Performance Appraisal by techguide


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The Evening post had sold out and there was nothing else left so George T‟loa bought the latest
Management Magazine to read on the train. There was something about performance appraisals
on the cover. George took his seat and began to read an article on the differences between
judgmental appraisals and developmental appraisals, but he was worn out after a tough day at the
Department and soon drifted off..
       George T‟loa thought nostalgically about the time when section managers got their own
car parks in the Department as he trudged up the last hill on his way to work. Mind you, the
changes also helped ensure that he got a section manager‟s position: but lately the train was more
crowded, the seats seemed harder and his mood less optimistic. He checked his watch,‟seven to‟
he thought and wondered whether there was time for a quick smoke. „No‟ he said to himself
regretfully „I‟ll slip out at morning tea instead‟.
      Everyone else was equally intent on getting out of the cold and getting warmed up. He
nodded a few „hellos‟ to the staff as he entered the third floor. George greeted his secretary with
„Morning sandra‟.‟Morning Mister T‟loa‟ she replied. He then asked her for coffee before
settling in. Glancing over his diary George was reminded that the final performance appraisal
results for the staff were due to be sent to personnel today. The interviews and tests had been
done last week but he had put off entering the final ratings until yesterday. His own interview
was also on for today, which did nothing to improve his mood.

      George picked up the phone and dialed his buddy Marc, one of the other section managers.
„Marc Marshall speaking‟, came down the line. „Mornin‟ Marc, George here. Got a few
minutes?‟ „Sure man‟,said Marc, „Say did you see the match last night? Great game!‟ „No‟
George interjected, „I‟ve been tied up with these performance appraisals, took some home to do.
In fact that‟s what I called you about, I was wondering how few “satisfactory‟s” I could get away
with?‟ „You know how the system works George, hardly any of us are putting people into
satisfactory anymore. We all know unless they get a “very satisfactory” or an “extremely
satisfactory” they won‟t get a raise this year‟, explained Marc.
        „We‟re all doing it now, and if it‟s a problem then it‟s Personnel‟s problem!‟ „Okay
Marc,thanks. I just wanted to make sure. I‟ll see you later then.‟ „…Later‟ echoed down the
phone as george hung up. „Okay, so the staff appraisals can be taken care of, just my own to go‟
he thought thinking ahead to the afternoon.

     After lunch he went up to the seventh floor early. He hadn‟t been able to eat much due to
nerves, that familiar heavy feeling in the pit of his stomach. There had been a few disagreements
lately with his boss. Samantha Trower was not the kind that held a grudge but it did not make
him feel any better about session. Her secretary announced him and then directed him to enter
the office, Sam gestured to the chair in front of her desk and continued with her call. Putting it
down she said „Hello George, let‟s get this over with fast shall we?‟ „Sure Sam,‟ he nodded, „I
wouldn‟t call it my favorite time of the year either‟. She opened the folder in front of her and
passed over the results sheet. On it he read „SATISFACTORY‟, he looked up at her in disbelief
and shock. „What the hell‟s going on, nobody at section level gets “satisfactory” related!‟ George
said angrily. Sam sat stonily for a moment, drew breath and then said „it‟s mostly because you
missed on the report objectives. Corporate‟s got a “bug” about that this year‟. „But that wasn‟t
even my fault, they kept flip-flopping on what they wanted and people kept leaving‟, he retorted.
„Look,never mind George, it‟s all ancient history anyway. You‟re ahead on all the targets for the
last six months so I‟m sure I‟ll be able to do something to make it up next year‟. „Lot of good
that‟ll do me this year‟, said George in disgust. „Any more bad news?‟ „Well it‟s not exactly
good news‟, she said,‟but in any case the department hasn‟t got the funds for more than a three
per cent raise even for extremely satisfactory ratings‟. Sam looked back down at..

