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To measure the effectiveness of performance appraisal system

Introduction

The whole principle of this study report is to identify and appreciate the value of performance appraisal system, from the staff point of view, in command to notify a developed system that will be executed in Sidmak Laboratories (India) Pvt. Ltd. The first chapter gives a general idea of the entire dissertation. It will present background to the research, give explanation exactly what the matter is that needs research, validate the project, and present a summary of the methodology that will be used.

Background to the research

Sidmak India was established in 1984 in technical collaboration with Sidmak USA. Sidmak India has successfully adopted various technology platforms under this collaboration and continues to develop additional technologies.

Sidmak Laboratories (India) Pvt. Ltd. is a pharmaceutical corporation contains developing ability at Gujarat, India. Sidmak point towards at improved safety and ease for human life through a dedicated excellence in manufacturing recommendation drugs, specifically oral dosages. The organisation is permitted by W.H.O. as per GMP rule and by local FDA as per Drug and Cosmetic Act. The organisation has skill in the production of constant release solid dosage mode. Sidmak manufactures both pharmaceuticals as well as nutraceuticals products. The organisation preserves highest level of quality by sticking on to cGMP and cGLP compliance rule in manufacturing products and meeting national and international requirement.

Working with Sidmak has given me good experience about how to work in an organisation. It has also given me knowledge about the flow or work from one department to another department. Thought the work flow is very smooth in Sidmak, I personally feel that it can be more productive and beneficial to the employee and the organisation if company adopts proper appraisal system.

Research Questions

The whole research dilemma relates to the reliability and effectiveness of performance appraisal systems. The literature review will sketch many comments in relation to the plan and function of such systems. It was transparent from administrating the literature review that a large amount had been written regarding the effectiveness of performance appraisal system.

The goal, therefore, of this dissertation is to realize and appreciate the effectiveness of performance appraisal, from the staff point of view.

Four objectives have been recognised, and by undertaking these unified objectives, a comprehensive literature review, and new practical research, answers to the problem should be known. The objectives of this research are:

Methodology

The research pattern take on is interpretive. The interpretive model is an idealistic location which is related to with understanding the way we humans build logic of the world surrounding us (Saunder at al, 2007). The purpose for this method are set out in describe in the methodology.

The study method is qualitative. The methodology is extra related with human questions than pure science. The literature review does not place out a specific theory, but does set up a theoretical structure to assist the gathering and study of data, to respond the research issues.

The preferred research tactic is a case study. The practical data will be established on qualitative interview techniques. This will present the utmost transform of successful research, as it will quantify human reaction. It can also be accomplished inside the timescale of the project.

Semi-structured interviews and utilise of secondary data from comprehensive Employee estimation Survey will be incorporated in the research methods.

The primary source includes the personal experience which I had experienced while working with Sidmak Laboratories (I) Pvt. Ltd. and the secondary sources includes information gathered through surfing the internet, information available on intranet site on knowledge management, different study materials, and sample performance appraisal forms obtained from reliable resources.

The research will permit evaluation between groups of employees, to find out if duration of service or superiority is a issue. Privacy will be guaranteed to participants and the information will be edited to look after the identification of persons before it is pass around to the organisations management board.

Outline of the chapters

Chapter 1

This chapter presents a summary of the entire project. It puts out what the research area is, splits it down into a sequence of objectives for the project, and associates this to the background of the firm that is to be researched in depth.

Chapter 2

This section reviews literature related to the research purposes. It constructs a theoretical establishment upon which the research is build. It starts with an assessment of what performance is, and why it is measured. The vital parts of a valuable and efficient performance appraisal system consist of recognize its foundations and the important steps that set the foundation. It is also essential to make out the objectives and advantages of this system. For profit realization it is required to recognize Key Result Areas (KRAs) i.e. goal setting and observe resulting performance so that a significant relationship between performance, reward and development of necessary skills, through counseling, can be set up. And a lot of thinking, suggestions and bright ideas are required to be done to develop a sensible appraisal system by assessing available techniques and execution process. The section then takes into account how performance appraisal fits into the parent control of performance management. A study of literature including appraisal systems and their application follows, and this consists of reference to new appraisals. The above data will then direct to the creating of the conceptual type that will be build up through the research.

Chapter 3

This section explains the methodology that will be employed to collect the primary data. It will sketch the research model selected, put out the research strategy, and also give explanation for the selection of the methodology. Ethical problems will also be focused in this chapter.

Chapter 4

This section will put forward the findings of the research. Due to the diverse ways used to research the issues, some of the findings will be put out in text, and some will be displayed in tables. The data will be examined in research of the following chapter, which sets out the conclusions.

