Staff appraisal is of great importance for work efficiency. The evaluation has the following functions:
Through the evaluation, the management forms an opinion about the evaluation, and he in turn gets an idea of his place in the group.
The evaluation motivates for raising the qualification, for improving the results. Through the evaluation, the evaluator makes sure that the goals and expectations for his results are monitored by the management.
Assessment contributes to the formation and development of personality. Educates criticism of one’s weaknesses, but must show the way to overcome them; it must be presented in such a way as to make the evaluated want to make efforts to overcome weaknesses.
Staff Appraisals & How to conduct performance appraisal in your organization
Evaluation should be the basis of remuneration, the selection of workers for a profession, the transfer of staff, the upgrading of qualifications and, if related to these elements, may have a stimulating and educational function.
Problems with the preliminary need for the assessment
1. Selection and transfer of staff:
Determining a reserve for new positions;
Predicting the rise in the hierarchy.
2. Improving staff utilization:
Moral and material stimulation;
3. Improving the organization of labor:
Improving working methods while strengthening the democratic principle of governance.
4. Improving the structure of production:
Standardization of the number of staff;
Improving the management structure.
5. Improving the skills of workers:
In-service training programs.
In many countries, there is still no strict system for evaluating staff in organizations.
Preliminary analysis of labor activity
The assessment is also related to a preliminary analysis of employment, ie. preliminary preparation is needed (analysis of the profession, the definition of criteria, etc.). Most of the assessment is psychological activity! Impartial evaluation can have the opposite effect – demotivation, etc.
Each assessment contains elements of criticism. To be perceived adequately, criticism must be:
1) real and supported by facts, ie. to be based on objective information;
2) the facts are presented with the necessary degree of goodwill to the evaluated, ie. to evaluate the behavior of the “here and now” and not the whole personality of man.
Basic mental and personal qualities of man
Around the 1950s, the basis of attestation was the basic mental and personal qualities of man (intelligence, energy, determination, devotion, initiative, etc.). But after the evaluation, it was noticed that the results of the work are not related to these qualities. Therefore, a new criterion is introduced in the evaluation – evaluation of professional habits and work results. The combination of these qualities and personal qualities gives a more realistic assessment. According to them, the success of the employee in a group of employees can be determined.
It must be taken into account how the result was obtained (under what effort and conditions) so that the assessment can have a comparative value (eg between employees in different companies)! The individual style of work (whether it is the result of training, taking into account the level of the worker himself) must also be taken into account.
The current guidelines for determining the evaluation criteria are towards the search for complex criteria (eg it is good to include skills and motivation in personal qualities).
Important! Before each evaluation, an analysis of the activity is made! The criteria for success in the activity are derived.
When evaluating the staff, we must determine the qualities of the employee according to the degree of necessity
Often a person can have many important and necessary qualities, but the main thing is missing. In the assessment, we must be able to determine the qualities of the employee as needed by assigning weighting factors to each of them. This ratio is determined in advance by consulting specialists.
The evaluation contains specific conclusions that answer the following questions:
1. Is the employee able to perform his work tasks and to what extent?
2. Do I have to take a qualification course to achieve better results?
3. Can it perform other functions?
4. Does it produce products that require higher pay?
The evaluation is carried out periodically and systematically. The period depends on the type of work (eg in production – 6-12 months; for creative staff – 2-3 years).
The grade is kept and when in certain cases a person needs certification, the data from the last grade are used (average grades should not be used!). Regarding the assessments for special cases (recommendations, attestations, etc.) it is considered that they are not reliable enough because the importance of the case affects the assessment itself. That is why the assessment from the last “normal” assessment should be used.
Sharing the result of staff appraisal
One possible impact of the assessment is its sharing (in front of the individual, in front of the group). If the evaluation is not communicated to the evaluated (or said inappropriately), it has a negative impact. It is usually communicated through the so-called “evaluation talks”. They are conducted by HR specialists and the line manager. It is a good idea for the person to be familiar with the assessment in advance and to set aside time for such a meeting.
Cogner recommends the following course of conversation:
To be well-meaning and to run in a calm atmosphere;
The evaluation shall be communicated and the evaluated shall be allowed to respond;
The positive aspects of the evaluation are discussed in more detail, and only then are the shortcomings communicated with facts;
The assessor is allowed to explain in more detail the reasons for possible weaknesses and to say whether he sees ways to overcome them;
It is necessary to determine the ways to overcome the shortcomings and set deadlines for this (usually until the next assessment).
