Performance Appraisal

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It is a widely held view that people are the most important resource in any organisation. As a matter of fact, organisations would not exist without human resources. However, it is important to recognise that people have different abilities and hence their contributions to the success of an organisation vary. In an effort to quantify the contributions made by employees to an organisation, Human resource managers carry out what is referred to as performance appraisal. Different scholars have defined performance appraisal differently. Aswatappa, K(2007:226) defines performance appraisal as the assessment of an individual’s performance in a systematic way, the performance being measured against such factors as job knowledge, quality and quantity of output, initiative, leadership abilities, supervision, dependability, cooperation, judgement, versatility, health, and all the like. However, Dessler. G (2006:311) has defined performance appraisal as “evaluating an employee’s current and/ or past performance relative to his or her performance standards”. The purpose of this paper is to discuss Garry Dressler’s definition of performance appraisal and show why this process is necessary in the management and utilisation of workforce. Garry Dessler’s definition of performance appraisal:

Dessler’s definition of performance appraisal suggests that when conducting performance appraisal, supervisors should consider not only employees’ current performance but rather their past performance as well. The author argues that failure to do that may render the performance appraisal ineffective and thereby defeating the sole purpose of conducting it. In other words, employees should continuously be evaluated perhaps on a daily basis for a supervisor to accurately come up with a valid assessment of their performance. Furthermore, when formulating his definition of performance appraisal, Dessler was mindful of the fact that it would be wrong to evaluate employees’ performance based on the current performance because of a number of reasons. Firstly, employees would try to impress their supervisors during that short period for which they are under evaluated. Secondly, because human beings are not machines, and hence their performance is affected by the environment, so a supervisor would be highly subjective if he appraises employees based on their current performance. Therefore, it is no wonder, he defined performance appraisal as “evaluating an employee’s current and/ or past performance relative to his or her performance standards”. Reasons for conducting performance appraisal in the management and utilisation of employees. Performance appraisals play a significant role in the management and utilisation of human resource in any organisation in many ways as outlined below. Determining training needs

Many scholars have clearly noted that management can easily identify training needs in their employees through performance appraisals. This is the case because an appraisal will clearly show the deficiencies of skills in employees if they exist. Therefore, performance appraisal helps management identify employees that need to go for training and the kind of training that needs to be undertaken. By carefully, identifying employees that require training and selecting a training program to rectify the inefficiencies in in employees, an organisation can save a lot of money. Some organisations that do not carry out performance appraisal have spent huge resources on employees who do not necessarily need training to be effective. Compensation, rewards and punishment:

When faced with difficult decisions to make relating to compensation, rewarding and punishment, management of organisation can make use of results of the performance appraisals. For instance, employees who receive favourable evaluation can be the basis of awarding them with organisation rewards or higher salary. On the other hand, those with unfavourable evaluation would...
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