Performance Appraisals Feedback

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23 – Geddes

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This study examined the effects of demographic similarity and dissimilarity on perceptions of performance appraisals and reactions to negative feedback.

When organizational members accept task-relevant feedback, they are more likely to maintain and/or modify their behaviors in ways that will improve future performance. In contrast, when employees reject supervisor feedback, more common when an evaluation indicates performance deficits, they may respond unfavorably (Fedor et al., 2001; Ilgen & Davis, 2000).

Fedor, D.B., Davis, W.D., Maslyn, J.M. & Mathieson, K. Performance improvement efforts in response to negative feedback: The roles of source power and recipient self-esteem. Journal of Management, 2001, 27, 79-97.

Ilgen, D. & Davis, C. Bearing bad news: Reactions to negative performance feedback. Applied Psychology, 2000, 49, 550-65.

9 – Catano

The limitations of performance assessment, such as inflated ratings, lack of consistency, and the politics of assessment (Tziner, Latham, Price, & Haccoun, 1996), often lead to their abandonment. Managers responsible for delivering performance reviews who are uncomfortable with the performance rating system may give uniformly high ratings that do not discriminate between ratees. Poor ratings detract from organizational uses and increase employee mistrust in the performance appraisal system (Tziner & Murphy, 1999). Employees on the receiving end of the appraisal often express dissatisfaction with both the decisions made as a result of performance assessment and the process of performance assessment (Milliman, Nason, Zhu, & De Cieri, 2002), which may have longitudinal effects on overall job satisfaction (Blau, 1999) and commitment (Cawley, Keeping, & Levy, 1998).

legally sound performance appraisals should be objective and based on a job analysis, they should also be based on behaviors that relate to specific functions that are controllable by the ratee, and the results of the appraisal should be communicated to the employee (Malos, 1998). Second, the appraisals must be perceived as fair. Procedural fairness is improved when employees participate in all aspects of the process, when there is consistency in all processes, when the assessments are free of supervisor bias, and when there is a formal channel for the employees to challenge or rebut their evaluations (Gilliland & Langdon, 1998). In addition to perceptions of fairness, participation by employees in the appraisal process is related to motivation to improve job performance, satisfaction with the appraisal process, increased organizational commitment, and the utility or value that the employees place on the appraisal (Cawley et al., 1998).

Tziner A, Latham GP, Price BS, Haccoun R. (1996). Development and validation of a questionnaire for measuring perceived political considerations in performance appraisal. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 179-190.

Tziner A, Murphy KR. (1999). Additional evidence of attitudinal influences in performance appraisal. Journal of Business and Psychology, 13, 407-419.

Milliman J, Nason S, Zhu C, De Cieri H. (2002). An exploratory assessment of the purposes of performance appraisals in North and Central America and the Pacific Rim. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 40, 105-122.

Malos SB. (1998). Current legal issues in performance appraisal. In Smither JW (Ed.), Performance appraisal: State of the art in practice (pp. 49-94). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

60- Maurer

Structured interviews can be quite demanding for interviewees, combining social and cognitive processes (Campion, Palmer & Campion, 1997, Dipboyes, 2005)

55 – Levinson

Because management by objectives is closely related to performance appraisal and review, I shall consider these together as one practice, which is intended: To measure and judge performance,

To relate individual performance to organizational goals,

To clarify both the job to be done and the expectations of accomplishment,

To foster the increasing competence and growth of the subordinate,

To enhance communications between superior and subordinate,

To serve as a basis for judgments about salary and promotion,

To stimulate the subordinate's motivation, and

To serve as a device for organizational control and integration.

Major Problems. According to contemporary thinking, the "ideal" process should proceed in five steps: 1) individual discussion with the superior of the subordinate's own job description, 2) establishment of the employee's short-term performance targets, 3) meetings with the superior to discuss the employee's progress toward targets, 4) establishment of checkpoints to measure progress, and 5) discussion between superior and subordinate at the end of a defined period to assess the results of the subordinate's efforts. In ideal practice, this process occurs against a background of more frequent, even day-today, contacts and is separate from salary review. But, in actual practice, there are many problems:

No matter how detailed the job description, it is essentially static – that is, a series of statements. However, the more complex the task and the more flexible an employee must be in it, the less any fixed statement of job elements will fit what that person does. Thus, the higher a person rises in an organization and the more varied and subtle the work, the more difficult it is to pin down objectives that represent more than a fraction of his or her effort.

With pre-established goals and descriptions, little weight can be given to the areas of discretion open to the individual but not incorporated into a job description or objectives. I am referring here to those spontaneously creative activities an innovative executive might choose to do, or those tasks a responsible executive sees need to be done. As we move toward a service society, in which tasks are less well defined but spontaneity of service and self-assumed responsibility are crucial, this becomes pressing.

Most job descriptions are limited what employees do in their work. They do not adequately take into account the increasing interdependence of managerial work in organizations. This limitation becomes more important as the impact of social and organizational factors on individual performance becomes better understood. The more employees' effectiveness depends on what other people do, the less any one employee can be held responsible for the outcome of individual efforts.

If a primary concern in performance review is counseling the subordinate, appraisal should consider and take into account the total situation in which the superior and subordinate are operating. In addition, this should take into account the relationship of the subordinate's job to other jobs. In counseling, much of the focus is on helping the subordinate learn to negotiate the system. There is no provision in most reviews and no place on appraisal forms with which I am familiar to report and record such discussion.

The setting and evolution of objectives is done over too brief a period of time to provide for adequate interaction among different levels of an organization. This militates against opportunity for peers, both in the same work unit and in complementary units, to develop objectives together for maximum integration. Thus, both the setting of objectives and the appraisal of performance make little contribution to the development of teamwork and more effective organizational self-control.

Coupled with these problems is the difficulty that superiors experience when they undertake appraisals. Douglas McGregor complained that the major reason appraisal failed was that superiors disliked playing God by making judgments about another person's worth.[1] He likened the superior's experience to inspection of assembly-line products and contended that his revulsion was against being inhuman. To cope with this problem, McGregor recommended that an individual should set his or her own goals, checking them out with the superior, and should use the appraisal session as a counseling device. Thus, the superior would become one who helped subordinates achieve their own goals instead of a dehumanized inspector of products.

Every management by objectives and appraisal program should include regular appraisals of the manager by subordinates, and be reviewed by the manager's superior. Every manager should be specifically compensated for how well he or she develops people, based on such appraisals. The very phrase "reporting to" reflects the fact that although a manager has a responsibility, the superior also has a responsibility for what he or she does and how it's done.

57 – Lievens

High structured interviews appear to be less frequently used in personnel management practice than might be expected given their good reliability and validity.

Meta-analytic research has demonstrated that low structure interviews are considerably worse than high structure interviews in terms of reliabilitry (Conway, Jako and Goodman, 1995) and criterion-related validity (Huffcutt & Arthur, 1994 Marchese…)

6- Brewer

Organizational commitment is the extent to which employees identify with their organization and managerial goals, show a willingness to invest effort, participate in decision making and internalize managerial values[10].

10. O'Reilly, C. and Chatman, J., "Organisational commitment and psychological attachment: the effects of compliance, identification and internalisation on prosocial behaviour", Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 71, 1986, pp. 492-9.

3 – Baruch

The process of performance appraisal (PA) is of most importance in human resource management (HRM). In a broad sense, PA systems are used for two main purposes: as a source for information for management; and as a feedback instrument for individuals employed by the organization. In the first case, the applications of the use of PA serve a variety of management functions. These could be decision-making about promotions, training needs, salaries, etc.

Where feedback is the main goal, the fundamental purpose is to provide the employee with information that will improve personal performance and effectiveness. Recently the second approach has gained more attention. Providing the employee with feedback is widely recognized as a crucial activity. Such feedback may encourage and enable self-development, and thus will be instrumental for the organization as a whole.

