behaviors such as maintaining eye contact with the employee and maintaining proper posture communicates much to the employee hence, influencing the process. Thirdly, the manager should start with a negative feedback, and end with positive feedback on the performance of the employee. This makes them feel the way the company/business value his/her work. Fourthly, the manager should assess the employee's ability to achieve the set goals and provide ways of meeting them.
Besides, the manager should create an environment that supports dialogue after providing the feedback. This entails providing them with an opportunity to express their opinions and future requirements needed to improve on their performance. Finally, the manager should provide the employee with the final decision. This entails providing decisions such as promoting, demoting, transferring, and laying-off the employee. The manager should provide the employee and opportunity to appeal for the process if not satisfied with the decision made by the appraisal team (Eeckhout, 2010).
After the performance appraisal process, it is highly recommendable that managers develop strategies aiming at the employee weaknesses witnessed in the recently concluded appraisal. This process is referred to as post-appraisal activities. One of the post appraisal activities most managers employ is the constant evaluation of the employees' performance. This provides them with insights to their strengths and weaknesses that influence their performance. Therefore, this contributes to the performance alongside improving the subsequent results of the performance appraisal. Apart from this, managers use coaching and mentoring as some of their post-appraisal interventions for improving the performance of their employees. Coaching entails using an authority figure to work with the employee on a daily basis and provide the required…