This is the first class of this two-part module on performance management and appraisal. Start by asking students if they have ever had a performance review. A few will probably raise their hands. Also, ask if any of them have been in a position to conduct a review on another employee either in a management position or as a peer reviewer. This will result in fewer raised hands or maybe none. Ask students to express their feelings about the appraisal process. There may be a few who say it was a good process, but mostly performance appraisals are mostly viewed negatively by managers and employees, and this is probably what you will hear from your students. Acknowledge the negative and tell them that their feelings are common. This is your opportunity to tell them that a performance review is just one part of a performance management process. It is a process that involves goal setting and employee growth for the enhancement of the employee and the organization. When done properly, it is a positive experience. How it can be done is what this class is about.
Discuss the learning objectives for this module. In light of the negative reactions most managers and employees have to performance appraisals, the most significant objective for this class may be the last one listed here. At the end of this module, students will have the skills to turn the negatives of performance appraisals into a positive experience for managers and staff.
Performance management is a goal-oriented system to ensure that organizational processes exist to maximize the productivity of employees, teams and, ultimately, the organization. A performance appraisal is a formal system of review and evaluation of individual or team performance. Performance management is an ongoing organizational process that is conducted to maximize the productivity of employees with the overall intention of improving the organization’s effectiveness. It is strategic in nature and involves every person and all HR processes in the organization. All are directly tied to achieving the organization’s goals. The performance appraisal is a periodic event to reflect and evaluate past performance with the intent to identify strengths and weaknesses of an employee’s performance and to identify developmental goals. A performance appraisal is just one part of a performance management system. Source: Mondy, R. (2008). Human resource management , 10 th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 224-225.
The performance management process involves all levels in an organization. Strategic goals set by the organization filter through the organization and affect the goals and activities of each employee. In addition, the performance management process gathers and updates current employee data to maintain the human resource information system (HRIS). The HRIS contains a skill bank of employee information that enables the HR department to determine if the organization has the right mix of skills and people to achieve the organization’s goals in an ever-changing world. This information is used in all areas of HR decision-making. Effective performance management requires ongoing communication between supervisors and staff. The assessment and review part of the process provides the opportunity for documentation and formal communication. It’s the time for the supervisor and the employee to set developmental goals that reinforce the organization’s strategic plan and, if there are areas of problem performance, action plans for improvement. There should be discussion of the employee’s career progress and plans made for training and long-term career growth. Many supervisors see the appraisal process as a motivation tool to improve employee performance. The employee’s main objective is to obtain feedback from the supervisor on his or her work performance. Ideally, employees receive feedback at all times and not just through the review process. The employee will also expect organizational support in his or her career growth. Together, the employee and the supervisor should identify areas for improvement and set goals for training and skill development. Anything the supervisor can do to enhance the employee’s skills will benefit both the employee and the organization. If the organization links performance appraisal to compensation, most employees will expect a raise as a result of a positive review. Though supervisors generally conduct the review, they may not have a say in the amount of compensation awarded because compensation is normally determined by organizational policy. This can be particularly problematic for supervisors who want to motivate employees through the appraisal process but find the organization’s compensation to be a de-motivator when increases are not as much as employees would like. For this reason, many supervisors prefer that compensation increases are not linked to the performance appraisal process.
Performance management is not a one-time event but a continuous process. It should align with the organization’s strategic goals and require open communication among managers and staff. It provides time for formal feedback, but employees should receive continuous feedback from their supervisors and not just at review time.
HR plays a significant role in the performance management process, from the prerequisites and through the entire process. In the prerequisite stage, HR participates in goal setting during the strategic planning process, conducts job analyses and ensures that job analysis information is current. These are crucial steps in a successful performance management system. Throughout the system, HR supports and trains managers in the skills necessary to execute their part of the process. HR designs and implements the performance review system and makes sure managers have the skills necessary to offer timely, unbiased employee ratings. It is HR’s responsibility to monitor the process to ensure there is documentation that accurately represents employee performance and can be used to make personnel decisions without fear of discrimination and litigation. HR supports employees as well as the managers throughout the process by acting as an advocate for all employees. HR should establish a due process system for employees who do not agree with their performance ratings. HR acts as a sounding board for employees, allowing their issues to be heard and addressed. HR protects the integrity of the system by insisting on objective, timely reviews and addressing employee concerns with due process. In addition, HR maintains employee records and ensures employee privacy.