47 – Kuvaas

Performance appraisal (PA) is among the most important Human Resource (HR) practices (Boswell and Boudreau, 2002; Judge and Ferris, 1993) and one of the more heavily researched topics in work psychology (Fletcher, 2002). PA has increasingly become part of a more strategic approach to integrating HR activities and business policies and may now be seen as a generic term covering a variety of activities through which organizations seek to assess employees and develop their competence, enhance performance and distribute rewards (Fletcher, 2001) failure (see, e.g. Cardy and Dobbins, 1994; Murphy and Cleveland, 1995).

44 – Klehe

The distinction between what people can do (maximum performance) and what they will do (typical performance) has received considerable theoretical but scan empirical attention in industrial-organizational psychology.

The distinction between typical and maximum performance holdwide -researching practical and theoretical implications for performance appraisal and research validating fundamental assumptions of the typical-maximum performance distinction is as yet unavailable.

31 – Harung

Management is by nature a holistic profession.

Management calls for the necessary understanding of a wide spectrum of factual knowledge and theories (economics, finance, technology, law, etc.). It calls for competence in the particular type of business one is managing and the ability to take part in and oversee manifold processes such as communication, team building, group decision and production.

39 – Ivancevich

Feedback of performance appraisal information has received increasing attention in the applied organizational behaviour literature (Latman & Wexley, 1981). Ilgen, Fisher and Taylor (1979) in a thorough review of the literature discussed the nature of feedback, element of the feedback process and the implications of feedbacks in the work environment.

Another related approach to providing feedback is the use of goal setting procedures. There has been an increasing number of studies that indicate that goal setting can be an effective approach for improving attitudes and increasing performance (…).

82 – Tziner

Investigations of performance appraisal instruments have focused primarily on their psychometric properties (Bernardin, 1977, Borman 1979, Tziner, 1984).

The result of the field experiment provided strong support for the proposition that a performance review consisting of performance feedback followed by goal setting would favourably influence work satisfaction and organizational commitment to a greater extent than performance review comprising feedback only.

A plausible explanation as to why performance feedback has an impact rests with the fact that people are basically feedback seekers (Ashford, 1986). Feedback is a vehicle trough which the appraisee receives information about how well he meets organizational expectations and work requirements.

Performance feedback followed by goal setting caused nonetheless a considerable magnitude of improvement.

Most researchers have reported little or no training of appraisal with regard to proposed appraisal instruments.

65 – Meyer

To say that the performance appraisal feedback problem has been an enigma for managers and personnel specialists is probably a glaring understatement.

The appraisal and feedback program is one of the psychologists' and personnel specialists' popular topics in the personnel literature.

Problems experienced with performance appraisal programs are myriad. Significant eyidence has shown that most managers find the program onerous and distasteful.

Feedback regarding job performance seems necessary to justify administrative decisions, such as whether a salary increase is awarded and the size of the increase, or whether an employee should be transferred to another job or scheduled for promotion. Feedback should contribute to improved performance. The positive effect of feedback on performance has always been an accepted psychological principal.

For employees who are not in an obviously dependent role, an appraisal discussion designed to serve communication, motivation, and development purposes should be based on the subordinate's self appraisal.

To improve the value of a feedback discussion based on self-review, the "grading" aspect should be eliminated.

If a goal setting program is being used, such as Management by Objectives, this annual review discussion is not the best place to establish detailed job goals for the year.

Training supervisors to handle this type of discussion could be valuable. It need not be any more extensive than the training given for conventional appraisal programs,

29 – Gunn

A boss should ensuring privacy, removing distractions, setting context, providing specifics, allowing time for dialoguebut that's all blocking and tackling. It fails to address the fundamental problem: a blurred line between feedback and criticism.

Even if we simply point out or describe another person's behaviour as a neutral observer, we are acting as a critic. Feeling judged, the person to whom we are giving "feedback" is likely to head south emotionally.

Open-ended questions help maintain the right frame for the conversation.

Feedback is truly a gift.. .but it's the giver who receives it. In the process of delivering feedback in an open-minded way, we are invited to explore our own thinking, our mental assumptions, with another person.

58 – Lindenberger

They fear performance evaluations, so they avoid giving feedback. They dread the emotional part, so they refuse to risk saying anything that might make their colleagues unhappy. When they do give feedback, they send the wrong message by emphasizing only poor performance.

61 – maylett

Feedback has been used for decades as a measurement of past performance and behaviours. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that extensive use of 360-degree feedback became common for identifying strengths and development needs that might not be exposed in traditional performance evaluations. Similar to the 360 degrees of a circle, with the participant figuratively at the center of that circle, feedback is gathered from those most familiar with that participant’s performance: supervisors, peers, and direct reports.

Most 360-degree feedback assessments and employee engagement initiatives fall under the umbrella of training and development, organizational development, or HR departments. It is important that these professionals understand the connections these instruments have to the bottom line.

13 – Cook

The importance of people to organizational performance has long been recognised (Pragald and Hamel, 1990), yet according to Fletcher (1993) more than 80 percent of UK organizations surveyed in the UK express some dissatisfaction with their performance appraisal systems, perceiving that they fail as a mechanism to develop and motivate people.

The Achille’s heel of the entire process, according to Kikoski (1999) is the annual performance review interview; line managers are under-preparated to handle the interview and reluctant to give negative feedback, leading to a situation where the people being appraised receive incomplete and inaccurate messages about their performance. The litterature suggests that people will only be satisfied with a performance appraisal peocess if it fulfils the criteria of fairness.

It has also been suggested that a lack of appraisee trainibg in the PA process may cause discrepancies between expected and actual performance assessments which will contribute to dissatisfaction with the system (Bretz et al. 1992).

People have been identified as the source of competitive advantage for organizations by numerous researchers (McGregor 1960, Barney, 1995, Prahalad and Hamel, 1990, Storey, 1991).

People who are not appraisers, but are asked to provide input to another person’s annual review, should also receive training to allow them to provide effective. The importance of training people to partecipate to PA is stressed by Bretz et al (1992) who advocate that it should be an ongoing process to achieve maximum effectiveness. Effective training should increase the effectiveness of the PAS and ultimately lead to greater organizational effectiveness.

50- Laird

Mayfield documented that 90 percent of the people who had been evaluated expressed satisfaction with the performance appraisal procedure.

While the idea of performance appraisal is almost universally accepted, its actual operation in some instances has failed to live up to its promise as an effective managerial tool.

64 – Messmer

Performance reviews can be a powerful tool for motivating team members to higher performance levels and improving relationship between managers and employees.


16 – deGregorio

Research to date has clearly found that performance feedback is necessary in order to maintain and/or improve job performance (Catano, 1976; Erez, 1977; Kim & Hamner, 1976; Komaki, Barwick, & Scott, 1978).

A self-appraisal instrument can provide a vehicle through which subordinate participation in the feedback process is ensured (Bassett & Meyer, 1968; Kay, Meyer, & French, 1965).

The results indicated that performance appraisal based on a self-review was more satisfying to managers and subordinates than manager-prepared appraisals.

Employees who have not previously participated in performance discussions are not always satisfied with the self-appraisal approach. In Bassett and Meyer's study, such employees stated that when top-down appraisals were used, supervisor expectations were much clearer.

17 – Dobbins

If ratees are dissatisfied with the appraisal system or perceive it as unfair, they will be less likely to use evaluations as feedback to improve their performance (Ilgen, Fish & Taylor, 1979). Similarity, dissatisfaction with appraisal procedures could potentially lead to employee turnover, decreased motivation and feeling of inequity.

Past research suggests that appraisal satisfaction is a function of both the level of evaluation and the feedback provided by the evaluation.

Ratees are also more satisfied with appraisal systems that provide useful feedback about job performance. As noted by Carroll and Schneier (1982), one of the primary purposes of the formal appraisal is to provide clear, performance-based feedback to employees.

As noted earlier, it is widely recognised that appraisal system can provide employees with feedback concerning the adequacy of their job performance (Bernardin & Beatty, 1984). Feedback can be defined as a subset of information that allow employees to judge the appropriateness or correctness of behaviours for attaining various goals (Ashford, 1986).