The assessment of the next period is based on the previous one.
The announcement of the assessment in the group is the other moment of the announcement. There are two types of danger here:
If an excellent evaluation of a certain person is always announced, people get used to it and build a negative attitude towards the evaluated person in question. Ie positive evaluations must be shared with everyone, not just one person! Therefore, the evaluation criteria need to be more numerous, so that different people are reported as excellent according to the different criteria.
Disclosure of a poor rating often leads to undesirable consequences (frustration, etc.) and disruption of the overall atmosphere. Therefore, we must be convinced that the negative result is obtained only through the evaluations (and not the technique, etc.). Only the evaluators are talked to, without announcing the evaluation in front of the others! The evaluation is communicated to the group if we know that the evaluated systematically shows lower results than his / her abilities.
Steps in staff appraisal
1. Creating a program for collecting information.
2. Defining the methods for collecting information.
Usually, after determining the criteria for the success of the activity, information on the evaluations is collected in several ways: a) from the documentation of the enterprise; b) information from colleagues; (c) information from the line manager; d) self-assessment (of the results). The information about the evaluation must also include information about personality traits, collected through psychological methods for determining the level of development of certain professionally significant qualities.
Scaling qualities and performance through information from colleagues and bosses provide an opportunity to expand the range of information, but they need to be taught how to evaluate. In small groups, information can be shared by everyone.
3. Determining the methods for processing the received information.
Quantitative and qualitative methods for processing information: a) the most common method is to obtain a “score”; b) coefficient method (in the presence of a coefficient for the individual qualities the score is multiplied by the respective coefficient).
To classify the members of the group according to a certain criterion, the following are used: a) the scaling and ranking method; b) comparison in pairs (when the group is not large) – allows to reduce the subjectivity; (c) the “grouping” method, defined in advance by a criterion (applicable to large groups).
4. Development of a scheme for presenting the assessment.
a) The results are presented in digital form or through a “profile scale”, the so-called “Standard Blanc Scale”. The methodology consists of judgments presented in 3 stages. Each evaluator decides whether the evaluation is better than the “positive degree” of judgment, whether it overlaps with the “neutral degree” or is worse than the “negative degree” of judgment. It is applied by several evaluators!
b) Technique of critical situations (Flanagan). Description and grading of the critical moments in the activity (only in the professional activity!), Which are the reason for the success or failure in the profession. According to Flanagan, the methodology gives good results because a person receives information from his actions (what prevented him from getting good results, etc.).
5. Defining criteria for communicating the evaluation.
Possible errors in staff evaluation
If the evaluation does not use objective methods, indicators, and quantitative evaluation, it is threatened with errors. Sources of errors are 1) the subjective nature of the assessment; 2) the overall evaluation system.
Main reasons for the shortcomings of the assessment (Matoušek and Hladki):
1. An ill-conceived concept of evaluation (especially in terms of its objectives and functions).
2. Uncertainty in the main goals of the organization, in the professional activity as a whole.
3. Insufficient clarity in the choice of evaluation criteria.
4. Use of inadequate evaluation methods, for gathering information, for disseminating the evaluation.
Major evaluation errors:
1. The so-called halo effect. The higher the correlations between the single criteria, the greater the probability of a halo effect. Therefore, an analysis of the evaluation is made by specialists, and possible errors in conducting the evaluation are sought.
2. The so-called spatial error. An average worker in a group of weak workers is usually rated higher than when he is among the better workers. The criterion for comparison is important!
3. The so-called central trend. Assessors are “kept” to express a certain positive or negative attitude (ie assessments are “grouped” around the average). This error is possible due to poor knowledge of people by evaluators.
4. Depending on their characteristics, managers use (set) only positive, only average, or only negative assessments. This is explained by the personal characteristics of the evaluators themselves, as a result of which the evaluation is unrealistic. According to Baas, the reasons for this are:
- The leader is afraid of the excellent assessment of his subordinates so that they do not indirectly consider him poorly prepared;
- The manager gives higher grades so as not to spoil the relationship with the evaluated;
- The leader is embarrassed by his colleagues to give them a low grades;
- The manager gives high marks to look better;
- The manager makes a certain kind of assessment if it increases his self-esteem;
- An aggressive and dominant leader is very precise towards others and usually lowers grades;
- The anxious leader is prone to overestimation.
To limit the influence of the personal qualities of the evaluators, the evaluation must be based on criteria.