UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
I, Pooja Parihar, studying in TYBMS of ICLES’ Motilal Jhunjhunwala college of
arts,science and commerce,vashi, hereby declare that I have completed this project on
“PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL” in the academic year 2006-2007 as per the
requirement of the Mumbai university as a part of BACHELOR MANAGEMENT
STUDIES(BMS) programme.The information presented through this project is true and
original to the best of my knowelge.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all those people
who have in their own sweet ways helped me to complete this project.this project would
just not have been complete without the valuable contribution from various people whom
I have interested with in the course of its completion .i begin by thanking our principal
shriddhar shetty and bms coordinator of ICLES (vashi) college and project guide mrunali
aphale without whose inspiration , encouragement ,help and suggestion I could not have
completed thyis report.my parents who have always stood by me as solid as a rock,it is
their faith in me that has been me complete this project on time my brother’s who helped
me in whatever small ways possible.the list goes on ……………………. .
I wish to thank all those people who have sent me a helping hand in finishing this
project, whose names are too numerous to be mentioned here.
SR.NO TOPIC PAGE NO.
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.
2. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.
3. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL.
4. MASTEK COMPANY.
ii. -PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
In this project we have covered all the aspects of performance appraisal i.e.
Key objectives of performance appraisals include
(1) validating selection and other management or cultural practices;
(2) helping employees understand and take responsibility for their performance; and
(3) making decisions about pay or promotions.
Important steps to obtaining useful traditional appraisals include determining the type of
data to be collected as well as who will conduct the appraisal, establishing a rating
philosophy, overcoming typical rating deficiencies, creating a rating instrument, and
engaging the employee in making decisions on future performance changes.
An effective negotiated performance appraisal helps the employee take additional
ownership for both continuing effective performance and improving weak areas.
Employee goals set through performance appraisals should be difficult but achievable, as
goals that are overly ambitious are doomed for failure. Some employees tend to boycott
their own progress by setting impossible goals to achieve. Finally, employees want to
know what you think of their work. Letting workers know that you have noticed their
efforts goes a long way towards having a more motivated workforce. If pay increases are
warranted for other reasons, it is unlikely that they require a performance appraisal
system to administer. Bonuses or other special increases can and should be tied to very
specific, very visible, very measurable results, and this doesn’t require a performance
appraisal system. Profit sharing is another case in point.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Human resource management deals with human resource employed in a business unit.it is
an approach to the management of the people in an organization.organisation are made up
of ele and function through people.it is the human resource which brings success and
prosperity to a business enterprise. Human resource management are also called
personnel management.it deals with various problems relating to manpower
employed.such problem include personnel planning, recruitment and selection, induction,
performance appraisal, employee traning and development, promotions and transfer of
employees, compensation payment, career planning and partcipative management.the
person who look after personnel function is called human resource manager. Human
resource management is relatively a new term for what was earlier called as personnel
management.the term Human resource management got popularity in the USA by
1970’s.it is now used liberally in India and also in th other countries in place of the term
personnel management which deals with the management of employees working in an
organization. Human resource management can be treated as advance form of personnel
management itself.it is an advancementover, the traditional personnel management as its
scope is much wider in contents and significance. Human resource management is a
management function which helps managers to plan, recruit, select, train, develop,
renumerate and maintain members for an organization. Human resource management is
the latest nomenclature used to personnel matters are called personnel
policies.progressive personnel policies also create cordial labour management relation
and bring huan resource development.in the final analysis, well-trained, efficient and
cooperative manpower brings success, stability andprosperity to a business unit.
According to Edwin flippo “Human resource management is the planning, organizing,
directing, and controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration,
maintenance, and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organizational
and societal objectives are accomplished”.
Performance appraisal is not a single event. It is a continuous, year-round program of
exchanging information with employees that begins and ends with the annual
performance review. This section of information serves three (3) purposes:
To help employees work closer to their potential. This is done through communicating
expectations, giving continuous feedback throughout the year, rewarding
accomplishments, coaching to improve performance, and encouraging employees to “test
their limits” and achieve their goals.
To help supervisors help employees be more effective and to evaluate an employee’s
performance factually and objectively.
To help Staff Development and Human Resources establish rationale for compensation
and personnel actions such as promotions, transfers, and terminations.
Employees at all levels are entitled to regular performance appraisals that are fair,
accurate, and objective. We require that Civil Service employees be evaluated at the end
of their 2nd, 4th, and 5th months during probation, student employees be evaluated at the
end of their 6th month on the job, and that all employees (including Academic
Professional) receive formal performance appraisals on an annual basis thereafter. All
performance appraisals should also be documented using the appropriate evaluation form,
which may be found by going to: Network Neighborhood, Julius, public, Staff
Development & Human Resources, Performance Appraisal, and then the appropriate sub-
folder, as needed (double clicking on each). This is the same place you will find process
information, ratings definitions, etc
according to scott, clothier and sprigal, “Performance appraisal is a process of evaluating
an employee’s performance of a job in terms of its requirement”.
The history of performance appraisal is quite brief. Its roots in the early 20th century can
be traced to Taylor's pioneering Time and Motion studies. But this is not very helpful, for
the same may be said about almost everything in the field of modern human resources
As a distinct and formal management procedure used in the evaluation of work
performance, appraisal really dates from the time of the Second World War - not more
than 60 years ago.
Yet in a broader sense, the practice of appraisal is a very ancient art. In the scale of things
historical, it might well lay claim to being the world's second oldest profession!
There is, says Dulewicz (1989), "... a basic human tendency to make judgements about
those one is working with, as well as about oneself." Appraisal, it seems, is both
inevitable and universal. In the absence of a carefully structured system of appraisal,
people will tend to judge the work performance of others, including subordinates,
naturally, informally and arbitrarily.
The human inclination to judge can create serious motivational, ethical and legal
problems in the workplace. Without a structured appraisal system, there is little chance of
ensuring that the judgements made will be lawful, fair, defensible and accurate.
Performance appraisal systems began as simple methods of income justification. That is,
appraisal was used to decide whether or not the salary or wage of an individual employee
The process was firmly linked to material outcomes. If an employee's performance was
found to be less than ideal, a cut in pay would follow. On the other hand, if their
performance was better than the supervisor expected, a pay rise was in order.
Little consideration, if any, was given to the developmental possibilities of appraisal. If
was felt that a cut in pay, or a rise, should provide the only required impetus for an
employee to either improve or continue to perform well.
Sometimes this basic system succeeded in getting the results that were intended; but more
often than not, it failed.
For example, early motivational researchers were aware that different people with
roughly equal work abilities could be paid the same amount of money and yet have quite
different levels of motivation and performance.
These observations were confirmed in empirical studies. Pay rates were important, yes;
but they were not the only element that had an impact on employee performance. It was
found that other issues, such as morale and self-esteem, could also have a major
As a result, the traditional emphasis on reward outcomes was progressively rejected. In
the 1950s in the United States, the potential usefulness of appraisal as tool for motivation
and development was gradually recognized. The general model of performance appraisal:
A Basic Performance Appraisal System
The general form of a basic performance appraisal system is depicted in Figure 1. A
Based on his or her perceptions, a manager prepares an appraisal of another employee.
Appraisals typically have two components: text, and a number. The number is usually the
basis for determining the employee’s merit increase (i.e., the size of the pay raise for the
subsequent year). This is often quite modest and amounts to little more than a cost-of-
living increase, an offset against inflation. Moreover, differences between the maximum
and minimum increases are also quite modest. The merit carrot is not a very big one.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the structure depicted in Figure 1 is that the
appraisal has as its primary input the perceptions of the manager. Technically speaking,
they are the only input. Given this model, it is obvious that if the system is to work
effectively the manager’s perceptions must be objective, accurate, comprehensive, and
free from any significant bias, distortion or undue influence; otherwise, the system is
patently flawed. This leads to the following assertion:
The structure of the typical performance appraisal system makes managers who prepare
appraisals the targets of efforts aimed at influencing, shaping, and just plain manipulating
their perceptions and the appraisals based on these perceptions.
Several people have an interest in influencing a manager’s appraisal of a given
employee’s performance. The most obvious is the employee. But there are others. These
include other employees who are being appraised by the same manager, and anyone with
a vested interest in having a given employee receive a good or a bad appraisal; for
example, clients, customers, mentors, co-workers, and other managers whose own
subordinates must compete for a finite pool of merit increase monies, plum assignments,
and increasingly limited promotion opportunities. In a word, the politics of performance
appraisal can be fierce. The preceding assertion may be elaborated upon as follows:
Many efforts to influence the perceptions of the managers who prepare appraisals, and
the appraisals they prepare, are independent of and often have no relation to the
performance of the person being appraised.
