Annual performance evaluations are often regarded as essential components of employee development. The mentioned performance review is prevalently geared towards balanced assessment of an employee’s performance coupled with fairness. Notably, employee evaluations elicited myriad concerns on the relevant systems that efficient and effective employee appraisal would rely on. The paper seeks to establish the relevant means of implementing effective performance evaluation processes.
Prevalently, the mid-sized manufacturing plant initially based the evaluation on friendliness of an employee. The item of friendliness came to practice when the manager considerably awarded a medium rating on that scale. The evaluation emanated because the engineer appeared unapproachable to co-workers. However, friendliness is supposedly an inaccurate means of evaluating an employee. Reasonably, perception has it that individuals who get rated as friendly, often, try to keep a good relationship with their subordinates to the expense of organization performance. Similarly, neatness of workplace was another criterion applied. Here, the engineer acquired a low medium rating since his desk was always disorderly and occasionally piled high with papers. Though neatness is a method that the manager used, research-proven records have shown that individuals who are so neat are frequently poor performers. Therefore, evaluation on neatness was to a larger extent inappropriate. Outstandingly, a rating on attitude emanated. Due to the engineer’s frequent poor attitude demonstration towards co-workers accompanied by his lack of attention to the manager, a low-medium rating automatically warranted. Nevertheless, the mentioned criterion on attitude was unsuitable. The reason being, in any organization where performance is low, change of attitude by a leader towards employees is often necessary. In this case, the engineer’s poor attitude vividly reveals that the fellow employees were not committed to work. Regularly, the most commonly used criteria in performance review include; individual task outcomes, behaviors and traits (John & Eckhout, 2006). Practically, individual outcomes are frequently used when the end counts rather than the means. Also, evaluation of an individual’s behavior would assist in identifying outcomes attributed individual's action. Furthermore, behavior assists in improving teamwork and coordination which individual task outcomes clearly ignore. Arguably, individual task outcome majorly concentrate on results while ignoring the processes that lead to the outcome. Traits, on the other hand, are essential as it would singularly assist in the actual performance of the job. Traits including a good attitude, confidence and experience are vital in job performance evaluation. Prevalently, behavior and traits tend to play a vital role in the performance as they are often an essential recipe for success. Therefore, evaluating performance based on behaviors and traits would be the strongest means compared to individual outcomes.
Essentially, during the evaluation process, supervisors, peers, and subordinates deserve inclusion. The inclusion of the mentioned individuals would promote team efficiency as they would learn how to work effectively in unison. Moreover, collective accountability among teams, coupled with the provision of valuable feedback on performance would be enhanced. Similarly, by involving peers, employees believe that the feedback from the mentioned evaluation process is more validating and immensely accurate as it is not merely from their supervisor. Dignified subordinate feedback programs often give supervisors a more comprehensive outline of employee issues and needs. Agreeably, the evaluation process provides ample view of employee performance, thereby, providing essential details concerning organizational training needs (Zhu, 2009).
Conversely, involving supervisors, peers and subordinates in the evaluation process have elicited mixed reactions. Conflicting opinions is a regular setback in the process. The mentioned conflict among the three groups often involved hinder effective and efficient remittance of feedback. Also, the inability of supervisors to train and develop employees in regards to the evaluation process negatively impacts on planning and evaluation of performance. Interestingly, various peer evaluators are typically unfamiliar with the team members’ task and responsibilities. For this reason, the involvement of the cited peers in performance evaluation is often inaccurate and misleading. Categorically, the need for secrecy is vital when using subordinates in the evaluation process. Due to the fear of retaliation from their supervisors, subordinates do not participate but instead fall victims of providing dishonest feedback.
Notably, there are three common performance evaluation methods; forced distribution method, critical incident techniques and checklists and weighted checklists. Forced distribution method involves a ranking technique where a rater allocates a specific percentage of rates to certain categories; superior, average and above average. Equally, both the number of categories and percentage of employees for selection of employees to each category are a function of employee performance assessment format. Under Critical incident techniques, the manager often set up register of statements of incredibly effective and ineffective behavior of an employee. Additionally, the manager maintains records of each employee by periodically recording incidents of worker's behavior. The mentioned recorded incidents are essential in evaluating employee performance at the end of the rating period. Similar to forced distribution method, critical incident technique avoids bias. However, forced distribution method avoids raters’ bias while critical incident technique prevents recency bias. Checklists and weighted checklists, on the other hand, involve a large number of statements that describe a particular job (Sandler & Keefe, 2004). The said statements frequently bear a scale value attached to it. In evaluating an employee, supervisor establishes the specific statements that closely describe the behavior of a person under assessment. Compared to forced distribution, the mentioned technique is subject to rater’s bias when distinguishing the positive and negative questions. Also, checklist and weighted checklist method tends to be comparatively expensive and time-consuming.
During performance evaluation, it is alleged that the fairness and credibility of the process regularly get marred with bias. For instance, Cross-cultural bias is said to be the outcome of an evaluator's expectations regarding human behavior. The said expectations often clash with the behavior of an appraiser with different beliefs or cultural values. Also, personal prejudice results from rater's loathe on a specific group. Consequently, when that dislike carries over into the evaluation of an individual, inaccurate review of performance is often the outcome (John & Eckhout, 2006). Categorically, Leniency and strictness bias occurs when the evaluator tends to analyze the performance of all of his employees as either favorable or unfavorable.
Conclusively, forced distribution method would be the most appropriate technique adopted by the mid-sized manufacturing plant. The mentioned technique would ensure extermination of rater’s biases. Additionally, employees outstanding merit; the engineer, would be placed at top 10 % of the scale. Exemplary, by forcing the distribution according to pre-determined percentages, the other employees would work tirelessly to meet the required percentage rank. Secondly, critical incident technique would as well be appropriate. The cited technique distinctively avoids recency bias. Also, the mentioned technique requires a manager to set up vivid record on each employee. Through ensured effective record keeping, employees would get dedicated to their departments. Therefore, by completely concentrating on their work, the highlighted dedication would yield an outstanding performance. The mentioned technique would, therefore, be appropriate for the engineer as equality and effectiveness would be greatly considered.
John, L. K.,& Eckhout, L. (2006). Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking. USA: Taylor &Francis Group.
Sandler, C.,& Keefe, J. (2004). Performance Appraisal Phrase Book: the Best Word Phrases and Techniques for Performance Reviews. Canada: Word Association, Inc.
Zhu, J. (2009). Quantitative Models for Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking Data Envelopment Analysis with Spreadsheets. New York: Springer