These are the steps in the performance management process. An important concept of performance management is that it is a continuous process characterized by open communication between employees and supervisors in which feedback is exchanged and coaching is given if needed. The second concept is a clear identification of the link between employees’ contributions and organization’s goals. Source: Aguinis, H. (2007). Performance management. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Before we can begin the performance management process, two important prerequisites must occur. First, strategic planning must be completed because the performance management process builds on an organization’s goals. Once organizational goals are established, employee goals cascade from there. Remember, an important objective of the performance management process is to enhance employees’ contributions to the organization’s goals. The second prerequisite is a thorough understanding of the job. This is done through job analysis. If it has been some time since a job analysis was conducted for a position, it may be necessary to conduct a new analysis before starting the performance management process. If you are working with job descriptions that read like the last century, it’s time to update them if you expect to be successful in today’s highly competitive, technology-driven workplace. Once strategic planning goals are established and the job analysis information is current, the performance management process can begin.
Once the prerequisites are in place, the next step in the process is performance planning where the organization establishes the criteria and expectations for employee performance. Supervisors must communicate this to employees in such a way that everyone understands the expectations. It would not be appropriate to expect outstanding performance from employees if they had no idea how the organization describes and measures outstanding. Clear communication is a central part of the performance management process. In this step, the manager and employee together identify what needs to be done and how it will be accomplished. This includes consideration of results and appropriate behaviors to accomplish tasks. The supervisor and the employee must agree on the objectives to be accomplished. These are the specific outcomes the employee is expected to achieve. Outcomes must include specific, measurable performance standards. Use the SMART acronym to write appropriate objectives. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Instructor’s Note: If students are not familiar with SMART goal setting, some additional discussion may be needed here. Remind students that goals set using SMART guidelines are more likely to be achieved than those without SMART principles. Example: Poorly written objective: Increase widget production. This objective sounds like a good goal, but it is so illusive that employees would not know how to accomplish the task and certainly no way to measure its accomplishment. SMART objective: Control product defects to increase annual widget production by 5 percent while maintaining current budget and specification levels. This objective fits the SMART formula. It’s specific. It tells employees what the end result should be–a 5 percent increase in production. It tells employees what to work on–product defects. It identifies the time period–one year. Finally, it gives measurable parameters for accomplishment–within budget and specifications. The objective is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Just as results are important to successful performance, so too are behaviors . Results–“Did the employee accomplish the tasks?” Behaviors–“How did they do it?” Behaviors include competencies as well as traits like teamwork, leadership and communication. If employees accomplish their tasks but they are horrible to work with and have alienated their entire department–that’s not a good outcome! Open communication, working with a team and meeting deadlines so other staff members can accomplish their parts of the process are all areas that should be addressed in the performance review. The last part of the performance plan is to establish employee developmental goals. If there are areas that need improvement, they should be identified and plans made to correct the deficiency. Even without needed improvement, though, employees need an opportunity to grow in their careers and to learn new skills. Improvement plans should be identified and progress toward goals measured as part of the review process. Employee growth adds value not only to the employee personally but to the employee’s manager and to the organization as a whole.
Class activity. Distribute the delivery driver job description provided in the instructor’s manual and ask students to write SMART objectives for the delivery driver job. If you prefer, you can use another job description. The examples below are based on the delivery driver position. Examples from the Responsibilities and Duties Section of the Job Description: 6. Performs and schedules preventive maintenance. SMART objective: By Oct. 31, complete an inventory of department vehicles and create an Excel spreadsheet to schedule and track completion of preventive maintenance, indicating due date, completion date and responsible party. 9. Complete hazardous chemical awareness program and maintains…. SMART objective: Attend and complete (with a minimum grade of C ) a hazardous chemical awareness class at the community college during spring semester of 2009. 10. Cross trains in other department operations as assigned. SMART objective: Work with the safety manager three hours per week between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30 to input safety record data and to learn the process to maintain files of safety requirements and certification.
