Annual Performance Evaluation and Recent Trends

Embry’s performance review

Embry’s strengths include high ratings on expertise. He has the initiative to assist because he volunteered to help a team that appeared to be failing. He met his objectives with the two teams that he was assigned at the beginning of the period.

One of Embry’s weaknesses is lacking of teamwork skills. He thinks the failure of the group is not his responsibility when the organization assigns senior analysts per group to improve performance. By volunteering to assist the third team, it becomes his responsibility as well which he fails to acknowledge. He lacks good communication skills. He complains and blames others. He lacks adaptability because he complains of the sudden change from individual work to teamwork. The manager claims he lacks interpersonal skills.

An employee who is above average is one who has the potential to become an exceptional employee. An employee with extraordinary performance is one who has “exceptional performance and potential, also meets and exceeds job requirements” (Sandler & Keefe, 2004, p. 4). An average employer can perform according to the routine and meets the standard quality required in the job. Sandler & Keefe (2004) explain that they are “able to deliver performance good enough to justify a paycheck” (p. 4). The majority of the workforce is likely to be rated as average. An employee who is below average is one who has failed to meet job requirements. An employee who scores below this level should be dismissed (Sandler & Keefe, 2004).

Sandler & Keefe (2004) discuss measures to categorize interpersonal skills and a person’s nature. The categorization includes whether an employee is “defensive or cooperative, argumentative or compliant, flexible or rigid” (Sandler & Keefe, 2004, p. 5). The flexible are willing to change to create solutions for emerging problems. Those who are rigid are resistant to the concept of change whether the change is highly valued or not.

The exceptional candidate is expected to have dealt satisfactorily with highly demanding situations. Such situations might be unexpected deadlines or working under stressful conditions. An employee who needs improvement may sometimes manage to deliver good results under difficult conditions. An employee under the unsatisfactory rating will be unable to cope with highly demanding situations (Sandler & Keefe, 2004).

According to the standards discussed by Sandler & Keefe (2004), Embry may be rated as acceptable/satisfactory. It is a performance rating below the above average. The above-average states that an employee is more than sufficient which is higher than Embry’s behavior, and management performance. Embry scores high on analytic skills but his rating is unsatisfactory in adaptability (Sandler & Keefe, 2004). According to Falcone (2005), Embry’s management skills may be rated as one which needs improvement. It is because he is unwilling to take responsibilities outside his job description. His communication skills also need improvement because he immediately blames others, isolates himself among other factors (Falcone, 2005). On job knowledge, his score would not exceed expectations because he fails to share his expertise at the group level (Falcone, 2005). He is also not open to know what happens in other departments or group initiatives.

Embry’s performance is satisfactory. I would award him a 2% salary increment mainly because of his work performance. He does not qualify for exceptional performance bonuses. He could have met the exceptional performance if he had managed to help the seemingly weak group to achieve its objective. Assisting the weak group acted as the critical incident in which he failed to deliver good results. A supervisor should find out what the group needs/lacks to meet the objectives. He should have provided what the group lacked. Based on simple calculations, the salary increment is 2% of $90,000 which is $1,800. His new salary would be $91,800.

Appraisal models

Ranking by traditional methods

Using the same method of the performance appraisal for many applications may be misleading because different appraisal methods give out different forms of data as results. They could be “qualitative or quantitative” (Sapra, 2012, p. 1205). Sapra (2012) enlists several approaches that are commonly used. Critical Incidents, graphic rating scales, and Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) are models that appear superior in the overall rating.

The critical incidents approach is a good method to rank exceptional employee performance. In this approach, the supervisor focuses on highly demanding situations. An observation is recorded on an employee’s behavior in critical situations (Sapra, 2012). The graphic rating scales approach may be effective in giving performance reviews on overall ratings. It combines scores on all areas that an organization may consider essential for good work performance such as knowledge, and cooperation. ‘BARS’ integrates the factors in graphic rating and critical incident, and aligns them on a numerical scale. For this reason, BARS may be more accurate for overall rating than the graphic rating scales.

An organization can combine methods depending on which attributes they measure more accurately. For example, comparative standards and paired comparison approaches may be effective in measuring employee’s performance in groups. In comparative standards, “an employee’s performance is compared to the other employees’ performances” (Sapra, 2012, p. 1205). In paired comparison, the supervisor picks two individuals in a group at a time. He/she rates who is better between the two. He compares all employees in the group in this manner before ranking the entire group members. The approach is similar to the mathematical logic of > and <. If A < B, and B < C then C is greater A. Different approaches may be used to measure different aspects depending on the reliability that they are the most accurate approach to measure that particular quality.

