An appraisal is the analysis of the performance of a specific person, which usually includes assessment of the individual’s current and past work schedule. Commonly speaking, there are two major reasons for the appraisal process. The first is the management purpose, which system making decisions about pay, promotions and careers. The second is about identifying the development use of individuals.
CONTROL OBJECTIVE OF APPRAISALS
In last few years, there has been a drive against linking the appraisal of employees to the strategic objectives of an organization. The scheme is that the organization sets its own goals and performance measures. These goals are then translated into goals for managers and employees. Measurable targets are determined and set for employees, and their performance against the targets will be used as item of their appraisal.
Appraisal is, therefore, seen as part of management system control. By measuring the work performance of employees against targets, management is seen to be proactively managing the performance of staff member and therefore improving the performance of the organization.
While such an approach may appear rational and thoughtful, in practice it is very unpopular with staff member, who do not like to feel they are being controlled. It can also be criticized for trying to make a complicated relationship between employees and managers appear to be too easy. In practice, however, such control models are the most famous models of assessment.
DEVELOPMENTAL OBJECTIVES OF APPRAISALS
The second way in which the appraisal system can support achievement in management process is by identifying the development needs of employ and managers. A few organizations use a development center, where a specific personal is assessed, often by a qualified business psychologist, psychometric against the required competencies for his role. Personal development plans are then made to develop the individual in areas where weaknesses are recognized.
DIFFICULTIES IN APPRAISAL
In assessing employees, managers are required to make judgments about an employee’s performance and capabilities. Such judgments are naturally subject to potential bias in favor of some and against others. There are many statistics showing how prejudice may affect the promotional prospects of some groups. In the UK, for example, 40% of the workforce are women, but only 30% of managers are women.
Another difficulty is the effect that negative criticism can have on performance. Study carried out in the 1960s by Kay, Meyer and French (3) investigated the impact of the appraisal process at a factory in the US. The study concluded that where staff is given criticism, they react defensively to the criticism and try to blame others for their shortcomings. They will also become DE-motivated. Interestingly, praise given during the process had small impact on performance.
One possible solution to the complicated mentioned above in relation to appraisal is to be aware that, in addition to the formal appraisal technique, employees receive continuous informal feedback from their managers on the job. Employees normally accept this informal feedback more readily, and it is more likely to lead to improvement in their performance. Placing more highlight on this informal type of assessment, and less on the formal appraisal process, may improve the overall performance of employees.
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