Friday, January 13, 2012

Employee Appraisals

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Appraisals provide companies with vital information needed to evaluate an employee’s current or past performance relative to his or her performance standards. An appraisal process therefore involves setting work standards, assessing the employee’s actual performance relative to the work standards, and providing feedback to the employee with the aim of motivating that person to eliminate performance deficiencies or to continue to perform above par. (pg 60, Human Resource Management)

Deciding what to include in a performance evaluation system can be frustrating, but experts advise keeping the process and paperwork as simple as possible. Some information that should be part of the appraisal process is listed below.

Goals should be set and agreed upon by both the manager and the employee.

Metrics for measuring the employees success in meeting those goals should be clearly articulated.

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The goals themselves should be flexible enough to reflect changing conditions in the economy and the workplace.

Employees should be able to think of their managers as coaches who are there not to pass judgment, but to help them achieve success.

Employee involvement. It is important to keep open communication between management and employees.

• An appraisal should also be consistent. Make sure appraisals are given to all employees and on a set time annually.

• Ratings scale appropriate to the organization.

• Space for employees self-appraisal.

• Space for supervisors appraisal.

• Space for specific comments from the supervisor about the employees performance.

• Suggestions for employee development.

• Objectives to meet by the next appraisal date.

I had six of my co-workers fill out a survey about our appraisal at AT&T. Question number one asks, “I received a timely performance appraisal.” I had 4 respondents agree with the statement and respondents disagree. Question number two is, “I received a fair performance appraisal.” Two respondents disagree, while one strongly agrees and the three other respondents agree with the statement. Question number three asks, “My performance appraisal results were what I anticipated.” I had two respondents disagree and the other four agree to this question. The fourth question asks, “My performance appraisal was measured against my job description/duties/expectations.” Two respondents disagree and four agree with this statement. The final question of this survey states, “I was provided recommendations for improvement during my performance appraisal.” One respondent strongly disagrees and another disagrees while four respondents agree with the statement. By looking at the results of the survey it appears that about 60% of the respondents are satisfied with the appraisal procedure and approximately 40% are not.

With this information we can conclude that there are some communication gaps between management and staff. Although, this survey was on a small scale we can see that only 60% of the employees are satisfied with the current appraisal process at AT&T. Supervisors or managers can then work on getting input from employees on specific areas that they feel need improvement.

Why are appraisals important? There are four reasons, first appraisals provide information upon which promotion or salary decisions can be made. Second, they provide an opportunity for management and subordinates to review the subordinate’s work-related behavior. This in turn let’s both management and subordinates develop a plan for correcting any deficiencies in the appraisal might have unearthed and reinforce the things being done right. Third, the appraisal is part of the company’s career planning process, because it provides an opportunity to review the person’s career plans in light on his or her own exhibited strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, appraisals can help a manager improve his/her skills and also improve the company or organization’s performance. (pg 6, Human Resource Management)

Appraisals are vital to an organization, when appropriately done/processed they help close the gap between senior management, the organization and their employees. Appraisals can be used as tools by managers to focus on issues that might have been overlooked otherwise if not for the information provided by employees on quarterly or yearly basis. Employees can communicate their suggestions, career plans, work-related problems and management can follow up on these topics and make needed changes or improvements within the organization.

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