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Performance appraisal - Research Paper Example

Performance Appraisals should be able to minimize the gap between the evaluation that an employee receives on a particular performance and the actual results the individual has achieved. However, this is seldom achieved. Studies have been conducted on the efficacy of performance appraisal as social and the emotional factors or the cognitive process on performance appraisal has been assessed. While it is vehemently believed that performance appraisal can have positive implications and help improve organizational effectiveness, these studies suggest that organizations have not been able to achieve the intended objectives in conducting performance appraisal. This paper reviews the perceived benefits of performance appraisal and the constraints that have hindered the development of an effective performance appraisal system. Literature Review Performance Appraisal has been defined as the "formal evaluation of an employee's job performance in order to determine the degree to which the employee is performing effectively" (Griffin & Ebert, 2002 cited by Schraeder, Becton & Portis, 2007). Performance management is about improving performance but is often forgotten (Hendry et al, 2006). Aligning with corporate objectives and goals The PA system should be strategically aligned with corporate objectives and goals to achieve the intended results. This requires careful thinking and serious planning as the administrative, developmental, and strategic needs have to be integrated (Caruth & Humphreys, 2008). Therefore, an effective PA system should reflect formalization, job relatedness, standards and measurements, validity, reliability, open communication, trained appraisers, ease of use, employee accessibility to results, review procedures, and appeal procedures. Through written employee handbook the employees should be made aware of the formal procedures and policies. The appraisal factors should account for success or lack of success in performing a job. These should be well understood and uniformly interpreted by all appraisers. For meaningful appraisal standards should be thoughtfully set so that it ensures integration of information into the overall strategic process of the organization. Benefits of PA Performance appraisals are used to determine employee compensation, merit pay, while also facilitating human resource management functions. PA can also provide information about the effectiveness of the firm’s selection and placement programs, in addition to identifying training needs (Pettijohn et al, 2008). The most important function is to provide information and direction to employees which would lead to enhanced performance. PA is meant to gather information for personnel decisions such as rewards, promotion, transfers or termination (Kennedy & Dresser, 2001). It is also used as a tool to identify weaknesses which helps identify training and development needs. However, seldom is there focus on personality traits and behavior. According to Schraeder, Becton and Portis (2007) performance appraisals have definite benefits such as enhanced communication, enhanced employee focus by promoting trust; it leads to goal setting and enhanced performance. Facilitating communication reduces employee uncertainty, according to Schraeder et al while inhibiting or hindering communication is an organizational weakness (Caruth & Humphre ...Show more


Introduction Organizations strive to achieve excellence and they also recognize that each individual is unique possessing unique capabilities, with the potential to improve performance over time. The concept of performance appraisal came into existence as refined methods to improvement were sought…
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Performance appraisal essay example
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