The company’s current evaluation process poses three concerns: employee personality as opposed to employee work results, measuring skills with uniformity and accuracy, and using the evaluation process to enhance professional growth (Bacal, 2007). In this regard, the company’s current evaluation process is concerned with employee personality rather than work results. For example, the engineer’s personality is given more weight during evaluation rather than the safety measures he/she introduced in the company. In addition, the evaluation process does not measure workers skills with accuracy and uniformity. For example, the engineer is rated poorly despite the expertise possessed. Lastly, the process discourages workers and limits for professional growth. For example, the engineer is highly discouraged and poorly rated despite his/her outstanding performance; therefore, with low ratings the engineer can hardly get promotion.
The commonly used criteria for performance evaluation include achievement, trait and intuitive criteria (Bacal, 2007). Firstly, achievement criterion measures employee’s performance with respect to the set company goals. In this case, it measures the level of employee achievement against performance targets set by the company. For example, the manager recognizes the engineer’s creativity and decent work in proposing new safety measures that helped reduce health hazards in the company. Secondly, intuitive criterion uses perception to evaluate employees. In the company, the manager tries to explore the best method to evaluate the engineer. Therefore, the criterion used depends on the manager’s perception of the best method. Lastly, trait criterion emphasizes the evaluation of employees against set qualities. For example, the evaluation of the engineer based on the qualities he/she displays when interacting with other employees.
, trait criteria emphasize on evaluating a worker against certain traits (Grote, 1996). For example, the traits the engineer portrays when interacting with other staff members is considered during the evaluation process.
The three performance criterions have identifiable differences and similarities. Firstly, achievement appraisal criterion is concerned with how well a worker has achieved the set goal of the organization, but does not concern itself with other job aspects unlike the trait criterion which examines traits exhibited by a worker in the job (Hickman, 2001). Both methods aim at improving employee performance. For example, trait approach identifies worker’s traits which can make one achieve the organization goals. This is to some extent is similar to achievement of goals criteria. The intuitive criterion is related to trait criteria; this is because the supervisor evaluates workers behavior based on perception of what is essential for the job. However, there are no standard set traits for evaluating the employee (Goel, 2008).
Achievement appraisal criterion evaluates worker against the set objectives. Therefore, the evaluation is objective as opposed to subjectivity. However, assessing the individual employee results is challenging. On the other hand, trait approach identifies the traits of employees over a given time; thus, it considers both the process and goal attainment. Lastly, intuitive appraisal criterion has the merit of involving the supervisor in brainstorming for the best evaluation method in the context of the job (Goel, 2008).
The use of peers, subordinates, and supervisors are critical to the performance evaluation process. Firstly, it helps in eliminating halo effect, recency and leniency biases that may negate the results of the performance appraisal. The inclusion of peers in the appraisal process makes assess of invisible qualities such as employee relationship with others of employees measurable. For example, peers are allowed to evaluate the engineer. In addition, involving the peers will make the evaluation process acceptable to the employees (Grote, 1996). Moreover, peers focus on work results of a given employee, rather than individual efforts especially in group tasks. On the other hand, inclusion of peers has a drawback in that they tend to be lenient to friends; thus, giving them high ratings. In addition, they rate poorly employees those they do not like. For example, the engineer is not popular and receives low ratings from co-workers. Inclusion of peers in the evaluation process consumes a lot of time (Grote, 1996).
Inclusion of subordinates in the evaluation process is critical in evaluating the effectiveness of the management. However, it may not be effective because of fear of reprisal. For example, this provides a tool to evaluate the manager who thinks on how to evaluate others in the company. Lastly, supervisors are highly objective in their evaluation of employee’s performance. The plant manager seeks different methods of evaluation the engineer. In this case, the manager considers the quality of work, interpersonal relationships, and engineer’s complaints. Positive compliments from supervisors serve to motivate employees. However, a supervisor posses a lot of power; therefore, employees behave well in the presence of the supervisor. This negates the results of the evaluation.
There are several methods of analyzing data from performance evaluation. Mainly, the methods used include the use of check list, graphical rating scales and critical incident method (Goel, 2008). The use of checklist involves the manager preparing several statements relating to employees behavior. The collected employee traits are compared with traits on the check list. The method has a drawback in that it is time consuming; since the manager has to distinguish negative and positive questions (Hickman, 2001). In critical incident method involves the manager preparing a set of statements that indicate the most effective trait and the lease effective trait. In addition, this is prepared in a considerable amount of time. The records are combined, and performance decision made based on the effective traits. In graphical rating scale, workers performance is done by rating them as fair, unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good or even outstanding. The rating scale may sometimes include traits which are considered essential for a given job (Goel, 2008).
Biases and errors negate the accuracy of performance appraisal. These biases include halo effect, recency bias and leniency bias. Recency bias emerges when the evaluation considers behaviors currently exhibited, but does not include behaviors shown several months ago. Halo effect results when an employee is rated high or low performance because of performing well or poorly in one activity. This is a common case where the evaluation indicates contradicting performance in unrelated events. For example, the engineer is rated highly for completing crucial task well, but poorly for poor attitudes towards coworkers. Lastly, leniency biases results from incorrect rationalization of the accurate performance by the evaluator. Biases can be minimized by the inclusion of several stakeholders in the evaluation process. For example, all employees in the plant should be included in the evaluation (Grote, 1996).
Performance evaluation can be improved through the application of various techniques and tools. Firstly, including aspects of self appraisal in the evaluation process is significant in eliminating feelings that others have evil motives in evaluation (Hickman, 2001). In the plant, all workers should be given self evaluation forms. Secondly, the process of deciding the best method to use in the performance evaluation should incorporate all stake holders in the company. In the company, the evaluation process should include the manager, the engineer, subordinates and all other stakeholders (Bacal, 2007).
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Hickman, S. (2001). How to conduct a performance appraisal. United States of America:
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