People and politics are not the only forces tending to negate the positive potential of
performance appraisal systems. There are also important systemic or structural factors at
An appraisal leads to a merit increase. The size of the merit pool is limited and the
distribution of these monies is typically according to some formula. Thus, in a
performance appraisal system that allocates merit increase percentage on a five-point
scale, not everyone can receive a five because there isn’t enough money available to
support such an outcome. This is a restraint, a "can’t do." By the same token, the numbers
assigned must fit within the limits of the available pool of merit monies. This is a
constraint, a "must do." Restraints and constraints can also include EEO and affirmative
action considerations. Because merit rating numbers must be adjusted to meet various
restraints and constraints, the language and tone of the appraisals must in turn be adjusted
so as to be consistent with the numbers. From this follows an inescapable conclusion: the
honest, fair, valid, and objective assessment of all employees is literally impossible. The
structure, restraints, and constraints of the system do not permit it.
The preceding discussion looks at performance appraisal systems mainly from a
managerial perspective. But how does it look to employees, and what are its effects on
them? People responding to the Internet queries provided the following answers to these
Reductions in Productivity
Several people cited temporary reductions in productivity in the aftermath of the
appraisal review sessions. One person estimated this period of reduced contribution lasts
for about three months. An employee of the federal government said this period lasts at
least six months. Even if it is assumed that such periods last no more than a few days or
weeks, and that they represent a decrease in productivity of no more than 10 percent, the
costs are still astronomical.
Erosion of Performance
Tauo Jokinen, a product development manager with Nokia, conjectured that performance
appraisal systems actually erode performance over time as a result of people endeavoring
to set goals that are achievable, thus ensuring themselves a decent appraisal. This might
be viewed as a form of structural deflation regarding performance, and it is quite
reminiscent of the late Kenneth Berrien’s view that management might control the lower
limits of productivity but employees are clearly in control of the upper limits. [ Berrien’s
comments were made in the context of a discussion about the balance of control between
a supra system and its subsystems, and can be found in Chapter VII of General and Social
Systems (Rutgers University Press: 1968).]
Creation of Emotional Anguish:
Also cited were negative emotional states: worrying, depression, stress, and anguish (on
the part of those giving as well as those receiving appraisals). After first acknowledging
the "hard" costs of performance appraisals, Harry Heflin, an engineer with Intersys who
is also chairman of the IEEE Engineering Management Society in Boston, wrote, "But I
think the real cost is the emotional anguish as everyone anticipates, prepares for, and
works the process."
Damaging to Morale & Motivation:
Closely related to the emotional factors cited above are the penalties paid in the form of
decreased morale and motivation. These are deemed especially severe when the
performance appraisal system is seen as "bad" or unfair. An element of unfairness cited
by Charles Ladd, a TQM consultant, is the use of performance appraisal systems to
reward or punish people for what are really natural variations in system or process
performance. This means that people are praised and rewarded or cursed and punished for
factors beyond their power to influence let alone control.
Emphasizing Individual vs. Team and Task vs. Process:
One factor the author was sure would be cited, but wasn’t, is that the classic performance
appraisal system emphasizes individual or task-level performance instead of team or
process performance. Appraising individual performance can be a divisive factor in an
environment where genuine teamwork is required. Consequently, in times of change,
retaining an appraisal system that focuses on individual task performance sends at best a
mixed message when management calls for teams or wants to focus on business process
performance instead of individual task performance.
Fostering A Short-term View
Another factor the author thought would be cited and wasn’t is the short-term view that is
inherent in annual performance appraisal systems. Essentially, annual performance
appraisal systems ask of employees, "What have you done for us this year?" Employee
contributions over time — past or future — do not enter into the equation. Little wonder,
then, that Mike Hammer, the famed reengineering guru, could be heard lamenting the
lack of a long-term view in one of his recent seminars. [ Mike could be heard uttering this
lament in Boston, on December 4, 1995, during the first offering of his new seminar,
"The Process-Centered Organization." Mike was lambasting the media and the
educational establishment for churning out young people with a short-term, self-
Institutionalizing Existing Values & Biases:
A military officer with a Ph.D., who is stationed at the Pentagon and who wishes to
remain anonymous, observed that performance appraisal systems serve to institutionalize
the values and prejudices of those in power — and to protect these values and prejudices
from challenge. Consultant Charles Ladd made this same observation independently of
the officer. Both argued that this aspect of performance appraisal systems forms a
structural impediment to cultural change, that it acts to maintain the status quo.
Fostering Fear and Lack of Trust:
Directly related to the factors cited above is the degree of fear associated with the
appraisal system. This ties to a lack of trust in one’s boss, and management in general,
and leads to a phenomenon known as "malicious compliance," that is, a passive-
aggressive stance of "tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it" on the part of an
employee. As one might expect, Deming’s dictum to drive fear out of the workplace was
frequently cited in this context.
A Carrot-and-Stick Management System:
The source of the fear cited above owes to the fact that the carrot-and-stick nature of
appraisal systems is mostly stick. Performance appraisals become a permanent part of the
employees’ personnel folders. There, many people have access to them including
prospective employers elsewhere within the company, the human resources department
(HR), and other executives and senior managers. Past appraisals exert a significant
influence over status and standing, future assignments, and promotions. Thus, although
performance appraisal systems do not distribute much in the way of rewards, they can
inflict great damage. Control of appraisals is largely in the hands of the employee’s
supervisor. Savvy employees know that success hinges in large part on "psyching out the
boss." They also know that when senior executives call for change, the marching orders,
if any, will come from their supervisors.
Redesigning Performance Appraisal Systems Is A Sisyphean Task:
In short, for political, structural, and systemic reasons, performance appraisal systems
cannot function as intended. Worse, they seem to have an almost exclusively negative
impact on the very employees they are meant to help. This view of performance
appraisals squarely contradicts the mythology of performance appraisal systems. Further,
the reasons performance appraisal systems fail to provide the benefits claimed for them
seem firmly rooted in the nature of organizations and the behavior of people. Trying to
change these factors so that performance appraisal systems will work the way they are
intended is truly a modern-day version of Sisyphus’s legendary task.
Traditional Performance Appraisal
Here are some key steps you can take toward achieving effective performance
appraisals--ones that can be used to validate the selection process as well as to make
decisions about pay or promotions:
(1) Select what performance data to collect
(2) Determine who conducts the appraisal
(3) Decide on a rating philosophy
(4) Overcome rating deficiencies
(5) Create a rating instrument
(6) Deliver useful information to employees
Select what performance data to collect
One way to classify on-the-job worker behavior is by considering the three "P’s"--
productivity (what was done), personal traits (how it was done, conduct) and proficiency
Productivity can be measured in terms of specific performance accomplishments.
Examples include reducing calf mortality, increasing yield of the alfalfa crop, or
diminishing bruises in the cherry harvest.
Personal traits such as motivation, willingness to take criticism, cooperation, initiative,
dependability, and appearance (dress and grooming) may be considered. Personal trait
ratings are useful, even though they sometimes say more about how supervisors get along
with an employee than how well the employee performs on the job. Farmers are unlikely
to want to reward performance—no matter how excellent it is—if a worker only performs
grudgingly and after repeated admonitions.
When personal traits are considered as part of a performance appraisal, specific
characteristics should be related to the job. Often, a personal trait issue can be translated
into an achievement. Instead of talking about worker dependability (personal trait), for
instance, one may want to address how well an employee reports on assignment
Proficiency—skill, knowledge, and ability—plays an important role in worker
performance. When appraisals address worker proficiency factors (e.g., AI skills for a
herdsman), they help assure worker interest in overcoming deficiencies that may be
blocking future performance or growth. A farm personnel manager may be appraised in
terms of understanding labor management principles, knowledge of applicable labor
laws, skill in conducting interviews, or ability to counsel employees, for instance.
In evaluations, farmers need to strike the right balance between productivity and personal
traits. Jobs vary in the importance that can be attached to such factors. An equipment
operator who spends hours preparing land, furthermore, has less need for teamwork than
two milkers who work side by side. Over-emphasis on personal traits may increase
compliance at the expense of both creativity and performance. Stressing achievement
over personal traits may lead to a philosophy where the end justifies the means—no
matter how dysfunctional or unethical the behavior.
Determine who conducts the appraisal
Input into the appraisal of worker performance may come from many sources including
the employee, co-workers, supervisors, subordinates, or even persons outside the
organization. Ratings from multiple sources usually yield more reliable performance
Employee. Usually, but not always, the employee has a good understanding of his daily
performance and how it can be improved. Employees can be the most important persons
in the evaluation process, as we saw in the negotiated performance appraisal approach.
