Project Performance Management | Performance Appraisal | Performance Management


Performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.

Performance Management The purpose of performance management is to improve

communication about performance between an employee and his supervisor. The performance management system at Wellesley

College is designed to provide alignment between the College’s mission, constituent needs and performance expectations. program fosters ongoing two-way communication The


employees and managers; supports the development of clear, consistent, and measurable goals linked directly to Wellesley’s core values and competencies; helps to articulate and support training needs and career development; and establishes the criteria for making reward and recognition decisions.

It is the responsibility of every supervisor to communicate on an ongoing basis with their employees. These conversations should

provide clear and honest role expectations and feedback and should help identify improvement and development. Each employee has a responsibility to participate fully in these conversations, be sure they understand their role responsibilities and expectations, and

communicate any obstacles or training needed in order to perform their role at an optimum level.

The Performance Management Process Performance management should be happening all year long. When a manager compliments an employee for a job well done or coaches an employee through a difficult situation that is part of performance management.

Wellesley’s performance management process includes a summary review assessment that should bring closure to the performance period and provide a basis for performance management for the next period.

The following suggestions set the stage for a productive discussion.


Establish the proper climate.

Create a sincere, open and constructive atmosphere.

• Schedule the meeting in advance and stick to it. • Allow enough time to discuss the review. • Locate a private space and guard against interruptions.


Make it clear that this is a joint discussion.

• Listen and ask for the employee’s opinion. • Avoid words or body language that criticizes the employee’s view. • Understand your employee’s point of view. Working together is better than being at odds. • Be willing to modify the Performance Management Document to reflect what is discussed and agreed upon at the meeting.








requirements. • Explore the competencies required for successful performance. • Update the role document if needed.


Discuss goals for the performance review period.

• Review whether the goals were met. • Discuss obstacles and roadblocks that affected goal



Discuss opportunities for growth and development in the

current role or a different role. • Discuss the employee’s developmental and career goals.

Remember there is also the opportunity for growth and development within the current role. There are new things to be done and more effective and efficient ways to accomplish work.

Remember, performance management is about ongoing two-way communication between the employee and their supervisor. The

annual performance management review should be a summary of various meetings throughout the year (interim goal reviews/updates). There should be no surprises at this summary meeting.

Annual Performance Management Discussions Tips for the Employee Employees have a responsibility in the performance management process and should be prepared to give feedback to their manager. • Review your current role document. Does it reflect your current role in the department? If not, discuss with your supervisor about revising your role document. • Review your goals for the year. Have they been met? Review your achievements. Think about obstacles/roadblocks you encountered and how you dealt with them.

• Is there anyone else your supervisor should speak with before preparing your evaluation? Let your supervisor know this before the review meeting.

Review the competencies required for administrative staff positions. Identify specific areas of expertise or skills that you would l like to develop or improve. Identify your strengths. In what areas have you improved? Can you identify any developmental goals for the coming year ?

What ideas do you have for changes that would help you perform your role better and/or improve the operation of the department? Think about obstacles/roadblocks that you face in performing your responsibilities and what help is needed from your supervisor to overcome them.

• If









develop/strengthen your staff’s performance and skills?

Tips for the Supervisor The supervisor is responsible for ongoing communication about performance throughout the year. Performance problems should be addressed as they occur. There should be no surprises in the end-ofthe-year summary. The supervisor is responsible for preparing the summary documentation.

• Review the employee’s role document. Does it reflect their current role in the department?

• Review the primary position responsibilities. Has the employee effectively performed these? What is your overall assessment of how these responsibilities were performed?

• Review the employee’s goals from last year. Were goals modified or changed during the review period? Have the goals been met? Have you been able to provide the employee with the tools and support to get the job done?

• Review last year’s appraisal. How does this year compare to last year? Have there been improvements?

• Consider whether you need to speak with anyone else in order to have a more complete and accurate picture of your employee’s performance.