Chapter 5

This section will put out conclusions on the subject of the research objectives through connecting the research findings, with the findings of section 2. The chapter will talk about the limitations of the research and place opportunities for further research that will ahead make clear the problem area.

Chapter 6

Based on the conclusion of section 5, this section involves advices and suggestions for new performance appraisal system.

Summary

This beginning section has familiarized the reader to the organisation, and quoted its new transformation. The section has exposed the need, to build up a performance culture, and contained by that, a full-bodied performance appraisal system. The research question and objectives have been put out, together with the methodology to be used to deal with the objectives.

Structure of thesis

Literature Review

Introduction

This section reviews literature related to the research objectives. It develops a theoretical base upon which the research is established. It begins with an examination of what performance is, and why it is measured. The section then takes into account how performance appraisal fits into the parent regulation of performance management. A literature review covering appraisal systems and their application pursues, and this consists of reference to the system in place. The above information will then guide to the construct of the conceptual framework that will be experienced through the research.

Performance defined

The Oxford English dictionary classifies performance as the “accomplishment, execution, carrying out, and designing out of everything ordered or undertaken”. Performance is a subject not only of what people get, but how they attain it (Armstrong and Baron, 2005). Performance is a multidimensional concept, the dimension of which depends on a kind of issues (Bates and Holton, 1995). Performance indicates both behaviours and findings. Behaviours are also outcomes in their particular right and can be evaluated apart from answers (Brumbach, 1988).

From the explanation, and understandings above, it can be disputed that performance is not only about productivity, it is also related with acts and behaviours established to get given goals. This subject will attribute strongly through the study.

Performance Management features

The main series of performance management are:

Recognition of strategic objectives, background of department / team objectives, activities acknowledged / performance table developed, output decided, monitor / study of performance through appraisal, verify development needs and assign rewards Williams (2004).

For personals, this needs they should be capable to respond the following questions which are as follows:

(Macauley and Cook 1994)

Very small of the literature study links this to team performance. Outstanding exceptions are Armstrong and Baron (1998) who grieve for the need of notice paid to team performance, and Brumbach (2003) who claims strongly for the value of team management, and puts forward the above four questions could be adapted.

Performance Management Cycle

The existing model of performance management is put out below. It is very much personal based and permits for no measurement of team performance.

Armstrong and Baron (1998) and Brumback (2003) grieve for the need of attention paid to the management of team performance and this will be looked more in this research. The series is as follows and is like to the normal model as planed above.

  1. Recognise strategic objectives
  2. Build up team plans
  3. Develop personal goals and outputs
  4. Performance appraisal
  5. Personal development plans / Rewards

The concept seems reasonable, but relevance will be tested in describe throughout this research. The form is planned by HR Department and no formal teaching is given, apart from a briefing notice distributed to managers. Williams (2002) suggests teaching being integrated into the cycle to make sure reliability of application.

Conceptual Framework

Background

The idea of performance appraisal dates back to the First World War and was then called “Merit Rating Program”. More than a period of time, this thought has gone through many modifications. Once an employee has been chosen, taught and boarded on his responsibilities, it is time for performance appraisal. What is performance appraisal? Why do firms need to procure up this task?

It is the course of evaluating the performance and qualifications of the members of staff in phrase of job necessity, for administrative reasons such as placement, selection and promotion, to give financial rewards and other acts which need differential management among the members of a group as distinguished from acts influencing all members equally (Carl Heyel).

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is more and more measured one of the most significant human resource practices (Boswell and Boudreau, 2002). The subsequent part will show how appraisal, although only one component of the wider system explained above, is vital to the success of Performance Management (Piggot-Irvine, 2003). The Oxford English Dictionary classifies appraise as “estimate the worth or attribute of”. Connecting this to performance, Bird (2003) recommend performance appraisal is the measurement of what we produce and how. Corporately, the firm was seen to be unsuccessful, hence the alteration, yet 98% of all staff were scaled as good or excellent. This puts in weight to the aspect of Brumbach (2003) who recommends that the appraisal system can be seen as a false annual practice.

There is a lot research which recommends that appraisal is not carried out well, or welcomed in some cases. Performance appraisal is a yearly formal procedure of channel that generates anxiety and worry in the most experienced, battle hardened managers (Roberts and Pregitzer 2007). Due to the one-sided characteristic of appraisals, it is not astonishing there has been a lot written on partiality, inaccuracy and natural unfairness of most systems (DeNisi 1996). A number of studies presenting worldwide disappointments with appraisal, in specific citing research of 50,000 respondents that discloses only 13% of employees and 6% of Executives believe their firm's appraisal process is useful (Bellehumeur and Dupuis 2009). A most important trouble in Towers Perrin Performance process practices (Brown 2001). He mentions need of teaching for managers is mainly significant. The key findings were;

Present appraisal practice motivates most staff to a level similar to a visit to the dentist (Wilson and Western 2001)

The above analysis appears ruthless, and the research to pursue will test these beliefs within Sidmak. Even though the criticism and doubt, performance appraisal looks surrounded into the public and private sector. It is here to live. Managers and employees carry on believing performance appraisal systems whilst accepting they are filled with factual error (Bellehumeur & Dupuis 2009). The following part seems at the sections of performance appraisal.

