Less Odious Performance Appraisals
The performance-appraisal process is an integral part of most managers' jobs. Its function, of course, is to enhance the use of human resources in an organization. But while almost all companies have some sort of performance-appraisal process, many personnel managers are dissatisfied with their current systems.
The appraisals are also unpopular with managers. The yearly performance review is one of the most dreaded tasks of line managers, who consider it a necessary evil. Few managers have any training in the appraisal process; many question the validity or legal defendability of the evaluation. Furthermore, many managers--and employees--view the appraisal process as confrontational, resulting in an antagonistic relationship between management and staff.
Many of the problems with employee-appraisal systems result from an effort to use a single process to achieve two different, often conflicting, objectives: * generation of data for judgment decisions, such as raises, promotions, and transfers; * employee development.
Most companies and managers stress the administrative decisions and neglect the employee-development function. But when development is the main objective of the performance appraisal, the manager and employee share a common goal, contributing to a supportive, nonthreatening atmosphere instead of an antagonistic one.
Performance appraisals don't have to be an ordeal. They can be an effective tool for employee development and productivity--if managers are skilled in providing and receiving feedback.
Providing effective feedback is a delicate process--more of an art than a science. The following guidelines for managers can serve as a framework to enhance the performance-appraisal process for the benefit of both the supervisor and the employee.
Be sure that your intention is to be helpful.
The appraisal interview is not the time to show the employee who is boss. Every point covered in the interview should involve an effort to "build" the employee by encouraging appropriate behaviors and modifying innapropriate ones. The employee should leave the appraisal interview with a better understanding of what is expected, a sense of open communication lines, and an optimistic outlook for …