Performance appraisal

by S.Dippali

Meaning of performance appraisal :
In simple terms, appraisal may be understood as the assessment of an individual¶s performance in a systematic way, the performance being measured against such factors as job knowledge, quality, and quantity of output, initiative, leadership abilities, supervision, dependability, cooperation, judgment, health, and the like. Assessment should not be confined to past performance alone. Potentials of the employee for future performance must also be assessed.

DEFINITIONS OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:
A formal definition of performance appraisal is: ³It is the systematic evaluation of the individual with respect to his or her performance on the job and his or her potential for development.´

A more comprehensive definition is: ³Performance appraisal is a formal, structured system of measuring and evaluating an employee¶s job related behaviors and outcomes to discover how and why the employee is presently performing on the job and how the employee can perform more effectively in the future so that the employee, organization, and society all benefit.´

Characteristics of an appraisal system
Some of the important considerations in designing a performance appraisal system are:  Goal The job description and the performance goals should be structured, mutually decided and accepted by both management and employees.  Reliable and consistent Appraisal should include both objective and subjective ratings to produce reliable and consistent measurement of performance. 

Practical and simple format The appraisal format should be practical, simple and aim at fulfilling its basic functions. Long and complicated formats are time consuming, difficult to understand, and do not elicit much useful information. Regular and routine While an appraisal system is expected to be formal in a structured manner, informal contacts and interactions can also be used for providing feedback to employees.  Participatory and open An effective appraisal system should necessarily involve the employee's participation, usually through an appraisal interview with the supervisor, for feedback and future planning. During this interview, past performance should be discussed frankly and future goals established. A strategy for accomplishing these goals as well as for improving future performance should be evolved jointly by the supervisor and the employee being appraised. Such participation imparts a feeling of involvement and creates a sense of belonging. Rewards - both positive and negative - should be part of the performance appraisal system. Otherwise, the process lacks impact. 

Feedback should be timely Unless feedback is timely, it loses its utility and may have only limited influence on performance. Impersonal feedback Feedback must be impersonal if it is to have the desired effect. Personal feedback is usually rejected with contempt, and eventually de-motivates the employee. Feedback must be noticeable The staff member being appraised must be made aware of the information used in the appraisal process. An open appraisal process creates credibility. Relevance and responsiveness Planning and appraisal of performance and consequent rewards or punishments should be oriented towards the objectives of the programme in which the employee has been assigned a role. For example, if the objectives of a programme are directed towards a particular client group, then the appraisal system has to be designed with that orientation.  Commitment Responsibility for the appraisal system should be located at a senior level in the organization so as to ensure commitment and involvement throughout the management hierarchy.

Performance appraisal methods:

I. Performance appraisal methods 1. Critical incident method The critical incidents for performance appraisal is a method in which the manager writes down positive and negative performance behavior of employees throughout the performance period 2. Weighted checklist method This method describe a performance appraisal method where rater familiar with the jobs being evaluated prepared a large list of descriptive statements about effective and ineffective behavior on jobs 3. Paired comparison analysis Paired comparison analysis is a good way of weighing up the relative importance of options. A range of plausible options is listed. Each option is compared against each of the other options. The results are tallied and the option with the highest score is the preferred option.

4. Graphic rating scales The Rating Scale is a form on which the manager simply checks off the employee¶s level of performance. This is the oldest and most widely method used for performance appraisal. 5. Essay Evaluation method This method asked managers / supervisors to describe strengths and weaknesses of an employee¶s behavior. Essay evaluation is a nonquantitative technique This method usually use with the graphic rating scale method. 6. Behaviorally anchored rating scales This method used to describe a performance rating that focused on specific behaviors or sets as indicators of effective or ineffective performance. It is a combination of the rating scale and critical incident techniques of employee performance evaluation.

7. Performance ranking method Ranking is a performance appraisal method that is used to evaluate employee performance from best to worst. Manager will compare an employee to another employee, rather than comparing each one to a standard measurement. 8. Management By Objectives (MBO) method MBO is a process in which managers / employees set objectives for the employee, periodically evaluate the performance, and reward according to the result. MBO focuses attention on what must be accomplished (goals) rather than how it is to be accomplished (methods)

It is,thus,a kind of goal setting and appraisal programme involving six steps: 1. Set the organisation goals 2. Set departmental goals 3. Discuss departmental goals 4. Define expected results 5. Performance reviews 6. Provide feedback 9. 360 degree performance appraisal 360 Degree Feedback is a system or process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. This post also include information related to appraisal methods such as 720, 540, 180«

10.Forced ranking (forced distribution) Forced ranking is a method of performance appraisal to rank employee but in order of forced distribution. For example, the distribution requested with 10 or 20 percent in the top category, 70 or 80 percent in the middle, and 10 percent in the bottom. 11. Behavioral Observation Scales Behavioral Observation Scales is frequency rating of critical incidents that worker has performed.

Problems in performance appraisal: 
   
Problems with leniency and strictness Problems with central tendency Problems with personal prejudice Problems with halo effect Problems with recent performance effect

Solutions : 
Role description Qualities needed to perform the roles Rating mechanisms Rating by others Tests Games records

Performance appraisal interview
1. What is performance appraisal interview Performance appraisal interview is an interview that conduct between HR dept/manager and employee per year/6 months, 3 months and The employee gets useful feedback information about how effectively and efficiently he is able to discharge the assigned duties. It also gives the opportunity to employee to explain his views about the ratings, standards, rating methods, internal and external causes for low level of performance. 2. Purpose of performance appraisal interview ‡ To provide an opportunity for employees to express themselves on performance-related issues. ‡ To help employees do a better job by clarifying what is expected of them. ‡ To let employees know where they stand. ‡ To strengthen the superior-subordinate working relationship by developing a mutual agreement of goals. ‡ To plan opportunities for development and growth

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