Nevertheless, employees have a vested interest in making positive comments about their
own performance, and no matter how motivated they are, can usually benefit from
Co-workers. At times co-workers have a better grasp for a colleague’s performance than
the supervisor, but co-worker evaluations have a tendency to be lenient. Sometimes co-
workers hope management will read between the lines and praise irrelevant or
insignificant factors. At times a co-worker may be particularly hard on a disliked worker.
Peer review is usually anonymous and several peers are involved in the evaluation. This
anonymity, while often needed, can also lend itself to abuses.
Supervisor. Performance appraisal data obtained from the immediate supervisor is the
most common rating source. Supervisors are often in the best position to give workers an
honest evaluation. The danger in supervisory evaluations is the substantial amount of
power and influence wielded, often by the hand of a single rater.
Subordinate. Formal evaluation by subordinates is unusual, although from time to time
subordinates may be asked for input into the evaluation of their supervisor. When
subordinates have an input into their supervisor’s evaluation, supervisors have been
known to improve their interpersonal relations and reduce management by intimidation.
Issues of anonymity and adequate sampling of subordinates may be important in
Outside the organization. Evaluations by outside clientele may be useful in instances
when there is much personal contact with outsiders or when the person being evaluated
knows more about aspects of the job than the farmer or supervisor.
Decide on a ratingPerformance appraisal data can also be classified according to whether
employees are compared against others or are rated against a standard.
Comparison against others. Normally, when comparing employees against each other, a
few employees end up at the top and a few at the bottom in what is known as a normal
distribution curve (also known as "grading by the curve," see Figure 6-1). The majority
end up somewhere in the middle. Where the employee is ranked depends on how a
person performs in comparison to others.
The principal advantage of the comparison method is preventing raters from placing all
employees in one category (for example, all superior). Two disadvantages—especially
when very few workers are involved—include assuming (1) employees fall in a normal
distribution (there may be four excellent performers in a group of five, or none in a group
of three), and (2) there are similar differences in performance between two adjacent
employees, for instance, between those ranked 1 and 2 and those ranked 4 and 5.
Rating against a standard permits a supervisor to classify employee performance
independently from that of other employees. Both supervisor and employee have a
reference point for accurately looking at an employee’s long-term performance growth.
Ratings against a standard do not preclude comparisons. While employees may typically
compare themselves to others, there is little to be gained by having the organization
promote such comparisons. They are likely to create envy, vanity and dysfunctional
competition. In a healthy organization, one employee’s success need not mean another’s
failure. If all can succeed, much the better.
Farmers who choose to use a standardized approach must next decide whether to judge
all workers on an absolute standard or whether to consider an employee’s time on the job.
Those who prefer an absolute standard tend to give lower scores to employees, as they
fear new workers who receive high marks will not feel the need for further improvement.
In contrast, raters who feel a worker has done superior work considering his time in the
position, may rate him as such. An evaluation six months or a year later yielding a
superior mark would require a corresponding improvement on the part of the worker. I
prefer the latter approach, because it seems more positive.
Overcome rating deficiencies
Supervisory evaluations often suffer from numerous rating deficiencies:5
One particularly good or poor trait may contaminate other performance areas considered
in the evaluation.
Once a worker is classified as a poor performer, it may take a long time for a supervisor
to notice the worker has improved.
Supervisors tend to remember events more recent to the evaluation. Workers, realizing
this, may strive to improve performance as time for appraisals near.
Supervisors may tend to rate workers as average, especially when rating forms require a
written justification for a high or low rating. Others may tend toward being either overly
strict or lenient. Lenient raters may later appear to contradict themselves (e.g., when a
worker is disciplined or does not get a raise).
As with olives, where a small olive may be graded "large" and the largest "super" or
"colossal," the worst rating many companies give their employees on appraisals is
"good." Thus, the employer might be in the position of arguing that "good" actually
Raters may also be influenced by an employee’s personal attributes such as national
origin, level of education, union membership, philosophy, age, race, gender, or even
attractiveness (Sidebar 6-2).
Sidebar 6-2: Physical attractiveness
Studies show attractive people are often judged to be more intelligent and have other
positive qualities.7 In one study, for instance, men gave attractive women higher scores
on the quality of writing. Photographs of the supposed authors were attached to the
essays.8 First impression attractiveness can have an even more serious impact on
employee selection. This is particularly true where candidate impressions are formed
solely on an interview and not moderated with data obtained from practical and written
Create a rating instrument
You can choose from several data collection and evaluation techniques, or rating scales.
Whatever instrument is used, it should provide meaningful information to both
employees and management.
There are a number of ways of classifying performance appraisal instruments. Data can
be presented in terms of critical incidents, narratives, or predetermined anchors. A
combination of approaches is often necessary to end up with a useful performance
appraisal. Appraisal instruments require substantial rater training if results are to be
Critical incidents. This technique involves noting instances where workers reacted
particularly well or poorly. To be effective and accurate, critical incidents need to be
jotted down as they take place and are still fresh in the supervisor’s mind.
Examples of negative critical incidents include not observing elevated milk tank
temperatures, or milking cows with antibiotics into the tank. Examples of noteworthy
positive incidents are milkers who constantly provide accurate information on sick cows,
or cows in heat; an employee who volunteers a money saving idea; or a worker who
averted an upcoming disaster outside normal responsibility areas.
The strength of the process is in the concreteness of the examples provided. If care is not
taken, though, the critical incident is susceptible to emphasizing negative worker
behavior. When used alone, employees may have difficulty translating critical incident
reports into improved day-to-day performance. Further, long periods of time may not
yield any particularly good or poor behavior.
The critical incident approach can be used to come up with data and ideas to develop
more complex rating scales.9
Narratives. As compared to the critical incident, narratives provide a broader outlook on
worker performance. Narratives work best when raters have the skills and take the time to
provide a thorough, analytical report while maintaining a positive tone.
Predetermined anchors. Appraisals where raters simply check or circle the most
appropriate answer can potentially make for more standardized evaluations than either
the narrative or critical incidents and are less time consuming for the supervisor (see
Figure 6-3). Their ease in use may be deceiving, and raters may give the appraisal less
thought than it deserves. Anchor-based appraisals include rating factors with a numerical
scale (e.g., 0 to 3), or an adjective-descriptive scale (e.g., superior, good, below
Numerical rating scale for milkers
Performance Area 0 1 2 3
Follows proper procedures to improve milk quality K
Provides proper parlor environment for milking J
Recognizes & records cows in heat or sick K
Keeps milk from fresh cows separate (cholostrum milk) J
Makes efficient use of time as cows are milked or washed J
Takes safety precautions with cows that kick L
Cleans milking parlor for next milking J
3 = superior .....1 = below average
2 = good........... 0 = not performed
The most useful method is a combination approach that includes either a numerical or
descriptive anchor, as well as critical incidents and a narrative performance description.
Deliver useful information to employees
This brings us back to sharing information with the employee (see Negotiated
Performance Appraisal). Evaluations work best when workers know the evaluation
criteria in advance. Such areas of evaluation can form the basis for an intelligent
conversation about performance between supervisor and employee. In one farm operation
a manager was able to not only discuss a foreman's performance within his present job,
but also the types of skills that were needed if the foreman was interested in a potential
promotion to assistant manager.
Despite the importance of formal appraisals, an effective manager does not wait for
formal performance appraisal interviews to communicate with employees. Sharing
information about performance should be done frequently and in a positive manner.
There should not be too many surprises for the employee when both discuss the
evaluation. The negotiated performance appraisal, to a great extent, accomplishes the task
of removing possible surprises at a much deeper level, as it encourages candid
conversation between the individual being appraised and the supervisor.
Regardless of the approach taken, it helps to involve the worker in making plans and
taking responsibility for improvement. Allowing the worker to take a major role in the
performance appraisal interview does not guarantee the interview will be fun, but it can
do much to reduce its unpleasantness
Performance appraisal may be defined as a structured formal interaction between a
subordinate and supervisor, that usually takes the form of a periodic interview (annual or
semi-annual), in which the work performance of the subordinate is examined and
discussed, with a view to identifying weaknesses and strengths as well as opportunities
for improvement and skills development.
In many organizations - but not all - appraisal results are used, either directly or
indirectly, to help determine reward outcomes. That is, the appraisal results are used to
identify the better performing employees who should get the majority of available merit
pay increases, bonuses, and promotions.
By the same token, appraisal results are used to identify the poorer performers who may
require some form of counseling, or in extreme cases, demotion, dismissal or decreases in
pay. (Organizations need to be aware of laws in their country that might restrict their
capacity to dismiss employees or decrease pay.)