Accomplishing objectives is a sh ared responsibility between the employee and manager. It requires both to be committed to achieving the desired results. If the objectives are set by the manager only and the employee doesn’t agree, successful accomplishment is unlikely. If there is disagreement on goals, negotiation and compromise must occur; no progress can be made unless everyone is on the same page. Success also requires open, ongoing communication between the manager and employee. A manager who sets goals for the employee and then walks away and doesn’t check to see if goals are being accomplished until the next review period is setting the employee and the organization up for failure. The manager is responsible for giving feedback to the employee, coaching and encouragement when needed and praise when things are going well. The employee is responsible for communicating progress to the manager and keeping the manager informed of any deviation from timelines, budgets or other problem areas. The manager is responsible for providing the employee with resources needed to successfully complete the task. This is where the “R” part of the SMART acronym comes into play. It is not realistic to expect high-level performance from an employee if he or she is not given the necessary resources to make it happen. If resources are unavailable–there is simply not enough time, money or supplies–this must be taken into consideration when the objectives are set. Because the manager plays a key role in the assessment process, the manager must be aware of the employee’s work. It is the manager’s obligation to provide accurate observation and documentation of the employee’s accomplishments. A manager should never review an employee if that employee’s work is not known to the manager.
This is a good time for class discussion. Ask students to suggest some advantages and disadvantage of using multiple raters. What about the possibility of skewed appraisals from co-workers? Sometimes employees give high ratings to friends and poor ratings to those they dislike. How would a manager know if peer ratings are accurate? Under what circumstances are raters likely to provide honest feedback? In the traditional appraisal process, employees are appraised by their supervisors only. It is assumed that the supervisor is the best person to know and assess the employee’s work. This worked well when employees worked in the office with their supervisor, allowing for easy observation of performance. Technology now enables employees to work at various locations, often at sites separate from their managers. This has increased the need for evaluation from peers, customers and co-workers. Consequently, many organizations have moved away from a single-rater appraisal process to a multiple-appraisal system where employees receive feedback from a variety of sources, although supervisors are still likely to be key components of the process. In many organizations, staff members conduct appraisals for managers as well. The most extensive appraisal results from a 360-degree feedback process. In this system employees receive an appraisal from people both in the organization and outside the organization as well. In 360-degree feedback process, a retail salesclerk would receive an appraisal from his supervisor, peers (other salesclerks), managers of other departments or inventory personnel in the organization, as well as appraisals from customers and vendors employed outside the organization. The advantage of this system is that employees receive the widest possible range of feedback and the appraisal is less likely to be skewed by one person in the event of a personality clash or favoritism. One disadvantage of this system is its scope. With many people involved, the system becomes costly and time-consuming to administer. Most organizations have settled with systems somewhere in the middle–not as extensive as a 360-degree feedback but not simply one appraisal from the supervisor.
This is a good place to ask students to discuss whether employees should do self-appraisals. Ask if any of them have done a self-appraisal where they work and if so, ask them to discuss their experiences. Performance management requires that managers and the employees take responsibility to evaluate the extent to which desired behaviors have been demonstrated and whether the desired results have been achieved. In the past, the performance appraisal was simply a process of the supervisor passing judgment on the employee’s work and then presenting the judgment to the employee--much like a courtroom judge rendering a verdict and a sentence. This was not a satisfying process for either the employee or the manager. Adding employee self-ratings to the process can help identify discrepancies between the views of the manager and the employee and can often point out areas for development opportunities. Some believe the review process can be significantly improved by employee participation throughout the process. There are a number of reasons why employee participation is valuable. 1. Who knows the job better than the employee? Employees possess relevant and unique insight into the job performance that may not be observable by even the most astute evaluator. 2. Appraisal participation gives employees input into the process, making them more confident in the fairness of the process and more likely to accept performance ratings, even adverse ones. 3. Employee participation generates an atmosphere of cooperation and employee support that may reduce tension for all involved. 4. Participation gives employees ownership of the process and a stake in the system. It is a key element in intrinsic motivation that increases employee growth and development (Roberts, 2003). There are some drawbacks to the self-evaluation process. “Research indicates the self-appraisal has great appeal for managers who are primarily concerned with employee participation and development, but self-appraisal appears less useful as an evaluative tool or for compensation purposes.” (Campbell, 1988). Sources: Roberts, G. E. (Spring, 2003). Employee performance appraisal system participation: A technique that works. Public Personnel Management . Campbell, D. J. and Lee, C. (April 13, 1988). Self-appraisal in performance evaluation: Development versus evaluation. Academy of Management Review , 302-314.