The purpose of performance appraisal

A starting peak for a complete literature review on performance appraisal should be what are the goals and purposes? Thinking on the advantages of appraisal systems has moved on. Early literature, best established by Stewart and Stewart (1987), mentions the advantages of appraisal system, but these were primarily from the organisation point of view. Boice and Kleiner (1997) recommend the overall objective of performance appraisal is to allow an employee recognise how his or her performance evaluates with the manager's anticipations. Again, this is a one dimensional observation. Fletcher (2006) takes a more stable observation, recommending that for performance appraisal to be productive and beneficial, there requires to be something in it for appraiser and appraise. Youngcourt, Leiva and Jones (2007) recommend that the general purpose of performance appraisal leans to be directed at the measurement of personals, and take into account that this focus is not enough.

From the organisation point of view, a profitable and doing well performance management is the vital key to success of corporate aims. It is argued above that performance appraisal is the essential part of performance management, and so it must be that for an organisation, the intention of performance appraisal is the skill and ability of corporate goals. Caruth and Humphreys (2008) add to this viewpoint by recommending it is a business requirement that the performance appraisal system consists of characteristics to meet the organisational necessities and all of its stakeholders with management and staff. Bach (2000) recommends that one of the basic reasons of performance appraisal systems is to draw out corporate fulfillment.

In spite of this, the majority of the literature reviewed for this research focuses on the objectives of performance appraisal from the personal point of view, mainly concentrating on measurement of personal performance, recognizing training and allocating rewards. Weightman (1996) concentrates on the personal when citing the aim of performance appraisal, recommending it can be utilised for many reasons, together with; reward, discipline, coaching, counseling, raising morale, measuring achievement of targets and outputs, recognizing development opportunities, improving upward and downward communication, reinforcing management control and choosing people for promotion or redundancy. Fletcher (1993) mentions a study where 80% of respondents were unhappy with their appraisal system, in specific with diversity of objectives. Randell (1994) also focuses a multiplicity of principle together with; valuation, auditing, chain planning, training, controlling and inspiration. Rees and Porter (2003) mention that a general problem is that systems have too many goals. They add that there can be inconsistency between goals, but do not increase on this point. Based on the examinations of others, maybe it is the contradiction between control and development that is apparent. What is reliable with all literature is that goals of performance appraisal are a mixture of backward looking/forward planning. The above covers a wide series of objectives, and asks for the question if appraisal is attempting to accomplish too much. The research will decide whether that range of objectives is related from the employee point of view.

Yet again, from the personal point of view, Simmons (2002) illustrates together a range of resources, arguing that a forceful, performance enhancing and reasonable performance appraisal system, which increases the commitment of professionals, is a crucial factor in achieving a good return on an organisations “intellectual capital”.

The important function of performance appraisal is to clarify pay and other financial compensation (Murphy and Cleveland 1995). The matter of outcomes of performance appraisal, such as pay, will be addressed afterward in this literature review and in the research. Performance appraisal can decrease role uncertainty (Pettijohn et al 2001)

The most apparent reason for appraising a personal is to make safe its improvement (Harrison and Goulding 1997). It pursues that securing performance improvement for all personals, will increase wider organisation performance. General to almost all reason of performance appraisal is the model of improving performance developing people.

In general, some commentators directs on organisation aims as the key purpose, many concentrates on personal performance informant. In a new organisation it is recommended that a system that meets both organisation and personal requirements is vital.

From the above, the following table lists the recognised points of performance appraisal.

PURPOSE OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

Achievement of Organisation Goals

Setting of individual objectives

Evaluation of individual performance against objectives

Improvement of Performance

Allocation of Rewards

The performance review procedure gives a motivation for constant improvement. The method is intended to supply the following benefits:

Performance appraisal systems

As with the majority organisations, Sidmak has a recognised Performance Appraisal system surrounded within the performance and planning cycle. There should always be ultimate written and communicated process for performance appraisal (Allan 1994). Developing an appraisal system that precisely imitates employee performance is a difficult job (Boice and Kleiner 1997). A doing well performance appraisal system is one that has resulted from hard work, watchful ideas, planning and integrated with the approach and needs of the organisation (Caruth and Humphreys 2006). This will be observed during the experimental research.