Whether this is an appropriate use of performance appraisal - the assignment and
justification of rewards and penalties - is a very uncertain and contentious matter.
So employee knows if he/she is doing something wrong (to improve future performance).
It’s a formal opportunity to speak with your employee.
How would you feel if…
…your boss didn’t give you a performance appraisal or it was delivered very late?
…your boss didn’t give you specific examples?
…your boss didn’t make any comments on the appraisal?
…your performance appraisal contained only criticism?
…your supervisor’s performance appraisal were radically different from your self-
…you received a very high performance rating? Would you expect a promotion? How
feel if you weren’t promoted?
…your boss felt you were not ready for a promotion? Would you want to know
you needed to do to be promoted?
Returns On Your Investment Of Time:
You will be able to identify and resolve performance problems early while there is still
time to make changes. You will be better able to identify strong performers who have the
desire and ability to advance.
You will strengthen communication with employees. Through this process, you will open
communication channels that have been blocked by misunderstandings or conflicts. You
will know how employees view their work situations and what you can do to help them
reach their potentials.
You may get feedback about your style of managing and how it encourages or inhibits
the success of others.
You should have no surprises at review time. By working closely with an employee
throughout the year, you both will have a pretty good idea of what’s going to be said
during the review ahead of time. This will reduce much of the anxiety associated with
1. Plan For Good Performance.
If you want the employee to do something, you must tell him/her exactly what you want:
what jobs or tasks are most important, what skills and behaviors are required and
acceptable, what goals should be accomplished, and what result you expect. There are
two (2) primary ways to accomplish this: providing the employee with a job description
and setting goals and performance expectations.
Goals should be SMART:
Remember: initiating and maintaining positive communication about work expectations
and work performance is management’s responsibility!
2. Have Employees Evaluate Their Own Performance.
The employee’s self-evaluation is one of the tools you will use to write your own
You want to see how much insight the employee has into his/her own performance
strengths and weaknesses. FYI: industrial psychologists have found that most employees
rate themselves the same or lower than their manager would.
You also want to gauge whether he/she clearly understands your expectations and
standards of performance.
This is an important measure of your supervisory skills. If the employee’s evaluation is
vastly different from yours, you failed to communicate clearly your expectations and
standards. Surprises mean something is wrong with your system!
Encourage the employee to think about past performance goals, accomplishments, and
areas needing improvement and development..
Objectives for performance appraisal policy can best be understood in terms of potential
benefits. Mohrman, Resnick-West and Lawler (1989) identify the following:
Increase motivation to perform effectively
Increase staff self-esteem
Gain new insight into staff and supervisors
Better clarify and define job functions and responsibilities
Develop valuable communication among appraisal participants
Encourage increased self-understanding among staff as well as insight into the kind of
development activities that are of value
Distribute rewards on a fair and credible basis
Clarify organizational goals so they can be more readily accepted
Improve institutional/departmental manpower planning, test validation, and development
of training programs
Effective performance appraisal systems contain two basic systems operating in
conjunction: an evaluation system and a feedback system.
The main aim of the evaluation system is to identify the performance gap (if any). This
gap is the shortfall that occurs when performance does not meet the standard set by the
organization as acceptable.
The main aim of the feedback system is to inform the employee about the quality of his
or her performance. (However, the information flow is not exclusively one way. The
appraisers also receives feedback from the employee about job problems, etc.)
One of the best ways to appreciate the purposes of performance appraisal is to look at it
from the different viewpoints of the main stakeholders: the employee and the
From the employee viewpoint, the purpose of performance appraisal is four-fold:
(1) Tell me what you want me to do
(2) Tell me how well I have done it
(3) Help me improve my performance
(4) Reward me for doing well.
From the organization's viewpoint, one of the most important reasons for having a system
of performance appraisal is to establish and uphold the principle of accountability.
For decades it has been known to researchers that one of the chief causes of
organizational failure is "non-alignment of responsibility and accountability." Non-
alignment occurs where employees are given responsibilities and duties, but are not held
accountable for the way in which those responsibilities and duties are performed. What
typically happens is that several individuals or work units appear to have overlapping
The overlap allows - indeed actively encourages - each individual or business unit to
"pass the buck" to the others. Ultimately, in the severely non-aligned system, no one is
accountable for anything. In this event, the principle of accountability breaks down
completely. Organizational failure is the only possible outcome.
In cases where the non-alignment is not so severe, the organization may continue to
function, albeit inefficiently. Like a poorly made or badly tuned engine, the non-aligned
organization may run, but it will be sluggish, costly and unreliable. One of the principal
aims of performance appraisal is to make people accountable. The objective is to align
responsibility and accountability at every organizational level.
In a landmark study, Locher & Teel (1977) found that the three most common appraisal
methods in general use are rating scales (56%), essay methods (25%) and results-
oriented or MBO methods (13%). For a description of each, follow the button links on
Certain techniques in performance appraisal have been thoroughly investigated, and some
have been found to yield better results than others.
Research studies show that employees are likely to feel more satisfied with their appraisal
result if they have the chance to talk freely and discuss their performance. It is also more
likely that such employees will be better able to meet future performance goals. (e.g.,
Nemeroff & Wexley, 1979).
Employees are also more likely to feel that the appraisal process is fair if they are given a
chance to talk about their performance. This especially so when they are permitted to
challenge and appeal against their evaluation. (Greenberg, 1986).
It is very important that employees recognize that negative appraisal feedback is provided
with a constructive intention, i.e., to help them overcome present difficulties and to
improve their future performance. Employees will be less anxious about criticism, and
more likely to find it useful, when the believe that the appraiser's intentions are helpful
and constructive. (Fedor et al., 1989)
In contrast, other studies (e.g., Baron, 1988) have reported that "destructive criticism" -
which is vague, ill-informed, unfair or harshly presented - will lead to problems such as
anger, resentment, tension and workplace conflict, as well as increased resistance to
improvement, denial of problems, and poorer performance.
Set Performance Goals
It has been shown in numerous studies that goal-setting is an important element in
employee motivation. Goals can stimulate employee effort, focus attention, increase
persistence, and encourage employees to find new and better ways to work. (e.g.,
Locke,et al., 1981)
The useful of goals as a stimulus to human motivation is one of the best supported
theories in management. It is also quite clear that goals which are "...specific, difficult
and accepted by employees will lead to higher levels of performance than easy, vague
goals (such as do your best) or no goals at all." (Harris & DiSimone, 1994)
It is important that the appraiser (usually the employee's supervisor) be well-informed
and credible. Appraisers should feel comfortable with the techniques of appraisal, and
should be knowledgeable about the employee's job and performance.
When these conditions exist, employees are more likely to view the appraisal process as
accurate and fair. They also express more acceptance of the appraiser's feedback and a
greater willingness to change. (Bannister, 1986)
The rating scale method offers a high degree of structure for appraisals. Each employee
trait or characteristic is rated on a bipolar scale that usually has several points ranging
from "poor" to "excellent" (or some similar arrangement).
The traits assessed on these scales include employee attributes such as cooperation,
communications ability, initiative, punctuality and technical (work skills) competence.
The nature and scope of the traits selected for inclusion is limited only by the imagination
of the scale's designer, or by the organization's need to know.
The one major provision in selecting traits is that they should be in some way relevant to
the appraisee's job. The traits selected by some organizations have been unwise and have
resulted in legal action on the grounds of discrimination.
The greatest advantage of rating scales is that they are structured and standardised. This
allows ratings to be easily compared and contrasted - even for entire workforces.
Each employee is subjected to the same basic appraisal process and rating criteria, with
the same range of responses. This encourages equality in treatment for all appraisees and
imposes standard measures of performance across all parts of the organization.
Rating scale methods are easy to use and understand. The concept of the rating scale
makes obvious sense; both appraisers and appraisees have an intuitive appreciation for
the simple and efficient logic of the bipolar scale. The result is widespread acceptance
and popularity for this approach.
Are the selected rating-scale traits clearly relevant to the jobs of all the appraisees? It is
inevitable that with a standardised and fixed system of appraisal that certain traits will
have a greater relevance in some jobs than in others.
For example, the trait "initiative" might not be very important in a job that is tightly
defined and rigidly structured. In such cases, a low appraisal rating for initiative may not
mean that an employee lacks initiative. Rather, it may reflect that fact that an employee
has few opportunities to use and display that particular trait. The relevance of rating
scales is therefore said to be context-sensitive. Job and workplace circumstances must be
taken into account.
