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Performance Appraisal: In Focus - Essay Example

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Performance Appraisal: In Focus

The term "performance appraisal" has customarily suggested the yearly interview that occurs between the manager and the employee to expound on the individual's job performance during the past 12 months and the documented action plans to promote enhanced performance. Moon (1993, p. 8) vividly depicted appraisal "as a formal documented system for the periodic review of an individual's performance."
Performance appraisal is an integral part of the more encompassing process of performance management. According to Marchington and Wilkinson (1996), performance management is a cycle consisting of determination of performance expectations; support of performance; review and appraisal of performance; and of management of performance standards.
Traditionally, employee performance has been evaluated solely by supervisors. Recently, however, organisations have realized that supervisors see only certain aspects of an employee's behaviour. For instance, a manager might see only 30% of his staff's behaviour; the rest is observed by customers, peers, and support staff in other parts of the organisation. Furthermore, the staff might behave differently around her supervisor than around other people. Consequently, to obtain an accurate view of the staff's performance, these other sources should provide feedback. The buzzword for using multiple sources to appraise performance is 360-degree feedback (Gruner, 1997). Sources of relevant information include supervisors, peers, subordinates, customers, and self-appraisal. According to Conway and Huffcut (1997), there is often very little agreement in the way that two supervisors evaluate an employee or that a supervisor and a peer might rate an employee. Interestingly, supervisors whose self-ratings agree with others' ratings tend to be better performers than supervisors whose ratings are not consistent with others' (Witt, 1996).

Given these and the global expansion of the sales team, I have chosen the following competencies for inclusion in the performance appraisal tool : 1) teamwork willingness, 2) cooperation / relationship management, 3) conflict handling / interpersonal effectiveness, 4) self-discipline / personal management, 5) problem solving. These competencies have been enumerated by Nieragden (2000) as global soft skills.

We will then propose that these competencies be rated as part of the performance appraisal system, carrying a weight of 50%. On the other hand, scorecard objectives shall carry a weight of 50%. These objectives shall be clearly laid out during the performance planning face. Essentially, the system shall be a combination of objectives and competencies as performance appraisal criteria. Both objectives and competencies shall be rated on a 4-point scale. The competency definitions and their respective behavioral indicators by level have been drafted and attached in the appendix.

Moreover, because it is critical for the Sales team to be able to build lasting relationships with customers, a 360 degree feedback-type of appraisal may be considered, with customers' ratings receiving substantial weight apart from superior ratings. We are recommending that the superior's rating carry a weight of 70%, while customers' take on a weight of 30%.

The performance appraisal system of the organization is also envisioned to be part of a more encompassing performance management ...Show more


Appraisal is a critical component of the human condition and has been officially implemented in the arena of work activity "as early as the Third Century AD [when] Sin Yu, an early philosopher, criticised a biased rater employed by the Wei Dynasty" (Murphy & Cleveland, 1995, p…
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