Why evaluate the performance of employees?



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  • Performance Appraisal:
  • The Achilles Heel of Personnel?

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

Breaking Down the Performance Appraisal Process

  • Observation
  • Selective Attention
  • Timing
  • Structure
  • Frequency
  • Storage
  • Encoding of Information (e.g., categorization)
  • Short vs. Long-term
  • Memory

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
  • Objective data
  • Subjective data
  • Contextual data
  • Productivity measures, absenteeism, tardiness, turnover, absenteeism
  • Assisting others, loyalty, extra work/effort, emotional labor, volunteering, counterproductive behaviors (CWBs; tardiness, sabotage, gossiping)
  • Performance ratings (e.g., supervisor, co-workers, self, subordinates, clients
  • Criterion Domain
  • Criteria Dimensionality
  • Decision-making
  • Communication
  • Static --- Individual performance varies by performance criteria
  • 1st year
  • Specific work methods, interests, personality, interpersonal relationships
  • 2nd year
  • Criteria Dimensionality (cont.)
  • Temporal --- Performance varies as a function of time; importance of when performance is assessed
  • IQ
  • Criteria Dimensionality (cont.)
  • Individual --- Employees excel at different aspects of job performance
  • Employee # 1
  • Employee # 2
  • Production
  • Client support & satisfaction
  • Role prescriptions, organizational impact
  • Criteria Challenges (cont.)
  • Observation ---
  • Variation due to methods used, who observes
  • Low variability (e.g., production line speed, process limitations)?
  • Performance Dimensions ---
  • Uni-dimensional vs. multidimensional criteria
  • (Over-reliance on supervisor ratings of performance; 879/1506)
  • Criteria Issues (cont.)
  • Contamination ---
  • Error
  • b) Biases (e.g., rating scales, group membership, knowledge of predictor scores, self-fulfilling prophecy)
  • Objective data
  • Subjective data
  • r = .39
  • Relevance --- Generally considered the most important issue
  • Criteria Issues
  • To Combine or Not to Combine Criteria?
  • Global criteria
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Separate, multiple criteria
  • A
  • A
  • C
  • C
  • Is there a single, underlying dimension that “allows” combining separate criteria?
  • Purposes of the data (e.g., a) for personnel decisions or b) feedback, understanding psychological and behavioral processes

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)
  • 5) Clients
  • Technology and Client/Customer Feedback
  • Other examples: Amazon, eBay, Trip Advisor, iTunes
  • Technology and Client/Customer Feedback (cont.)
  • Amazon
  • Other Examples of Internet-Based Performance Information
  • Other Examples of Internet-Based Performance Information
  • Expedia
  • The standard rooms are very, very small, I had only one bag and no place to put it. you could barely turnaround in the bathrooms. I love the decor/ art deco style but a little updating is definitely do. Rating: 2.0
  • That's the second time I stay in this hotel. The location is fantastic and the rooms, in general are very comfortable. The view from the top, at the breakfast place is superb. Rating: 4.0

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 essays
  • Unstructured (e.g., content, length)
  • Affected by the writing ability of supervisors and time availability
  • Cannot validate selection devices (no numbers)
  • 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
  • Both lead to a restriction in the range of performance scores

Halo Error

  • Responsibility
  • Commitment
  • Initiative
  • Sensitivity
  • Judgment
  • Communication
  • Observation of specific behavior (s) (e.g., volunteers to work overtime)
  • 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 and Performance Ratings

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

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 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
  • 3. Problem Solving/Troubleshooting
  • Definition: Uses a logical, step-by step approach to identify and solve process problems
  • Fails to understand how equipment and processes interrelate
  • Does not complete checklists or other required forms
  • Is not able to identify root causes of process deviations
  • Does not consistently meet A2E expectations
  • Depends on others to solve problems
  • Uses available resources (e.g., drawings, checklists, forms, people—engineers, data historian) to determine the root cause of problems
  • Selects and interprets data to solve problems
  • Investigates the nature of equipment and process malfunctions on an ongoing basis
  • Participates in A2E efforts
  • Develops novel, safe and effective solutions to current problems
  • Anticipates problems before they occur and suggests solutions
  • Takes ownership in problem solving and sees it through to completion
  • Effectively leads problem solving efforts (e.g., A2E, handles complicated analysis requests on one’s own)
  • Behavioral Examples of Rating:_____________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 4. Teamwork
  • Definition: Strives to build and maintain a good working relationship with one’s work group; shares information with team members; accepts ideas and opinions of others
  • 1 2 3 4 5
  • Well Below Expectations Below Meets Expectations Consistently Exceeds Outstanding
  • Expectations Expectations
  • Does not respond to work requests from other team members
  • Fails to share information and/or resources with others
  • Refuses to help co-workers
  • Conflicts with coworkers on 'yours not mine' work situations, or is known to say "that's not my job“
  • Frequently complains or makes negative or derogatory remarks about site initiatives, leadership, and/or fellow workers
  • Is slow to respond to work requests from other team members or management
  • Considers alternative solutions provided by team members
  • Accepts and provides feedback to others
  • Shares information (e.g., trends, status updates) and/or resources with others when asked
  • Readily offers to help other team members on tasks
  • Works with support services and other areas (e.g., maintenance) to resolve shift problems in a timely manner
  • Anticipates other team members’ needs (e.g., training, tools, equipment, information)
  • Resolves conflicts between team members
  • Supports company objectives and volunteers for work duties within and outside of one’s work area
  • Sacrifices one’s own needs for the need of the team
  • Initiates team building activities (e.g., organizing outside group activities, breakfasts)
  • Behavioral Examples of Rating:_____________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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)
  • 360 Degree Performance Appraisal

Performance Appraisal Training: Best Practices

  • 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 (e.g., several days prior to formal feedback session).
  • 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
  • Importance of rater training
  • (importance of using employee self-evaluations)
  • Non minority
  • Minority
  • Performance
  • Criterion
  • Satisfactory
  • Unsatisfactory
  • Reject Accept
  • Predictor Score
  • Equal validity, unequal criterion means
  • Equal test scores; Minorities performing less well on job (over predicting performance)
  • Minorities hired same as non minorities but probability of success is small. Can
  • reinforce existing stereotypes.


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