Performance Management Within The Workplace Essay

2488 words - 10 pages

Performance Management Within the Workplace

The basis of the mainstream of performance appraisals within the
modern workplace is one person (a manager or executive) rating one
more, an intrinsically individual process. There are distinction such
as 360 degree appraisals that include the judgment of others such as
clientele and peers/colleagues in the process but it is the action of
one person transitory judgment upon another that is subjective in
nature and the root cause of many of the problems encountered in the
research associated with performance appraisals.

Performance appraisals are of importance to the organisation, as they
often provide the only measure of an individual's contribution and as
such the means for identifying either over or under achievement. This
information identifies strengths and weaknesses among employees,
locating areas for necessary training and development and helps
employers implement appropriate reward policies designed to improve
the performance of the employees and (as a consequence) the employer
(Burns 1996, p.166). They are often also the only means of evaluating
the degree of success associated with the various aspects of the
recruitment and selection process. "The most fundamental and most
difficult problem in any selection research program is to obtain
satisfactory criterion for measures of performance on the job against
which to validate selection procedures" (Thorndike 2000, p. 119). From
the point of view of an employee, performance appraisals should
provide timely and accurate feedback on what the employer expects, how
well the employee is meeting those expectations, and what the employee
should do to improve his or her performance (Burns 1996).

Modern performance theory and practice started with the industrial
revolution in the late 18th century, although the widespread use of
performance appraisal techniques didn't occur until post World War I.
The earliest appraisal systems, despite focusing on just one measure;
quantity output, could perhaps be viewed as the most objective of all.
Employees on a production line could be accurately rated on 'piece
rate' or have their simple repetitive movements timed. As managers
recognised the quality of work produced also affected an individual's
impact on the organisation, and work output gradually shifted from
directly-measurable physical activity to more complex tasks requiring
the application of greater skill, knowledge and ability, more
elaborate performance standards became necessary. Early performance
management was highly subjective, allowing rating officials far too
much personal latitude. It often included a supervisor's assessment of
personality and character traits such as loyalty, honesty, attitude,
initiative, cooperation, resourcefulness and ambition (Pratt 2001).

When the...

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