76 – Segalla

The future looked likely to prefer high performance, well trained and multi-lingual managers.

43 – Jaworsky

Supervisory feedback is a useful mechanism for controlling salespeople’s performances (Teas 1983, Tyagi, 1985, Walker, Churchill and ford 1977). Importantly, supervisory control can be exercised at the input, process or output stages (Jaworsky, 1988).

Further, given the positive feedback can pertain too to outputs or behaviours, the issue of comparative effectiveness of alternative types of supervisory feedback takes on greater complexity.

The typology of supervisory feedback used in our study is drived from two dimensions. The first dimension is the locus of feedback, whether feedback pertains to a sales person’s output or behaviour. The second dimention is the valence of feedback, whether feedback is positive or negative.

Feedback is argued to improve performance through it informational and motivational effects.

35 – Hiltrop

Employees are expected to do their work and think of ways to improve it, achieve new levels of performance, contribute to change efforts and manage their own ongoing learning processes (Mohrman and Mohrman, 1993).

Organizations will become more complex and ambiguous place to work (Handy, 1989)

The role of the manager will become more lateral, with much more focus on people, customers and processes.

As Cannon (1996) points out: managers are being asked to show their worth on a more decentralized workplace, worth valuated in terms of effectiveness in creating conditions in which people can deliver the best results.

Most commentators agree that managers of the future will require a more extensive mix of skills and competencies than their processors. For instance, Allred et al. (1996) argues that, as more companies adopt some type of networked structure, managers need to have not only strong collaborative, partnership and relationship skills.

In the organization of the future, managers’ role have been portrayed as those of portfolio specialists, whose work and income comes first and foremost from having high expertise in a particular field or subject that is essential to the business (Nicholson, 1996).

Managers of the future will have to develop a much wider range of skills and competencies than their predecessors. According to Carson and Carson (1997) many organizations are burdened with workers who want to jump ship, but who stay firmly on board grasping for long-term security in the face of widespread job cuts.

There is no doubt that the successful managers for the future will need a very different set of skills and competencies than their predecessors.

42 – Jawahar

A primary purpose of formal performance appraisals is the provision of clear, performance-based feedback to employees (Carroll & Schneier, 1982; Ilgen, Fisher & Taylor, 1979). The significance of feedback to the appraisal process as well as to the broader management process has been widely acknowledged (e.g., Bernardin & Beatty, 1984; Ilgen et al., 1979; Lawler, 1994; Maier, 1958; Murphy & Cleveland, 1995). Performance feedback has the potential to influence future performance (Ilgen et al., 1979; Kluger & DeNisi, 1996), and significantly impact job and organizational attitudes (Ilgen, Peterson, Martin & Boeschen, 1981; Pearson, 1991; Taylor, Fisher & Ilgen, 1984). Thus, feedback is not only important to individuals but also to organizations because of its potential influence on performance and a variety of attitudes and behaviors of interest to organizations.

Satisfaction with appraisal feedback is regarded as one of the most consequential of the reactions to appraisal feedback (e.g., Dorfman, Stephan & Loveland, 1986; Giles & Mossholder, 1990; Keeping & Levy, 2000). For instance, Giles and Mossholder (1990) and others (e.g., Organ, 1988) have asserted that satisfaction as a measure of employees' reactions is a more encompassing indicator of reactions to appraisal feedback than more specific, cognitively oriented criteria, such as perceived utility and accuracy of feedback (e.g., Keeping & Levy, 2000).

In summary, the central role of feedback to the appraisal process and the importance of examining ratees' satisfaction with appraisal feedback are widely acknowledged (e.g., Ilgen et al., 1979; Keeping & Levy, 2000; Murphy & Cleveland, 1995).

Satisfaction with appraisal feedback is likely to enhance employees' feelings of selfworth and their feelings of positive standing within the organization (Lind & Tyler, 1988).

If organizations are to realize the benefits of performance feedback, they should take the appraisal process and particularly the feedback discussions between the rater and ratee seriously.

Although satisfaction with feedback has been a focal construct in a number of studies, its nomological net is not well understood.

The significant relationship between satisfaction with feedback and organizational commitment became non-significant when the influences of job satisfaction and satisfaction with manager on organizational commitment were statistically controlled.

Results of this study indicate that the extent to which ratees are satisfied with the performance feedback benefits the ratee, rater and the organization. Ratees benefit as satisfaction with feedback is positively related to their job satisfaction and influences their future performance. Raters benefit as ratees’ satisfaction with feedback is positively related to ratees’ satisfaction with them, negatively related to turnover intentions, and influences future performance of ratees.

32 – Heathfield

Every method of assessing employee performance has its positive and negative characteristics.

The traditional process of performance appraisal reflects and underpins an old-fashioned, paternalistic, top-down, autocratic mode of management that relies on organization charts and fear of job loss to keep troops in line. The traditional performance appraisal process treats employees as possessions of the company, fails to create a dialogue and rarely results in positive employee development and progress.

Performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed and ends when it’s determined why an excellent employee left the organization for another opportunity.

In a performance management system, feedback remains integral to successful practice. The feedback however becomes a discussion for both progress and personal business goals.

56 – Liden

Very little work has been done on the poor performer's reactions to the leader's responses. Liden (1981) found that subordinates and leaders reported that the most common leader response to ineffective performance was to simply discuss the incident with the poorly performing subordinate. In such a discussion the leader is essentially giving negative feedback to the poor performer.

Ilgen, Mitchell, and Fredrickson (1981a) found that poorly performing subordinates perceive specific feedback to be more helpful than general feedback. Similarly, results of a field study indicated that feedback timing, specificity, and frequency are all associated with subordinate satisfaction and perceptions of appraisal helpfulness (Ilgen, Peterson, Martin, & Boeschen, 1981b).

It was predicted that subjects would rate feedback containing consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus information (i.e., specific feedback) more positively than feedback containing information on none of these three dimensions (i.e., non-specific feedback).

Subordinates rated specific feedback more positively than nonspecific feedback. Feedback including consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus information was rated higher than feedback containing information on none of these dimensions. This result supports the Ilgen, Fisher, and Taylor (1979) suggestion that subordinate misperceptions and nonacceptance of negative feedback might be corrected by providing more specific feedback.

19 – Falcone

In an era where intellectual capital defines any company's ability to stand out from its peers, measuring that human capital as a true asset may dictate the organization's ultimate success or failure.

In reality, though, this challenge has gone mainly unresolved because managers see pertbnnance appraisal as an exercise that focuses only quantitatively on individual performance as the core foundation and building block of the performance review "process".

So much for the Golden Cycle of Performance Management, which is:

Goal setting and planning.

Ongoing feedback and coaching.

Appraisal and reward.

Under the current way of handling appraisals, the first two steps rarely get addressed, leaving the culmination in the third step more theory than reality.

27 – Grensing-Pophal

Many CU managers and business experts note that performance evaluation is perhaps the most important part of the interaction between supervisors and managers.

62- McGregor

Formal performance appraisal plans are designed to meet three needs, one for the organization and two for the individual:

1. they provide systematic judgments to back up salary increases, promotions, transfers and sometimes demotions and terminations

2. they are a means of telling a subordinate how he is doing, and suggesting needed changes in his behaviour, attitudes, skills or job knowledge, they let him know where he stands with the boss.

3. They are also being increasingly used as a basis for the coaching and counselling of the individual by the superior.

McGregor found that one of the boss’s resistance to effective appraisal interview is related to the lack of skills needed to handle the interview.

Training programs designed to teach the skills of appraising and interviewing do help, but they seldom eliminate managerial resistance entirely.

54 – Levinson

In Levinson (1976) view, the major problem in performance appraisal is related to what is to be appraised, meaning that in several cases there is not the needed agreement between manager and employee of what the performance appraisal is designed to achieve.

