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11.3: Completing and Conducting the Appraisal

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  • Learning Objectives

    1. Be able to discuss best practices in performance review planning.
    2. Be able to write an improvement plan for an employee.

    So far, we have discussed the necessity of providing formal feedback to employees through a systematic performance evaluation system. We have stressed the importance of making sure the HR professional knows how often performance evaluations should be given and if they are tied to pay increases.

    The next step is to make sure you know the goals of the performance evaluation; for example, is the goal to improve performance and also identify people for succession planning? You will then determine the source for the performance evaluation data, and then create criteria and rating scales that relate directly to the employee’s job description. Once this is done, the successful functioning of the performance evaluation system largely depends on the HR professional to implement and communicate the system to managers and employees. This will be the primary focus of our next section.

    Best Practices in Performance Appraisals

    The most important things to remember when developing a performance evaluation system include the following:

    1. Make sure the evaluation has a direct relationship to the job. Consider developing specific criteria for each job, based on the individual job specifications and description.
    2. Involve managers when developing the process. Garner their feedback to obtain “buy-in” for the process.
    3. Consider involving the employee in the process by asking the employee to fill out a self-evaluation.
    4. Use a variety of methods to rate and evaluate the employee.
    5. Avoid bias by standardizing performance evaluations systems for each job.
    6. Give feedback on performance throughout the year, not just during performance review times.
    7. Make sure the goals of the performance evaluation tie into the organizational and department goals.
    8. Ensure the performance appraisal criteria also tie into the goals of the organization, for a strategic HRM approach.
    9. Review the evaluation for each job title often, since jobs and expectations change.

    Figure 11.6 Best Practices in Performance Appraisal Systems


    As you can see from Figure 11.7 “Performance Review System”, the performance appraisal aspect is just one part of the total process. We can call this a performance review system. The first step of the process is goal setting with the employee. This could mean showing the employee his or her performance appraisal criteria or sitting down with the employee to develop MBOs. The basic idea here is that the employee should know the expectations and how his or her job performance will be rated.

    Constant monitoring, feedback, and coaching are the next step. Ensuring the employee knows what he or she is doing well and is not doing well in a more informal manner will allow for a more productive employee.

    Next, of course, is the formal performance evaluation process. Choosing the criteria, rating scale, and source of the evaluation are steps we have already discussed. The next step is to work with the employee to develop improvement plans (if necessary) and offer any rewards as a result of excellent performance. The process then begins again, setting new goals with the employee.

    Figure 11.7 Performance Review System

    or rewards.