A large variety of techniques are used to carry out performance appraisals, from the simplest of ranking methods, to complex ability and/or behavioural secured ratings systems (Snape, Redman & Bamber 1994). The quality of an organisations appraisal system is often indication on its resources and skill (Redman & Wilkinson 2001). In association with different performance appraisal schemes, the Sidmak system can be measured simplistic. This is likely because of the irresponsibility of the organisation and a total of two staff in the HR department.

There is a risk that highly characterized schemes can be too practical, with the result that conclusion of paperwork, or marking boxes, becomes the key driver (Rogers 1999). It is crucial that employees are also involved in the planning of the system, for practical, operational and psychological purposes (Harrison and Goulding 1997). Sidmak has not involved staff in growth and progress of the system but has a chance to get in hold with staff in updating any system.

An integral part of performance management system

Successful and efficient performance management needs a good arrangement of face-to-face supervisor-employee communication. By getting familiar with the subordinates, a supervisor can guide them onto a path of higher efficiency and optimized output. Long-term profitable and doing well business owners sight performance appraisal as a process of getting to know the people who work for them. It is the most considerable and crucial means for an organisation. It gives information, which makes easier in taking important judgments for the growth of an individual and the organisation.

Thus, one stage of the yearly performance management cycle is performance appraisal, the method of reviewing employee performance vis-à-vis the place beliefs in a sensible way, documenting the review, and supplying the review orally in a face-to-face meeting, to improve performance standards year over year through sincere and productive feedback. In the practice management insists on to reinforce the employee's potency, recognise improvement areas so that one can work on them and also set extended objectives for the coming year.

It is made up of the following two procedures both of which are qualitative subject to human prejudice - observation and judgment.

The factors of performance are a mixture of technical proficiency and behavioral characteristics. The concluding attains a high level of importance with regards to prospective appraisal.

Concept of Performance Appraisal

The idea of performance appraisal can be make clear with the analogy demonstrated below:

The head of the key stands for the individuality of the employee. No two employees are similar.

The ring stands for the management's necessity.

The shaft stands for the communication among the employee and the organisation, the transmission of the duty and the response from the performer.

Change

Decades ago, the member of staff used to be appraised by his department leader or person in charge. The department leaders used to communicates the employee feedback and comments to the direct supervisor of the employee. Thus the feedback was kept private in character. As time passed by, the direct supervisor started appraising his subordinate's performance and transfers his private information to the department leader. These were the times when the employee was not integrated in his appraisal method. The assessments used to be taken by his boss relating to his pay hike, promotion etc. So we can say that the system was non-transparent.

The existing method of performance appraisal is much wider and gives a number of scopes for self-appraisal by the employee. The self-appraisal goes along by a joint discussion with superior and then a conclusion is taken by the department leader on his promotion, pay hike etc. The comment linking to the performance is directly given to the employee. Thus performance appraisal development has gone all through the stage of non-transparency to transparency.

In this transparency stage, a performance appraisal can be described as a structured official communication between a subordinate and supervisor that generally takes the form of a periodic questionnaire, in which the work execution of the subordinate is observed and talk about, with a view to make out weak point and strong point as well as opportunities for progress and skills growth.

In day to day interfaces, whether an organisation agrees to or not the value of performance appraisal, whether it takes on a formal appraisal system or not, top management is frequently appraising the performance of its subordinate managers. The last are doing the same to their personal subordinates. They are doing so as performance appraisal, official or in official, remains at the heart of management.

Organizing is active process, related to the present and the future, and whereas performance appraisal, as usually used has been a static rating of an employee linked almost completely with the past. In recent times, as some management were recognizing that “rating” by itself had very partial value; they start on to appreciate that administration had changed into an art. They saw that “management by hunch” could no longer be accepted, and that dimensions-no matters how elusive were necessary for the future development of the art of administration.

The necessity for measurements give birth to a number of “systems” of managing which attempts to pertain measurements of a variety of sorts to the different aspects and phases of the manager's job. A number of these systems support on the better performance appraisal methods for their measuring methods or at least for initial point for measurement. In some cases, these systems stretched the meaning of performance appraisal from a simple rating to take in the whole theory of management with all its components.

Foundations of Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal reviews how well employees have been doing their jobs and what they must do to be better in their responsibilities. It trades with the subjects of the job and what they are anticipated to accomplish in each part of their work. Following are the groundwork in performance appraisal process.

Job profile

Job explanation focuses more on the definition of duties the jobholders has to complete. It contains lists of reporting relationship and usually covers the overall objectives of the job. It points out how a personal's job will add to the achievement of goals of a team or a department and in the end the mission of the organisation.

Objectives

An objective explains about, which has to be proficient, capable and skillful. Objectives classify what organisations, functions, departments, teams and personals are anticipated to attain.