Performance appraisal has three basic functions:

1. provide adequate feedback to the employee

2. serve as a basis for modifying or changing behaviour toward more effective working habits

3. provide data to managers to be used for future job assignments and compensation.

15 – Decotiis

Performance appraisals are frequently used in organizations as a basis for administrative decisions such as employee promotion, transfer, and allocation of financial rewards; employee development, including identification of training needs and performance feedback; and personnel research (2).

if the (rater) is motivated to make accurate judgments about his (ratees) and if he feels free to be objective, then he has a good chance of achieving his aim, provided . . . that he has the requisite abilities and can use the appropriate | evaluative standards 1 (39, pp. 176-177).

appraisals tend to be less accurate when they are obtained for administrative purposes than when they are obtained for purposes of either employee development or personnel research (3, 14, 20)

Rater Ability

As indicated in Figure 1, another major determinant of the accuracy of performance ratings is rater ability, defined as the skill with which a rater interprets ratee job behaviour. The determinants of rater ability are: (a) rater's opportunity to observe ratee job behaviour; (b) rater characteristics; (c) rater training; and (d) availability of the appropriate rating standards.

3. Bartlett, C. )., and A. T. Sharon. "Effect of Instructional Conditions in Producing Leniency on Two Types of Rating Scales," Personnel Psychology, Vol. 22 (1969), 251- 263.

20. Gellerman, S. W. The Management

94 – Abraham

A key component of any performance management system is performance appraisal. While it is true that effective performance management includes activities besides performance appraisals (e.g. training, succession planning, pay for performance), appraisals are a sine qua non for any effective performance management program (Banks and May, 1999; Bulger, 1995, Mohrman and Mohrman, 1995).

The results of this study suggest that organizations are willing to identify a set of managerial competencies that describe the successful manager. The same organizations, however, do not appear to place a corresponding emphasis on the inclusion of these competencies in their performance appraisal processes. Organizations that aspire to be high performance organizations should be encouraged not only to identify the managerial competencies that are the most critical to successful performance but also to insure that those same competencies are incorporated in the performance appraisal process.

80 – Thompson

Managers want a system which will indentify those with high potential for advancement and those who are consistently low performers so that they may be encouraged to leave.

Managers and personnel people want accurate and complete information for making decisions on salary increases, promotions and so forth.

70 Nemeroff

Several studies have shown that there are marked discrepancies between subordinates' and managers' perceptions of communication processes, job expectations, and behavior critical for job success (Latham & Mitchell, 1976; Likert, 1961), as well as attitudes towards an organization's performance feedback system (Hall & Lawler, 1969).

The significance of the present study is two-fold. First, with the increasing use of feedback interviews in organizational settings, it is becoming more necessary to train managers in how to conduct successful performance feedback interviews.

79 – Stone

Feedback provides the individual with information that can be used to achieve a greater degree of correspondence between role behaviour and role-related expectations. Feedback also provides the role incumbent with information useful in developing or changing beliefs about task competence (cf. Ilgen et al., 1979; Shrauger & Schoeneman, 1979).

51 – Larson

There is a substantial amount of empirical research demonstrating that performance feedback has a significant impact upon both individual and group behaviour in organizations (for two reviews of this

literature, see Ilgen, Fisher, & Taylor, 1979; and Nadler 1979).

Taylor )non classificata)

Appraisal feedback is the information an employee receives concerning the way his or her performance has been evaluated by a rater or a group of raters.

Your training should focus on setting goals, coaching, development planning and performance evaluations. Proficiency in these four areas is absolutely essential for the success on any performance-management system. Without these foundamental skills in place, no form, rating scale or thecnology will make a process work.

41 – Jackson

The emergence of 360'^ degree feedbacksystems provides an alternative to traditional appraisal systems that are used by most organizations but praised by very few (Marotiey & Buckely, 1992). 360 can be seen as an attempt to improve the process by expanding the information available.

360 as a Feedback System

The logic underlying 360 feedback is that there are many sources of information in organizations, and much of that information is available both to the manager and to the employee. Coworkers, customers (both internal and external), other managers, and even the task itself can be sources of feedback (Ashford & Cummings, 1983; Herold & Parsons. 198.5).

Evaluation is the way the feedback system reacts to the facts.

The bulk of the difficulties appear when 360" appraisal is used for administrative purposes (Antonioni. 1996).

Many of the problems associated with appraisal, particularly those related to acceptance, are not as much at issue in developmental reviews where the employee has more control of subsequent action.

360 feedback is an attempt to improve organization performance hy increasing the range of data included in the appraisal. Recognizing that evaluation and action planning are also parts of the feedback system allows management to better tailor the 360 feedback system to its specific organization.

86 – Schraeder

Griffin and Ebert (2002) describe performance appraisal as the "formal evaluation of an employee's

job performance in order to determine the degree to which the employee is performing effectively" (p. 216). The process of formally evaluating employees' performance through the use of performance appraisals is regarded as a staple of organizational management (Kreitner, 2007).

There is considerable agreement that performance appraisals can have positive implications for organizations (Pettijohn, Parker, Pettijohn, and Kent, 2001).

Performance appraisals can enhance employee productivity Oenks, 1991).

Also, failing to provide feedback can have negative implications for employees (inornbory and White, 2007). For example, the absence of feedback leaves employees to play a guessing game concerning whether to continue on the current path of workrelated behavior or to chart another course. The communication received through performance appraisal feedback is essential for encouraging employees to continue on a positive trajectory or to guide employees in improving problem areas.

Errors: Inflated ratings are a common malady associated with formal performance appraisals (Martin and Bartol, 1998).

In addition to evaluating employees on a regular basis, organizations should also assess the effectiveness of the appraisal system periodically (Martin and Bartol, 1998)

Train raters: Training raters and giving them feedback improves raters' ability to make accurate evaluations of employee performance. First, raters should be trained on the performance appraisal process, policies, and appraisal forms. Training should be predicated on written organizational policies and procedures outlining the performance appraisal process (Jenks, 1991).

Provide ongoing feedback: Providing feedback on an ongoing basis was offered earlier as a general recommendation for enhancing the effectiveness of performance appraisals.

Use multiple raters: One increasingly popular method for obtaining feedback from multiple sources is 360-degree feedback (Kubicek, 2004). Using multiple rating sources in performance appraisals provides unique perspectives on performance that are available from different sources (e.g., supervisors, peers, subordinates, customers, etc.) that are often ignored by traditional performance appraisal.

J. M. Jenks, "Do Your Performance Appraisals Boost Productivity?" Management Review, Vol. 80, No. 6, pp. 45-47.

J. F. Kikoski, "Effective Communication in the Performance Appraisal Interview: Face-to-Face Communication for Public

Managers in the Culturally Diverse Workplace," Public Personnel Management, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 301-322.

L. S. Pettijohn, R. S. Parker, C. E. Pettijohn, andj. L. Kent, "Performance Appraisals: Usage, Criteria, and Observations," The Journal of Management Development, Vol. 20, No. 9/10, pp. 754-771.

52 – Lee

The importance of performance appraisal for organizational actions such as selection, training, motivation, and compensation has been widely discussed. Because the actions based on the information from the rating process have critical implications for both the individual and the organization, accuracy in measuring performance has been a major concern in the last 50 years.

Performance appraisal effectiveness refers to the accuracy of performance observations and ratings as well as the ability of the performance appraisal process to improve the ratee's future performance.

Thornton and Zorich (1980) have shown that training increases the rater's accuracy in observing and recalling specific behavioural events.

In addition, Thornton and Zorich (1980) have suggested that raters should be trained to avoid systematic errors of observation, such as overdependence on a single source, prejudice, stereotyping, or categorization error (forcing observations into categories instead of remembering the differences among ideas, behaviors, or people).

