Appraising Employee Performance

Need for Appraising Employee Performance in Organizations

There are several reasons to appraise subordinates performance. First, appraisals play, or should play, an integral role in the employer’s performance management process; it does little good to translate the employer’s strategic goals into specific employees’ goals, and then train the employees. Second, the appraisal lets the boss and subordinate develop a plan for correcting any deficiencies the appraisal might have unearthed, and to reinforce the things the subordinate does correctly. Third, appraisals should serve a useful career planning purpose by providing the opportunity to review the employee’s career plans in light of his or her exhibited strengths and weakness. And, last but not least, the appraisal almost always affect the employer’s salary raise and promotional decisions.

In reviewing the appraisal tools we discuss below don’t miss the forest for the trees. It doesn’t matter which tool you use if you’re less than candid when your subordinate is under-performing. Not all managers are devotees of such candor, but some firms like GE are famous for hard-hearted appraisals. GE’s former CEO,  Jack Welch is of the opinion that, for instance, that there’s nothing crueler than telling someone who’s doing a mediocre job that he or she is doing well. Someone who might have had the chance to correct bad behavior or find a more appropriate vocation may instead end up spending years in a dead-end situation, only to leave when a tough boss comes along.

There are many practical motivations for giving soft appraisals: the fear of having to hire and train someone new; the unpleasant reaction of the appraisee; or a company appraisal process that’s not conducive to candor for instance.… Read the rest

Human Resources as a Strategic Partner in an Organization

The general scenario in most companies is as follows. HR management teams have well-developed visions of their departments, their roles and responsibilities. But, the senior management is generally skeptical of HR’s role in the firm’s success. They generally consider HR to just be another necessary appendage but not something that can contribute to the success of the company. Even if the senior management does believe that human capital is their most prized possession and asset, they cannot understand how the HR team can make this belief come alive.

There is one reason for all of this. Human capital is an intangible asset and HR’s influence on firm performance is difficult to measure. The standard elements of a firm’s resource architecture that are measured include total compensation, employee turnover, cost per hire, percentage of employees that undergo performance appraisals and percentage employee satisfaction. The question to be asked is: Are these the measures crucial to implementing the firm’s strategy? This is clearly not the case. Interesting attributes would include a committed workforce, competency development programs, etc. But, it is very difficult to imagine measures for these quantities. Hence, in the current state of HR there is a clear rift between what is measured and what needs to be measured.

The role of HR is no more just administrative. It has a much broader, connected and strategic role to play. But, these statements must be substantiated. The reasons why HR must be considered as a strategic asset must be highlighted. A strategic asset is something difficult to trade or imitate.… Read the rest

The Strategic Role of HR

As people become the key competitive advantage in any industry, the human resource (HR) development function will and should play a more strategic role. It should go beyond its mere administrative support function to operations and front line departments. Whether or not company views HR strategically may decide whether market share, sales, or profits would increase or not. An effective HR strategy becomes equally decisive as the company‘s marketing strategy.

Technology too is changing HR roles. As industries, specifically the services sector, and the way they compete become knowledge-based, HR performance indicators will shift from manpower and man-hours supplied to brainpower and brain hours delivered. The key result areas in people management will also shift from production and quantity to productivity and quality. Capability, measured in employee ideas generated and implemented, and productivity gained, will be more important than capacity, measured in man-hours available, man-hours lost, absenteeism, etc.

The current HR function is very much configured like the company‘s purchasing department. People, like parts and supplies, are requisitioned by user departments based on depletion and growth rates of their operations. Both resources are screened for quality control and cost or budget constraints. The only slight difference is that unlike purchased parts, people are trained or prepared before they are sent to the requisitioning parties which may train them further before actual deployment or usage. HR is also involved in the replacement, termination and retirement process of unusable people assets, much like the handling of depreciated equipment. In short, most HR systems exist only for replenishment and maintenance of a resource called people.… Read the rest

Outsourcing of Training and Development

Organizations now are using a unique approach to provide training internally by outsourcing their training departments. This they have found is a way that reduces costs improves productivity and relives them from the need of constant upgradation. Handing over the organizations training function over to “experts” in many ways also improves the quality of training. These experts have a lot of advantages; they are constantly upgrading themselves to differentiate themselves from the competition and add value to their clients, by virtue of the multiple clients they serve – they have an upfront feel of the best industry practices; training costs can be tracked more objectively and can help align your training’s with your strategic objectives in a far better manner.

Outsourcing of training and development activities means comprehensive, end-to-end outsourcing—from the management of the training function to the design, delivery and reporting. Training BPO refers to the transfer of management and execution of one or more complete ongoing training and development processes or the entire training function to an external services provider. For many companies, outsourcing employee training and development makes financial as well as business sense.

Outsourcing of training and development functions makes a lot of sense for most organizations. The training function is often a decentralized operation. Most companies are unsure of how much they spend on training across the enterprise, and don’t really know what or how much they need. Of course the process of identification, analysis, design, development, deployment and evaluation varies from group to group, department to department and division to division, even within an organization.… Read the rest

Human Resource Management (HRM) Best Practices

In recent years business environment has become highly competitive. It has forced the manager to develop different strategies to cope with competitiveness. These strategies help organizations to survive in competitive environment. One area that has been important as a means of providing a competitive advantage is the management of the Human Resource function. Over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift in the field of Human Resource Management, with great emphasis being applied to the human resource management function and its significant contribution to organisational performance. However in order to influence organisational performance it is required that there are certain ‘practices’ of human resource management that must be abided by in order for improved performance to be achieved.

Unfortunately there has been no authoritative definition of best practice that has been agreed by academics or practitioners. This leads to a lack of conceptual clarity of the HRM best practice definition. HRM best practices are designed to increase the overall performance of employees within the organisation, ultimately resulting in increased organisational performances. Commitment shown by the employer with regard to areas such as training and development for example, is ultimately reciprocated by the employee, with this increased commitment toward the organisation, performance enhances as employees are more skilled and committed to the profession, resulting in a win win situation for both parties.

In simple terms, each best practice technique is aimed at developing the employee, increasing commitment, with the resulting intention to improve the organisational performance ultimately create a sustainable competitive advantage.… Read the rest

Introduction to Emotional Intelligence

Classic Intelligence and rational thinking have dominated Western Society for centuries. It was Freud who showed, through his analysis of the unconscious, that there is more to us than rational thinking. Since Freud, the development of psychology has brought the insight that a person’s actions are not just rational or logical, Emotional Intelligence seems a good name to name our “non-rational” way of thinking and being.

“In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships.” (John Gottman, Ph.D)

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Quite simply, emotional intelligence is the intelligent use of emotions: You intentionally make your emotions work for you by using them to help guide your behavior and thinking in ways that enhance your results.

  • Emotional Intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines the majority of our daily actions. Research suggests it is responsible for as much as 80% of the “success” in our lives.” (Freedman)
  • Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.” (Dr.
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