II. Main Text
‘Skill comes so slow, and life so fast doth fly,
We learn so little and forget so much.’
-(Nosche Teipsum, 1599)
The above lines mean that there are so many skills and so much knowledge to acquire that a lifetime is not enough for it. This may also apply to the world of business wherein every employee today looks to improve his skills and knowledge and must constantly do so to keep up but yet it is never enough as the world around us keeps changing.
‘Change is the only constant’. This is an inevitable part of an organization making it susceptible to strategic, organizational, competitive, technological and occupational pressures to be developed and improved in order to reinforce the organization’s standing, position, effectiveness and profitability in its markets. How an employee works in such an organization in such conditions and how he performs against the standards set by the organization is measured by his performance appraisal. Performance appraisal is defined as evaluating an employee’s current or past performance relative to his or her performance standards.
The appraisal process involves setting work standards, assessing the employee’s actual performance relative to these standards, providing feedback to the employee with the aim to eliminate performance deficiencies or continue performance above par. One sometimes wonders why a performance appraisal is done at all when it is such a terrible experience for the supervisor as well as for the employees. A logical explanation would be that it further leads to performance related pay awards, identifies potential, gets a glimpse into wider organizational development prospects, identifies occupation-person match and mismatch and looks into the actual and potential problem areas.
Unfortunately, performance reviews are rarely as effective as they should be - and the process often seems about as pleasant as a visit to the dentist. For many big company employees, reviews are nothing more than an annual appointment to find out what their new salary will be.
One may think that an organization’s appraisal scheme consisting of a densely laid out form covering every aspect from pay and promotions to training and performance would be the best, but to may it maybe just a blank sheet of paper (although it is highly impractical in the business world). There are a wide variety of formal appraisal forms and which one really suits a firm would depend on what it wants to assess and to what extent. Some methods of appraisal are:-
Graphic Rating Scale Method : It is the simplest and the most popular technique for performance appraisal. It lists traits ( such as quality and reliability) although many firms specifies the duties to be appraised. For example appendix A (figure 9-3) shows an appraisal form of an Administrative Secretary wherein five of her main duties have been taken from her job description and prioritized. Note that importance ratings are indicated as a percentage at the top of each of the five categories.
Alternation Ranking Method : Ranking employees from best to worst on a characteristic or a set of them is usually easier than just ranking them. It may seem complicated as it involves listing all the subordinates to be appraised and crossing out the names of those not known well enough to rank. Then highlight the employee who is the highest on the characteristic being measured and also the one who is the lowest. Then choose the next highest alternating with the next lowest until all the employees are ranked.
Paired Comparison Method: This method is more precise. For every trait, every subordinate is paired with and compared to every other subordinate. For every comparative trait, a + or – is indicated to show who is the better employee of the pair. The number of ‘+’ are added...