Thornton, G. C. & Zorich. S. Training to improve observer accuracy. Journal of Applied Psychology, 1980. 65, 351-354. (non scaricabile)

10 – Cederblom

The performance appraisal interview is a potentially important part of any organization's performance appraisal system. Clearly, the appraisal interview might function in several important ways: providing feedback to employees, counselling and developing employees, and conveying and discussing compensation, job status, or disciplinary decisions.

Despite the apparent importance of appraisal interviews, superiors often receive no training in conducting these sessions (Burke & Kimball, 1971).

Basically, Cummings and Schwab's model states that the appropriate function of the appraisal, as well as the type and frequency of its feedback, are contingent on the nature of the employee's job and the characteristics of the employee.

How frequently a superior might most effectively conduct appraisal interviews with a subordinate depends on a number of factors, including the function of the interview, the nature of the subordinate's job, and characteristics of the subordinate.

Several sources suggest highly frequent reviews with low performers. Cummings and Schwab believe intensive (weekly and possibly daily) sessions are required to raise performance to acceptable levels.

Although it generally is recommended that feedback to employees be given more frequently, present empirical knowledge of the desirability of more frequent appraisal interviews is sparse.

These findings suggest that appraisal interviews conducted by superiors who have limited contact and familiarity with subordinates and subordinates' jobs may not have positive outcomes, at least from the viewpoint of subordinates.

Training is needed to enable superiors to plan appraisal interviews for different situations and to conduct the interviews. Research in this area of training is limited; nevertheless, several training techniques and suggested contents seem appropriate. Different mock employee situations could be posed to help superiors plan interviews. To increase their knowledge of subordinates' performance, superiors could be trained in methods of observing and recording subordinates' job behavior. One promising approach to developing superiors' interview behavior is indicated by Nemeroff and Cosentino

(1979). They found an effective technique that combined (1) questionnaire feedback from subordinates to managers on specific previous interview behaviors of each manager with (2) managers' subsequent goal setting for improvement on their choice of these specific behaviors.

72 – Piggot

Performance management is a macro-descriptor that encompasses all of the micro-processes associated with personnel management.

Appraisal, although only one contributing micro-process in the macro context, is central to the effectiveness of performance management.

It is recommended that the training includes a coverage of all elements of appraisal such as values, purposes, objective setting, observation skills, data gathering skills, interviewing and report writing. The training should also focus on helping appraisers to develop an educative process. A suggested approach for this could include that the principles and content:

* Focus on personalised actionable knowledge (Argyris, 1993), where individuals are helped to examine their own actions and to take responsibility for both detecting and correcting defensiveness associated with interactions. Should help appraisers to expose the gap between their espousals and actions. This exposure must also involve challenge and critique and be based on objective evidence that the appraiser can reflect on.

* Must introduce appraisers to effective models for interacting in bilateral, open, non-defensive and problem confronting ways. Regardless of the model chosen, it must be presented at a level that is both simple and concise, "yet its complexity must not be underplayed" (Cardno, 1994, p. 237).

* Must engage participants in taking this model from a level of espousal (thinking or beliefs) to implementation.

95 – Spool

Many of the studies which evaluated training programs for interviewers were concerned with communication skills (Andrade, 1972; Miller, 1971; Retts, 1973; Waldron, 1973), interpersonal skills (Jason, Kagan, Werner, Elstein, and Thomas, 1971), or interviewing style (Doster, 1969; Goodwin and Garvey, 1971; Sawyer, 1973). Other studies which involved observer training only examined the effects of other variables (e.g., order of interviewees/applicants) on observer accuracy (Carlson, 1970). Only eight studies were found which evaluated training programs for interviewers using accuracy of behavior observation as the dependent variable; thus, meeting the criteria for inclusion


Performance appraisal training has been viewed as a promising method for improving the effectiveness of performance appraisal systems (e.g., Dunnette and Borman, 1979; Landy and Farr, 1980).

63 – A.Mackay

Most organisations are being pressured for improved performance and managers are being asked to get more from fewer resources. At the same time, employees in many organisations are asking for better and more direct feedback on their performance. So, together, the performance of an organisation will depend directly on the performance of both its managers and staff. Obviously. Improved performances will not just happen, they must be managed!

Organisations aspiring towards high-performance cultures are strong on three things:

clarity about objectives and goals

continuous assessment of performance and feedback

Recognition for performance.

The overall objective of a performance appraisal system may differ from one organisation to another, where the specific objectives will depend on the needs of the organisation at a particular time.

Improved communications In a busy, over-pressured working environment, managers frequently fail to allow time to communicate adequately with their staff. A goals-orientated system facilitates communication about the rally important issue concerning achievement in a particular job.

Typically, the quality of this communication is better and deeper than normal day-to-day discussions.

The first stage in your preparation is to examine performance in the job:

are the existing Key Result Areas and goals still relevant?

have the goals set for the period been achieved?

if not, were the reasons within the individual's control?

what specific behaviours helped or hindered attainment of the goals?

The most important element within appraisal discussions is the level of preparation that is put them.

Many organisations introduce a performance management system without providing any training for managers who are to implement the system.

Managers require two types of skill. These skills can be very adequately developed in a short training course:

Goal setting – experience shows that most managers do need help with setting goals, which have the degree of clarity and measurability necessary.

Coaching and counselling – managers need these skills for the interactive side of performance review, to help with conducting the appraisal discussions.

Undertaking this training also provides opportunity for overcoming some of the fears that a manager might have concerning an appraisal system.



Performance management is a continuous process based on flexible objectives closely aligned with business goals an supported by regular feedback.

Line manager still have a vital role to play in monitoring progress, providing constructive feedback and coaching employees to improve.

The ultimate aim of any performance management framework is to improve the effectiveness of the business as whole.

Employees' individual targets typically focus on job-oriented tasks, defining what needs to be achieved in the short-term.

Although the and-of-year appraisal meeting remains a core element of the performance management process, most companies now favour an approach based on regular one-to-ones between line managers and their staff.

They bear responsibility for ensuring that their employees' objectives are properly aligned with wider corporate goals, and for monitoring and supporting progress during the year. They need to be able to bring out the best in high-potential staff and to manage any instances of poor performance, while continuing to motivate the vast majority of staff who consistently perform well. At the end of the year, line managers are expected to give an objective assessment of performance an may also be required to make rating decisions that, in many cases, will directly influence employees' basic salary increases or bonus payments.

The success of a new performance management system, therefore, rests largely on the ability of line managers to manage and engage their staff.

There are essentially three phases within any performance management process. At the beginning of the cycle, employees agree their objectives for the year ahead with their line managers. During the year, progress is reviewed regularly and employees are offered constructive feedback and coaching to support them meeting their goals. At the end of the year, performance is evaluated at a formal appraisal meeting at which employees may receive ratings that can inform reward decisions.


71 – C.M. Pavett

Literature in the areas of job design, goal-setting, and behaviour psychology recognize that performance feedback in an important factor in both employee motivation and performance (Greller&Herold, 1975; Ilgen, Fisher, &Taylor, 1979).

Feedback is an important piece of performance information (Greller, 1980) that facilitates goal attainment (Ashford&Cummings, 1981).

Individuals actively seek feedback (Ashford&Cummings, 1981) from external sources such as the formal performance appraisals, the supervisor, co-workers, and the task (Greller&Herold, 1975).


J.J. Gabarro

Managing your boss requires that you gain an understanding of the boss and his or her context, as well as your own situation. All managers do this to some degree, but many are not thorough enough.

At a minimum, you need to appreciate your boss's goals and pressures, his or her strengths and weaknesses. What are your boss's organisational and personal objectives, and what are his or her pressures, especially those from his or her own boss and others at the same level?

The boss is only one-half of the relationship. You are the other half. as well as the part over which you have more direct control. Developing an effective working relationship requires, then, that you know your own needs, strengths and weaknesses, and personal style.


P.F. Drucker:

Most people think they know what they are good at. They usually wrong. More often, people know what they are not good at – and even than more people are wrong than right.

The only way to discover tour strengths is through feedback analysis.

Several implications for action follow from feedback analysis. First and foremost, concentrate on your strengths. Put yourself where your strengths can produce results.

