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					Performance Appraisal

What is Performance Appraisal
In simple terms, performance appraisal may be understood as the assessment of an individual’s performance in a systematic way, the performance being measured against such factors as job knowledge, quality and quantity of output, initiative, leadership abilities, supervision, dependability, co-operation, judgment, versatility, health and the alike. Assessment should not be condensed to past performance alone. Potentials of the employee for future performance must also be assessed. A formal definition of performance appraisal is: It is the systematic evaluations of the individual with respect to his her performance on the job and his or her potential for development.

Performance Appraisal Comparison
Job Analysis: Describe work and requirement of a particular job. Performance Standards: Translate job requirements into levels of acceptable or unacceptable performance Performance Appraisal: Describe the job-relevant strengths and weaknesses of each individual

Objectives of Performance Appraisal
Broadly, performance appraisal serves four major objectivesI) Development uses, II) Administrative uses/decisions, III) Organizational maintenance/objectives, and IV) Documentation purposes.

Performance Appraisal Process:
Various Steps involved into process are as follows 1. Objectives of Appraisal: 2. Establish job Expectation 3. Design Appraisal programme 4. Appraise performance 5. Performance review 6. Use appraisal Data for appropriate purposes

Objectives of Performance Appraisal
Data relating to performance assessment of employees are recorded, stored, and used for several purposes. The main purposes of employee assessment are: 1. To effect promotions based on competence and performance 2. To confirm the services of probationary employees upon their completing the probationary period satisfactorily. 3. To assess the training and development needs of employees. 4. To decide upon a pay raise where (as in the unorganized sector) regular pay scales have not been fixed. 5. To let the employees know where they stand insofar as their performance is concerned and to assist them with constructive criticism and guidance for the purpose of their development. 6. To improve communication. Performance appraisal provides a format for dialogue between the superior and the subordinate, and improves understanding of personal goals and concerns. This can also have the effect of increasing the trust between the rater and the rate. 7. Finally, performance appraisal can be used to determine whether HR programmers such as selection, training, and transfers have been effective or not.

Establish Job Expectations:
The second step in the appraisal process is to establish job expectations. This includes informing the employee what is expected of him or her on the job. Normally, a discussion is held with his or her superior to review the major duties contained in the job description. Individuals should not be expected to begin the job until they understand what is expected of them.

Design appraisal Programme:
Formal versus Informal Appraisal: The first step in designing an appraisal programme is to decide whether the appraisal should be formal or informal. Formal appraisals usually occur at specified time periods- once or twice a year. Formal appraisals are most often required by the organization for the purpose of employee evaluation. Informal performance appraisal can occur whenever the supervisor feels the need for communication. For example, if the employee has been consistently meeting or executing standards, and informal appraisal may be in order to simply recognize this fact. Discussions can take to be ensuring that the discussion in held in private.

Who are Raters?
Raters can be immediate supervisors, specialists from the HR department, subordinates, peers, committees, clients, selfappraisals, or a combination of several.
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Immediate Supervisor is the fit candidate to appraise the performance of his or her subordinates. There are three reasons in support of this choice. No one is more familiar with the subordinate’s performance than his or her superior. Another reason is that the superior has the responsibility of managing a particular unit. When the task of evaluating a subordinate a given to another person, the superior authority may be undermined seriously. Finally, training and development of subordinates is an important element in every supervisor may be the logical choice to conduct the performance evaluation.

Who are Raters? (Conti.)
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Subordinates can assess the performance of their superiors. The use of this choice may be useful in assessing an employee’s ability to communication, delegate work, allocate resources, disseminate information, resolve intra-personal conflict, and deal with employees on a fair basis. But the problem with subordinate evaluation is that the supervisors tend to become more popular, not effective leadership, but by mere gimmicks. Peers are in a better position to evaluate certain facts of job performance that the subordinates or supervisors cannot do. Such facts include contribution to workgroup projects, interpersonal effectiveness, communication skills, reliability and initiative. Unfortunately, friendship or animosity may result in distortion of evaluation. Further, when reward allocation is based on peer evaluation, serious conflicts among co-workers may develop. Finally all peers may join together to rate each other high.

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Who are Raters? (Conti.)
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Clients may be members within the organization who have direct contact with the rate and make use of an output (good and services) this employee provides. Interest, courtesy, dependability and innovativeness are but few of the qualities for which clients can offer rating information. Clients, external to the organization, can also offer similar kinds of information.

Where superiors, peers, subordinates and clients, make appraisal it is called the 360-degree system of appraisal.

Problems of Rating:
Performance appraisals are subject to a wide variety of inaccuracies and biases referred to as ‘rating errors’. These errors occur in the rater’s observation; judgment, information procession and can seriously affect assessment results. The most common rating errors are leniency or severity, central tendency, halo effect, rater effect, primacy and regency effects, perceptual set, performance dimension behavior, spill over effect and status effect.

What should be rated?
One of the steps in designing an appraisal programme is to determine the evaluation criteria .It is obvious that the criteria should be related to the job. The six criteria for assessing performance are: 1. Quality: The degree to which the process or result of carrying out an activity approaches perfection in terms of either conforming to some ideal way of performing the activity, or fulfilling the activity’s intended purpose. 2. Quantity: The amount produced, expressed in monetary terms, number of units, or number of competed activity cycles. 3. Timeliness: The degree to which an activity is completed or a result produced, at the earliest time desirable from the standpoints of both coordinating with the outputs of others and of maximizing the time available for other activities. 4. Cost of Effectiveness: the degree to which the use of the organizations resources9e.g.human, monetary, technological and material) is maximized in the sense of getting the highest gain or reduction in loss from each unit or instance of use of a resource. 5. Need for supervision: The degree to which a job performer can carry out a job function without either having to request supervisory assistance or requiring supervisory intervention to prevent an adverse outcome.

6. Interpersonal impact: The degree to which a performance promotes feeling of selfesteem, goodwill and cooperation among co-workers and subordinates.

Methods of Appraisal
Numerous methods have been devised to measure the quantity and quality of employees’ job performance. Each of the methods discussed could be effective for some purposes, for some organizations. None should be dismissed or accepted as appropriate except as they relate to the particular needs of the organization or of a particular type or employees. Broadly, all the approaches to appraisal can be classified into
I) Past-oriented methods II) Future-oriented methods

Past-oriented Methods:
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Rating scales Checklists Forced choice method Critical incident method Field review method Performance tests and observations Annual confidential reports Essay method Cost accounting approach Comparative evaluation approach

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Future Oriented tests:
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Management by objective 360-Degree appraisal Psychological appraisals Assessment centers

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Use of appraisal data:
The final step in evaluation process is the use of appraisal data. The data and information generated through performance evaluation must be used by the HR dept. In one way or the other, data and information outputs of performance-appraisal programme can critically influence these coveted employer-employee reward opportunities. Specifically, the data and information will be useful in the following areas in HRM:
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Remuneration administration Validation of selection programmes Employee training and development programmes Promotion, transfer and lay-off decisions Grievance and discipline programmes HR planning.

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Description: All About Human Resource Management