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By : Prashant Nair, Training Manager, ConvergeM Communication I Ltd
Activity:  3 comments  921 views  last activity : 07 06 2010 20:18:04 +0000
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PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL – Benefit & Blunders 


The employee Performance Appraisal enables the manager or the supervisor to identify, evaluate and develop an individual’s performance. It is a tool to encourage strong performers to maintain their high level of performance and to motivate poor performers to do better. It offers a chance for a supervisor and subordinate to have “time out” for a one-on-one discussion of important work issues that might not otherwise be addressed.

Performance Appraisal is a medium that provides recognition for an employee’s good work. The existence of an Appraisal program indicates to an employee that the organization is genuinely interested in their individual performance and development. This has a positive influence on the individual’s sense of worth, commitment and belonging.

Performance Appraisal offers an excellent opportunity, for a supervisor and subordinate to recognize and agree upon individual training and development. From the point of view of the organization as a whole, consolidated appraisal data can form a picture of the overall demand for training. This data may be analyzed by variables such as sex, department etc. in this respect, performance appraisal can provide a regular and efficient training needs audit for the entire organization.

Appraisal data can be used to monitor the success of the organization’s recruitment and induction practices. For example how well are the employees performing who were hired in the past two years? Appraisal data can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of changes in recruitment strategies. By following the yearly data related to new hires (and given sufficient numbers on which to base the analysis) it is possible to assess whether the general quality of the work force is improving staying steady or declining. Performance Appraisal not only results in a healthy interaction between the supervisor and the employee but also brings forth the problems of a job (if any), needs of a job, strengths and weaknesses of an employee, the training needs etc. The benefits of Performance Appraisal can be discussed under three headings.

Benefits for the employee

  • Gaining a better understanding of their role.
  • Understanding more clearly how and where they fit in within the wider picture.
  • Understanding of how performance is assessed and monitored.
  • Getting an insight into how their performance is perceived.
  • Improving and understanding their strengths, weaknesses and developmental needs.
  • Identifying ways to improve employee performance.
  • Providing an opportunity to discuss and clarify developmental and training needs.
  • Understanding and agreeing to their objectives for the next year.
  • Discussing career direction and prospects.

The above if done in true spirit encourages employee satisfaction.

Benefits to the line manager/supervisor/team leader

  • Opportunities to hear and exchange views and opinions away from the normal pressure of work.
  • Identifying potential difficulties or weaknesses.
  • Understanding the resources available.
  • Planning for and setting objectives for the next period.
  • Thinking about and clarifying each ones role in the team.
  • Planning for achieving improved performance.
  • Planning for further delegation and coaching.
  • Motivating members of the team.

Benefits to the organization

  • Identifying and assessing potential.
  • Gathering information regarding the expectations and aspirations of employees.
  • Analyzing information to improve decisions about promotions and motivation.
  • Reviewing succession plan.
  • Assessing training needs which forms the base for developing training plans.
  • Updating of employee records (achievements, new competencies).
  • Career counseling.

In reality, many managers handle performance appraisals quite poorly. The result is not only an unpleasant meeting, but one where the manager and his/her staff members never quite appreciate the other’s point of view, and never appreciate the other’s point of view, and never quite settle an appropriate goals for the coming year. It’s almost inevitable that the staff members will end up less happy, motivated and less motivated than what she/he was before. To make performance appraisal an enriching experience for both the employee and his supervisors, the supervisor should remember not to make the following 5 mistakes:

  •  
    1. Waiting for the performance appraisal to give feedback

This is a very commonly committed blunder. It’s where a manager falls to give someone adequate feedback on their performance during the year, and then dumps it on them in the performance appraisal meeting. Unfortunately, the feedback is almost always negative, so the employee ends up sitting there in shock- at best, wondering why his/her manager didn’t say something sooner, at worst, feeling unjustly victimized.

  •  
    1. Overemphasizing recent performances

It’s very natural to remember and give greater weight to recent events rather than earlier events. This can lead to an inaccurate and unfair assessment when it comes to reviewing an employee’s performance. The manager must take notes of an employee’s work throughout the year.

  •  
    1. Being too positive or too negative

Some manager’s feel uncomfortable giving negative feedback and consequently, can omit to give employees the constructive criticism they need to improve. And then there are other managers who are instinctively too negative, leaving the employee wondering if they can do anything right. As a manager, appraising an employee’s performance, he should give an honest opinion, so that the employee understands and appreciates the manager’s view.

  •  
    1. Being critical without being constructive

Some managers can be too critical and neglect to provide any constructive advice on how an employee can improve. This doesn’t help the employee or the manager. In order to refrain the employee from feeling victimized, the manager should validate his criticism by giving reasons and improvement tips.

 

  •  
    1. Talking and not listening

The final big mistake that the managers make in a performance appraisal is, doing too much talking and not enough listening. Performance Appraisal meeting are meant to be interactive- where the manager doesn’t simply rely on his/her own appraisal of the employees performance but also listens to the employee’s viewpoint and his feedback of the job. 

In truth, managers who seek to influence the performance of their employees need not always have the support of an elaborate corporate system. The most effective performance management approaches build on a strong communication system that is transparent; exemplifies high standards and trust. In a nutshell Performance Appraisal is a legitimate employee evaluation and feedback system which makes the system and working of a company more transparent and goal-oriented. It is not just a process to review an employee’s performance but also an opportunity that can give the employee, the required motivation to do better and the superior a feedback on the problems
 Top Comment : Bandi Kanna   | 06 24 2008 03:36:41 +0000
Well written Prashant. Great job and thanks a ton for sharing. this will be very useful for all specially Functional managers. Thanks Bandi
 
3 comments on "PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL – Benefit & Blunders "
  Commented by  Hardik Patel, Team Lead (Staffing and Recruitment), Rishabh Softwares Pvt. Ltd. / Rishi Infotech Pvt. Ltd    | 07 28 2008 07:14:20 +0000
Good One
  Commented by  MANUDEV SINGHMAR, Solution Manager- Haryana, ICICI Bank Ltd    | 06 24 2008 04:13:59 +0000
Rating : +3 
Prashant it is helpful to all function manager accross the sectors.
  Commented by  Bandi Kanna, Head/VP/GM-Corporate Planning/Strategy Almasa Facility Services LLC    | 06 24 2008 03:36:41 +0000
Rating : +3 
Well written Prashant. Great job and thanks a ton for sharing.
this will be very useful for all specially Functional managers.
Thanks 
Bandi
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