Second, work on improving your strengths. Analysis will rapidly show where you need to improve skills or acquire new ones.

Bosses are neither a title on the organisation chart not a "function". They are individuals and are entitled to do their work in the way they do it best. It is incumbent on the people who work with them to observe them, to find out how they work, and to adapt themselves to what makes their bosses most effective. This, in fact, is the secret of "managing" the boss.

The first secret of effectiveness is to understand the people you work with so that you can make use of their strengths.

Organisations are no longer built on force but on trust.



Discuses four sets of problems which may reduce the usefulness of performance rating as criteria. These problems include biases, politicking, impression management and undeserved reputation. Describes the inaccuracies to which these problems give rise and concludes that instead of selecting the right people for management, selection methods validated against appraisal will simply perpetuate an unsatisfactory status quo.

Someone whose true performance is poor, but who is a good self-publicist, or good at claiming responsibility for others' work, or successful at defining his/her achievements as useful and important, will achieve better PRs. Conversely someone whose true performance is good, but who is not a good sel-publicist, ore does not claim responsibility for others' successes, or who fails to get his/her work defined as important, may get poorer PRs.

The PR has been contaminated, and less accurately reflects true performance.

If performance appraisal is not a good measure of true performance, than selection methods validated against appraisal will not be selecting the "right" people for management, but will simply be perpetuating an unsatisfactory status quo.


M. Millmore:

Performance management. It is an umbrella term to describe not a single activity but a range of activities that may be gathered together to enhance organisational performance. So, before defining what performance management is, it may be useful to clarify what it is not. First. it is not performance appraisal. It is easy to go through the annual ritual of performance appraisal, from which little action follows, and call this performance management. Performance appraisal is an important component of performance management, but the action that emanates from performance appraisal is crucial if organisational performance is to be enhanced.

Armstrong and Baron define performance management as:

A strategic and integrated approach to delivering sustained success to organisations by improving the performance of people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributor.

The difference between performance measurement and performance management is that performance measurement includes measures based on key success factors, which may include: measures of deviation from the "norm"; measures to track past achievements; measures of output and input; whereas performance management involves such issues as training, teamwork, management style, attitudes, shared vision, employee involvement and rewards, etc. (Lebas, 1995).

The fear that performance measurement becomes an end in itself was borne out in case study research carried out by Radnor an McGuire /2004) in two UK public sector organisations: a health authority and a central government department. These researchers found four main weaknesses.

1. Performance was about measurement and evaluation, not about management. In both organisations too much time was spent "form filling" and chasing information.

2. The system in the two organisations were diagnostic not interactive or about allowing employee improvement.

3. The targets were not considered nor was there evaluation of the foundation upon which they were based.

4. There was a general lack of ownership of the targets, since those having to manage them were not responsible for setting of the targets.

Legge (1995b:180) suggests that the orthodox interpretation of commitment "is operationalised in terms of three factors: a strong desire to remain a member of the organisation; a strong belief in, and acceptance of, the values and goals of the organisation; a strong belief in, and acceptance of, the values and goals of the organisation; and a readiness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organisation".

The provision of feedback to show progress in relation to the goal is a powerful indicator of performance management effectiveness. Some organisations have weekly, monthly or quarterly progress meetings and reviews. This is a very demanding and time-consuming process for managers.

Armstrong and Baron (1998) make the point that performance management is very much concerned with interrelationships, among the most important people- managers and individuals, managers and team, and team members themselves.

The final reason why performance management has grown in importance is the increasing dissatisfaction with traditional performance appraisal practices (Bach, 2000). Bach highlights the lack of objectivity of performance appraisal and the over-reliance on the annual appraisal interview as the most important reason for general dissatisfaction with performance appraisal. This had led to a greater interested in so-called 360-degree appraisal in which performance assessments are secured from a winder range of source.

It is normal for writers on performance management to represent the series of activities included in performance management as a cycle (e.g. Clark, 1998, Thornhill et al., 2000).

The cycle then starts again at the commencement of the following year. However, in this chapter, performance management is characterised as a system model. The cyclical nature of performance management is included in the model, as are all the activities that form the cycle. We believe that by representing performance management in system form we give greater emphasis to the inputs and outputs of the system as well as the processes. It is the processes that gain greater coverage in the literature. This is as it should be because the interaction between appraiser and appraisee is the very essence of performance management.

The most important stakeholders in the performance management system are appraisers, appraisees, and those upon whom they most immediate impact, for example recipients of the services provided by the appraisee.

The final input to the performance management system considered here is the psychological contract. This is a term first used by Argyris (1960) to refer to the expectations of employer and employee which operate in addition to the formal contract of employment.

Stiles et al. (1997) argue that performance management processes play a key role in creating a framework in which the psychological contract between employer and employee is determined. They specify three particular processes as being important: (1) setting objectives; (2) performance evaluation: and (3) the linkage between (1) and (2) to generate reward and development outputs in order to reward desired behaviour.

The particular problems noted by the researcher were:

short-term demands dictated that "softer" targets were ignored;

objectives were imposed by managers rather than negotiated;

performance appraisal was perceived as bureaucratic and did not give rise to action; inconsistent appraisal ratings;

performance pay in which the link between pay and performance was unclear and/or perceived as unfair;

training outcomes that were based on the current job rather than the espoused aim of employability;

insufficient opportunity to practise newly learned skill.

The model of the manager as the sole judge of employee progress, given in top-down manner, is increasingly becoming outmodel in many organisation. So-called 360_degree appraisal is becoming more prevalent. In the IRS (2003) study of 49 organisations, one-half used 360_degree appraisal. This type appraisal is so called simply because it does not rely on assessment from the line manger only but from a number of source.

Acas (2004) go on to recommend that in cases of unsatisfactory performance an employee should be given an "improvement note", setting out:

the performance problem;

the improvement that is required;

the timescale for achieving this improvement;

a review date date; and

any support the employer will provide to assist the employee.

For many employees, performance appraisal has been a traditional vehicle for recognising potential with a view to planning forthcoming activities so that the employee may move "onwards and upwars" in the organisation.


D.M. Rousseau:

Performance appraisals can bring organisational expectations of both the employer and the employee to the surface: Role clarity and goal setting also improve motivation.


C.L. Cooper:

M. Susan Taylor Appraisal feedback is the information an employee receives concerning the way his or her performance has been evaluated by a rater or group of raters. Prior research has found that appraisal feedback tends to be more readily accepted as fair by recipients and to leas to more positive affective reactions when it:

1. is precedent by a discussion of performance expectations at the beginning of the performance period and by the provision of interim feedback;

2. allows the recipient to input his or her views about performance;

3. discusses the rayer's rationale for the performance evaluation; and

4. is given by a rater who strives to be unbiased and considerate of the employee’s feelings (Foleger, Konovsky, and Cropzano, 1992; Taylor et al., 1995).

Performance improvement in response to appraisal feedback appears to be a function of whether goals for improvement are set and monitored, the rater is supportive of the employee's capacity for improvement, and attractive organizational rewards are made contingent on high performance (Meyer, Kay, and French, 1965; cedarblom, 1982; Prince and Lawler, 1986).

Performance appraisal is the process of identifying, observing, measuring, and developing human performance in organisations (Carroll and Schneir, 1982). This description is a widely accepted definition of appraisal (Cardy and Dobbins, 1994).

Performance appraisal is a central human resource management (HRM) function, since it is an input or component of so many other HRM activities (e.g., Landy, Farr, and Jacobs, 1982).

Robert L. Cardy and Gregory H Dobbins Performance management should be the primary goal of any PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL system.

Informal day-to-day performance feedback is probably more useful for that purpose.


J Weightman:

One of the major advantages of performance management is that team leaders and managers are forced to give emphasis to formal and planned employee development. On the downside, there is potential conflict between the aim of improving performance – which requires openness and a developmental approach – and the link with pay.

