In an ideal world, the annual performance appraisal would impact positively employee performance, commitment and motivation. It would also create the perfect alignment between their efforts and the organizations they work for (King, 1984). Nevertheless, annual performance appraisals have the potential to create the opposite outcomes as employees become demoralized, angry and determined to contribute the minimum. In my experiences with performance appraisals, I have found out that many organizations commit a number of mistakes that ultimately lead to a failure of the performance appraisals. One of the major mistakes is giving feedback during performance appraisals. While working for a local hospital, I experienced such a situation. The hospital’s management gave feedback to employees’ performance on the very day of carrying out the annual performance appraisal. Most of the employees were full of anger as the feedback was mainly negative. Many of them were demoralized. Many leaders and managers fail to give feedback only to do so during performance appraisal meetings (Maddux, 2000). This feedback is usually negative and often has mixed reactions accompanying as employees do not know what to expect or rather become shocked with new revelations. In the case of the hospital I was working for, it would have been better if the direct supervisors provided feedback about performance whether good or bad on a regular basis. If the performance were good, they should have appreciated and motivated the employees to keep on with the good work, and if it were bad, they should have provided guidance on how to improve performance. By so doing, the managers would have avoided having information in the performance appraisals that was unfamiliar to the employees. This new information on performance appraisals is what leads to surprises during annual performance appraisals (King, 2000).
Any company or organization often invests a lot of resources to find with the necessary skills and qualifications. However, some of these employees fail to the professional performance standards and have to be released (Eaton & Keefe, 1999). Such action leads to ending an employee’s career and costs the organization more resources. Counseling is the process of providing enough, regular, open and honest feedback that would enable an employee quit before being fired (Eaton & Keefe, 1999). Counseling is designed to resolve issues that interfere with job performance. Employee counseling in most cases occurs when an employee fails to do their assigned work. Counseling becomes necessary in scenarios where there is a good employee with the wrong job, and cases of a wrong employee who is trying hard. It is usually necessary to document all areas of weakness and how measurement of improvement would be done so as to avoid the risk of wrongful termination. The employment at will is a doctrine that defines the employment relationship in which either of the parties can break the relationship without any liabilities. It is presumed that hiring is at will and hence employers are free to discharge employees for good or bad cause, or no cause at all. The employees are free to quit strike or cease work (Walsh, 2010). This principle may come into play in a case where an employee decides to quit before being fired by the employer. Under the employee right to due process, the rules of conduct should be announced in advance, be fair and impartial and administered fairly. An employee under counseling has the right to a due process before being disciplined by the employer (Walsh, 2010). The just cause principle states that the imposition of justice should be done fairly and legally. Employees have a right to a fair arbitration process and through which an improper discipline measure can or may be reversed. In the case of disciplining an employee, the facts should first be established then the due process followed.
Eaton, A. E., & Keefe, J. H. (1999). Employment dispute resolution and worker rights in the changing workplace. Champaign, IL: Industrial Relations Research Association.
King, P. (1984). Performance planning & appraisal: A how-to book for managers. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Maddux, R. B. (2000). Effective performance appraisals. Menlo Park, Calif: Crisp Publications.
Walsh, D. J. (2010). Employment law for human resource practice. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.