There are two types of objectives:

  1. Work of equipped objectives: It passes on to the result to be attained or the input to be made to the success of team, departmental and corporate objectives.
  2. Development objectives: It is related with what personal should do and gain knowledge to develop their performance and/or their knowledge, skills and competencies.

Competencies

Competencies refer to be behavioral scope of a job. It is the behaviour needed of employees to carry out their work acceptably. Competencies are what employee takes to a profession in the kind of different types and levels of behaviour. They rule the process features of job performance.

Values

Increasingly, organisations are locating out the principal values that they believe should preside over the behaviour of all their employees. Values declarations may be organised which define principal values in areas such as care for customers, interest for employee, competitiveness, quality, progress, innovation.

Three essential steps for effective performance appraisal

The procedure of getting to recognise the employee who does job for the organisation includes three main steps. i.e. training, evaluation and review.

Training

Successful training is the execution of a system in which each person in the workplace is geared towards development and expansion. It includes a hands on tactic in which the employee is confident to appraise himself or herself under the leadership and direction of the appraiser.

How it works? First, the appraiser involves the employee in the appraisal procedure. When an employee realise that his or her judgment of other employees is taken into account, he or she also realizes that everyone else judgment counts just as much. This not only allows the employee and develops relations in the workplace, but it promotes higher efficiency as well. This interactive method is made done with the leadership of the appraiser. Carefully administering honor coupled with positive appreciation keeps the workforce on its toes.

Evaluation

The most excellent ways for employee assessment are relied on results and behaviour. While carrying out performance appraisal based on employee's characteristic personality is quite common, the outcomes are repeatedly subjective and unsatisfactory. A result-based method to performance appraisal is by far the cleanest, most intention method of tackling the difficult job of assessment. It uses a ranking system to assess productivity within a given period of time. If an employee makes a definite number of sales in a specified week, he or she can be rated by absolute worth as well as ranked against other employees. The review of behaviour is closely joined to productivity. The speed of work, enthusiasm to put in overtime and talent to work with others all add to overall productivity.

Review

The review process should, again, employ the methods of interactivity. Before meeting down together, the appraiser should offer the employee opportunity to review him or herself. This not only allows the employee, but also keeps a lot to time and possible opinion during the real discussion. Primarily the appraiser should walk the employee during the procedure. The doing well supervisor starts out with a general idea of why the review session is desirable. Then the supervisor guides the employee down a point-by-point record of every features of the job. In each case, the employee should be given an opportunity to explain his or her accomplishments and deficiencies. The supervisor should constantly complement this with added insight. While admiring and applying assessment the supervisor keeps authority throughout the review and in fact the whole appraisal process.

Designing an appraisal process

Before knowing the method of appraisal, the following phrases are reworked.

Performance submits to an employee's achievements of allocated jobs.

Performance appraisal is the methodical report of the job-relevant strengths and weaknesses of a personal or a group.

Appraisal period is the duration of time during which an employee's work performance is scrutinize in order to make a formal report of it.

Performance management is the complete method of watching an employee's work in relation to job necessity over a period of time and then developing an appraisal of it. Information obtained from the method may be feedback with the help of an appraisal interview to decide the significance of personal and work-group performance to organisational purposes, get better the usefulness of unit and make better the work performance of employees.

Crafting an appraisal program poses a number of questions, which need answers. They are:

  1. Whose performance is to be assessed?
  2. Who are the appraisers?
  3. What should be evaluated?
  4. When to appraise?
  5. What problems are encountered?
  6. How to solve the problems?
  7. What methods of appraisal are to be used?

Whose performance should be assessed?

Noticeably the answer is going to be employees. When we say employees, it is personals or the whole teams. The appraisee can be described as the personal, work group, division or organisation.

All Sidmak staff, including the Chief Executive Officer, is appraised, making it a comprehensive method. This also takes in all part time staff. Bach (2000) declares the development in the growth of performance appraisal to cover a big proportion of the employees. Most of the cases in Sidmak, the line managers are the appraiser apart from the Chief Executive Officer who is appraised by the chairman. The basis is that the line manager is best positioned to carry out appraisals because of the quantity of contact and greater knowledge and skills (Fletcher 1999).

Who are the appraisers?

Appraisers can be direct superiors, professionals from the human resource department, inferiors, peers, committees, clients, self-appraisals or a combination thereof.

What should be evaluated?

One of the steps in crafting an appraisal program is to formatting the evaluation criteria. It is clear that the criteria should be associated to the work. The criteria for measuring performance can be:

  1. Quality & quantity
  2. Timeliness
  3. Cost efficiency
  4. Need for supervision
  5. Interpersonal collision
  6. improvement & creativity
  7. Problem examination
  8. Customer direction
  9. Market direction
  10. Entrepreneurial drive
  11. Negotiation skills etc

This is not a comprehensive list, but a number of other parameters too can be added depending on profession requirements and organisational requests.

