Performance appraisal is an important element of HR management because it can significantly contribute to the improved performance of workers and businesses. In particular, these tools can help managers retain the trust of employees, make them more engaged in workplace activities, and identify organizational weaknesses. This is the main thesis that should be examined.
At first, this procedure can improve the performance of workers because this assessment can identify the main areas requiring more attention of business administrators (Armstrong & Appelbaum, 2003). The evaluation of performance should not be used to stigmatize workers who could have made mistakes due to some reasons. More likely, this tool should be considered by managers who need to focus on organizational factors that can contribute to individual errors. Very often, poor performance of workers can be attributed to inefficient job design. This is one of the details that should be taken into account by business administrators working with people who may have different values, attitudes, and priorities.
Furthermore, performance appraisal can improve performance by motivating workers. One should keep in mind that an employee is more likely to be committed to organizational goals if this individual sees that his/her contributions are recognized by managers (Armstrong & Appelbaum, 2003). This argument is particularly relevant if the improved performance of workers is reflected in the compensation that they receive. In contrast, if performance appraisal is not effective, employees may come to the conclusion that their work is not valued by senior executives. Some of them may eventually decide to search for a different job. This is one of the main pitfalls that should be avoided because a company can lose the most competent workers whose skills and knowledge can be instrumental for the creation of better products and services.
It is important to mention that the performance appraisal can be flawed by biases. They can play an important role in those cases when there are no objective criteria according to which the productivity of a person can be evaluated. Such difficulties can arise provided that managers should evaluate the performance of people working in teams. Sometimes, managers can pay attention to the work of employees who made some remarkable achievements in the past. However, they can overlook the contributions of people who do not lay stress on the achievements and leadership qualities. So, the problems can occur due to the cognitive biases of a person. Overall, the risk of these biases becomes particularly high if a person uses the so-called narrative technique. It means that a manager simply describes the performance and behavior of a person without relying on quantitative data or identifying any objective criteria according to which the work of a person is evaluated (Youssef 2012). Under such circumstances, HR professionals should apply more objective assessment tools. For example, one can speak about paired-comparison model which shows how different workers cope with the same tasks. In addition to that, one can apply the so-called 360-degree evaluation which is based on the opinions of different people who work with a certain employee.
Apart from that, people, who appraise the performance of people, can be biased against certain individuals due to their race, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and so forth (Kirkpatrick, 2006). Certainly, such discrimination is prohibited at the official level. Nevertheless, such attitudes can influence the decisions of managers. Therefore, it is important to apply evaluation tools that can ensure the impartiality of managers. These precautions are important for eliminating the conflicts in the workplace and avoiding lawsuits that can be time-consuming and costly.
Overall, performance appraisal is critical for achieving strategic goals of a business. In particular, effective evaluation of employees’ work can be important for motivating workers and ensuring their commitment. In turn, such attitudes are essential for achieving strategic goals such as gaining leading position in the market. Furthermore, performance appraisal methods are important for the retention of the most qualified workers. One should mention that qualified and motivated workforce is one of the main assets for modern businesses. This asset is critical for ensuring the long-term sustainability of companies that value intellectual capital, such as technological expertise of workers. This is one of the main issues that should be distinguished.
This discussion shows that the performance and sustainability of many businesses can depend on the use of effective performance appraisal methods. It is critical to focus on the impartiality of this assessment because they can be critical for increasing the job satisfaction of workers and their commitment to the goals set by the managers. Thus, HR professionals need to concentrate on the development of the most impartial evaluation tools. In this way, they gain the trust of workers and make them more engaged.
Armstrong, S., & Appelbaum, M. (2003). Stress-Free Performance Appraisals: Turn Your Most Painful Management Duty Into a Powerful Motivational Tool. New York, NY: Career Press.
Kirkpatrick, D. (2006). Improving Employee Performance Through Appraisal and Coaching. New York, NY: AMACOM.
Youssef, C. (2012). Human resource management. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.