Employee appraisal is an important part of any organization and calls upon the management to clearly tailor defined rating methods to appropriately rate their employees based on their performance and other requirements for fairness. A review of the company’s rating criteria reveals that it has fallen short of a reliable employee appraisal method with specific points of concern particularly in appraising the new engineer .These points of concern are uniquely characterized by the rating scale used in the evaluation process.
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The first point of concern includes the engineer’s clashing personality and relationship with fellow employees. That is particularly evident from the frequent manner in which the engineer and fellow workmates clash and the manner in which other employees play practical jokes with the engineer.
This is summed up in the personality of the engineer. In addition to that, the engineer seems standoff with fellow employees deserving a medium rating. The second point of concern is neatness. As a characteristic with engineering jobs, the engineer’s table is always cluttered with a pile of memos a pile of papers qualifying the engineer for a low –medium rating. The third point of concern is the attitude.
The engineer seems to have a positive attitude towards work and completes tasks on time, but has a poor attitude towards co-workers. So the manager is in a dilemma on how to rate the engineer given the fact that since the engineer first reported in the new station there were drastic improvements in the manufacturing company. For the first time, there were improvements where the cost of production went down and a significant removal; of safety hazards not previously attended to.
Elements to be evaluated in an appraisal form based on the 360 degrees evaluation approach include the engineer’s individual skills. Based on the case study, the engineer has excellent skills which are evident from the benefits the company has experienced in the short time the engineer has been in the new station.
The engineer is certainly proficient in executing assigned tasks within the company. Another element to be evaluated is the engineers’ knowledge and the extent to which the engineer show familiarity with the tasks and working environment. The final element to be evaluated in the behavior of the engineer and not the personality traits that have been erroneously used in the evaluation criteria. Behavioral patterns that relate to the environment are critical factors to be evaluated as such (Employee Appraisal, 2005).
A number of advantages are experienced when using the same evaluation criteria for all employees. These include the use of a bipolar approach which is most times structured besides being of a similar standard.
Each employee is subjected to the same responses, and the responses are always in relation to one’s area of specialization. In addition to that, the employees’ evaluation process does not reflect any bias when a similar evaluation criterion is used. Besides that, the evaluation method does not show bias against race or any creed and is seen to be fair to all employees.
Employees are likely to feel that the evaluation criteria are standard and do not incorporate biasness. In addition to that, empirical documentation of scores ensures the validity and reliability of the appraisal method. If compensation and motivation is based on the evaluation criteria, then fairplay will be seen as applicable to all employees irrespective of their position in the organization. Another advantage is that a common evaluation criterion considers only areas of evaluation that are common across each department.
Disadvantages to this approach include the inability to factor critical issues relevant and unique to specific departments such as an engineering department and a marketing department. These areas are characterized by unique job descriptions and job analysis that calls upon different approaches of working under these departments.
Therefore, the approach is likely to raise dissatisfaction among employees from different departments if a similar criterion is used to evaluate them. In addition to that, a similar evaluation criteria is likely to spark conflicts in terms of performance particularly when an organization adopts a job rotation as a motivational and job enlargement approach, where other employees feel they have performed better than the others.
By comparison of any two of the three points, that is personality, neatness, and attitude, personality and attitude are compared here. Neatness is a strong common value for evaluation as even any engineer is called upon to be neat in all duties. It is also a common requirement in all other departments irrespective of the specific work for that department.
On the other hand, attitude is a personal attribute that can be influenced by a number of other external factors besides internal organizational factors. Therefore, comparatively, neatness is the strongest of the two evaluation approaches.
That is also based on special needs that are unique to an engineering department. Organization forms the next element in the set. Organization is characterized by the manner in which employees can be rated on their abilities to show overall leadership in scheduling their work, planning and achieving results. In addition to that, it also includes ability to achieve departmental goals and objectives within the required time schedule.
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In the evaluation process, is important to include supervisors, peers, and subordinates. This is so because of the advantages associated with the 360 degrees evaluation approach. Among the advantages realized when using this method is the ability to mobilize the workforce to register an improvement in the performance of team members.
The next advantage is that the evaluation criteria is inclusive of all organizational employees spanning the administrators and peers in the organizational hierarchy. In addition to that, the evaluation method significantly avoids personal bias. This method is seen as an objective way of evaluating employees.
It has been argued that one key advantage of this method is that specific areas of improvements can be easily identified in the evaluation process and difficult tasks can be identified in the process of conducting reviews that are carried out regularly within an organization. Other advantages include the ability for employees to conduct a self evaluation and identify areas to be improved.
Each employee in this evaluation process acts a basis for the evaluation process. However, the 360 degrees evaluation process suffers from a number of disadvantages (Performance management practitioner series, 1997).
One of the disadvantages is that the process focuses on personal traits making the evaluation process subjective rather than objective. In addition to that, it has been demonstrated that personal biasness can encroach upon the evaluation process particularly if personal differences exist between employees in the same department.
The inability to distinguish between good and bad performance may also get into the evaluation process making employees not to be sure of the best approach to use to improve their ratings. Hence, the process is said to be highly subjective. Other disadvantages include the central tendency problem and the similar-to-me problem. The similar-to-me problem is based on the fact that other employees may develop the tendency to evaluate others based on their individual feelings of competence (Jensen, 1997).
The three performance evaluation methods to compare and contrast in this discussion include the graphic rating method, the global method, and the hallo effect.
The graphic rating method in based on the fact that employees can be rated on a scale of outstanding performance, followed by above average on the same scale, then satisfactory performance, then a below average scale, and finally on the same scale unsatisfactory performance (Employee Appraisal, 2005). On the other hand, the global method is closely similar to the graphic method.
The difference is that the global method can be biased. The essay method is characterized essay writing. The person performing an appraisal on an individual writes an essay on the consistence of the skills of the employee, the writing skills of the employee, the quality of work of the employee, job performance, and team work. The latter method gives the appraising party freedom to describe the person being appraised.
The graphical scale suffers from the disadvantage of the possibility of introducing biasness into the rating process. On the other hand, the global method is little recommended as the employer may not have an idea of the specific areas where the appraised person is required to make improvements on (Jensen, 1997).
Some of the examples of at least three errors that commonly impact the accuracy of performance evaluations are discussed here. One of them is the central tendency effect. This method is characterized by the tendency to rate employees on average values rather than using extreme values to avoid the possibility of getting criticized.
Another error likely to impact on the scaling of employees is the leniency effect that can either be positive or negative. This has the overall effect of rating employees above or below their actual ratings. The negative or positive leniency effect is likely to cause biasness in rankings as the appraiser looks at self as the benchmark to apprise others. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate techniques to improve the performance of the given situation.
These techniques can only be used depending on the number of employees working within an organization, the actual size of the organization, the number of employees and the job description of each employee.
In addition to that, organizational resources, organizational objectives, the complexity of the operating environment, the cost of investment and benefits that may accrue from the use of a specific appraisal method significantly contribute to the specific option of using a specific appraisal method (Employee Performance Appraisal. Good Practice Guide, n.d).
Other methods and techniques used include the critical incident method, the traits format technique, and anchoring method that may be specific to specific needs of the company. These methods are specific to a specific situation as every aspect of a situation is addressed with a specific method.
Employee Appraisal. (2005). Acas. Web.
Employee Performance Appraisal. (n.d). Good Practice Guide. Web.
Jensen, J. Employee Evaluation (1997). It is dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Web.
Performance management practitioner series. (1997). [Pdf document]. Web.