When to appraise/rate?

The most common rating plans are semi-annual and annual. New employees are rated more often than older ones. Some practices call for ratings:

  1. Annually as per company carry out
  2. After first 6 months of employment
  3. Upon promotion or within 3 months after promotion
  4. When the job occupied has been reevaluated up
  5. Upon particular request, as when the employee's salary is under the average pay

What are the problems related to performance appraisal?

A complete performance appraisal is ready when the assessment is free from prejudices and idiosyncrasies of the surveyor. There are many issues of appraisal that show the way to failure of the system.

Negative attitude toward performance appraisal:

There is a big population of supervisors who are unpleasant and tough or indifferent to the performance appraisal methods and/or do it badly if they do it at all.

Hostility from the appraiser:

The appraiser responds indifferently to the appraising method because he thinks that it is a waste of time. At times they believe that the system has nothing to do with their own requirements and it lives to nourish the personnel database.

Hostility from the appraisee:

Hostility from the employee at the receiving end occurs because they believe Performance Appraisal is just another system in the hands of the managers to exercise their control and organise privileges. They think that the data composed will make the most of as evidence against them. In some situations appraisee even have a belief that the result of the performance assessment is programmed by the management or their superiors and the procedure is done only as a formality, due to which appraisee do not have interest in the complete appraisal process.

Halo error:

Under this sort of error, one marked features or latest accomplishment or failure of the appraisee (either favourable or unfavourable) may be acceptable to govern the appraisal for the complete year.

Logical error:

This is a dangerous drawback for the unproven appraiser. He is very frequently liable to arrive at comparable evaluations in respect of qualities that look logically related.

Constant error:

When two appraisers pace an appraisee their ratings may be distinctive. One may demonstrate reliable humanity by giving him lofty scores, the other my steadily rate him by giving little scores.

Central tendency:

It is also known as “Average Ratings”. Here, the appraiser looks after to keep away from giving honest views to the question asked or the appraiser is in uncertainty or he has not enough information or he simply wants to play secure and don't annoy anyone.

Mirror-image error or projection error:

This mistake happens when an appraiser anticipates his own qualities, skills, and values in an appraisee. The appraiser may wrongly think that if the appraisee is good he has to be similar him (appraiser) because the appraiser judges himself as the standard.

Contrast error:

This mistake happens in the sequencing of marks. If manager performers are ranked first, average performers are ranked down, if inferior performers come first, the average performers will be ranked more up.

Biases of position, sex, race, religion and nationality:

There is a trend to rank the occupant at a senior position more positively than the person in a lower place. Similarly marking can be partial founded on sex, religion and nationality too.

Lack of skill in conducting appraisal discussion:

Carrying out Performance Appraisal discussions need assured skills and training.

How to solve the appraiser's problems?

The most excellent way to conquer the problem is to give training to the appraiser. Training can assist get better the appraisal method to the amount that distortion occurring due to appraiser mistakes such as halo, leniency, central tendency and bias are minimized.

Factors that help to improve accuracy:

  1. The appraiser has gone under the process and is well-known with behaviors to be appraised.
  2. The appraiser has standard actions calling for progress and expansion.
  3. The appraiser has a checklist to get hold of the evaluation on job-related information
  4. The appraiser is concerned of individual biases and is eager to take charge to decrease their effects.
  5. Rating gains by appraisers of one unit or organisation are reviewed and evaluated with those by other appraisers.
  6. The appraiser concentrates on performance associated behaviours over which he has enhance power than on other aspects of assessment.
  7. Higher stages of management are detained accountable for evaluating all ratings.

Factors that may lower accuracy:

  1. The appraiser ranks only when administrative acts are considered.
  2. The appraiser is not capable to state herself/himself honestly and explicitly.
  3. Appraisal systems, procedures and instruments fail to hold the appraiser.
  4. The appraiser is uninformed of causes of ranking errors.
  5. The appraiser has to rank the individuals on factors that are weakly defined.

Techniques/methods of appraisal to be used?

There are different kinds of methods for measuring the quality of an employee. Each kind of methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. The earlier build up methods, which are still being used, are Traditional Methods that are non-transparent in nature, while other new methods are transparent in nature. All of the procedure has its own design of appraisal form.