There are a variety of appraisal methods available to organizations. The method selected by the organization should fit well with the organization’s goals and be appropriate to the job being appraised. Some organizations use different methods for different positions. Regardless of the system used, regular communication and feedback from managers are more important than the method used. A graphic rating scale is the most commonly used appraisal system. Evaluators record their judgments on a scale that includes about 5–7 categories. Categories are defined by adjectives such as outstanding, meets expectations or needs improvement. This method is popular because it is easy to administer and can be quantified, if desired, by adding a numeric value to each description. In the ranking method, the evaluator places employees from a particular group in the order of overall performance, starting with the top performer--who is rated the highest--and moving down to the poorest performer in the group who receives the lowest ranking. Paired comparison is a variation of the ranking method in which the performance of each employee is compared with every other employee. The comparison is often based on a single criterion, such as overall performance. The employee who receives the greatest number of favorable comparisons is ranked the highest. This can be difficult to administer if your work group consists of a large number of employees. The forced distribution method requires the evaluator to assign individuals to a limited number of categories, much like a normal frequency distribution curve. A few individuals will get very high ratings and a few will get very low ratings, with the majority averaging in the center of the curve. Generally, those with very low ratings are subject to termination. As with the ranking method, this system requires the evaluator to place some employees at the bottom, even if their performance is acceptable, and some at the top, even if performance may actually be less than outstanding. The system makes the erroneous assumption that there must be some outstanding workers and some poor workers, even when that may not be the case. Forced distribution is unpopular among managers because many believe it destroys teamwork and fosters cutthroat competition among employees. The critical incident method requires the evaluator to maintain records of employees’ favorable and unfavorable performances. These critical incidents become the basis for evaluation. The incident log must be maintained over the entire evaluation period to eliminate the problem of just evaluating an employee’s most recent performance. In the essay method, the evaluator writes a brief narrative of the employee’s performance. The major criticism of this method is that it is very subjective because the evaluation criteria left entirely to the discretion of the evaluator and the results are dependent on the writing skills of the evaluator. It can be difficult to compare the results of employee evaluations that use the essay method because there is no common criteria used for evaluation. BARS is a behaviorally anchored rating scale that combines elements of a traditional rating scale and a critical incident method. Various performance levels are described on a scale, and the evaluator compares the employee’s performance to the levels described. The descriptions provided reduce the amount of judgment required of the evaluator and rely on the evaluator’s observations of the employee’s work behavior. Management by objectives, or MBO, is a results-based system that relies on the manager and the employee to jointly agree on objectives, the attainment of which becomes the basis of evaluation for the next appraisal period. Mondy, R. (2008). Human resource management , 10 th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Managers are not always comfortable being the appraiser. Some simply don’t like the idea of judging the work of others. Others may have an inaccurate idea of what a manager is supposed to be. Some assume that good managers are tough and may give harsh ratings because they don’t want to be seen as pushover. Others may give lenient ratings, wanting to be liked by staff or fearing hostility or backlash if ratings are less that outstanding. None of these positions provide accurate ratings of the employees involved. Of course, managers are human; there are some people they like and some that may not like. Bias is a common problem in performance appraisals, and managers must be reminded that performance appraisals should be objective. It is NOT an affirmation of friendship nor an opportunity to get even with someone you dislike. It becomes a serious problem for the organization when a manager manipulates the appraisal process to get a disliked employee fired or a favored employee promoted. Remember, performance appraisals can be subpoenaed as evidence in litigation, and the organization may be asked to defend their accuracy. There are other errors as well. There is the halo effect, when there is one outstanding trait of an employee that overshadows all other activities in the appraisal. Then there is the horns effect, when one negative trait overshadows all the good an employee has done and results in a negative appraisal. Just as some managers give strict or lenient ratings, some are too timid to give much of a rating either way. Instead of making a judgment, they simply rate all employees right down the middle of the scale. If it is a one-to-three scale, everyone gets a two. If it’s a one-to-five scale, most everyone gets a three. This can also occur when organizations ask managers to justify their ratings if they are anywhere other than middle of the road. If it’s too difficult to justify, managers will just stick to the middle. Or it may simply be that the manager can’t differentiate one way or the other. Whatever the reason, some employees probably deserve middle ratings, but it is likely not a true reflection of ALL staff. Organizations can avoid this by using a scale with an even number of ratings. It’s hard to find the middle number between one and six. Recent behavior bias may occur when a manager fails to keep records of employee performance. Rather than looking at all behavior during the performance period, the manager rates only the most recent employee behavior because it is all the manager can remember. Appraisals must rate the entire performance period since the last appraisal was done and not just the last 30 days. Good managers keep records of employee performance--not just negative performance but outstanding performance, too. If records are kept, it is much easier to write the appraisal when the time comes. Appraisals can be inaccurate when the supervisor is unable to observe the employee’s performance. Even with good intentions, a supervisor is unlikely to be able to observe all employee behavior, and critical incidents can be missed. This is particularly a problem when the supervisor and the employee work at different locations. Sometimes a staffing change can result in the assignment of a new supervisor who has had only a short time to observe employee behavior. When observation is impossible, the supervisor must rely on results for assessment instead of behaviors. The possibility of error reminds HR how important it is to train managers in the performance appraisal process and to be vigilant in detecting appraisal patterns from managers that may signal inaccurate ratings.
