Performance appraisal is a process that structures your relationship with employees while providing a legal protection for your company (DelPo, 2007: 8). Traditionally, performance appraisal has been the responsibility of the immediate manager, following the belief that direct managers are the best source of performance feedback (Barnes-Farrell, 2001). Performance expectations/ outputs and critical aspects of performance are determined from job analysis and set as standards or goals. Often, performance requirement are defined in behavioral terms and measured using calibrated or anchored scale, ranging from low to highly effective. The focus of appraisal is the comparison of the actual performance to performance expectations, in terms of behaviors and/ or performance outcomes.
Typically, a formal appraisal interview is conducted annually (Murphy and Cleveland, 1995). Although Fletcher and Perry (2001) linked daily communication about performance to the effectiveness of appraisal, in practice progress reports or feedback sessions do not occur with enough regularity (Coens and Jenkins, 2000). The manager’s role is to gather evaluation materials and strive for agreement with the employee regarding the employee’s performance and development priorities. The employee’s role is to either accept the manager’s assessment, or provide support for a different view of the performance level. The employee also must determine where he or she needs to improve. Following the appraisal, performance expectations are set for the coming year and an optional employee development plan may be created (Grote, 1996).
Performance appraisal has been criticized for its emphasis on measurement over management (Fletcher and Perry, 2001). Howeve...
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