I am currently working as a public health nurse for an organization, where my performance appraisal is emphasized mostly on my leadership qualities and achievements. My competencies as a nurse are divided into categories such as attendance, character, achievement and development based on leadership during the performance appraisal. This paper aims to support as well as present the systems approach towards performance appraisal that would be considered effective for the position of public health nurse. There were 76 performance appraisal problems identified in the past that were later categorized into 4 groups. The systems approach will identify the barriers and emphasize on defining the objective of performance appraisal, determine what time would be effective for conducting the process, the addition of some effective appraisal categories, and concentrating on the result of the appraisal and finding loopholes if necessary. I can consider the systems performance appraisal approach being used in my organization effectively as it is based on all the factors discussed above and it also takes into account some other factors such as results, objectives, behavior, competencies and several arrangements of methods. In this paper I will further discuss how I would ensure that the solution I recommended complies with five requirements defined by Cascio, which are sensitivity, relevance, reliability, practicality and acceptability. I will also be shedding light on how by preventing some legal difficulties the organization can avoid the rating error. The results of the previous assessment will also be compared with the finding in order to analyze the recommended performance appraisal system (Kondrasuk, 2012).
Performance Appraisal Definition
The terms performance reviews and performance evaluation hold the same meaning as the “Performance Appraisal”. Performance appraisal is considered to be the assessment conducted to evaluate the performance of employees. It is also defined as an assessment conducted to provide the employees feedback on their performance. Performance appraisal is also defined to be a system where the expected job performance is compared with employee’s actual job performance, providing feedback to the employees so that they may change their goals accordingly and enhance their performance in future. Performance management of employees is considered to be an integral part of the performance appraisal system. McGrath has explained in detailed the Integrated performance management that is based on strategic and operational plans, horizontal and vertical loading and individual and organizational goals. However at present the approach to performance management is defined to be more methodical by the researchers.
A Systems Approach to Performance Appraisal as My Choice for Optimal Performance Appraisal
The performance assessment approach being used by most of the organizations is usually result oriented, involving factors such as behaviors and characteristics of the individual employees. An organization must be aware of the fact that there are several pros and cons associated with all performance appraisal methods being used by them for evaluating the performance of their employees. When a performance appraisal system is designed by an organization, it considers the behavior of the employees and the result of the assessment more important than evaluating the performance of the employees and the consequences which influenced them to act this way. It is quite general for organizations to support the result based approach. However, there are some requirements associated with the effective working of this approach. Firstly, it is to understand the fact that this approach does not mean to gain the result of the employees’ performance appraisal at any cost. Secondly, it is to identify the employees who find it difficult to cope with the challenges and contribute towards the goals of organization. The systems approach is usually applied on the employees present at the lower level of the organizational hierarchy.
One major challenge for the organizations and their human resource manager is to find the right person for the right job, as this is where the optimal performance appraisal begins. It is possible to makes some changes in the job description in order to fit the employees but it is usually difficult to change the person to fit the job. Here lies the significance of recruitment, selection and placement. These processes help the organization to know what competencies and skills are required in the candidates in order to meet the organizational goals. There are numerous factors that managers must keep in mind while evaluating the performance of the employees. Some of these factors are given below:
- The performance of the employees must only be evaluated on the basis of what is mentioned in the job description.
- The manager must ensure that the employees have their copy of the job description and the job expectations.
- It is very important to record and document the whole performance management process. The manager must use some measurable and observable for evaluating the performance of employees.
Compiling the Recommended Solution with the Five Requirements Presented by Cascio
The five requirements of the performance appraisal system stated by Cascio are relevance, sensitivity reliability, acceptability and practicality. The five requirements have been discussed in detail below:
- Relevance: It indicates the fact that it is ineffective of the manager to evaluate the performance of the employees on competencies that are irrelevant for their position. If the manager fails to explain that why the competency included in employee evaluation is relevant, there is no pint considering it at all (McGrath, 2010).
- Sensitivity: This means that managers must be good at understating the differences of the employees and they should be sensitive to it. Managers must respect the difference of the differences of the employees and deal with them accordingly during the assessment.
- Reliability: This requirement helps the manager to find a result during the assessment that will be considered reliable. The manager must ensure that the whole process is unbiased and it is not based on anything but the performance of the employees in the past.
- Acceptability: The manager must ensure that the result delivered must meet the standards of the management as well as the employees, and it must be acceptable to them. It must also be ensured that the performance can easily be implemented and that it is not complex for the employees to understand. The manager must give adequate time to the employees to complete their job and meet their short term goals.
- Practicality: The performance management system must not be so complex so that the employees will be forced to drag the task to the very last moment in order to make them bearable. If such a process is designed by the organization then it will not be viewed as anything more than a mechanistic, painful and disassociated activity and the manager will fail to conduct an effective assessment, affecting the overall goals of the organization.