Class activity: Ask students to rewrite the clichés (found in the instructor’s manual) and discuss their answers. Students could do this individually or in groups of two or three. Remind students of the importance of appraising behavior and not personality.
This is the second class of this two-session module on performance management and appraisal.
Start the class with an activity; ask students to make a list. As managers, what information do they need before the performance interview? There is a checklist in the instructor’s manual that can be distributed to the class after the exercise. Checklist items: Do you know your employee? Length of service with the organization. Date of last promotion. Experience and educational level. Current projects employee is working on. Career goals. Interview checklist. Do you have? Employee job description. Attendance records. Salary and job grade information. Employee performance journal. History of employee’s training. List of training courses available and appropriate for employee. Previous performance appraisal. Completed performance appraisal form. Employee self-appraisal. Recent examples of employee’s work (if appropriate). Examples of work problems you want to discuss (if appropriate). Are you ready? Have you: Notified the employee of the interview time? Given the employee at least one or two weeks notice? Reviewed your ratings with a peer or with HR before the interview?
After what may seem like endless amounts of preparation time, everything is ready, and it’s time to sit down with your staff member and discuss his or her appraisal. Start by creating the proper climate for the appraisal interview. Conduct the interview in a private, neutral location that has a friendly and informal atmosphere. Be sure to allocate enough time to conclude the interview without being rushed. You may be nervous at the prospect of meeting with the employee to talk about performance, especially if you have little experience conducting review interviews. Remember, your staff member may also be nervous so it’s your job as manager to set the stage, create a comfortable environment and ensure a productive discussion. Start by thanking the employee for setting aside time for your meeting. No doubt your staff member has just as many time pressures as you and you want him or her to know that the performance review is important. Explain the purpose of the interview and what you want to accomplish. Start by discussing the employee’s self-appraisal. Ask him or her to comment on it and ask if there is anything else that should be added. Then move on to the appraisal you completed. If there are differences in ratings between you and the staff member, this is the time to discuss those differences and for you to explain your rationale for the ratings you gave. The appraisal should be future-focused. Remind the employee the purpose of the review is for goal-setting and growth. Be sensitive to the employee’s feelings–always begin by providing positive feedback. Point out specific accomplishments and note how the employee contributed to the team’s efforts and to the organization’s success. If there are problems with performance, the purpose is not to find fault but to address it and concentrate on what actions can be taken for improvement. Avoid discussion of negative personal issues. Instead, concentrate on the employee’s task-related behavior and the consequences of that behavior. It may be important to reinforce the requirements of the job. Give the employee a chance to discuss his or her feelings and reactions to your input and feedback. Listen and allow the employee to say what he or she needs to say. Pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues. If there are areas that need improvement, encourage the employee to come up with potential solutions. Individuals are always more likely to follow through with solutions to a problem if they created the solution themselves instead of having a solution mandated to them by management. If the employee has a satisfactory or better rating, focus your discussion on setting objectives for the next period. If the employee has unsatisfactory performance, work together to create a developmental plan. Follow the guidelines your organization has for performance improvement plans. Ask the employee to summarize the plans you agreed on. This helps ensure that the employee understands what is expected next. If compensation is a part of your organization’s review process, discuss the changes in the employee’s compensation and share any rationale for the adjustment or other information as necessary. If follow-up meetings are needed after the appraisal interview, schedule them at this time. If follow-up is more informal, let the employee know when you will touch base again. Remember, it is important that feedback and communication is ongoing with all employees, not just with those who have problems. Ask the employee to sign the appraisal form and give them a copy. If the employee disagrees with his or her appraisal rating and refuses to sign, note that the employee chose not to sign and offer a copy of the document anyway. Summarize the results of the meeting and recap any important information needed to carry out future plans. Be sure to remind the employee of any follow-up dates. If appropriate, discuss the process your organization has established for employees who disagree with their performance ratings. Make sure they know the appeals process and that they have the information or documents needed to generate an appeal.
