Performance appraisals were mostly carried out annually for measuring the degree of accomplishment of an individual and were implemented on a top down basis in which the supervisors had a major role to play in judging the performance of an employee without soliciting active involvement of the employee. Performance appraisals were mostly discredited because it was backward looking concentrating largely on the employee’s inabilities and flaws over a period of a year instead of looking forward by identifying the development needs of the employees and improving them. Traditionally, the performance appraisals were organized in a bureaucratic manner and suffered from unnecessary delays in decisions and corruption. Performance appraisals were mostly narrowly focused and functioned in isolation without bearing any linkage with the overall organizational vision or goals. The side effects of the performance appraisal system was it generated scepticism amongst the managers and the employees on any new initiative of the HR.
In the present scenario, the organizations have shifted their focus from performance appraisals to performance management as a result of internationalization of human resources and globalization of business. The functions of HRM have become far more complicated as today the major focus of strategic HRM practices is on the management of talent by implementing such development programmes which enhance the competencies of the employees. The performance management approach focuses more on observed behaviours and concrete results based on the previously established smart objectives. By adopting techniques like Management by Objectives (MBO), smart objectives are established in terms of either facts and figures and in the entire process the superior plays the role of a coach or a facilitator. The objectives are mutually decided at the beginning of the performance season and serve as a standard of performance for evaluation. In this method, the employees can offer a feedback on their contributions by filling up a self appraisal form. Performance management is a much broader term in comparison with performance appraisal as it deals with a gamut of activities which performance appraisals never deal with. This system is a strategic and an integrated approach which aims at building successful organizations by developing high performance teams and individuals and improving the performance of people. This process starts when a job is defined. Performance management emphasizes on front end planning instead of looking backward unlike performance appraisals and the focus is on ongoing dialogue instead of appraisal documents and ratings. Thus, performance management may be regarded as a continuous process.
A table depicted below shows a comparison between performance appraisal and performance management:
|Performance Management |Performance Appraisal | |Stresses on mutual objective setting through a process of joint |Focus is on top down assessment | |dialogue | | |Continuous reviews are performed |Performed annually | |Usage of ratings is less common |Usage of ratings is very common | |Focus is on quantifiable objectives, values and behaviours. |Focus is on traits | |Flexible system |Monolithic system...