Evaluating an employee’s performance on the job is called a performance appraisal. Shown here are the essential steps of this process, but there are many specific variations in the way these steps are accomplished.
Though there is generally a lot of dissatisfaction with the way appraisals are conducted, these next two illustrations highlight some of the benefits of performance appraisal; from the perspective of the employer and the employee.
In addition to relative and absolute judgments, performance measurement systems can be classified by the type of performance data on which they focus. Shown here are the three types of performance data and a brief description of each.
Trait appraisal instruments ask the supervisor to make judgments about traits. Shown here are four traits that are typically found on trait-based rating scales. Trait ratings have been criticized for being much too ambiguous, and leaving the door open for conscious or unconscious bias, In addition, trait ratings are less defensible in court than other types of ratings.
There is no single best appraisal format. Each approach has positive and negative aspects. This illustration summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of each approach in the areas of administration, development, and legal defensibility. The choice of appraisal system should rest largely on the appraisal’s primary purpose.
Each appraisal format has both positive and negative aspects. Most appraisal systems were developed on the premise that companies could reduce or eliminate rater errors by using the right appraisal format. However, rating formats make little difference in the actual ratings that are obtained. So, how can managers ensure accurate measurement of worker performance? The primary means is to understand the barriers that stand in the way. Shown here are five of the most important challenges in this area.
The legal implications of an employee’s performance appraisal have become a major concern for managers. Shown here are five factors that have been shown to help defend the results of an appraisal in court.
These next three illustrations outline a description, the benefits, and examples of different communication skills. These skills all have a place in an appraisal interview.
360 ° feedback is rapidly becoming important and may someday be the rule rather than the exception. One reason for the rise of 360 ° feedback is the trend to fewer management layers. The shift to a 360 ° system can be major change that requires careful planning to be successful. Shown here are some key steps in implementing a 360 ° appraisal system.
Performance Appraisal The identification, measurement, and management of human performance in organizations.
Despite imperfect measurement techniques, individual differences in performance can make a difference to company performance.
Documentation of performance appraisal and feedback may be needed for legal defense.
Appraisal provides a rational basis for constructing a bonus or merit system.
Appraisal dimensions and standards can help to implement strategic goals and clarify performance expectations.
Providing individual feedback is part of the performance management process.
Despite the traditional focus on the individual, appraisal criteria can include teamwork and the teams can be the focus of the appraisal.
Trait Appraisal, Behavioral Appraisal, and Outcome Appraisal Instruments An appraisal tool that asks a supervisor to make judgments about worker characteristics that tend to be consistent and enduring. An appraisal tool that asks managers to assess a worker’s behaviors. An appraisal tool that asks managers to assess the results achieved by workers. Trait Appraisal Behavioral Appraisal Outcome Appraisal
Sample Trait Scales Rate each worker using the scales below. Decisiveness : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low Moderate Very high Reliability : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low Moderate Very high Energy : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low Moderate Very high Loyalty : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low Moderate Very high
Evaluation of Major Appraisal Formats Absolute Relative Trait Behavior Outcome 0 ++ + 0 0 + - - + 0 0 - -- ++ + Appraisal Format Administrative Use Developmental Use Legal Defensibility -- Very Poor - Poor + Good ++ Very good 0 Unclear or mixed
A recent analysis of 295 court cases involving performance appraisal found judges’ decisions to be favorably influenced by the following additional factors:
Use of job analysis
Providing written instructions
Allowing employees to review appraisal results
Agreement among multiple raters (if more than one was used)
The presence of rater training
Communication Skills for the Appraisal Interview Nonverbal Attending Open and Closed Questions Suggests interest and active listening. Appropriate use of open and closed questions can ensure an effective flow of communication during an interview. Rater sits with a slight forward, comfortable lean of the upper body, maintains eye contact, and speaks in a steady and soothing voice. — Open questions encourage information sharing and are most appropriate early in an interview or in complex, ambiguous situations. — Closed question evoke short responses and are useful for focusing and clarifying. While the ratee is speaking, the rater looks at the person and gently nods head to signal interest. — Open questions start with words like “Could,” “Would,” “How,” “What,” or “Why”. — Closed questions start with words like “Did,” “Is,” or “Are.” Skills Benefit Description Example
Communication Skills for the Appraisal Interview (Cont.) Cultural Sensitivity Communication is more effective when you are sensitive to the possible influence of cultural differences. Pay attention to cultural differences that may influence how another person communicates and how you might communicate with others. When dealing with employees from a culture that is highly formal, avoid addressing them in the workplace by their first names. Doing so may signal disrespect. Skills Benefit Description Example