This is the final stage in the performance management process. It is essentially the reverse of the performance planning that occurred at the outset. It is the time to assess the activities and make adjustments to improve the process for the next cycle. For example, if objectives were set unreasonably high, readjust objectives and affirm where the process should be in the future. Remember, performance management is an ongoing cycle. Essential to the re-contracting process is discussion of prerequisites and planning for the next cycle. One cycle merges into the next as a seamless continuing activity.
Many organizations tie compensation to the appraisal process, believing good appraisal ratings deserve reward and at the same time hoping that a compensation reward will motivate employee productivity. It sounds like a win-win situation. A problem occurs, though, when the organization is not able or willing to reward employees with compensation levels employees believe they deserve. Managers find it problematic to praise an employee’s good work and ask for continued or even increased productivity and then reward the employee with a minimal increase in compensation. Employees who are disappointed with their compensation increase may be less motivated, less productive and, worst case, find employment elsewhere. As a result, many managers often prefer an appraisal system not linked to compensation. Problems can result when managers and employees don’t agree on the appraisal ratings. When the manager rates the employee lower than the employee expects, it can be a difficult interview and employees may respond with decreased productivity. Managers must ensure that the employee understands the rating criteria and the rationale for the rating score. It is important to emphasize the positive aspects of the appraisal process–goal setting, development plans and the opportunity for better results next time around. Many managers don’t like to assess employee performance. Some say it makes them feel like the judge and jury. Consequently, procrastination is commonplace when it’s time to get the formal paperwork done and schedule interviews with employees. It is management’s responsibility to complete performance appraisals in a timely manner. When employee appraisals are due and managers put them off, it sends a message to employees that their work is not respected and their appraisals aren’t important. The HR department needs to make sure there are no procrastinating managers. Managers need to maintain records and documentation of each employee’s performance. If performance appraisals are done once a year and the manager has kept no records of employee performance, it is difficult to remember what happened, and it is impossible to appraise appropriately. Most likely, the manager will remember and appraise only the most recent behavior, leading to an incomplete and possibly inaccurate assessment of the employee’s work. If information is maintained as a continuous process, the manager has the information necessary when it’s time to write the appraisal review. This makes the manager’s job easier and ensures that the employee receives fair and valid appraisal.
When completed, the appraisal becomes part of the employee’s personnel record, and it is from these documents that many employment decisions are made. An employee’s compensation level and opportunities for training or job promotion are often made based on performance appraisal ratings, as are organizationwide decisions on retrenchment and layoffs. As a result, it is imperative that performance management activities are nondiscriminatory and that all employees receive a fair process with equal opportunity within the organization. Information in employee files can be skewed by untrained managers who make errors or inadvertently distort information. It is important that managers are trained in performance appraisal and that the HR department monitors activities to ensure that performance appraisal documents are consistent across departments. For example, if one manager is especially harsh in ratings and employees in that department are rated low and another manager is especially lenient and gives staff high ratings, the result is inaccurate appraisal documents that don’t reflect employee performance, giving an unfair advantage to staff whose appraisals are written by the lenient manager. It is important to have a grievance procedure in place for employees who may not agree with their appraisal ratings. Due process is vital. Employees need an unbiased ear where their issues can be heard and addressed objectively.
When performance management systems are poorly managed and don’t work as intended, there are a number of negative consequences. It is impossible for HR to make accurate and equitable employment decisions when employee files are littered with false and misleading information. Employees know when a favored employee receives an undeserved performance rating or when a supervisor unfairly gives staff inappropriately high ratings. Decisions made on such inaccuracies result in employee cynicism, distrust in management and loss of morale. At the least we can expect lower productivity, but worse yet, poorly managed performance management systems will send the best people packing and may lead to claims of discrimination and litigation.
Successful performance management doesn’t just happen. It requires a concentrated effort that includes support from upper management and trained managers at all levels. It is an ongoing process that requires open communication, coaching, feedback and documentation of employees’ work that must be a regular part of management activities and not just a once-a-year paper-and-pencil process. Communication, encouragement and empathy build successful relationships that enhance staff performance and support organizational goals. Students of management and human resources must learn these communication and leadership skills to ensure their place in successful organizations of the future.
Student role play.
Performance Management and Appraisal Myrna Gusdorf, MBA, SPHR 2009