One of the secrets of a good performing company is the fact that they recognized the importance of staff motivation. Watch out for companies that are 10 years old and above, the secret of their sustenance and longevity lies on the above truth. A solid and good management doesn’t joke with the above notion.
The truth of the matter is this; for a staff to work efficiently and effectively, employees must be motivated. This means that their efforts should be rewarded with physical, financial and psychological benefits and incentives so that they could maintain a high level of morale, satisfaction, and productivity. It means that workers should be stimulated to take a desired course of action by providing them with the opportunities to gain what they want.
Employee motivation is a function of all managers in general and of personnel managers in particular. The following are some of the techniques that can be used by a manager to motivate employees.
- Ensuring employee participation in the decision making process
- Paying adequate and fair remuneration to employees
- Praising employees for good works done
- Keeping employees’ in the know concerning changes in company policy
- Showing interest in workers and giving them adequate, personal attention
- Making the fullest use of employees’ skills, ideas, suggestions and abilities
- Giving employees helpful direction and assistance when they are in problem
- Making employees feel secure of their jobs and free from anxiety
- Setting good examples and exhibiting personal diligence
- Communicating standards to employees and making them know where they stand how well they are doing and what they can do to improve.
The need to motivate employees is no longer hidden. What remains controversial is the best method of motivation. The rapid profusion and appearance of theories of motivation is a clear testimony to this. People’s needs and situations vary. This implies that there can be no simple generalizations or one best method of motivation but rather a selective application of the techniques suggested above.
Performance Appraisal of an Employee
Performance Appraisal is the regular, formalized and recorded review of the way in which an individual is performing his job. It is the evaluation of the performance of employees. Performance appraisal is the continuous systematic evaluation of the individual with respect to his performance on the job and his potential for development.
Staff or performance appraisal is an integral part of every manager’s function. Indeed, whether intended or not, it occurs informally on a day-to-day basis in order to determine how to get work done and which members of staff to allocate to what duties. However, a formalized appraisal is a planned, systematic, methodical and comprehensive joint evaluation exercise by the appraiser ad the appraise. The extent of staff participation the degree of planning, and the purposes and priorities of appraisal systems vary from one organization to another.
The main objectives of staff performance appraisal are as follows:
- To identify and reward competence and excellence
- To identify staff training needs and develop the potential of those employs who can satisfy different future manpower needs within the organizations.
- To identify performance deficiencies and spur improvements in them
- To motivate employees to be highly productive based on their knowledge of a forthcoming evaluation of their performance
A planned and formalized performance appraisal scheme involves:
- A definition of clear job objectives, targets and standards for each employee
- An objective evaluation of staff performance and results against previously agreed standards.
- An open discussion of the results and their implications
- An agreement of committed plans for the future work of the appraise and the boss.
The traditional method of appraising employees involves the annual filling of a standard appraisal form by the employees’ superiors. The form usually deals with various aspects of the employees’ work such as output level, co-operation with co-workers, ability to work independently, initiative, cost consciousness, goal orientation, etc. The performance of each employee in the year under review is then rated for each of these criteria using a numerical scale. For instance, if the scale is from 1 to 10, and employee might be scored 2/10 for output level, 3/10 for co-operation with co-workers, etc. The scores will then be summed together to determine whether the employee has performed well or not.
In addition to the evaluation of a worker’s past performance, the superior might be asked to rate the worker’s potential for growth and advancement by stating that the worker is ‘highly promising’, ‘average and may succeed with effort’, unlikely to advance’ or ‘a total write-off’. To cap it all, the officer may be invited to make a general comment on the employee after which the form is sent to a higher hierarchy of management for consideration, comments and approval or rejection.
To make an appraisal system a success, the following principles must be observed in its design and operation.
- It should be tailor-made to the specific nature and needs of the organization
- It should not be seen as an annual, ritualistic exercise, without any purpose, substance and significance.
- It should be objective and fair so that an employee’s performance ratings will not depend on who he or she knows in the organization. To achieve this, the exercise should involve more than just the appraiser’s immediate superior. The appraiser’s colleagues and subordinates should be brought into the picture.
- It should be standardized throughout the organization
- It should be based on specific goals or targets for improvements
- It should include some form of self-appraisal and should be based on open constructive discussion not broad praise or criticism.
- Subordinates should participate in setting the goals on which they will be appraised in the future. Superiors should not impose goals on their subordinates.
- Line managers must be trained in the techniques and methods of performance appraisal and must recognize and appreciate its contributions to organizational effectiveness.
- The scheme should be designed with just a few purposes. Appraisal systems designed to improve performance should not simultaneously consider wages, salary or promotion because the roles of judge and adviser are not complimentary and should therefore be separated.