Process of Performance Appraisal

One of the most important things to remember about performance  appraisals is that its effectiveness will be highly influenced by its purpose. For  example, a programme, which is developed, to focus on employee development  and training needs may not be suitable for making major decisions about  salaries. Likewise, it is possible that the organization, management and  employee may all have different goals for the performance appraisal process. Performance  appraisal involves ‘identifying, evaluating and developing employees’ work  performance with the dual purpose of achieving the organization’s goals and  objectives whilst also ensuring the employee receives recognition, feedback and  development’.

The process of  performance appraisal  starts with employee planning and  ends with an evaluation of employee progress. The process of performance appraisal  consists broadly two steps. First, complete the performance appraisal  form; secondly, participate in a performance appraisal interview and discussion.  These two sages comprise the following levels in the appraising performance of  the staff.

  1. Establish Performance Standards or Goals – The appraisal process  begins with the establishment of performance standards. The evaluators must determine what outputs, accomplishments and skills will be  evaluated. These standards should have evolved out of job analysis and  job description. These performance standards should be clear and  objectives are to be understood and measured.
  2. Communicate Performance Expectations to Employees – Once the  performance standards are established, these need to be communicated to  the respective employees so that they come to know what expected of  them. Past experience indicates that not communicating standards to the  employees compounds the appraisal problems. Here, it must be noted  that mere transference of information from the evaluator to the staff  is not communication. It become communication only when the  transference of information has taken place and has been received and  understood by the staff. The feedback from the staff on the standards  communicated to them must be obtained. If required, the standards may  be modified or revised in the light of feedback obtained from the  employees.
  3. Measure Actual Performance – This is the third step involved in the  appraisal process. In this stage, the actual performance of the employees  is measured on the basis of information available from various sources  such as personal observation, statistical reports, oral reports, and written  reports. The evaluator’s feeling should not influence the performance  measurements of the staff. Measurement must be objective based on  facts and findings. This is because what we measure is more critical and  important to the evaluation process than bow we measure.
  4. Compare Actual Performance with Standards – In this stage, the actual  performance is compared with the predetermined standards. Such a  comparison may reveal the deviation between standard performance and  actual performance and will enable the evaluator to proceed to the fifth  step on the process i.e. Review and discussion of the appraisal with the  concerned staff.
  5. Discuss and Review the Appraisal with the Staff – The fifth step in the  appraisal process is to communicate to and discuss with the employees  the results of the appraisal. This is one of the most challenging tasks the  evaluatorsface to present an accurate appraisal to the staff and then make  them accept the appraisal in a constructive manner. A discussion on  appraisal enables employees to know their strengths and weaknesses.  This has, in turn, impact on their future performance. The impact may be  positive or negative depending upon how the appraisal is presented and  discussed with the employees.
  6. Initiate Corrective Action – The final step in the appraisal process is the  initiation of corrective action when it is necessary. The areas needing  improvement are identified and then, the measures to correct or improve  the performance are identified and initiated.

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