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11.2: Performance Evaluation Systems

  • Page ID
    23784
    • Anonymous
    • LibreTexts
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    Learning Objectives
    1. Define the reasons for a formal performance evaluation system.
    2. Explain the process to develop a performance review system.

    A performance evaluation system is a systematic way to examine how well an employee is performing in his or her job. If you notice, the word systematic implies the performance evaluation process should be a planned system that allows feedback to be given in a formal—as opposed to informal—sense. Performance evaluations can also be called performance appraisals, performance assessments, or employee appraisals.

    There are four reasons why a systematic performance evaluation system should be implemented. First, the evaluation process should encourage positive performance and behavior. Second, it is a way to satisfy employee curiosity as to how well they are performing in their job. It can also be used as a tool to develop employees. Lastly, it can provide a basis for pay raises, promotions, and legal disciplinary actions.

    Designing a Performance Appraisal System

    There are a number of things to consider before designing or revising an existing performance appraisal system. Some researchers suggest that the performance appraisal system is perhaps one of the most important parts of the organization (Lawrie, 1990), while others suggest that performance appraisal systems are ultimately flawed (Derven, 1990), making them worthless. For the purpose of this chapter, let’s assume we can create a performance appraisal system that will provide value to the organization and the employee. When designing this process, we should recognize that any process has its limitations, but if we plan it correctly, we can minimize some of these.

    The first step in the process is to determine how often performance appraisals should be given. Please keep in mind that managers should constantly be giving feedback to employees, and this process is a more formal way of doing so. Some organizations choose to give performance evaluations once per year, while others give them twice per year, or more. The advantage to giving an evaluation twice per year, of course, is more feedback and opportunity for employee development. The downside is the time it takes for the manager to write the evaluation and discuss it with the employee. If done well, it could take several hours for just one employee. Depending on your organization’s structure, you may choose one or the other. For example, if most of your managers have five or ten people to manage (this is called span of control), it might be worthwhile to give performance evaluations more than once per year, since the time cost isn’t high. If most of your managers have twenty or more employees, it may not be feasible to perform this process more than once per year. To determine costs of your performance evaluations, see Table \(\PageIndex{1}\). Asking for feedback from managers and employees is also a good way to determine how often performance evaluations should be given.


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