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Webster is a fabric manufacturing industry located on a 17-acre land on the outskirts of Georgia. The top managers and middle-level corporate are housed at the firms’ location in a refurbished farmhouse and a modernized office building respectively. The firm is in the process of lying off a huge number of employees.
A third of the region’s populace work at Webster, therefore the company is a major entity in community decision-making procedures where it acts dutifully by ensuring its employees accept their civic responsibilities. The company attracted highly educated personnel from various states and assisted in implementing various excellent resources, thus making the rural Georgia highly ranked compared to the other states.
Challenges at Webster Company
Webster Company has always faced strains relating to geographical distribution of operations. The company has always hired skilled managers preferably the MBAs since 1955 since Mark Webster pointed towards clear procedures of showing importance and need for respecting professionals.
Abe Webster, the current president has seen through immense expansions of the company especially establishment or trade relations with SMEs. The employees are motivated to work at Webster and are proud to have a link to a globally renowned and first-class company. They are proud to produce internationally recognized merchandise, have excellent work relations with management that ensured good rewards for productivity. The working conditions are also outstanding compared to potential competitors.
The rapid growth of the firm therefore enforces its ability to produce more, provide better challenges for its employees and provides employment/advancement opportunities for many people including Bob Cater. He has worked in various managerial positions including that of an assistant to President, Abe Webster during his over ten years experience at the company.
The company’s use of Human Resource ‘performance appraisal program’ ought to be a good information system mechanism to base the current layoffs, due to the clear-cut layouts of each employee’s performance developments, over the years/time worked for the company.
The layoff would adversely affect majority of the employees’ considering their view of the company attitude towards performance. The firm therefore rewards them through various social activities such as team building occasions, and employees consider that a ten years experience at the company is a guaranteed job offer.
Ike Davis who is in-charge of the lay-offs is quick to indicate possible employee’s disappointments especially those with over ten years of experience at the firm. The policies have always been of paternalism where all major decisions depended on the highest executive. According to Ulrich (137, 1997), the weakness of such an ‘open-door’ system is the loophole set for other to find favouring associations such as alluring top executive for underserved promotions.
Performance Appraisal System (PAS)
The aim of implementing ‘Performance Appraisal System’ (PAS) was to assist managers establish, attain goals and provide appraisal procedure for determining performance of employees. PAS would therefore assist in making decisions concern with promotions, demotions, lay-offs or ways of developing and nurturing responsibility among employees.
The role of executives from various departments especially Bob Carter whose department faces the higher lay-off effects is to establish achievement of these PAS roles since its implementation, without favouring a role more than the other roles.
Reasons for the elevated layoffs at Webster
The firm faces worker’s dismissal challenges due to need to conform to the harsh economic conditions such as slowed growth in the construction industries who are the main clients for Webster’s carpet business. Secondly, the firm has to cater for the high inflation rates that cause low sales, therefore leading to low company earning.
The economic changes have brought to light the need for Webster’s rapid change to accommodate the economic conditions. Currently, the company faces a challenge connected to its earlier poor control mechanisms over general growth. There were huge and fast diversification programs. The company therefore had sloppy staffing and thus ended with too many employees. Until recently, the company had poor performance evaluation procedures and found no need to demote or layoff its employees.
Failure of PAS to Oversee the Proposed Layoffs
The PAS is young, having been in operation for only the past three years. The system was voluntary, where auditors would collect data randomly. The system is also biased due to good rating for nearly every employee. The genuineness of data provided by employees on voluntary basis would compromise the rating or violate the confidential assurances.
The system lacks well-established performance evaluation procedures such as a measurement criterion. The management objectives involve planning for business goals and assignment of duties. Would performance achievement s focus on these duties? Lack of assigned duties for various departmental employees would compromise use of the criteria to evaluate performance.
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The action plan for the executives especially Bob Carter, whose department is highly affected should find other performance evaluation mechanisms other than depend on information from PAS. Working with the total production efficiency as the performance measurement criteria would favour those with experience in the firm.
The best procedure in this case would be evaluation of individual’s profiles for analysis of strengths and weaknesses in various dimensions, for instance comparing individual’s performance levels to his/her average or anticipated levels (Storey, 39, 2009).
Storey, J. (2009). The routledge companion to strategic human resource management. New York, NY: Routledge Publishers.
Ulrich, D. (1997). Human resource champions: The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.