   … the clanging of bells roused George for a moment as the train passed a crossing. His eyes
flickered briefly and the magazine slid to the floor, before he drowsily settled back into…

           George T‟loa guided his car onto the usual off-ramp and into the busy central
Wellington streets. „The traffic‟s not too heavy today‟, he thought. „Looks like I‟ll make it in
plenty of time.‟ And sure enough there were still some parks left when he arrived five minutes
later. It did not pay to be tardy as the limited number of free parks the Department Provided were
snapped up early. As he walked out of the lift and onto the floor George could hear the early
morning sounds as staff greeted each other and chatted as they were getting coffee before the
working day proper began.
             „Hi George‟, said Sandra as he entered hi office. she was checking his dairy for the
day and setting out the mail. „Morning sand‟, he said as he looked over what was in store for
him. Paperwork after the morning staff meeting, then the usual until lunch. Today he was
meeting Lois Simich from Human Resources. They would probably take a few cafeteria
sandwiches over to the park as it was an informal meeting. He was keen to find if there was any
way HR‟s budget could be massaged to provide „English as a second language‟ classes for Vijay
Bikoo. Vijay had adequate language skills for dealing with clients, but George was concerned
about his ability to communicate fully with the others on the team. It had also come up during
Vijay‟s first performance appraisal after joining the Department. Vijay had felt that his English
was a possible impediment to his progress and marked it down as a key concern on his self-
       „Which reminds me, ‟George wondered out loud, „is that meeting with Marc Marshall still
on for there?‟. „No it‟s changed, 2 p.m. seventh floor and I‟ve got you down for one hour‟ said
Sandra. „Okay‟ said George. He had been looking forward to this meeting. It had now been two
weeks since his own performance appraisal session and he was due for some feedback. „By the
way, have you heard anything more about McKeever‟s leaving date?‟ „No‟ said Sandra, „not
even her secretary knows if it‟s certain and when it would happen. „ there were rumors about a
position opening up at Corporate. That meant possible promotion for him in due course if one of
the regional people got McKeever‟s job.
      Before he knew it George was on his way to the seventh floor. Lunch had been productive,
Lois thought she could swing it, but he knew he would owe her. „Afternoon George‟ Said Marc
Marshall as he entered reception. „Two already?‟ he said as he glanced at his watch nd gestured
for george to follow him into the conference room. Marc indicated that George should take a seat
on the couch, grabbed a file and then joined him on it. „So how‟s Sam treating you lately?‟ said
Marc referring to one of the other section managers George worked with. „To tell you the truth I
haven‟t seen much of her this week. I understand there‟s talk of policy changes from the
politicians so both Corporate and Regional are gearing up for negotiations‟, he said, raising a
quizzical eyebrow. „That‟s the gist of it from what I hear too, but it hasn‟t affected me much so I
can‟t give you details‟, replied Marc.
  „But I have some details that should interest you more‟, he said raising the file and opening it
before them. „It appears that you‟re not rating yourself all that highly on leadership variables,
I‟m a little surprised at that.‟ „I guess it comes from some of the problems I‟ve had with older
staff‟, said George. „You know how hard it can be to motivate some of the old public service
types, and there are still one or two who resent me for leapfrogging them.‟ „Still George..from
what I‟ve seen and your section‟s results I doubt the Department can Justify any additional
training unless HR puts on a block course and there‟s nothing scheduled.‟ „However, there is a
review of the Quality Program coming up and this problem may fit in there‟, offered Marc.
      ….as the train slowed into the station the grind of brakes on metal woke George with a start.
For a moment he wondered which of his dreams was the reality. But then he remembered …


1. Analyze the key differences between performance appraisal in each dream.
2. What performance appraisal issues do the dreams highlight?
3. How do the sources of conflict in appraisals affect the accuracy of the appraisal?
4. How can these conflicts be minimized or resolved?
5. How does a link to remuneration affect the operation of performance appraisals?
6. Discuss the interaction of Organizational culture and performance appraisal.

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