Politics of Performance Appraisal

Topics: Human resource management, Feedback, Evaluation Pages: 5 (1709 words) Published: September 14, 2012
The Politics of Performance Appraisal
1. In your opinion, and from an HRM perspective, what are the objectives of employee performance evaluation?
According to the text, an organization’s employee performance evaluations should define, measure, monitor and provide feedback to an employee about their job performance; i.e. how effectively they have been working. The text also states, and in my opinion is of higher importance, that the role of a performance evaluation is the setting of job standards to ensure that the employee’s productivity and focus are in alignment with the mission and vision of the company to help execute the ultimate purpose for the company’s existence. By setting an employee’s performance objectives in line with the organization’s performance goals, a competitive advantage can be gained by capitalizing on individual employees’ strengths and competencies.

Other uses for performance evaluations that have been well designed, according to the textbook, may be to further enhance employee development, motivate and encourage employees to take on more responsibility or initiative, develop an inventory of employee skills for better human resource planning, help increase communications between supervisors and employees, fulfill a legal requirement to defend HR actions, and they can also provide HRM research tools to evaluate and/or validate selection processes, testing tools, etc.

2. On the basis of these objectives, evaluate the perspectives about performance appraisal presented by the managers. 
Each of the four managers is utilizing the performance appraisal system setup by their company in ways that were more than likely unintended by upper management. The case study focuses on the feedback portion of the performance appraisal so a full understanding of how the set of traits provided by the company in the graphic rating scale is not provided. The managers do not provide insight into whether or not they agree with the characteristics they have been provided with or if they are congruent with the overall mission of their departments and company. Max has been with the company the longest, but feels strongly that performance evaluations are a tool to help better his department and motivate his employees. Max freely admits that accuracy in his feedback to his employees isn’t his primary objective but rather he tries to motivate them by rewarding them so that they’ll work harder, thus his standards of evaluation are skewed when evaluating his employees. Max also agrees with the process of both using good performance evaluations to promote a problem employee into a different position/section and using bad performance evaluations to “shock” an employee into performing better. The feedback loop of a performance evaluation system should be used to motivate employees, but not if it is undeserved. Providing all of his employees full raises just because he did not agree with the low percentage increase that was being offered by the company (as indicated in the case study), should not have justified a full increase for everyone. By ranking all of his employees similarly, Max did not showcase any of his stellar performers and simultaneously indicated to upper management that all of his employees were working with the same work ethic and were equally efficient and productive. Max’s philosophy that “good managing is psychology” may seem accurate to him, but it may not be as truthful when put into practice with his employees. His star performers may feel frustrated and angry that the workers not putting forth the same amount of effort and productivity are receiving similar evaluations. Because Max is not completely honest in his performance evaluations, he may be causing more harm than good within the ranks of his employees without intentionally doing so. Jim is a first line supervisor at Eckel Industries who has trouble accurately remembering an employee’s performance throughout the entire year. This can...
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