Review the competencies required for administrative staff roles. Assess the employee’s strengths, weaknesses and areas of greatest improvement. Is there a specific area where you would like to establish a developmental goal?

What suggestions do you have for the employee that will help improve their performance in their role or the overall operations of the department?

• If the employee supervises others, discuss what he or she has done to strengthen their own staff. Ask about regular

communication of information, job expectations, and feedback.

• Contact the Human Resources Office for assistance if substantial performance issues exist.

Finalizing the Performance Management Document The supervisor is responsible for completing the final draft of the Performance Management Document and forwarding the completed document to Human Resources to become part of the employee’s personnel file. Send a hard copy so that signatures are included.

The supervisor should provide a copy of the final Performance Management Document to the employee.

The employee should sign the Performance Management Document. Signing the Performance Management Document indicates that the employee has met with their supervisor to provide input to the document, that they have reviewed the document, and that they have met with the supervisor to discuss it. The employee has the right to respond to the evaluation in writing. Tips on Ongoing, Effective Feedback Feedback involves treating each other with respect.

Constructive feedback tries to reinforce the positive and change the negative by: • Identifying what was done well or poorly. • Describing what action or behavior is desired. • Explaining the effects of the observed and desired acts of behavior. 1. Good feedback is timely. Give the feedback as quickly as possible after the event. Feedback long delayed is rarely effective.

2. Feedback involves both parties listening carefully. Check for clarity to ensure that the receiver fully understands what is being said.

3. Good feedback should be specific. Generalized feedback does not explain what behavior to repeat or avoid. Describe exactly what was done well and/or what could be improved. For example “. This report is well organized and the summary Clearly states your conclusions and than “Good report.” proposed actions” rather

4. Keep feedback objective.

Use factual records and information whenever possible. Include details that focus on specific actions and results rather than characteristics of the employee. For example, say “this happened” rather than “you are.” “You hung up the phone without

saying good-bye.” rather than “you are rude.”

5. Feedback about performance issues is best delivered in person. The employee will have a chance to respond to any issues raised. Especially avoid delivering negative feedback via e-mail messages.


Decides professional knowledge every HRD Staff member or facilitator should have some process skills. By process skills it is meant and understanding of human process in organizations. These processes include inter personal dynamics, personality and dynamic of individuals, organizational behaviour process, organizational health. Such human process competencies can be acquired through specialized skills in training. Even the managers should attend

regular training programmes. It is a good way to lay foundations for development. Another way to develop one’s own self is by

experimentation to the job and continuous review and reflection. HRD personnel can develop themselves by trying out new ideas, networking with fellow professionals and getting to know their work. Visiting other organizations and leaning from their experiences, consulting and being in touch with other line manager and leaning from them also.

Non-monetary ways to recognize and motivate employees

1. Thank employees for a job well done. Do not take good work for granted. 2. Provide meaningful feedback. 3. Find special assignments. 4. Offer opportunities for high visibility and notice by your supervisor. 5. Share information. Get employees involved. 6. Empower your employees. 7. Celebrate employees’ successes. 8. Provide opportunities for training.


1. Employees in organizations should start more initiatives and become pro active. 2. The employees should be able to solve programme on their own and refer them less frequently to the higher levels. 3. There should be more team spirit and collaboration. 4. There should be stronger identification with the organization and increased involvement in work. 5. There should be more and more creative ideas coming from employees with an increase in innovation at various levels. 6. The top management should become more sensitive to the problems and process due to increase openness in


7. People feel motivated to work and contribute as these are recognized and rewarded whenever possible by the top management. 8. Employees become more prepared to face challenges or crisis situation, the organization faces as they have competency to handle in the external environment.

