Q-1 Major Problems with the Form used by the Company to Evaluate Performance
The company is using the Adjective Rating Scale Appraisal Method which provides a quantitative analysis that is useful for comparison purposes. It is also easier to develop and administer. There are few disadvantages of the method which are listed below along with major problems observed in the form:
1) The form does not provide the depth of information about a particular facet. Although place has been earmarked for writing of comments with each dimension but no guideline has been provided in the form to appraise the same.
2) In this method of appraisal, abstract traits like loyalty, dependability, or integrity can not be rated unless they are defined in more specific behavioral terms. This form however includes dependability which is an abstract trait, without mentioning the specific terms like dependability in following directions or company policies etc.
3) There is no explanation of the specified dimension/facet which is to be evaluated. Rater may have different interpretations of the factors listed in the appraisal form.
4) The continuum is generalized and lacks specific points.
5) There are lots of ambiguities in the form which may introduce bias.
6) There is no place kept on the form for writing employees’ feedback/reaction to the appraisal.
7) There is duplication of dimensions like decision making and problem solving.
8) Dimensions made mandatory for evaluation of supervisory employees lack important facets like decision making/problem solving, and communication.
9) The form lacks the recommendations for further promotion.
Q-2 Suggested Revisions in the Form
Following revisions are suggested in the form which should be incorporated to make the current performance appraisal system more effective:
1) Each dimension/facet should have an explanatory note written under it describing its desired interpretation. For example, ‘Job Knowledge’ should accompany explanation like ‘it is the information pertinent to the job that an individual should have for satisfactory job performance.’
2) The rating scale should be made more comprehensive by mentioning specific level of skill, instead of numbers. For example, ‘Job Knowledge’ should follow the continuum like ‘Poorly Informed, Occasionally Unsatisfactory, Can Answer Most Questions, Understands all Phases of Job, Has Complete Mastery of all Phases of the job.’
3) More dimensions should be added to the form for making it more beneficial like:
a) Quality of Work
e) Acceptance of Responsibility
f) Drive and Determination
4) Comments under each dimension/facet should be removed. Space should be provided for writing of ‘General Comments’ by the rater.
5) For the purpose of getting feedback, there should be space provided for ‘Employees Self Evaluation.’ Following segments can be included in this section of the appraisal form:
a) Training programs undertaken during the review period
b) Examples of achievements during the review period
c) Obstacles/problems faced while achieving targets
d) Suggestions (if any)
6) The form should include ‘Recommendations for Further Promotion.’
Q-3 Employees Feedback
There are basically three purposes of any performance management system. These include performance evaluation, feedback and documentation. Feedback is very important for maintaining and upkeep of employees’ motivation level. A feedback page is suggested to be incorporated in the existing appraisal form. Specific details to be included are appended in answer to previous question (paragraph 5).
Q-4 Advice on Discrimination based Promotion and Pay Policies
Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination in hiring, compensation, and terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on race, religion, color, sex, or national origin. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 nullifies selected Supreme Court decisions; reinstated burden of proof by the employer, and reinforces the illegality of employers who make hiring, firing, or promoting decisions on the basis of discrimination.
Keeping the existing laws in mind, there is no requirement of making any changes in the promotion and pay policies based on the discriminatory claims.
Q-5 Areas Important for Rater Training Program & Any Particular Rating Error Needing Attention
A poor appraisal is worse than no appraisal at all. A rater should be aware of common rating errors like halo, leniency, similarity, and central tendency. Based on the survey and experience, the rater training program should focus on following specific areas:-
1) Identification of employees’ skills
2) Identification of career paths for employees
3) Understanding of dimensions and continuum used in the form
4) Dealing with feedback
5) Identifying training opportunities and understanding work related problems
6) Analyzing various rating systems, with fair understanding of the factors which distort appraisals.
Q-6 Evaluation of Training Program
Efficacy of a training program can be evaluated through various methods. A few are listed below:
1) Reactive method, in which reactions of participants or managers to the training imparted are obtained. These reactions can be easily acquired but the opinions can be heavily influenced.
2) The participants can be evaluated for what they have learnt in the form of holding tests at the end of training session. A quiz containing MCQs is one option.
3) In the Behavioral method, participants’ application of new skills on ground can be viewed. The participants can be given the appraisal forms to fill.
4) The training programs can be evaluated by reviewing whether the training program achieved its desired result. This will be reflected at the end of year automatically when raters will be conducting appraisals.
Q-7 Advice on Reviewing Self Appraisals before Evaluating Performance
There are few obvious disadvantages of obtaining self-ratings. If these are reviewed prior to evaluating performance of an employee, the rater’s opinion is likely to be over-shadowed by the same. Rater’s minor observations will also be obliterated. More-over, self-ratings will have variant effect on different raters. There is however an option of obtaining self-rating after the employee gets appraised. Any major disparity can be brought into notice of the rater, who can submit review report after a lapse of six months.
Q-8 Additional Appraisal Characteristics to be included in the Form
Additional appraisal characteristics to be included in the appraisal form are listed below:
1) Quality of Work
5) Acceptance of Responsibility
6) Drive and Determination