Why evaluate the performance of employees?



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Why evaluate the performance of employees?

  • Personnel Decisions (e.g., promotion, transfer,
  • dismissal)
  • Training (Identify specific requirements)
  • Research (e.g., assessing the worth/validity of
  • selection tests

Basic Performance Appraisal Process

  • Conduct a Job Analysis (e.g., specify tasks and KSAs)
  • Develop Performance Standards (e.g., define what is superior, acceptable, and poor job performance)
  • Develop or Choose a Performance Appraisal Approach

Breaking Down the Performance Appraisal Process

  • Storage
  • Encoding of Information (e.g., categorization)
  • Short vs. Long-term
  • Memory
  • Evaluation
  • Retrieve Information
  • Combine information
  • Decision-making (judgment)

Sources of Information

  • 1) Supervisors (most common)
    • Role Conflict (e.g., judge and trainer/teacher)
    • Motivation
    • Time availability
    • Friendship
  • Co-Workers (Peers)
  • Peer nominations: Identifying those with highest and lowest KSAs)
  • Peer ratings: For providing feedback
  • Peer rankings: For discriminating highest to lowest performance on various dimensions
  • Effects of poor peer ratings on subsequent task performance:
  • Lower perceived group performance
  • Lower cohesiveness
  • Lower satisfaction
  • Lower peer ratings

Sources of Information (cont)

  • 3) Self
    • Lots of knowledge
    • Leniency effect
    • Good preparation for performance appraisal meeting (conducive for dialog)
  • 4) Subordinates
    • Biases (e.g., # of subordinates, type of job, expected evaluation from
    • supervisor)
    • Best if ratings are anonymous -- if not, leniency in ratings occur
    • (Antonioni, 1994)
    • Can add information above and beyond other sources (Conway, et. al 2001)

Subjective Appraisal Methods (can be used with any type of job)

  • Relative Methods
  • Ranking
  • 1st _____
  • 2nd_____
  • 3rd _____
  • Pair Comparison
  • Employee-1 _____ versus Employee-2 _____
  • Employee-1 _____ versus Employee-3 _____ etc.
  • Both are difficult to use with a large number of subordinates

Subjective Appraisal Methods

  • Absolute Methods
  • 1) Narrative essay
  • Unstructured (e.g., content, length)
  • Affected by the writing ability of supervisors and time availability
  • Graphic Rating Scale (most common)
  • _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  • Very Average Excellent
  • Poor

Common Rating Scale Errors

  • Leniency (positive bias)
  • X
  • _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  • Very Average Excellent
  • Poor
  • Central Tendency (midpoint)
  • X
  • _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  • Very Average Excellent
  • Poor

Halo Error

  • Responsibility
  • Commitment
  • Initiative
  • Sensitivity
  • Judgment
  • Communication
  • Observation of specific behavior (s) (e.g., volunteers to work overtime)
  • High ratings on other performance dimensions
  • Supervisor Characteristics
  • Subordinate Characteristics (e.g., age, gender, race, attractiveness)
  • Labels for Subordinate (positive or negative)
  • Expectations for Subordinate
  • Liking of subordinate
  • Observation of Subordinate Job Performance
  • (e.g., gender, race, age)
  • Selective Attention
  • Attitudes, Stereotypes
  • Encoding of Information
  • Recall Information
  • Evaluate Performance
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Process

Performance Appraisal & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

  • Supervisor Expectancy
  • Supervisor Behaviors
  • Subordinate
  • Self-Expectancy
  • Subordinate
  • Motivation
  • Subordinate Performance
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Subjective Appraisal Methods

  • Behavioral Methods (use of critical incidents; examples of good and poor job behavior collected by job experts over time)
  • Behavior Observation Scales (BOS)
    • Rate the frequency in which critical incidents are performed by employees
    • Sum the ratings for a total “performance” score
  • 1) Assists others in job duties.
  • _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  • Never Usually Always
  • Cleans equipment after each use.
  • _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
  • Never Usually Always

Objective Appraisal Data

  • 1) Production Data (e.g., sales volume, units produced)
    • When observation occurs (timing), and how data is collected
    • Fairness and relevancy issue
    • Potential limited variability
    • Limitations regarding supervisory personnel
  • 2) Personnel Data
    • Absenteeism (excused versus unexcused)
    • Tardiness
    • Accidents (fault issue)

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) Process

  • Generate critical incidents (examples of good and poor job performance)
  • 2) Place Critical Incidents Into performance dimensions (e.g., Responsibility, Initiative, Safety)
  • Retranslation Step (do step # 2 again with a separate group of job experts. Discard incidents where disagreement exists as to which dimension in which they belong)
  • Calculate the mean and standard deviation of each critical incident (discard those with a large standard deviation)
  • 5) Place critical incidents on a vertical scale

BARS (Pros and Cons)

  • Process involves various employees (increases the likelihood of usage)
  • Job specificity (different BARS need to be developed for each position)
  • Not any better at reducing common rating scale errors (e.g., leniency, halo)
  • Time consuming

Performance Appraisal Training

  • Frequent observation of performance and feedback (both positive and negative)
  • 2) Recordkeeping (ongoing if possible)
  • 3) Encourage self-assessment of employees
  • 4) Focus on behaviors (not traits)
  • Use specific behavioral criteria and standards
  • 6) Set goals for employees (specific and challenging ones)
  • 7) Focus on how to observe job behaviors and provide incentives to do so

Legally Defensible Appraisal Systems

  • Ensure that procedures for personnel decisions do not differ as a function
  • of the race, sex, national origin, religion, or age of those affected by such
  • decisions.
  • Use objective and uncontaminated data whenever they are available.
  • 3) Provide a formal system of review or appeal to resolve disagreements
  • regarding appraisals.
  • Use more than one independent evaluator of performance.
  • 5) Use a formal, standardized system for personnel decisions.
  • Ensure that evaluators have ample opportunity to observe and rate
  • performance if ratings must be made.
  • Avoid ratings on traits such as dependability, drive, aptitude, or attitude.
  • 8) Provide documented performance counseling prior to performance,-based
  • termination decisions.

Legally Defensible Appraisal Systems (cont)

  • 9) Communicate specific performance standards to employees.
  • 10) Provide raters with written instructions on how to complete performance evaluations.
  • 11) Evaluate employees on specific work dimensions, rather than on a single overall or global measure.
  • 12) Require documentation in terms of specific behaviors (e.g., critical incidents) for extreme ratings.
  • 13) Base the content of the appraisal form on a job analysis.
  • 14) Provide employees with an opportunity to review their appraisals.
  • 15) Educate personnel decision-makers regarding laws on discrimination.
  • Asking for (and using) performance information/input from employees
  • Ensure a 2-way interaction during the performance appraisal meeting
  • Provide a way for employees to counter or challenge the appraisal
  • Sufficient detail and knowledge of employee performance by
  • supervisors
  • Consistent use of performance standards across employees
  • Basing performance evaluation on actual job behaviors
  • Using performance ratings for personnel decisions (e.g., pay, promotion)
  • Factors Affecting Employees Acceptance of Performance Evaluations
  • Importance of rater training
  • (importance of using employee self-evaluations)


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