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An Evaluation Of Performance Appraisal Systems

972 words - 4 pages

1. IntroductionPerformance appraisal is one of the most widely discussed and deliberated management practices. It has given rise to a number of differing viewpoints. There are those who see performance appraisal as making an important contribution to human resource management, in that organizations require systematic information on how well employees are performing in their jobs as a key element in ensuring that human resources are used as effectively as possible. Employees at all levels experience a need to know clearly what they should be doing and what is expected of them in terms of quantity and quality of output. In addition most people want to be in a position where they can perform better next time around.2. Performance Appraisal SystemsA necessary condition for the success and efficient management of performance appraisal systems within any organisation, is the need to elucidate and convey the objectives that the system is intended to achieve to all parties. Typically, performance appraisal schemes are expected to serve multiple objectives. This can often be strength, but it can also prove to be a disadvantage if it leads to a dissipation of effort and lack of focus."It has been estimated that over three fourths of U.S. companies now have performance appraisal programs" (Spriegel & Mamma, 1961). "In actual practice, however, formal performance appraisal programs have often yielded unsatisfactory and disappointing results, as the growing body of critical literature attests" (McGregor, 1970). Some critics even suggest the total abandonment of performance appraisal systems and they list to myriad problems and issues as evidence. As is the case with most management practices, organisations should not attempt to remove appraisal programs altogether, but look to improving them to better match their expectations and requirements. One of the primary reasons for the failure or appraisal programs is that organisations "often select indiscriminately from the wide battery of available performance appraisal techniques without really thinking about which particular technique is best suited to a particular appraisal objective" (Cenzo & Robbins, 2001).3. IssuesMost performance appraisal programs place excessive demands on management and supervisors. They require regular observation of all subordinates and constant examination of their achievements. In most cases, however, it is impractical for managers to know what all their staff are doing, especially when there are over a dozen employees. In most instances, the rating of an individual is ad hoc and not based on strict rules. Consequently, employees who are "subject to less competition or lenient ratings can receive higher appraisals than equally competent or superior associates" (Frost et al, 2001). It is also to be noted that personal values and bias do frequently replace management criterion. Certain staff are shown favour by management based purely on perception and not on observation.In a...

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