Performance evaluation is a technique of determining the employee performance based on some given criteria to improve efficiency in the workplace (Guerra-Lopez, 2008). It is essential in ensuring that employees meet the expected standards of their work and meet organizational goals. In the given scenario, there are three points of concern with the current evaluation form. The first point of concern with the evaluation form is that it focuses more on the personality of the engineer than on his performance. The evaluation form focuses on the relationship the engineer has with other employees and his personality. The form evaluates the engineer’s friendliness, neatness of workspace, and attitude. However, an evaluation form should often focus on the employee job performance and quality of work at the workplace. Instead of evaluating the employee friendliness, the evaluation form should contain factors such as expertise of the employee on the job, ability to communicate effectively, and ability to accomplish tasks on time among others. This is a better approach to evaluating performance.
Another point of concern is that the evaluation form does not specifically point out the factors of performance. In the given company, the manager rates the engineer’s attitude based on completion of tasks and attitude towards other co-workers. The manager concludes by giving the engineer an overall low medium rating on attitude, yet the engineer seems to complete important tasks on time. The manger gives the engineer a low rating on attitude towards co-workers and failure to pay close attention when the manager is talking to the group. The evaluation form should be more specific to the characteristics measured so that the manager can take into account every characteristic in the rating. Finally, the third point is that the evaluation form does not use a measurable rating scale. The manager rates the engineer’s performance based on high, medium, or low. A measurable rating scale enables the manager to evaluate accurately an employee’s performance avoiding biases and errors. A measurable rating scale uses the criteria of outstanding for the highest score and unsatisfactory for the least score. This is a better approach in rating.
It is important to evaluate certain sets of criteria in performance evaluation. One set of criteria is cooperation with other employees. Performance evaluation should determine the ability of an employee to cooperate willingly with others in a team to achieve the expected organizational goals. This cooperation is then rated as outstanding or unsatisfactory. Another criterion is the quality of an employees’ work. This determines the employees’ neatness at the workplace, producing accurate results, the expertise of the employee on the job and thoroughness of work (Robbins& Judge, 2007). The employee should understand clearly the basics of the job to produce quality work.
Attitude is another criterion. It determines the employee’s interest in the work and towards other employees. A positive attitude is necessary for effective performance. The output of work produced under normal working conditions is an important criterion in performance evaluation. Accuracy, dependability and an employee’s diligence with work are also vital elements in evaluating performance. Time consciousness in a job is important in determining the performance of an employee in the organization.
It is important to integrate the various criteria to evaluate effectively an employee’s performance in the workplace. However, some factors are more essential than others are and are indispensable from the evaluation form. Cooperation of an employee is a crucial factor because to achieve organizational goals teamwork is necessary. Therefore, an employee who does not cooperate with co-workers should change.
Quantity of work is not as important as the quality of the same work. It is crucial to produce outstanding work because the overall rating of an organization depends on effectiveness of work. Without keeping time, an employee cannot be accurate in his or her work. Time consciousness and accuracy go together in evaluation. Attitude of an employee is equally important in evaluation. It determines the overall interest of the employee on the job, and without a good attitude, it is not possible to achieve quality, quantity, cooperation and time consciousness in employees.
Inclusion of subordinates, peers, and subordinates in the performance evaluation process has its own merits. These different categories of people have a total view of the performance of the employee. Thus, the supervisors, peers and subordinates give different opinions of the employee’s performance. These people eliminate bias of one person in evaluating performance (Robbins & Judge, 2007). For instance, the supervisor may have a negative attitude towards the employee’s quality of work. In contrast, the peers and subordinates may view the employee’s work as outstanding. These contrasting views in the evaluation enable sound judgments in determining the overall performance of the employee. This eventually eliminates bias associated with one person. In addition, including many people in the evaluation process produces a reliable and accurate report. The peers and supervisors often associate with the employee in the workplace and hence know the employee better. They are able to give accurate and reliable ratings on the performance of an employee. In contrast, the supervisor may rate the employee based on a given attitude. A negative attitude or a personal relationship of a supervisor with an employee invalidates the performance giving a less reliable and accurate report.
There are also demerits of including supervisors, peer, and subordinates in the evaluation process. Peers and subordinates may bring their personal issues with the employee under consideration in the evaluation process. This makes the peers and subordinates to give a poor rating on the employee’s attitude and personality, yet the performance of the employee could be exemplary. Peers may favor some employees and rate them highly reducing effectiveness. In addition, including many people in the evaluation process is time consuming and expensive for the organization. It takes time for each person to evaluate the employee and give their opinion thereby delaying the entire process. This in turn becomes an extra expense to the organization, which has to cater for the time spent in the evaluation process.
There are certain evaluation methods used to analyze the gathered performance data. The 360-degree method evaluates performance by receiving feedback about the employee from all stakeholders in the organization. This method eliminates bias associated with only one person evaluating the employee. It enables the employee to understand his strengths and weaknesses and make changes to improve his weaknesses. The method enables teams to work effectively because they know each other’s performance than their supervisor. The management by objectives (MBO) method evaluates performance based on specific goals that are realistic, measurable and attainable (Guerra-Lopez, 2008). The manager and the employee decide on the goals to achieve and performance measured against the set objectives.
The rating scale is a scientific evaluation method that involves the evaluator formulating a common grading system to use on all employees. These methods are similar because they involve evaluating the performance of an employee. The 360-degree method eliminates bias in assessment compared to the MBO and the rating scale. The 360-degree method is more time consuming because it involves more people compared to the MBO. The rating scale method is more scientific thus, it does not emphasize on merits, as does the MBO. However, the rating scale is faster because it is scientific and it is applicable in large organizations unlike the MBO and the 360-degree method.
Certain biases affect the accuracy of performance of evaluations. The halo effect is a common performance evaluation bias. It involves a single suitable or unsuitable attribute of the employee that may cloud the judgment of the evaluator. This attribute affects the overall performance of the employee. For example, an employee may be a good timekeeper but poor performer. If the evaluator judges the employee based on time keeping only, that evaluation could be wrong. The recency effect is another evaluation error. It involves a judgment based on a recent exemplary event of the employee, which the evaluator uses to judge the overall employee performance. For example, it involves judging an employee after a recent improved level of production in the organization. The central tendency rates all employees at an average level and assume that all employees performed well (Robbins, & Judge, 2007). This is a common error where the evaluator does not want to explain the extreme sides. For instance, an evaluator in an organization may assume that all employees in the organization were good performers, which may not be true.
Overall, performance evaluation is a vital process in the organization. Evaluators should use a set of criteria in evaluating employees in the organization. It is important to include peers, supervisors and subordinates in the evaluation process to eliminate errors that affect the accuracy of the evaluation. These errors include the recency effect, the halo effect and the central tendency error. To improve performance evaluation, it is important to include different techniques such as the 360-degree feedback, the MBO method and the rating scale.
Guerra-Lopez, I.J. (2008). Performance evaluation: proven approaches for improving program
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Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2007).Organizational behavior. (12th ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.