Skills or competencies of the people in the organisation are an important part of the success of the organisation.

Problems of communication can happen anywhere along this chain.

Whoever runs the organisation is ultimately responsible for its performance. They be accountable to shareholders, customer, clients, staff, the country and other stakeholders. The performance can be organisational, group or individual.

The main construct of performance management is that workgroups and individuals see what they have to do make their contribution to the organisation's overall effectiveness.

One traditional approach to directing the performance of people in organisations is management by objectives (MBO): This phrase is used to describe a system of management that tries to relate the organisational goals to the behaviour and performance of individuals in the organisation. It involves:

setting targets and objectives

getting individuals to agree these objectives and the criteria for measuring performance

continually appraising and reviewing the outcomes.

Performance appraisal is a well-established way of providing milestones, feedback, guidance and monitoring for staff.

The essential elements of any performance appraisal are judgement and reporting.

In addition, George (1986) suggests that an effective appraisal is dependent on the style and content of appraisal not conflicting with the culture of the organisation.

Many things can impair the judgement, reporting and effectiveness of the performance appraisal. for example:


insufficient knowledge of the individual

the "halo" effect of general likeability of recent events

the difficulty of distinguishing the performance from the context in which the person works

different perception of what are appropriate standards

marking everyone "just above average"

ignoring the outcome of the appraisal process. for example, everyone will be frustrated if there ore no improved resources, training or changes.


P. Herriot:

The most important vehicle used by personnel departments when aiming to maximize the output of their human resource is the organisation's appraisal and counselling scheme. Such schemes are normally used for assessing the performance of a company's employees and for developing their capacities.

The organization usually needs a record of how well an individual has performed aver the last year, so as to reward and reinforce good performance and to improve aspects of poor performance.

Let us look initially at the various factors that together constitute a marked disincentive to appraisers. in the first place, there is frequently a degree of unease about being in a position to give a fair and accurate assessment. They be aware of the subjective nature of appraisal and of the potential for to be affected by bias of one kind or another; there is certainly good evidence to support such anxienties (Mitchell and Wood, 1980; Bernardin and Cardy,1982). They may also feel less confident that have seen enough of their subordinates' performance in the review period to make a balance assessment of it.

Performance appraisal is really about interpersonal relationships, and particularly the boss-subordinate relationship. To be an effective appraiser and counsellor, a boss needs a wide range of skills, many of wich he or she does not possess at the outset of career.


C.T. Kullik:

Think of the performance appraisal process as having two distinct stages. In the first stage, the manager uses a standard form provided by the organization to rate each of the employees he or she supervises: We'll call that part the performance appraisal rating. In the second stage, the manager shares the rating with each employee during a performance appraisal meeting. There is no perfect performance appraisal method!

Some raters are "easy graders" and give all employees, regardless of their actual performance, scores at the high end of the performance rating scale. Other raters tend to be "hard graders2 and give all employees scores at the low end of the performance rating scale (severity error). Still others tend to give scores that cluster at the scale midpoint (central tendency error). These errors are problematic because they misrepresent the actual range and distribution of employee performance.

A very common rater error is called halo error. Halo error occurs when the rater assign rating on the basis of a global impression of the employee as either a good or poor performer.


L. Bossidy:

It's well understood that the relationships between a boss and his direct reports are important ones and figure strongly in the success of a team.

Set goals and objectives. An executive may assume he's doing a good job, but he can't know for sure that his boss would agree if he has no specific goals and objectives to strives for. In addition to team goals, each person should know exactly what individual goals he or she is going to be measured on over a given period and where to invest precious time.


L. Bassi:

Managers are fond of the maxim "Employees are our most important asset".

Companies that fail to invest in employees jeopardize their own success and even survival.


J. M. Jackman:

Nobody likes performance reviews. Subordinates are terrified they'll hear nothing but criticism. Bosses, for their part, think their direct reports will respond to even the mildest criticism with stonewalling, anger, or tears.

This fear of feedback doesn't come into play just during annual reviews. At last half the executives with whom we've worked never ask for feedback.

Fears and assumptions about feedback often manifest themselves in psychological maladaptive behaviours such as procrastination, denial, brooding, jealousy, and self-sabotage. But there's hope.

Adapting to feedback – which inevitably asks people to change, sometimes significantly – is critical for manager who find themselves in jobs, companies, and industries undergoing frequent transitions.


HR Studies Update 846 – May 2007:

Companies often assert that "people are greatest asset, and, in the same spirit, "employee engagement" is considered by many as the Holy Grail that can deliver competitive advantage. But the real challenge is to provide a tangible measure of this.

After all, staff costs are often one of the largest items of company expenditure.


F. Herzberg:

Whwn Federick Herzberg researched the sources of employees motivation during the 1950s and 1960s, he discovered a dichotomy that stills intrigues (and baffles) managers: The things that make people satisfied and motivated on the job are different in kind from the things that make them dissatisfied.



The demands from managers for performance management system that can assist in assign the effectiveness and efficiency in specific areas such as perations, marketing and human resource management has resulted in endeavours from those in these functions to develop performance measures of greater relevance to their areas of management.

HRM has not, in general, had a strong focus on the development of performance measures to assess organizational performance.

There are several areas of performance measurement innovations initiated by HRM, or by management accountants as a response HRM concerns. These include the development of 360 degree performance ratings, developing quantitative ways of assessing HRM outputs, the Human Capital Index, multi-attribute utility analysis, accounting for human or intellectual asset, balanced scorecards and intangible assets.

An important concern for HRM is planning and evaluating how employees' overall abilities and skills can be assessed with a view to providing employee development, as well as facilitating promotion and succession planning. The innovation of 360degree performance ratings provides a way of gaining insight into an individual's performance from a variety of source such as supervisor, peers, subordinates, customers and suppliers (Hazucha et al. , 1993).

Assessing individual performance using 360 degree performance ratings is focused on assessing individual performance and providing feedback for learning and improvement.



Appraisal is the judgement of an employee's performance in a job, based on considerations other than productivity alone.

Appraisal reviews are usually categorised into three types.

a) Performance reviews

b) Potential reviews

c) Reward reviews

There are many kinds of appraisal schemes, though usually they are elaborations or variations on one the following.

a) Ranking, which requires the manager to rank subordinates un prder of merit, usually on their ability in the job but sometimes according to a few separate characteristics.

b) Grading, which allots employees into a predetermined series of merit categories – usually five – on the basis of their total performance.

c) The rating scale is by far the most common method o appraisal.

d) The open-ended method is a comparatively recent innovation, introduced because of dissatisfaction with rating scales.

Unreliable judgements may be made when using the rating scale method.

a) Managers are often unwilling to use the extreme ratings (Known as the central tendency):

b) They have different standards of judgement, sometimes influenced by strong prejudices.

c) They do not all attach the same meaning to the names of the factors.

d) They are strongly influenced by a subordinate's recent behaviour rather than by his or her work throughout the appraisal period.

e) Their judgment is influenced by any particularly strong or weak characteristic of the subordinate.

f) It is difficult to design a rating scale which is suitable for all types of employee.


G. Anderson: How they perform is a critical factor in organizational effectiveness.

Performance management involves having in place systems and methods which translate the goals of strategic management into individual performance terms through HRM.

Performance management also needs to be concerned with the manager's relationship with the individual in general, and with the appraisal process and motivation in particular (Evenden and Anderson, 1992).

Indeed, many models of HRM see the process as one of exchange between the individual and the organization, with commitment, involvement and initiative as key variables for effectiveness (Storey, 1992).

Performance appraisal systems have been widely recognized as forming a central element in the management of people's performance.

Performance appraisal objectives can be classified in a number of ways.

One of the best known classifications was produced many years ago by McGregor (1960) who grouped objectives as follows:

Administrative Providing an orderly way of determining promotions, transfers and salary increases.

Informative Supplying data to management on the performance of subordinates and to the individual on his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Motivational Creating a learning experience that motivates staff to develop themselves and improve their performance.