Other sources of feedback

Research on the success of 360 degree appraisal is inconsistent. The precursor of Sidmak, experimented with 360 degree appraisal, but it is not now part of the official procedure. Mabey (2001) accomplished that the quantity of practical research on the impact of 360 degree appraisal is very little, in spite of increasing popularity and fame. Williams (2002) increases concerns about 360 degree feedback, citing that it carry with it ethical, logical, political and resource problems, and has the aptitude to do extra damage than good. Armstrong and Baron (1998) quote research by a variety of organisations where expanded feedback on behaviour of persons against a list of main competencies has improved development plans. Kline and Sulsky (2009) recmmended that it has been recognised for some time that performance feedback from various resources has been exposed to guide to more consistent ratings and better performance developments. However, in the same research they quote Love (1991) stating that equal rankings are highly undependable.

Self appraisal

Survey verification collected by Williams (2002) recommends that use of it is increasingly gradually. There is very small observed evidence to recommend it is having any effect, and this is an area valuable of further examination in organisations where it does take place. Atwater (1998) recognised some of the possible benefits of self appraisal, below, but fell short of evaluating their value.

Rees and Porter (2003) advise self appraisal can have a part in prearranged feedback, as people can be their own harshest opponent.

Frequency of performance review and feedback

Even as performance management is a nonstop process, appraisals are broken up activities (Rao 2004). Most organisations have at least an annual evaluation. Salh (1990) recommends that regular reviews are needed to ensure growth is being made on development objectives. Sidmak needs a formal annual review with a fewer formal six monthly review. This is supported up by monthly casual one to one session between manager and staff member.

Training and guidelines

A significant element of building up an effective performance scheme is training for those individuals engaged as raters (Boice and Kleiner 1997). Evans (1991) recommends that training should slot in coaching and counseling, conflict determination, setting performance norms, connecting the system to pay and giving employee feedback. Williams (2002) also recommends training being included into any scheme to make sure it is used time after time and effectively. Pigott-Irvine (2003) quotes research that recommends training for carrying out appraisal should include all elements, such as values, purpose, objective setting, observation skills, interviewing and report writing. Rees and Porter (2003) also quote the requirement for training of use of the scheme to be included, covering the main skills appraisers want. Training for employees should also be measured (Williams 2002). Farr (1993) notices the need for the requirement of training to be given to employees to get feedback in a non-defensive way. Bretz, Milkovich and Read (1992) also recommend that a lack of training of appraises may grounds discrepancies between expected and real performance of the procedures, and related satisfaction. Overall, training should add the success of the Performance Appraisal system and guide to greater organisational success (Cook and Crossman 2004). There is no proper training process Sidmak appraisers or appraises, and this is measured as a big weakness.

The performance appraisal interview

The appraisal interview should be held in an open and none threatening way to help decrease nervousness or doubt appraises may have (Harrison & Goulding 1997). Faith between appraiser and appraise is an essential issue. Performance appraisal could be observed as another form of management control (Bach 1998). This is yet more important when there appears a lack of enthusiasm or inability to assemble objective information to notify the appraisal process (Pigott-Irvine 2003). There is no necessity or mention within the Sidmak to gather and arrange evidence of performance. Groundwork is also measured important. Finding time to assume appraisal can be difficult, mainly in organisation such as Sidmak, where the speed of work is anxious. However, where appraisal is going good, it is often because management has accorded it suitable priority (Pigott-Irvine 2003).

Sidmak is missing in what could be enclosed in an appraisal interview. This literature review discloses a whole host of problems that could/should be covered in the interview. Redman and Wilkinson (2001) quoted research of the practice of performance appraisal. The reason of setting out this table below is to demonstrate the variety of topics discussed and exposed in the research.

Range of issues covered in appraisals

Issue

Achievement of work objectives

Future work objectives

Personality or behaviour

Skills and competencies

Training and Development needs

Career aspirations

Pay or benefits

Job difficulties

How you might improve your performance

How your supervisor might help you improve your performance

Personal or domestic circumstances

Source: Redman and Wilkinson 2001

What is appraised?

Definitions of Performance Management previous quote the requirement to line up individual and organisational goals. It is only when the principle of the organisation are decided, and activities and products are clear and calculated, can there be competent use of resources (Flynn and Strehl 1996). Armstrong and Baron (1998) explain how many organisations now use SMART criteria (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time related) for performance measurement. It is not at all times done good. Rogers (1999) brings to light that setting objectives and goals remain the primary activity of performance appraisal, but in practice is badly carried out, with very small regard for ensuring that organisation and personal objectives are united as closely as possible. Of more concern is that no-one, apart from appraiser and appraise, is assessing the appropriateness and possibility of aims set. Setting aims which are idealistic and not appropriate may decrease a staff member's personal dedication. Transparency of role is also vital, and could be researched through the process. If people do not know what is predicted of them, there is a good chance that their behaviour will not play the game to expectations (Youngcourt, Leiva & Jones 2007). Simmons (2002) quoted research on appraisal in universities which recommended that their appraisal was not mainly successful in increasing precision of job responsibilities.

