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One of the strengths of the company’s appraisal system is the motivation and encouragement effect it has on employees. Since the objectives to be achieved are set prior to beginning of the employment, the employee is able to use them as a driving force while doing his job.
Thus, the strength of the method is manifested by the fact that employees are motivated with the knowledge that they will be rewarded if they achieve the set goals. This also is an advantage to the company since in the long term it will end up achieving its targets and goals (Kantola, Armstrong & Conley, 2003).
The appraisal method applied by Mills Company also aids the company to identify under performers and eliminate them. An employee like Carpenter who is always showed such poor performance might not have been identified had it not been for the appraisal method. With the appraisal method, the company was able to know that Carpenter was not achieving the objectives set for him.
This is an advantage to both the company and the employee since any possible losses by the company are minimized. On the other hand, the employee is able to note his or her weak points and find ways of improving on them (Smither, 1998).
The appraisal method also facilitates employee growth and development. The Mills Company sets and outlines the expectations and objectives of positions into an agreement before commencement of employment. This can be a growth and development factor as it helps employees strive to reach their full potential. This is a positive implication for both the employee and employer since the former develops professionally while the latter succeeds in its general plan and objectives.
In my opinion, one of the main weaknesses the approach has is discouragement of employees. While some other employees might be encouraged to work more and more to achieve their goals, others like Carpenter might just end up being discouraged due the unpleasant experience of having to be supervised always and being forced to work hard to achieve set objectives.
This is due to the fact that some employees just like dong their job at their own peace and pleasure, which is very harmful to the company’s performance. Discouragement can also be very harmful to the company because with discouraged employees the company is sure to have poor performance, just like the case in Mills Company.
In my opinion, the company’s approach might also have created a stressful environment for some of the employees, like Carpenter. With every time being reminded that he still wasn’t improving in his work and having a negative report being produced about him every time and again might also have contributed to his poor performance.
Mill Company’s approach is subject to biasness to the fact that it is based on human assessment. Take for example Carpenter’s supervisors, Henry and Crane. The two, with no other consultation, prepared all Carpenter’s reports and assessments. Though not necessary, the supervisors might just have been biased towards Carpenter. This is a very serious weakness of the system since it can lead to lay off innocent employees.
The approach is also time consuming and tedious, a feature that reduces its effectiveness. Take for example when Carpenter was being recruited in the company. A lot of time was spent while Carpenter and his supervisor then, Henry Castagnera, agreed on the objectives and performance metrics of Carpenter’s position.
When carpenter was demoted to a lower position, still more time was spent while forming his new objectives and performance standards. A lot of time is also required to assess the employee’s performance and write down his report. This can also be very costly to the company due to the many meetings that have to be held to assess the employee’s performance (Aguinis, 2012).
Yes I do agree with Lance Amato’s observation that carpenter should have terminated earlier. This is because according to the record, carpenter never made any improvement since he joined the company. He was just so poor in his work. Note that not even once did he get a positive remark from his supervisors. In my opinion, it was just out of pity that the company continued employing him while he was generating no good service to the company.
This is because though pardoned many times and not terminated, Carpenter still made no improvement. In my opinion, since the company was keeping all his records, it should have studied his performance from the start and noted how his graph was moving. After noting that it was just a falling graph, Carpenter should have been given just one opportunity to make an improvement failure of which he should have been terminated immediately.
Probably had he been dismissed earlier the company could have been saved from experiencing some losses and poor performance, though we are not told that such occurred (Smither, 1998).
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I think that Carpenter will not prevail in his charges against Mills. This is because the charges that he filed are null, void, and do not hold according to the legislation relevant for performance appraisals (Aguinis, 2012). To begin with, he claims unfair performance appraisal. This is not true since Mills appraisal was formulated according to the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which states that proper appraisals should be documented, and there should be a consistent application of performance standards.
His claim of age discrimination will also not succeed because Carpenter was not discriminated by Mills in any way. The Age Discrimination Employment Act states that for this claim to succeed, an employee must have been discriminated because of his/her age with respect to any term of employment. Such include, hiring, firing promotion, layoff, and benefits among others. None of these happened to carpenter, thus all are false allegations.
His claim on negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress will fail because there might have been emotional distress inflicted. It might as well have been self-inflicted since the same appraisal system was being used on all other employees and such complains had not been raised by any other employee.
The only Carpenters claim that might succeed against Mills is that of lack of an appeal process for employees against the appraisal approach. Take for example in the case of Bob crane, the second supervisor of Carpenter. He just formulated the objectives on his own and brought them to carpenter. In my opinion, Carpenter should have also been given a chance to contest the objectives, which he thought were too difficult for him to achieve.
Elements of a legally defensible performance appraisal system
A legally defensible performance appraisal should be in writing and should contain the specific procedures to be followed. It must also specify the documentation to be used and the specific instructions for supervisors. There should be proper training for the supervisors on how to evaluate and administer the system.
An objective should be established and standardized forms of related groups of employees should be used. The system should also be thoroughly communicated to employees and be given to them formally at least every once in a year. Finally, the system should be reviewed periodically to ensure it is right and up to date.
Aguinis, H. (2012). Performance Management. Boston: Pearson.
Kantola, S., Armstrong, T. & Conley, J. (2003). Performance appraisals: getting results. London: Kantola Productions,
Smither, J. W. (1998). Performance Appraisal: state of the art in practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998.