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Flawed Performance Appraisal Process

Describe a performance review situation in which you (or someone that you know) were involved and summarize one aspect of it based upon either
(1) that which was done correctly or
(2) that which was done incorrectly, as they relate to the topics indicated in Exhibit 11.9, page 388.
(Please do not provide the name of the organization, but rather the job position in your example.)

In my organization, all of my peers and superiors have an annual performance rating. Depending on the seniority (rank) of the member, there are different categories that are recorded to reflect the individual's annual performance. The performance ratings are included in promotions, special duty selections, and in some cases awards. On exhibit 11.9, the largest errors that I have observed in my present employment are the leniency error, and recency error.

The leniency error is widespread in my current job center. There are varying degrees of performance behaviors across the workcenter, but all 63 employees (with the exception of 4) were given the highest ratings in all categories. In supervision's defense, the performance feedback guide does instruct them to rate employees against the standard and distinguish amongst employees in the remarks. This allows supervisors to take a passive stance when rating subordinates and also leads to in-fighting amongst the ranks. Why wouldn't it? Would you feel good if your performance was rated equal to another employee who clearly did not accomplish the same amount in the rating period? Based on the literature in this class, the leniency error most likely would disable any potential sorting effects of the performance review. This is consistent with high retention and force management initiatives to reduce employees.

The recency error is also prevalent in the workcenter. The 4 employees that have had less-than-perfect performance ratings also had adverse personnel actions towards the end of the rating period. It is my opinion that the entire annual performance was not taken into account; only the last few months. It is sad to see a force that encourages "risk-taking" be so harsh on employees for doing just that.


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Peer Response:

Performance appraisals typically have a bad reputation because of how the ratings are given to employees. Over the years I have seen exceptional employees receive the same 'across the board' appraisal as poor performing employees. This has definitely raised great concern as to how accurate performance ratings are through the employee's eyes, which is why employees really do not like the performance appraisal process.

Some reasons why employees do not like the performance appraisal process include:

- Employees are not allowed to contribute (in some cases)
Many companies do not have an employee self assessment section added into the performance appraisal. They would rather the manager and senior managers simply rate the employee. This does not give the employee any control to provide self input on how they feel they performed.

- Managers give high ratings just to be liked by poor performing employees
In today's society, managers feel it is more important to maintain a good working relationship with their employees opposed to actually informing them of their poor performance. Managers want to be known as a popular manager and not ruffle feathers that will create ...

Solution Summary

This article describes some reasons why the performance appraisal process is flawed. Employees and managers alike should have input in the performance appraisal process and when that does not happen, the company may experience higher than normal turnover.