Rating scales, and the traits they purport to measure, generally attempt to encapsulate all
the relevant indicators of employee performance. There is an assumption that all the true
and best indicators of performance are included, and all false and irrelevant indicators are
This is an assumption very difficult to prove in practice. It is possible that an employee's
performance may depend on factors that have not been included in the selected traits.
Such employees may end up with ratings that do not truly or fairly reflect their effort or
value to the organization. Employees in this class are systemically disadvantaged by the
rating scale method.
This includes various well-known problems of selective perception (such as the horns and
halos effect) as well as problems of perceived meaning.
Selective perception is the human tendency to make private and highly subjective
assessments of what a person is "really like", and then seek evidence to support that view
(while ignoring or downplaying evidence that might contradict it).
This is a common and normal psychological phenomenon. All human beings are affected
by it. In other words, we see in others what we want to see in them.
An example is the supervisor who believes that an employee is inherently good (halo
effect) and so ignores evidence that might suggest otherwise. Instead of correcting the
slackening employee, the supervisor covers for them and may even offer excuses for their
On the other hand, a supervisor may have formed the impression that an employee is bad
(horns effect). The supervisor becomes unreasonably harsh in their assessment of the
employee, and always ready to criticize and undermine them.
The horns and halo effect is rarely seen in its extreme and obvious forms. But in its more
subtle manifestations, it can be a significant threat to the effectiveness and credibility of
Problems of perceived meaning occur when appraisers do not share the same opinion
about the meaning of the selected traits and the language used on the rating scales.
For example, to one appraiser, an employee may demonstrate the trait of initiative by
reporting work problems to a supervisor. To another appraiser, this might suggest an
excessive dependence on supervisory assistance - and thus a lack of initiative.
As well, the language and terms used to construct a scale - such as "Performance exceeds
expectations" or "Below average skill" - may mean different things to different
The problem here is not so much errors in perception as errors in appraiser judgement
and motive. Unlike perceptual errors, these errors may be (at times) deliberate.
The most common rating error is central tendency. Busy appraisers, or those wary of
confrontations and repercussions, may be tempted to dole out too many passive, middle-
of-the-road ratings (e.g., "satisfactory" or "adequate"), regardless of the actual
performance of a subordinate. Thus the spread of ratings tends to clump excessively
around the middle of the scale.
This problem is worsened in organizations where the appraisal process does not enjoy
strong management support, or where the appraisers do not feel confident with the task of
In the essay method approach, the appraiser prepares a written statement about the
employee being appraised.
The statement usually concentrates on describing specific strengths and weaknesses in
job performance. It also suggests courses of action to remedy the identified problem
The statement may be written and edited by the appraiser alone, or it be composed in
collaboration with the appraisee.
The essay method is far less structured and confining than the rating scale method. It
permits the appraiser to examine almost any relevant issue or attribute of performance.
This contrasts sharply with methods where the appraisal criteria are rigidly defined.
Appraisers may place whatever degree of emphasis on issues or attributes that they feel
appropriate. Thus the process is open-ended and very flexible. The appraiser is not locked
into an appraisal system the limits expression or assumes that employee traits can be
neatly dissected and scaled.
Essay methods are time-consuming and difficult to administer. Appraisers often find the
essay technique more demanding than methods such as rating scales.
The techniques greatest advantage - freedom of expression - is also its greatest handicap.
The varying writing skills of appraisers can upset and distort the whole process. The
process is subjective and, in consequence, it is difficult to compare and contrast the
results of individuals or to draw any broad conclusions about organizational needs.
The use of management objectives was first widely advocated in the 1950s by the noted
management theorist Peter Drucker.
MBO (management by objectives) methods of performance appraisal are results-oriented.
That is, they seek to measure employee performance by examining the extent to which
predetermined work objectives have been met.
Usually the objectives are established jointly by the supervisor and subordinate. An
example of an objective for a sales manager might be: Increase the gross monthly sales
volume to $250,000 by 30 June.
Once an objective is agreed, the employee is usually expected to self-audit; that is, to
identify the skills needed to achieve the objective. Typically they do not rely on others to
locate and specify their strengths and weaknesses. They are expected to monitor their
own development and progress.
The MBO approach overcomes some of the problems that arise as a result of assuming
that the employee traits needed for job success can be reliably identified and measured.
Instead of assuming traits, the MBO method concentrates on actual outcomes.
If the employee meets or exceeds the set objectives, then he or she has demonstrated an
acceptable level of job performance. Employees are judged according to real outcomes,
and not on their potential for success, or on someone's subjective opinion of their
The guiding principle of the MBO approach is that direct results can be observed,
whereas the traits and attributes of employees (which may or may not contribute to
performance) must be guessed at or inferred.
The MBO method recognizes the fact that it is difficult to neatly dissect all the complex
and varied elements that go to make up employee performance.
MBO advocates claim that the performance of employees cannot be broken up into so
many constituent parts - as one might take apart an engine to study it. But put all the parts
together and the performance may be directly observed and measured.
MBO methods of performance appraisal can give employees a satisfying sense of
autonomy and achievement. But on the downside, they can lead to unrealistic
expectations about what can and cannot be reasonably accomplished.
Supervisors and subordinates must have very good "reality checking" skills to use MBO
appraisal methods. They will need these skills during the initial stage of objective setting,
and for the purposes of self-auditing and self-monitoring.
Unfortunately, research studies have shown repeatedly that human beings tend to lack the
skills needed to do their own "reality checking". Nor are these skills easily conveyed by
training. Reality itself is an intensely personal experience, prone to all forms of
One of the strengths of the MBO method is the clarity of purpose that flows from a set of
well-articulated objectives. But this can be a source of weakness also. It has become very
apparent that the modern organization must be flexible to survive. Objectives, by their
very nature, tend to impose a certain rigidity.
Of course, the obvious answer is to make the objectives more fluid and yielding. But the
penalty for fluidity is loss of clarity. Variable objectives may cause employee confusion.
It is also possible that fluid objectives may be distorted to disguise or justify failures in
Conflict and Confrontation
Invariably the needs arises during a performance appraisal to provide an employee with
less than flattering feedback.
The skill and sensitivity used to handle these often difficult sessions is critical. If the
appraisee accepts the negative feedback and resolves to improve, all is well. But if the
result is an angry or hurt employee, then the process of correction has failed. The
performance of an employee in such cases is unlikely to improve and may deteriorate
According to Krein (1990), appraisers should not confront employees directly with
criticism. Rather, they should aim to let the evidence of poor performance emerge
"naturally" during the course of the appraisal interview. This is done by way of open-
ended questioning techniques that encourage the employee to identify their own
Instead of blunt statements or accusations, the appraisers should encourage an employee
to talk freely about their own impressions of their performance. For example, consider
the case of employee who has had too many absent days. The appraiser, in accusatory
mode, might say:
Your attendance record is unacceptable. You'll have to improve it.
A better way to handle this might be to say:
Your attendance record shows that you had 7 days off work in 6 months. What can you
tell me about this?
The technique is to calmly present the evidence (resisting the temptation to label it as
good or bad) and then invite the employee to comment. In many cases, with just a gentle
nudge from the appraiser here and there, an employee with problems will admit that
weaknesses do exist.
This is much more likely when an employee does not feel accused of anything, nor forced
to make admissions that they do not wish to make.
If an appraiser can get an employee to the stage of voluntary admission, half the battle is
won. The technique described by Krein is a type of self-auditing, since it encourages the
employee to confront themselves with their own work and performance issues.
The technique is useful because it is more likely to promote discussion and agreement on
the need for change. Confrontation techniques that rely on "charge and counter-charge"
tend to promote adversarialism - and that leads to denial and resentment.
Ownership of Problems
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the self- auditing process is that employees are more
willing generally to accept personal "ownership" of problems that have been self-
identified. This sense of ownership provides an effective basis for stimulating change and
development. (Some would argue that it provides the only basis.)
Nevertheless there are individuals who will not admit to anything that appears to reflect
poorly on them. With ego defenses on full-alert, they will resist the process of self-
auditing very strongly. In such cases, appraisers may have no choice but to confront the
poor performer directly and firmly with the evidence they have.
Sometimes the shock of direct confrontation will result in the employee admitting that
they do need to make improvements. But sometimes it will just make their denial of the
In providing any feedback - especially negative feedback - appraisers should be willing
and able to support their opinions with specific and clear examples. Vague
generalizations should be avoided.
The focus should be on job-related behaviors and attitudes. If a specific observation
cannot be supported by clear evidence, or touches on issues that are not job-related, it
may be best to exclude all mention of it.
Appraisers must carefully scrutinize their own perceptions, motives and prejudices.