The Five Requirements by Cascio Leading Towards Common Rating Errors and Legal Difficulties
It can be concluded from the five requirements given by Cascio regarding the performance appraisal system that the key to success rests in preventing common rating error and legal difficulties during the whole assessment process. The whole process must be initiated by understanding the responsibilities that must be fulfilled effectively by the employees present on a specific position within the organization. This will help the manager not to evaluate the employees on the factors that are considered to be irrelevant. The expectation must be carefully established by the manager and must also be communicated to the employees in order to maintain the standard of performance. It is the responsibility of the manager to set the performance objective and monitor the performance and progress of the employee throughout the year (Kondrasuk, 2012).
Some of the organizations are usually familiar with the performance review process conducted periodically. However this process is only considered to be effective if the manager effectively provides feedback to employees throughout the years and build strategies that would help them meet the organizational goals. It is important to document the whole performance appraisal process for the purpose of maintaining records. Time management is another very important factor in the process, as the manager must have time for each employee for discussing their performance. It is be better for the credibility of the process if the manager avoids surprises. This process must be considered as an opportunity for the manager for exploring and examining the organization’s future growth and development. Treating the employees with respect must be the priority of the process. It is important to engage the employees in this whole process, highlighting their achievements as well as the areas where they need to work.
Effect of Coaching on Performance Appraisal
Providing coaching to the employees is a way of improving their performance which ultimately will affect their performance appraisal process and reviews, and they will become better at meeting the organizational goals. Coaching with reference to the organizations may be defined as collaborative partnership specifically designed for integrating the professional development of the employees with the goals of the organization. Coaching assists in helping the employees to define different and more effective learning techniques, discovering what inspires them in order to ensure their continuous development. Coaching can also be defined as a process of transformation of the organizational culture and style (Glenn and Hannah, 2014). This indicates that when the organizations accept coaching as a norm then the benefits associated with it not just remain limited to the lower level employees but extend to different organizational layers. However it is important for an organization to understand the difference between coaching and mentoring. Coaching is considered to be a more wide and diverse process as it involves emphasizing on the strengths, weaknesses, competencies and skills of the employees, whereas the scope of mentoring is only limited to the transformation of knowledge from a more experienced employee to a less experienced one.
Reviewing Self-Assessment and Choice of Performance Appraisal Approach
Reviewing my assessment indicates that my satisfaction potential score is 210 which means that I am quite content with my job. This reflects the exact feeling I have for my job, as the system appraisal approach developed by the organization has imposed a positive effect on my performance. Cascio states that the acceptability of the performance appraisal approach can directly be linked with employee satisfaction. My position does require some technical skills along with all the other skills, and it can be compared with the job of a manager as well, and this is the reason that my assessment was accepted by the employees as well as the supervisor. My professional goals have always been to be an effective leader and to excel as a manger. Coaching has helped me to meet my professional goals which have also guided me to meet the organizational goals effectively. The reason why I am satisfied which my job is because I am passionate about my work. I motivate the staff whenever it is needed in order to accomplish the goals (Colquit, Lepine and Wesson, 2015).
Designing an effective performance appraisal system is considered to be the responsibility of all managers. There is no issue whether the process is informal or formal until it is effective. I consider the system approach to be the effective performance appraisal method for my position, as it emphasizes on removing the barriers present in the way of reliability of the process. This approach mainly focuses on the behavior, competencies and traits that are considered to be relevant for a specific position. However there is no doubt about the fact that these are some pros and cons attached with all the performance appraisal approaches being used by the organization, even with the result based approach which is trending nowadays. For the effective working of the process it is important to remove common rating error and legal difficulties. The organization I am working for also utilizes the systems approach for assessing the performance of the employees, centrally emphasizing on leadership. I perform the duties of a public health nurse at work; however my performance appraisal is conducted by considering leadership as my core competency. The approach works for me as with time I have been working on developing my leadership for surviving and progressing in the competitive organizational environment (Cascio, 2013).
- Cascio, W. (2013). Managing human resources: Productivity, quality of work life. New York: McGgraw-Hill Irwin.
- Kondrasuk, Jack N. (2012). The ideal performance appraisal is a format, not a form. Academy of Strategic management Journal, Volume 11, Number 1, 2012
- McGrath, Chris (2010). Integrated organizational performance management. The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist. 47 (3), 17-19.
- Handin, K., & Steinwedel, J.S. (2006, November/December). Developing global leaders: Executive coaching targets cross-cultural competencies. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 26, 18 – 28. doi: 10.1002/joe.20118
- Whitmore, J. (2002). Coaching for Performance (3rd ed.). London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
- Glenn N.G. and Hannah C.A (2014) Enhancing the Performance Development Process: Creating a Coaching Culture through Implementation of Peer Coaching Practice
- Colquitt, J.A., Lepine, J.A., & Wesson, M.J. (2015). Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.