Performance Appraisal

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Performance Appraisal





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Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is the assessment of an individual’s performance in a systematic way. Performance Appraisal can also be seen as a special form of evaluation involving a comparison of the observed performance of an employee with a performance standard which describes what the employee is expected to do in terms of behaviors and results (Baker, 1988).Performance appraisal involves identifying common goals between the employer and the employee and how these goals must relate to the overall organizational goals for increase in productivity and output (Dessler, 1995).

Generally, performance appraisal is effective in that it helps underperforming employees worker harder for better ratings in future. After completion of an appraisal cycle, the management needs to reach each employee to discuss and mutually come up with plans to improve future performance. They need to outline in detail the type of behaviors and actions that an employee can work on and improve for better future ratings.

Performance appraisal is the foundation of reward systems and this is what leads to improved performance and job satisfaction. Rewards and recognition which are based on job performance have proven to lead both to job satisfaction and improved performance. Expectation of a reward leads to improved performance and the reward itself leads to job satisfaction (p 205).

Also, it enhances communication between the employer and the employee, which results in job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Communication happens in terms of feedback and the overall progress of the process, which is goes a long way in making the employee feel part of the organization, thus increasing productivity

Merit rating is possible through performance appraisal, which helps in outlining compensation packages for the employees. Compensation packages which include high salary rates, bonus and other extra benefits, all depend on performance appraisal, in that appraisal measures performance, which guides the packages.

Performance appraisal offers the best opportunity to for the employers to determine training needs for their employees. Just like performance, appraisal for employees determines and shows their abilities and talents, and based on that, the employer can choose to set up training for the employees.

However, since performance ratings are subject to human judgment, personal factors and prejudices are likely to influence the ratings (Kellogg, 1975). Biases based on age, gender or race can influence the raters’ evaluations, where the rater can be too harsh or too lenient on the employee and this affects the accuracy of evaluations.

The processes can also be marred with the “Hallo effect”, where an employee is rated based on a trait, quality or one thing they do so well, without a proper check of other factors that might also be deemed important. On the other hand, the “Horn effect” tends to rate an employee as a poor performer based on one thing they don’t do so well, a trait or a behavior. For an organization to function effectively, they should set up an appraisal system that suits them in terms of their operations. They should be tailor-made to match an employee and organization characteristics and qualities.

It is evident that as employee appraisal is effective in various ways that ultimately improve organizational goals and objectives. This is without setbacks that might interfere with the processes’ evaluation results. Supervisors have to somehow deal with these setbacks, by making sure that they are as impartial as possible in the appraisal systems, if they have to reap maximum benefits that the processes have to offer.

No organization operating in these changing times of cut-throat global competition can afford an unmotivated workforce. Performance appraisal is a tool that any company or organization can use to measure performance of its employees against the company’s long term goals and objectives. It is also important for every employee to know how much they are contributing towards attainment of such goals. This can only happen with an effective performance appraisal system.


Baker, J. (1988). Causes of failure in performance appraisals and supervision.

New York:. Quorum Books.

Dessler, G. (1995). Human behavior: Improving performance at work. Reston, VA:.

Reston Publishing.

Kellogg, M. (1975). What to do about performance appraisals. New York:. AMA


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