Performance Management

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Performance Assessment plays an important role in human resource management processes. However, factual evidence shows that there is a high rate of assessment failures. One of reasons leading to this issue is the illogical design of performance assessment forms. This essay firstly outlines the performance management technique using in the Performance Appraisal Form Template issued by Businessballs ( This essay will then analyse its strengths and weaknesses related to assessment validity, reliability and felt-fairness. Finally, this essay will discuss some aspects where this instrument can be re-designed to improve its validity, reliability and felt-fairness. This appraisal form, also referred to as an instrument, is a generic assessment instrument which could be applied to most positions, both non-managerial and managerial. Basically, this form consists of two main parts. In correspondence with each part, different assessment sources are used. For example, part A uses self assessment source. In this part, assessees are required to evaluate themselves. Part B uses supervisory assessment sources. This part will be completed by assessors through performance review meetings with assessees. The review meetings have the 'problem solving' style with the placement of open discussions between assessors and assessees to identify the strengths and weaknesses of assessees (section B2, B3 and B4), and then to find out the solutions to assessees' performance problems (section B5, B6, B7 and B8). There are several performance management techniques applied in this form. The first technique is the management by objectives (MBO). The use of this technique can be found in both the two parts of this form. Particularly, in part A, assessees are required to review their main duties and responsibilities (section A1); to evaluate the achievement of agreed objectives in the past years (section A3); and to identify new objectives and action plan for the following year (point 6 and 7 of section A2). In part B, assessors on the one hand will review self assessment of assessees in part A (section B1, B2, B3 and B4), and then will counsel assessees in setting their future objectives and action planning on the other hand (section B5, B6, B7 and B8). Such approach clearly complies with the management by objectives technique. Secondly, the form also uses criteria to measure the performance and competencies of assessees (section A3, A4, B3 and B4). The criteria are a combination of results (section A3 and B3; and criteria 1, 9 of section A4 and B4), knowledge and skills (criteria 2, 6,7 and 8 of section A4) and behaviour (the other criteria of section A4 and B4). The measuring technique used for these criteria is Graphic Rating Scale with a ten point Likert-type scale, ranging from "poor" to "excellent". Generally, the form is a well designed performance assessment instrument. Firstly, the use of two assessment sources, self and supervisory assessment, could reduce rating errors associated with the traditional supervisory assessment such as leniency and harshness errors. According to Shields (2008) and Varma, Pichler and Srinivas (2005), supervisors are usually biased in evaluating due to the effect of their personal emotions. This means that if a supervisor likes or dislikes his/her subordinate, he/she would give the subordinate a higher or lower rating (Varma et al 2005). The combination with self assessment would enhance employee voice (Ford & Evans 2005). As a result, the accuracy of performance assessment would be improved (Ford & Evans 2005; Heijde &Heijden 2006). Secondly, the combination of MBO approach with the "problem solving" style review meeting would make this instrument become an effective tool to manage and monitor an employees' performance. According to Shields (2008), Youngcourt, Leiva and Jones (2007) and Stone (2008), the effectiveness of MBO strongly depends on the level employees understand their...
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