Mastek actively collaborates
with clients to create something
valuable for them. We strive to
make a positive and lasting
business impact by going beyond
a client-vendor relationship and
becoming an extended part of
our customers’ enterprise. No
wonder then that a large percentage of our revenues comes from repeat business.
Mastek offers a full suite of IT solutions and services, including custom application
development, application management outsourcing (AMO), consulting, legacy
modernization and migration, and system integration. We have delivered path-breaking
solutions in key verticals such as insurance, financial services and government.
We currently operate six world-class delivery centers in India and Malaysia. Our IT
development and delivery processes have been certified at ISO 9001:2000 and assessed at
SEI-CMM Level 5 and P-CMM Level 3. Our mature processes and robust methodologies
enable us to deliver projects on time, within budget and to the highest levels of quality.
Mastek is a US $156 million, publicly held company with more than 2800 employees and
7200 man-years of experience. It has implemented more than 1000 projects worldwide.
MASTEK Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 10.2 crore for its first quarter ended
September 30, 2002 compared to Rs 1.62 crore during the corresponding period in the
Total income has increased from Rs 19.81 crore during the quarter ended September 30,
2001 to Rs 34.16 crore in the quarter ended September 30, 2002.
Meanwhile, Mastek Group has posted a net profit of Rs 15.25 crore for the quarter
compared to Rs 4.11 crore during the same period last year. The
group's total income stood at Rs 91.63 crore against Rs 63.95 crore in the previous year
A segment-wise break up of revenues shows that the company's UK operations clocked
revenues of Rs 51.11 crore (Rs 31.64 crore) , while US operations contributed Rs 23.84
crore (Rs 20.10 crore) .
Commenting on the performance, Mr Ashank Desai, Chairman and Managing Director,
Mastek, said, ``Due to our focussed efforts as well as growing interest in Indian offshore
market, we continue to be successful and on target as regards acquisition of strategic
clients. The challenge, however, is to grow these accounts, particularly in the light of
sluggishness in their IT budget increases. In spite of this, we are confident of achieving
our annual goals.''
During the quarter, Mastek has billed 16 additional customers while its repeat business
stood at 96 per cent, said a company release. The company has acquired nine new
customers during the quarter in the airline, insurance and retail space.
Also, the Mastek and Deloitte Consulting joint venture (DCOTG) has reported revenues
of Rs 9.92 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2002. At present, the US contributes
26 per cent of the group's revenues while the European market contributes 60 per cent to
total revenues, according to the
The company has also inaugurated its new software development centre at the
Millennium Park, Mahape, Mumbai. The centre has a total capacity of 1,100 people,
though in the first phase — by June 2003 — it will accommodate 600 to 700 people.
Twenty-three years ago, we decided to focus our energies on enterprise applications and
ground-up development. This focus ensured that our growth came mostly from doing
mission critical and complex applications.
Clients’ looking for solutions to complex problems, is the challenge we seek; and the
opportunity to adopt new technologies.
Collaborating with our clients to find solutions and teaming to create something valuable
for our client's customers and the community at large - is what drives us.
We believe that technology on its own has no meaning; it has to make a positive impact
on the world and the people who inhabit it. The cornerstones of the Mastek Way are:
Mastek has repeatedly executed several large-scale, mission-critical projects successfully.
At the heart of this success lies Mastek's ability to structure engagements around
customer outcomes, unlike typical IT engagements that are structured to meet service
level agreements or to deliver to customer specifications.
The depth of our relationships helps us capture a customer's business requirements rather
than just their technology needs. This, in turn, enables us to articulate the benefits of an
engagement more accurately, leading to better management of expectations.
Mastek has a lineage of building complex solutions and products. This provides us with a
360-degree perspective of the lifecycle of any engagement. As a result, Mastek is able to
work with customers on innovative price value models and structure win-win contracts.
Mastek has built strong relationships with its customers. Several of our relationships are
long-standing, and in many of them our role has grown from that of a provider of
technology services to a provider of more critical business solutions.
In many of our relationships, with every passing year, we are able to increase our reach in
different parts of a customer organisation, increase levels of trust allowing us to engage
customers at more strategic levels, and increase the number of touch points at all levels of
the two partners' organisations.
Mastek has been able to build and sustain deep relationships because of its commitment
to a customer's success, its willingness to listen to a customer and its drive to make a
Long and deeper relationships benefit all stakeholders. Mastek is able to understand the
customer's business better and become more proactive to the customer's needs. As a
result, it can provide greater value through its solutions. Customers avoid costs of
transferring context and mitigate the risk of failure because they deal with a single partner
over many engagements.
For Mastek, long customer relationships bring stability and continuity.
Our ability to build strong relationships is underscored by the fact that a large percentage
over 90% of our overall revenue comes from repeat business.
Network of Partnerships
Mastek has executed some of its biggest projects such as London Congestion Charging
and NHS Spine by partnering with global system integrators as part of a consortium.
Partnering with established system integrators helps Mastek penetrate newer markets and
create new revenue channels. For the customer, a consortium brings twin advantages:
specialisation of each partner in the consortium as well as end-to-end, holistic solutions.
Mastek's success in consortium-led projects comes from its culture of playing as a team
and its ability to co-create solutions. Mastek's adaptability is also a big strength in the
dynamic environment of consortium-driven projects.
Unlike many IT providers, Mastek engages with partners right from pre-sales. This shows
our commitment to and our willingness to invest in a partnership.
On the supply side, Mastek's network of partnerships provides it access to highly skilled
domain expertise and key program management skills to complement its own strengths
In fact, Mastek is already executing an engagement as a full-fledged system integrator.
Over the years, Mastek has acquired in-depth understanding and knowledge across
several domains, particularly insurance. We have been able to translate this domain
knowledge into practice lines and intellectual property (for eg: Elixir). This domain
knowledge makes it easier for customers to work with us since we already understand
their business context. Less time is spent in transferring knowledge, thereby providing
customers a jump-start and reducing time-to-market. In addition, Mastek is able to
provide better quality of solutions because of greater clarity.
Understanding a customer's business and domain enables Mastek to scale the value chain
and play a strategic and consulting role.
We are constantly enriching our domain expertise with the diversity and number of
projects we do. Mastek's versatility helps it cross apply learnings from one domain to
another domain and even to greenfield engagements.
Mastek has a long history of technological leadership. As a company, it has a strong
product background and has always played a pioneering role in adopting new technology.
As a result, Mastek has developed capabilities in a wide range of technologies and
platforms. This enables us to integrate multiple technologies in a meaningful way to
create powerful solutions.
Our increasing focus on creating a solutioning culture within the company has resulted in
more and more partners viewing us as providers of business solutions rather than just
Mastek has created two specialised groups, the Solutions and Strategy Group and the
Technology Cell, to ensure that we stay ahead of the technology curve and create
valuable solutions for our customers.
The Solutions and Strategy group strives for excellence in software engineering, adopts
best practices in solution-building and creates ground-up solutions that meet customer
The Technology Cell continuously tracks new and emerging technology and ensures that
Mastek and its customers stay on the cutting edge of technology by absorbing relevant
new technology. For instance, Mastek was ready with a complete DotNet Solution even
before the DotNet was officially launched.
That is the speed at which Mastek is able to adopt new technology.
Systems and Processes
Mastek is a process-driven company. Our ability to 'processise' and institutionalise our
learnings and experience enabled us to become the first company to be assessed at both
SEI CMM Level 5 and P-CMM Level 3. But that is not all. We are constantly improving
our systems and processes. Today, our delivery processes are IS0 9001:2000 certified.
Our engineering processes also draw best practices from established models like Rational
Unified Process (RUP), Zachman and so on.
Process excellence enables us to make successes repeatable and bring predictability to
our deliveries in terms of timelines, cost and quality.
Mastek also enables customers to inculcate best practices and create a process-oriented
culture within their organisations.
In addition, we have developed tools such as ePMO to improve project management
efficiency and implemented integrated decision support and management information
At the project level, these tools provide for granularity of planning. At the management
level they provide a single-view of the organisation, and also serve as early warning
systems and a dashboard of performance.
Security and business continuity are matters of concern for all our customers. We have
robust information security systems and fault-redundant business continuity processes.
Many of our information security processes are already BS 7799 certified.
Mastek has created a specialised Organisational Process Group (OPG) that is responsible
for continuous adoption and correct execution of these processes.
A successful organization is more than just the sum total of its systems, processes and
people. At Mastek, we believe we are more than the software we create, more than the
people we nurture, more than the revenues we generate. We define ourselves by the
values we keep, the culture we have built.
As an organization, we are shaped by our Seven Values. These have been our guiding
lights on our path to success. Values we have never deviated from.