Over the last two decades the literature on performance appraisal has reinforced the issue recognized and clearly articulated y Cummings and Schwab that well-designed system of performance appraisal should pursue forward-looking developmental objectives, such as the setting of targets for different aspects of job performance and the identification of training needs, as well as evaluative objectives concerned primarily with the assessment of the actual performance of employees aver a given time period, often six month or a year, against what are considered to be desirable standards.

There is evidence (see, for example, Mohrman et al., 1989) to suggest that the more effective, sustainable performance appraisal schemes are those where both evaluative and developmental objectives are considered important, but where greater emphasis is placed on developmental objectives.

In performance appraisal system where the evaluation of performance is linked to reward decisions, especially financial rewards, individuals have an important reason for seeking favourable evaluations and are more likely to present themselves in the most favourable way possible even if it means a loss of opportunity for giving and receiving valid feedback which would subsequently assist in improving their performance.

At one of the spectrum there are those who see performance appraisal as making a key contribution to HRM.

Typical appraisal problems include:

lack of honesty in exchanging opinions and feelings;

failure to face up to deficiencies in performance;

failure to agree actions that genuinely help the individuals.

The best performance appraisal practice has to some extent moved beyond that situation, and extends into other areas by emphasizing the links between formal appraisal and informal dy-to-day management.

Performance management builds on, rather than replaces, performance appraisal. Indeed most writers on performance management system (for example, Fletcher and Williams, 1992) regard performance appraisal as an essential characteristic, but only one of several essential characteristics, of a good performance management system.

Performance management focuses very much on the future.


E. Soltani:

Improving employees' performance was rated the highest criterion of a quality-driven HR performance evaluation.

Another important issue in performance management is the source of appraisal. To emphasise the vital role of sources of appraisal in effectiveness of the process, Cardy (1998, p. 157) states: "Judgement can be more ore less meaningful and important due to the vantage point of the evaluator".

The advantage of this method, according to Torrington and Hall (1998), is that the immediate supervisor usually has the most intimate knowledge of the tasks that an individual has been carrying out haw well they have been performed.


F. Wilson:

While there has been a growth in the deployment of appraisal, this has not been accompanied by developments in the theory about appraisal (Newton and Findlay, 1996).

Performance appraisal constitutes a systematically development data handling system designed o facilitate managerial control. The individual is given information on how they are doing and what they should be doing differently.

Other distorsions that are likely in the assessment include the halo effect (Guilford, 1954) where one specific criterion distorts the assessment, the clony effect where the closeness of the relationship between appraiser and appraised distorts the assessment of all the other criteria, the doppelganger effect where the rating reflects the similarity of character or behaviour of appraiser and appraised (Wexley and Yukl, 1977) and the Veblen Effect where all those appraised end up with a moderate score (Dorfman 1961).

Common errors made in the development and use of the appraisal schemes include inadequately defined standards of performance, reliance on gut feeling, unclear performance documentation and inadequate time for discussion (Swan, 1991).

This research showed how many individuals perceive a need for regular feedback. Females are more likely to want feedback from sources of influence external to them (Fletcher, 1999).

Appraisal could be helpful in induction and development in career progression.

Barlow (1989) argued that appraisal does not motivate and control, but the network of colleague relations does fulfil this function.


M. Dutfield:

A number of companies have schemes which directly link pay to performance.

If you sit down with your manager to discuss how you could improve your performance, than there is an assumption that there is room improvement.

Although a manager's job may not change substantially year by year and the same job description may remain valid for some time, it would be very unusual if his six key accountabilities had the same priority rating year by year.

Ideally at the end of an appraisal you want to agree on a balanced view of strengths and weakness and the success and mistakes of the subordinate in relation to the job demands over the last year.

A manager is not going to improve a subordinate's performance in an hour-long interview. It will happen over the succeeding days, week or even months.

If the appraising manager has not thought through the interview in this much detail, it is highly unlikely that his subordinate will understand what he is trying to do, and in this potentially emotional setting the subordinate could become untrusting and guarded.

You can determine how to manage the interview you must of course be clear about what you are trying to achieve.

When the manager is reviewing the subordinate's performance, it is vital that he has the relevant facts. Part of the preparation the manager needs to do is to identify illustrative examples from the review period, which will reinforce and clarify the points he is making.

The manager must be clear about the long-term purpose of the interview and what specifics he is trying to achieve in a particular meeting. In an appraisal interview this is complex.


HR study 796:

A typical performance management cycle begins with a planning meeting. This give employees an opportunity to discuss with their line managers their goals for the forthcoming review. period.

There are typically three core elements:

individual objectives – what an employee needs to achieve; these are typically job-or task-oriented targets

competencies and behaviours – how employees achieve their objectives

development plans – the development activities required to achieve individual objectives and to foster appropriate behaviours.

But is also important that clear measures are established to that both employees and their managers can observe and track progress effectively.

Individual objectives are almost invariably set in the light of the well-known "SMART" acronym.

Within performance management, competencies are now taking a key role in describing the behaviours employees should demonstrate in achieving their goals.

The ultimate goal for many organisations is to create a culture based on open and honest feedback, sought and provided in a timely fashion.

One of the key benefits of receiving regular feedback is that there should be no surprises for the employee in the end-of-year interview.

In addition to receiving feed back from their line managers, employees may also seek input from peers, repots, other managers or customers. For example, a formal 360-degree feedback process may be used to provide a more rounded picture of an employee's strengths and development needs.

360-degree feedback takes its name from the relationship between the employee being reviewed and the various people who may comment on his or her performance. It aims to give a rounded view of the employee by potentially including feedback from: the line manager and/or any functional/project managers; direct or indirect reports; peers (colleagues such as team members); internal and/or external customers; and internal and/or external suppliers. Self-assessment may also be included.

The majority of organisations continue to hold a formal review of performance against objectives at the end of the performance cycle. This often culminates in employees receiving an overall rating or ranking. The timing of the annual performance assessment is normally co-ordinated across the organisation or site to aid consistency.

Organisations are increasingly trying to encourage greater employee input into performance discussions.

By collecting evidence and preparing for the meeting, employees and line managers should be in a better position to have a candid discussion about what worked well and what proved challenging.

Line managers are also typically expected to gather evidence of their employees' performance so that they are fully prepared for the end-of-year review.

For many organisations, the most palpable outcome of the performance reviews process is the part it plays in informing pay decisions. This is particularly the case for companies seeking to establish a meritocracy, under which employees who contribute the most receive the greatest rewards.


12 – J.N. Cleveland:

Performance appraisal provides information that is relevant for many personnel discussions, including salary increases, recommendations for promotion, transfers, and training programs, as well as for employee development and performance feedback (Huber, 1983; Jacobs, Kafry, & Zedeck, 1980; Landy & Farr, 1983).

Performance appraisals are not only used for making distinctions between and within individuals but they also serve a variety of organizational needs.


28 – D. Guest:

The purposes of appraisal schemes vary considerably, but the following list contains those most frequently encountered:

– motivating staff and thus improving performance

– providing a fair and rational basis for making individual decisions on promotion, training, transfer and dismissal

– acting as one of the criteria for merit pay awards

– collecting information that facilitates manpower planning and development

– improving manager-subordinate communication.

There are two aspects of it: First, the rater often makes assessments on scales that are too impressionistic and insufficiently tied to evidence; it is almost too "easy" to give a rating. One then gets phenomena like the "halo" effect; where one quality of an individual is judged very favourably and is allowed to colour the assessor's ratings of other qualities. Secondly, quite apart from subjective biases of this kind, the scales themselves are open to differing interpretations. This is often the result of inadequate definition of the scale end points or interval points, but to some extent is inherent in the technique, which imposes the dimensions of assessment upon the rater rather than letting him use his own.

One is that appraisers are reluctant to appraise (Rowe 1964) and thus mark subordinates rather favourably in order to avoid conflict with them.

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Cite this page

Performance Appraisals Feedback. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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