THE EFFECTIVE APPRAISAL PROGRAM A. 1. 2. Characteristics of a good appraisal program include: A system of evaluating specific job functions; An established performance standard for each function being rated; 3. 4. Standards that they are specific, observable, and measurable; Communication of expected standards to each employee at the start of the appraisal 5. process

A system of documentation of performance to show why standards were met, not met, or exceeded;


A program of training supervisors in defining the levels of performance, documenting performance, preparing an evaluation, and conducting the appraisal interview;


A process by which employees can respond to the appraisal;


Recognition by supervisors that the primary purpose of the program is to motivate employees, to help with their personal development, and to help resolve problems. (The issue of discipline should be secondary).

9. B.

A process that does not overburden the supervisors. As stated previously, a part of each supervisor’s job should be to conduct effective appraisals and he/she should be evaluated on how well this is done.

PROBLEMS WITH APPRAISALS A. Many problems creep into appraisal systems causing them to lose their effectiveness. Among the more common are: 1. Use of vague terms which really say nothing specific about the supervisor’s expectations for performance. Examples include, “You need to do better,” “Your attendance problem needs to be

taken care of,” or “Keep up the good work.”


Use of subjective, emotional phrases which are based on Conclusions made by the supervisor and which may or may not be valid. Examples include, “You don’t have an interest in your job,” “He is lazy,” or “You have a bad attitude.” A supervisor needs to stay with specific, observed behaviors that are causing problems rather than trying to second guess the employee.


Failure to define expected standards of performance which often creates a difference in how an employee perceives the appraisal and what the supervisor intended.


Evaluating elements that are not a part of, or which are not significant to, the employee’s job.


Evaluating the employee on things over which he/she has no control.

TYPES OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS A. Ranking--This system involves comparing the performance of Each employee against the performance of all other employees in similar jobs. 1. Even in the absence of a formal appraisal system, supervisors tend to rank employees in their minds. 2. The following describes two of the more common methods of appraisal using the ranking method. a. Two employees are compared and the performance of one is ranked higher than the other. Another employee is compared to the first two and is either ranked above, below, or between the first two. Next, a fourth employee is compared to the three already ranked and either comes out above, below, or somewhere in the middle of the three. This goes on until all employees have been ranked. b. Each employee is compared to each other employee. The employee who, in the mind of the supervisor, is the better

worker gets a check mark. This process continues until all

comparisons are complete. The employee with the most check marks is the best performer, the one with the next highest number is second best, and so on until all employees fall into a relative ranking. 3. The advantages of the ranking method include simplicity, cost effectiveness, and time efficiency. However, it also has major disadvantages. a. Ranking is highly subjective and often is no more than a popularity contest based on a supervisor’s personal feelings about employees. b. Ranking does not address specific issues about an employee’s performance which makes it difficult to address problems or plan for the employee’s future development. c. The lack of specific issues also makes it practically worthless from alegally defensible point of view. d. In the appraisal interview, it is extremely difficult to justify the ranking to employees without any specific measurements of



Trait Scales--This method involves rating a series of job related characteristics against a pre-established scale.


The simplest trait scale systems list a series of job related characteristics (such as productivity, attendance, initiative etc.) and each is rated against a numerical scale, often 1 through 5.


More advanced trait scale systems define both the characteristics being rated and the different levels on the scale.

3. a. b. c. 4. a.

Advantages of trait scale systems include: Ease of preparation; Addressing specific job related characteristics; and Providing a visual look at the rating. Disadvantages of trait scales include: Failure to give clear definitions to specific standards and levels of performance.


Rating employees on characteristics not relevant to their jobs.


The tendency of raters to start at “average” and work outward which leads to inflated ratings.


Critical Incident--This system involves recording on-the-job behavior over a period of time and the rating is prepared from those notes. Performance Appraisals


Under this method, the supervisor keeps a diary of effective and ineffective job performance on each employee. At the end of the recording period, this information is used to produce an appraisal which is frequently in the form of one of the others discussed.

2. a.

Advantages of the critical incident method include: Basing the appraisal on actual, recorded incidents which makes it more legally defensible.