The Seven Values are:
1. Open atmosphere
2. Outstanding teamwork
3. Respect for the individual
4. Pride in work
5. Long-term relationship
6. Customer intimacy
7. Commitment to results
You won’t find these Seven Values displayed on walls. But you will find them being
practised in every corner of the organization.
The Mastek Culture is a blend of the values we follow, the challenging work we do, and
the fun we have. Not surprisingly, we work together as a Team, and have fun together as
How do we do this?
For us, the team is more important than the individual. Yet, we pay a lot of attention to
our building blocks: the individuals. We do not just shape careers. We mould character
too. We ensure that each of our people have the opportunity to rise to their potential.
Being a Mastekeer is more than just being a successful professional. It means constantly
growing to become an Inspired Leader. To go beyond the call of duty. To take on more
than you are called for. And to make a difference in every relationship.
‘Once a Mastekeer, always a Mastekeer’. This is what our alumni say, sometimes even
years after they’ve been away from us. It is this goodwill that we cherish most of all.
Goodwill that makes us proud of our culture, the Mastek Culture.
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL OF MASTEK
Rationale for Policy on Performance Appraisal
Performance appraisal can be viewed as the process of assessing and recording staff
performance for the purpose of making judgments about staff that lead to decisions.
Performance appraisal should also be viewed as a system of highly interactive processes
which involve personnel at all levels in differing degrees in determining job expectations,
writing job descriptions, selecting relevant appraisal criteria, developing assessment tools
and procedures, and collecting interpreting, and reporting results.
Objectives for performance appraisal policy can best be understood in terms of potential
benefits. Mohrman, Resnick-West and Lawler (1989) identify the following:
Increase motivation to perform effectively
Increase staff self-esteem
Gain new insight into staff and supervisors
Better clarify and define job functions and responsibilities
Develop valuable communication among appraisal participants
Encourage increased self-understanding among staff as well as insight into the kind of
development activities that are of value
Distribute rewards on a fair and credible basis
Clarify organizational goals so they can be more readily accepted
Improve institutional/departmental manpower planning, test validation, and development
of training programs
Using The Staffing Model in Performance Appraisal
Performance appraisal should be viewed as a process, and not simply as the creation of
The overriding purpose of performance appraisal is to help staff to improve and, thus, to
improve organizational effectiveness. Performance appraisal therefore addresses
institutional needs as well as staff member needs, abilities, motivation, and expectancies.
The integrated staffing model suggests two integrated functions toward this purpose: the
evaluation of staff relative to job requirements and the development of staff for improved
performance. Thus, performance appraisal and staff development are closely related and
should operate in concert with one another.
The integrated staffing model also suggests that staffing practices occur within a larger
context of institutional culture. Thus, judgments about performance appraisal, as well as
the design and implementation of appraisal systems, should be considered contextually.
Effective appraisal systems should address clarity, openness, and fairness; recognize
productivity through rewards; and be cognizant of appraiser leadership qualities.
Clarity, Openness, and Fairness
The performance appraisal system must possess the attributes of clarity, openness, and
fairness. These attributes are related to the historic values of the student affairs
profession. While specific implementation of these attributes may vary, the following
should be represented in effective performance appraisal:
Ongoing Review of Position and Performance - Effective performance appraisal systems
conduct ongoing evaluations of both the position and the staff member occupying it. With
ongoing position analysis and performance appraisal, there are few surprises, and
changes in the environment are quickly incorporated into the official appraisal system.
Job Descriptions - Job descriptions should be reliable, valid, understandable, and specific
enough to provide direction for staff behavior. Job descriptions should focus on what the
staff member does (e.g. advises the student government association) and what outcomes
are expected. These outcomes should be clearly linked to departmental and institutional
objectives and needs.
Job descriptions should use action words such "plans" or "supervises" rather than
"demonstrates initiative" or "is likable." Job descriptions should provide guidelines for
staff so they know the specific behaviors expected to perform. The responsibilities of the
staff member should be listed in order of importance and weighted relative to importance,
Participatory and Interactive Appraisal
Appraisal system processes should be designed in concert with all stakeholders and open
to constant interaction with them. Plans made jointly by staff and administrators have a
better chance of working than plans made independently by either party.
Workable Formats that Avoid Systemic Bias - Effective performance appraisal systems
must include workable formats that avoid systematic biases. Checklists of performance
criteria completed at the same time every year should be avoided. This type of approach
simply fails to produce any useful information for individual or organizational
Other biases include giving preferential treatment to some but not all staff, rating all staff
the same, being overly lenient or overly harsh toward some or all staff, and practicing
conscious or unconscious racial or gender prejudice.
Adopting a format that includes the standards of clarity, openness, and fairness and that
involves more than one appraiser may help to control some of these biases.
Productivity and Rewards
Appraisal systems are related to institutional productivity requirements. Appraisal
systems are expected to reveal under-productive units and to serve as a response system
to focus attention on problem areas. Appraisal systems should also function to reward
productive units and staff.
One of the most crucial response systems is the institution's reward structure.
Hypothetically, performance appraisal is used to reward productive staff through upward
salary adjustments. While salary adjustment may be fixed, especially in state institutions,
alternative reward structures may be initiated by departments to recognize productive
staff. Concerns with under-productive staff may be addressed through targeted staff
development activities or through other means as appropriate.
Appraiser Leadership Attributes
Supervisor or appraiser behavior may be more important than the format used in the
performance appraisal system. Appraisers who act like leaders in their organization are
more likely to experience successful results from the appraisal system than will
appraisers who behave as non-leaders.
Leaders can model desired behavior and prescribe behavior sought from staff. This
modeling carries the advantage of organizational prestige and power associated with the
Designing an Appraisal System
With the above discussion in mind, appraisers and supervisors should design appraisal
systems that are congruent with individual departmental and institutional contexts. Brown
(1989) offers that the following questions be addressed when designing an appraisal
Is the chief student affairs officer committed to performance appraisal?
Are staff members involved in determining the appraisal criteria and standards?
Are the organizational goals of student affairs and subunits integrated into the appraisal
Are staff members involved in planning and implementation of the appraisal process?
Is the appraisal process congruent with the organizational climate and the management
style of the administrators?
Have adequate job descriptions based on job analysis been written?
Have weights or priorities been assigned to job expectations?
Is available expertise being employed for consultation?
Is the purpose of the performance appraisal system clearly articulated and congruent with
the staff and management needs and expectations?
Has a process been worked out to monitor and evaluate the system?
Practical Approaches to Performance Appraisal
Creamer and Janosik (in press) note that performance appraisal is not about a single
event, such as completing a standard review form, but rather a process that is ongoing.
Appraisal activities, as an ongoing process, should connect the process to organizational
functioning and have as their focus staff improvement, not simply salary adjustment
and/or disciplinary action. Davis (2001) proposed a model of performance appraisal for
use in student affairs that includes three phases: Getting started/renewal, Achievement,
and Evaluation. The model includes detailed suggestions for conducting an appraisal
Creamer and Janosik outline several approaches to performance appraisal, including
behavior based approaches, results-focused approaches, and appraisals of team
These approaches tend to use specific performance factors to evaluate staff. Measures of
performance can be either quantitative or qualitative.
One approach is the conventional rating scale. These scales use words or phrases to
describe the degree to which certain behaviors or characteristics are displayed. Categories
for behaviorally anchored scales can be created from job descriptions. If there are no
appropriate behaviors or characteristics within job descriptions, supervisors should work
with staff to determine what behaviors and characteristics would be most useful in an
Another way of approaching this type of appraisal is the behaviorally anchored scale. In
this approach, broad categories of practice are identified, ideally through collaborations
between supervisors and staff. Specific job behaviors are then linked to the categories.
Measures of staff member behavior are rated on a scale in relation to specific behavior
items, such as "understands department functions."
Henderson (1980) notes that job-dimensions usually yield similar broad categories, such
as planning, setting priorities, and responsiveness to supervision. Categories such as these
may be useful in framing evaluation criteria in this approach to appraisal.
Another means of approaching behavior-based appraisal is the is the behavioral
frequency scale. Here, desired behaviors are described and the staff member is evaluated
on how often those behaviors occur.
The weighted checklist is another way of approaching behavior-based appraisal. This
method provides a list of performance related statements that are weighted. Staff
members are judged on a scale indicating the degree to which the statement accurately
A final approach to behavior-based appraisal is the forced-choice method. Here, a list of
performance related statements about job performance are evaluated on how well they
discriminate among staff and how important they are to unit or institutional performance.
Discrimination and desirability statements are placed on a grid in clusters that differ on
discrimination but are closely related in desirability. Discrimination and desirability are
multiplied to yield a total scale score.
