Performance appraisal is an evaluation method used by employers to assess the performance and productivity of employees at the workplace. According to Henderson (2008), performance appraisal refers to regular reviews and evaluations of the performance of workers in an organization. Henderson (2008) further asserts that performance appraisals form a crucial part of career growth and development of employees.
An example of a situation in which my performance at the workplace was assessed was during a monthly evaluation that was conducted towards the end of the month of January 2013. This formed part of the annual employee reviews conducted by the organization amongst all employees. During the evaluation, my actual performance at the workplace was measured against the pre-established goals and objectives that were set as targets for achievement at the beginning of the year. In addition, the performance appraisal also included assessment of my level of productivity at the job. Various data and information relating to my performance and productivity were collected and analyzed to determine whether or not I had achieved the target goals and objectives. The performance appraisal entailed exhaustive discussions with my immediate supervisor. In addition, my fellow employees were also allowed to evaluate my overall performance at the workplace. Another evaluation process that was used during the performance appraisal was employee comparison method which entailed comparing my performance with the performances of fellow workers.
In my view, one of the strengths of the evaluation processes that were used during the performance appraisal was the ability of comparing achieved goals against set goals to identify deviations at the workplace. This helped in identifying the deviations and loopholes in performance and facilitated establishment of appropriate corrective measures to rectify the deviations. Moreover, comparison of my performance against the performances of other workers also facilitated identification of my unique capabilities as an employee as well as recommending me as a hard-working and diligent worker suitable for promotions. The comparisons also facilitated identification of various weaknesses of other workers as well as the challenges faced by employees at the workplace. This helped in establishing appropriate solutions to these challenges thus facilitate employees’ career growth and development and productivity. For my part, the evaluation process is also an effective tool for motivation workers. Comparing the goals achieved by workers against the set goals prompted workers to work harder in order to attain the unmet targets in the future. The evaluation process was also able to provide reliable and accurate information that was used by the organization to make crucial decisions relating to workers in the organization. For example, the information that was obtained from the evaluation process was used to determine foundations for rewarding workers through promotions and salary increments as well as to identify training needs of workers.
On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of the evaluation process was inability to identify the various factors that affect employee performance in the organization. The evaluation process assumed that all workers should attain equal levels of performance given the same working conditions. The evaluation process was based on the happy-productive worker hypothesis which supposes that employees who are happy are the most productive workers. However, XXX argues that there is no correlation between job satisfaction and employee performance at the workplace. Therefore, the evaluation process was not an efficient measuring tool for performance appraisal in the organization.
In my opinion, one of the strategies that can be used to improve performance appraisal processes at the workplace is creation of an environment conducive for open and clear communication within the organization. This entails promoting open communication between employers and employees as well as amongst workers themselves. Effective communication in an organization is useful during performance appraisals for employees because it facilitates exchange of data, information, ideas, experiences and feedback within the organization. This helps in obtaining reliable information that is useful in determining and assessing the performance and levels of productivity of the workers. In addition, effective communication also facilitates communication of the findings of the performance as well as recommendations suggested for improvement of employee performance and productivity at the workplace.
Secondly, the performance appraisal processes at the workplace can also be improved through adequate clarification of the goals of performance appraisal at the workplace and the implication of the process on employee performance and productivity. In my view, this would help in elimination of ambiguities and fears amongst workers. According to Forsyth (2010), Grote (2009) and Lansbury (2008), some employees may resist performance appraisals due to fear of demotions and dismissals from the organization in case the set goal are not met. In my view, adequate clarification would eliminate such fears hence facilitate cooperation of employees during the performance appraisal process. To conclude, I would assert that performance appraisal is a vital human resource management tool that helps in ensuring that the organization achieves its goals and objectives.