Covering the full appraisal period instead of concentrating on the most recent few weeks.


Ease in justifying the appraisal to employees since it is based

on factual information.

3. a.

Disadvantages include The tendency to record extreme behavior rather than representative performance;

b. c. d.

Encouraging too close supervision of employees; Creating an air of secrecy or “being watched”; The potential for recording a disproportionate number of positive incidents on employees liked by the supervisor and negative incidents on less favored employees;

e. f.

The amount of time involved in recording incidents. The potential for the NIGYYSOB situation at the appraisal interview since this system is not conducive to daily feedback.


Narrative--This system requires the supervisor to prepare a written narrative report on each employee’s performance at the end of the appraisal period.


This system gives the appraiser a great deal of flexibility in what to include in the report since structure and guidelines are usually minimal.

2. a.

The advantages of the narrative system include; The freedom of the appraiser to include a wide range of performance aspects allowing the appraiser to pick up unique or unusual features of the job.


The fact that the appraiser must give more serious thought to actual performance rather than just checking ratings on a scale.

3. a.

Disadvantages include: The fact that it is highly subjective and can be influenced by personal feelings about an employee. Performance Appraisals

b. c. 4.

The difficulty that some raters have in expressing themselves. The amount of time needed to prepare narrative ratings. Narrative appraisals are often included as part of other systems to give them more flexibility.


Criteria Based--In this system, performance ratings are tied directly to standards set for key essential job duties.


To be effective, job duties must be clearly defined and the standards established for each duty must be specific, observable, and measurable.

2. a.

Advantages to this system include: The use of clearly stated performance standards that the employee can understand and use to self evaluate his/her performance;


The fact that it is highly legally defensible since subjectivity is virtually removed from the rating.


The ability of the supervisor to objectively point out why the employee met, failed to meet, or exceeded the established standards.

3. a.

Disadvantages include: A problem in establishing standards for some duties that meet the requirements of being specific, observable, and measurable.


The fact that it is normally quite time consuming to develop such a system (Once established, however, it is not difficult to maintain).

c. VIII. A.

The difficulty in measuring some performance standards. APPRAISAL INTERVIEWS Preparation for the performance appraisal interview is extremely important and should include


Notifying the employees several days in advance as to when and where the appraisals will be conducted;


Taking steps to ensure that there will be no interruptions during the Interviews.

3. B.

Reviewing in advance what will be covered in each interview. It is important that the supervisor remember that the interview be viewed as a positive process.


An employee’s achievements and strengths should be recognized.


Areas in need of improvement should be openly discussed and the goal should be to determine how performance can be brought up to an acceptable standard.


The appraisal interview also provides the opportunity to discuss future career development with certain employees.


The interview should close with a discussion of the supervisor’s expectations of the employee during the next appraisal period.


Many interviewers like to start on a positive note by recognizing an employee’s strengths before discussing areas that need improvement. They then close with additional recognition of some strength the employee has.


Some of the problems that occur with appraisal interviews include:


Ignoring problem areas and only discussing the employee’s strong points.

2. 3.

Playing the NIGYYSOB game; Failing to let the employee ask questions or respond to the


4. 5.

Allowing the employee to take control of the interview; Discussing performance in broad or vague terms instead of being Specific.


Letting emotions get involved.




While periodic formal appraisals are important, day to day feedback is just as -- if not more -- important than the formal appraisal process.


The “One Minute Manager” concept of giving praise when it is earned and correcting problems as they occur is a good principle to follow.


Remember that employees should be praised in public and corrected in private.


As with formal appraisals, day to day feedback should be based on specific instances rather than broad statements.

X. A.

PROBLEM EMPLOYEES Sometimes a problem arises that needs to be addressed with an employee before the next formal appraisal.


If it is a minor problem with an employee who has a good work record, it can usually be corrected by counseling or a reprimand.

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