Results-Focused Approaches –
Creamer and Janosik (in press) note that there are both advantages and disadvantages to
results-based performance appraisal approaches. On the positive side, they produce short
and long-term results in the context of original performance and organizational
objectives, are generally perceived as fair, tend to generate high levels of commitment to
the organization, and they encourage a high level of participation and are thus defensible.
On the negative side, they can be overly results oriented - especially in educational
organizations, and they may be inflexible.
If supervisors determine that the advantages outweigh disadvantages, results-focused
approaches may be incorporated. There are two general techniques of enacting results-
focused approaches: Management by Objectives (MBO) and Accountabilities and
Measures (Grote, 1996).
MBO emphasizes participation by all organization members. Grote identifies the
following core elements in MBO:
Formation of trusting and open communication throughout the organization
Mutual problem solving and negotiations in the establishment of objectives
Creation of win-win relationships
Organizational rewards and punishments based on job-related performance and
Minimal uses of political games, forces, and fear
Development of a positive, proactive, and challenging organizational climate
Additionally, Grote defines eight steps in the MBO Process:
Formulate long-range goals and strategic plans
Develop overall organizational objectives
Establish derivative objectives for major operating units
Set realistic and challenging objectives and standards of performance for members of the
Formulate action plans for achieving the stated objectives
Implement the action plans and take corrective action when required to ensure the
attainment of objectives
Periodically review performance against established goals and objectives
Appraise overall performance, reinforce behavior, and strengthen motivation. Begin the
Supervisors need to ensure that appraisal processes are congruent with objectives and
goals. An MBO rating form needs to provide space to list staff member objectives in
order of importance, as well as space for the evaluator to describe staff member
performance using a mutually agreed upon scale. Categories of performance can include:
distinguished performance, competent performance, provisional performance, and
Accountabilities and Measures approaches involve the supervisor and staff member
agreeing on accountability and performance factors and including them in the job
description. Performance is then forecast for each factor to enable quantifiable measures
for each factor. An Accountabilities and Measures form can be created, with performance
Appraisals of Team Performance
Creamer and Janosik (in press) acknowledge that much of today's work is done in
collaborative arrangements. The successful performance of such teams can be critical to
achieving organizational objectives and goals. Thus, appraisal of team and team member
performance should be integrated into team-based activities.
Appraising teams and team members can, however, be problematic. Creamer and Janosik
suggest a team appraisal matrix in which team members are listed on a vertical
dimension, and specific tasks on the horizontal. Such an arrangement reelects individual
performance, and collectively reflects the overall team performance.
Team appraisal approaches assume, of course, that specific team performance objectives
have been agreed upon, as well as individual expectations within the team. Ideally, the
process of team performance evaluation will identify not only team performance, but
individual deficiencies and paths of corrective action
Communicating With Employees
Part 1: Listening, Commenting, and Questioning
This is the building block for successful communication, yet most of us are rather poor
listeners. Instead of listening, we start thinking of whether or not we agree with what the
other person has said, or we being thinking of our own response. Thankfully, listening is
a skill that can be learned and developed.
Some pointers include:
Don’t interrupt unless to seek clarification.
Don’t continually glance at your watch or the clock.
Don’t judge or criticize.
Do make eye contact and stay interested in what the employee is saying.
Do watch the employee’s facial expressions and body movements for hidden messages.
Do summarize by saying what you think the employee is feeling (empathy is the key to
This is a necessary part of all discussions because is sustains a comfortable, related flow
of conversations. Several effective types of comments include:
Restatement (of what the employee said).
Refocus from the negative to the positive.
Reflect feelings (demonstrates empathy).
Redirect a stalled conversation.
Rethink a situation (e.g., when an employee tries to “pass the buck”).
This is the best way to get information from an employee. Different types of questions
will yield different responses. Some examples of techniques include:
Restrictive or closed-ended questions.
Hypothetical or open-ended problem questions.
Compare and contrast questions.
Questions that involve a choice in/of responses.
Part 2: Praising and Criticizing Performance
Giving praise frequently, confidently, and constructively is a skill you can learn.
Complimenting good performance is as important as constructively criticizing poor
performance. Compliments give employees “positive reinforcement” which encourages
them to repeat the action that earned praise. When giving praise, remember to:
Do it often.
Say if first (not in response to their praise of you).
Give it publicly whenever possible.
Praise the behavior rather than the person.
Be constructive, not destructive. When giving constructive criticism, remember to:
Offer suggestions about what to do instead.
Encourage the employee. Be willing to work with the employee to improve the situation.
Give your support, but remain firm.
Avoid name-calling and inflammatory language.
Base any review of unsatisfactory performance on facts, not opinions or 3rd party input.
Part 3: Handling Defensiveness
While a certain amount of defensiveness is inevitable, much of it can be avoided by
bearing a few things in mind:
Attack the problem, not the employee (use examples of behavior exhibited in the
workplace, rather than attacking a personality trait or the like).
Choose your words carefully (use positive words like “development opportunity” and
“growth opportunity,” rather than such negative words as “failure” or “inadequacy”).
Keep your cool and avoid any form of “counterattack.” Redirect the conversation, if
Two Legally Ambiguous Words to Avoid at Appraisal Time
“Attitude” Bad: Ryan has a bad attitude.
Better: Ryan’s negative comments are unproductive.
Best: Ryan’s negative comments during departmental meetings are
unprofessional and this behavior results in an unproductive environment in which the rest
of the team must then work. We have discussed this previously, but Ryan has made
limited attempts to redirect his frustration into more productive behavior.
“Personality” Bad: Lori’s personality is not suited for work in our department.
Better: Lori’s negative comments make everyone feel that she just doesn’t
“fit in” with our work group.
Best: Lori’s caustic comments during co-worker interactions have
resulted in her alienating most of her department members. As a result, Lori has had great
difficulty integrating herself into our team. Further, despite repeated discussions about
her abrasive comments, Lori has made few, if any, strides in improving her behavior or
mending relationships with her co-workers.
Mastek capabilities and performance have earned it several accolades, direct and indirect,
among which are:
Mastek has been awarded the prestigious
Jamanalal Bajaj Award for Fair Business
Practices in 2005
The award, instituted in 1988 recognizes and
applauds efforts of business houses and business
associations with an exemplary record of
practising and promoting fair business practices
Among top 20 Indian IT companies as per
NASSCOM survey 2004
Mastek has been assigned a composite rating of
5A2 by D&B in 2004
Overall, 5A2 indicates a Financially sound and
Low risk trading record
Awarded the ‘Best Solution developed on .NET
by an Indian SI’ in 2003
Mastek has continuously ranked among
technology companies in a CLSA study on
corporate governance, in the last 4 consecutive
years i.e. 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004 among 25
emerging markets including Asia, Eastern
Europe, Latin America & South Africa
Performance-related discussions between bosses and subordinates do not require a
formal, full-blown performance appraisal system. Indeed, it can be argued that the real
coaching and counseling sessions that shape and improve employee performance occur
informally, outside such systems. The same can be said of goal setting and feedback. It is
also questionable if much of what passes for feedback in formal performance appraisal
sessions is deserving of the term.
Moreover, keeping book on poor performers does not require an elaborate, formal
performance appraisal system. Worse, the books kept on those who are not poor
performers can backfire in court. As Craig Brooks wrote, "The typical, traditional
performance appraisal is worthless and, in fact, lawyers have told me the appraisal itself
quite often is management’s worst enemy in disciplinary grievances and court
challenges." Brooks is not alone. Several people pointed out that performance appraisal
systems might increase, not decrease the costs of appeals, grievances, and lawsuits. The
legal protection provided by performance appraisal systems seems questionable.
Perhaps the greatest cost of all is that performance appraisal systems silently mock senior
executives who call for change. This is embarrassingly apparent when initiative after
initiative pleads to have the performance appraisal system changed to support its aims.
Such pleas offer compelling testimony that performance appraisal systems are seen as a
basic device for getting individuals to comply with the aims of management. This
emphasis on compliance is the status quo that such systems maintain, no matter how
much they are redesigned. This emphasis is out of place in a world where the ability to
elicit contributions from employees matters more than the ability to ensure compliance.
As a purely practical matter, given the time lag between changes in the aims of
management and changes to performance appraisal systems to support those new aims, it
seems unlikely that changes to performance appraisal systems can keep pace.
Hence, performance appraisal systems could be eliminated with no harm done and with
great economic and emotional benefit. Consequently, change-minded executives should
not listen to pleas to redesign their company’s performance appraisal system but should
instead give serious thought to scrapping it.