These traditional methods had the same effect of blames and complaint as experienced in the Blues performance appraisal. The main reason is that they rely on the supervisor’s subjectivity (Sapra, 2012). Brewer, Embry, and other employees agree that there is some level of subjectivity that affects performance ratings. Embry complains that female employees tend to have better performance ratings because the feminine judge favors women.

Recent trends in performance appraisal

Some of the recent trends in performance appraisal include “valuable line management tool, full time performance appraisal, low administration performance management, MBO, and the psychological appraisals” (Sapra, 2012, p. 1208). There are also the appraisal methods that run from the 90-degree appraisal to the 720-degree appraisal. It appears that the higher the degree, the more reliable the data (Sapra, 2012). Some of the factors that may influence the type of appraisal method are the size of the organization, the cost of the process, the nature of the product, and the expected accuracy of the appraisal.

Brewer’s organization uses self-assessment and manager’s assessment for performance reviews. A 270-degree appraisal method would solve the immediate problem of other employees complaining about others’ contribution to group work, and limits the level of the boss’ subjectivity. In the 270-degree appraisal, “an employee is evaluated by 3 persons, himself, boss, and co-workers” (Sapra, 2012, p. 1209). Evaluations by co-workers may reveal group work performance. Taticchi (2010) explains that the subjectivity effect is lessened by “removal of the top-down ratings by managers, and replacement by the multiple rater evaluation” (p. 201). It may reduce complaints, and increase acceptance of performance reviews.

The organization may use the 360-degree appraisal which is less time consuming than the 720-degree appraisal. In addition to the raters in the 270-degree, the 360-degree incorporates ratings by client/customer (Sapra, 2012). Brewer explained about legislators who were not happy with the policy drafted by the organization. In this case, the firm will have to identify the client. If the governor by himself is the client, legislators’ ratings have no weight. The general public could also be the client.

The 270-degree is the easy option for the organization because the organization only needs to include the views of others to reduce the boss’ subjectivity. The 360-degree may increase the precision of ratings without consuming as much time as the 720-degree appraisal. The organization should use a 270-degree appraisal to solve the immediate problem and use a 360-degree for its ongoing performance reviews.

The organization should also use the full-time performance appraisal together with the existing MBO approach. In the full-time performance appraisal, the supervisor and the employee keep records for each task in progress or completed (Sapra, 2012). It is conducted throughout the year. Employees can update the supervisor on areas lagging, and possible reasons for their lagging behind. Employees are also able to note the areas that are meeting objectives.

At the end of the year when the employee is presented with his/her performance review, she/he will compare the boss’ records with his/hers. It may reduce complaints, and blames. If an employee fails to meet objectives, it will be because of his/her weakness. The main reason is that the employee was aware of the lag but did not report to get assistance. If the assistance given did not solve the problem or remove the barrier, then the failure to meet objectives may not be linked to the employee’s weakness.

Sandler & Keefe (2004) express that the supervisor should let employees know the level of productivity needed. They should discuss with employees factors that may hinder them from reaching the set productivity levels. The supervisor should find out, by asking politely, what employees need from him/her to reach that the target level of productivity. Sandler & Keefe (2004) explain that such an approach gives the employee a greater chance of meeting expectations.

There is a need to separate the salary increment issue during performance reviews. It has been linked to employees’ loss of motivation, and ineffectiveness to enhance work performance (Taticchi, 2010). Embry is more concerned about the merit salary increment rather than the performance review itself. It also forms the basis for his lack of control in discussing the matter. Salary increments are supposed to be discussed on a different day of the performance review to allow the employee and the manager to focus mainly on the performance review.

Reference List

Falcone, P. (2005). 2600 phrases for effective performance reviews: ready-to-use words and phrases that really get results. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Sandler, C., & Keefe, J. (2004). Performance appraisal phrase book: the best words, phrases, and techniques for performance reviews. Avon, Mass: Adams Media.

Sapra, N. (2012). Current trends in performance appraisal. International Journal of Research in IT & Management, 2(2), 1203-1211. Web.

Taticchi, P. (2010). Business performance measurement and management: new contents, themes and challenges. London, UK: Springer.