Many organisations are traveling towards inclusion of ability depth. Competencies are significant issues which contribute to high levels of personal performance and therefore organisational efficiency (Armstrong 1999) and so there must be a well built relation to the competencies staff have and their skills to achieve their set objectives. Provisions for employee competencies that are essential could be usefully included into appraisal systems (Rees and Porter 2003). Fletcher (1993) in an overview of appraisal method, take notice of an increasing number of organisations using competency related appraisal joint with a result-oriented appraisal, which he accomplished was a positive way forward. Redman and Wilkinson (2001) recommend that the appraisal of competencies has a number of benefits, most importantly; being clever to direct employees towards areas where there is possibility for behaviour. Some of the competencies measured are place out in the table below.

Examples of competencies measure

Competency area

Competency

Business thinking

Business awareness

Problem solving

Working with colleagues

Team working

Building relationships

Developing self and others

Inspiring people

Building confidence

Persuading and influencing

Communicating and presenting

Achieving Goals

Delivering results

Improving performance

Rating systems and fairness

The ranking system for Sidmak staff is basic. Staffs are considered to have either exceeded objectives (rating 1) met objectives (rating 2) or missed objectives (rating 3). The below table sets out the definitions:

An objective exceeded is equal to rating 1 and the definition is:

To score an overall Objectives Exceeded rating it is likely that there is a considerable fact of constantly high performance across all the areas of work covered by the objectives.

Sometimes this may be easy to measure. For example if an objective was accomplished much easier than timescale at a lower cost and with a better result.

It is also likely that an ‘exceeded' ranking will also indicate that the individual achieved despite considerable difficulties. For example, there may have been unexpected difficulties that the personal overcame in order to keep progress.

An objective met is equal to rating 2 and the definition is:

To achieve an overall ‘Objective Met' ranking it is likely that proof of achievement covers all the work areas for which objectives were set. This would reveal meeting all objectives.

In some circumstances an objective may have stopped to apply owing to circumstances beyond the personal's control. In such cases you should consider facts of other performance achievements during the year which have to be included in the review.

An objective missed is equal to rating 3 and the definition is:

The ‘Objectives Missed' rating is likely to apply when there is fact of under performance across the work areas for which objectives were place, provided the individual can be held personally responsible for the lack of result.

Care is required here. For example, in the management of projects with high stages of complexity, it is necessary to recognise the elements for which the person is accountable, especially if the project has a mix of organised activities and engages many people.

Equality of the technique and procedure is measured important. Study by Cook and Crossman (2004) recommended that the recognised fairness of the procedure itself contributes to overall perception of equality. The concern of accuracy is performance appraisal is a problematic one (Atwater and Yammarino 1997). Many studies on performance appraisal concentrate on the fairness/appropriateness of ranking procedures. Earlier research by Henderson (1984) recommended that almost all employees are enormously suspicious of performance ratings. Later work by Harrison and Goulding (1997) exposed results of research into ratings within libraries. Their work recommended that bias can be a difficult where appraisers and appraises are colleagues. They additional recommend that managers may be uncomfortable with analyzing staff they work closely with, and a drive towards centralized ranking could apply. Giving assessment in a positive way can be a very delicate subject (Rees and Porter 2003). Bascal (1999) argues that managers keep an eye to keep away from confrontation by scoring generously. More recent study recommends that the ratings procedure can be perceived as unfair annual ritual. Employees themselves generally do not want listen to bad news, particularly about themselves (Ashford 1999).

Performance, Pay and Development

The conclusion of the appraisal is either in the form of reward by way of increase in pay, extra bonus or incentive and/or promotion, or by way of not influencing any increase in pay, refusing promotion etc. This gives appearance to the idea of Performance Related Pay (PRP).

Performance associated pay is not an easy choice. Before boarding on its introduction the following issues should be taken into explanation.

a. Matching the culture:

A doing well PRP systems need to match the culture and principal values of the organization. It is only by knowing and working with the culture that it is likely to develop schemes.

b. Linking PRP to the Performance Management process:

The focus when linking pay to performance requires being one of the matters which come out from the business development method such as profitability, productivity, cost control, research initiatives, product and market development and usually increasing stakeholder value.

c. Balancing performance measures:

The performance events used as a source for rating must include a balanced mix of both input issues (skills and competences) and output issues (performance and contribution). The evaluation upon which pay conclusions are made should be found not only on performance in achieving goals, contribution to organizational achievements and the levels of skill and expertise achieved, but also on the degree to which the behavior of personals hold corporate values in such areas as teamwork, total quality management, customer services, improvement, etc.

d. Flexibility:

PRP planning should allow for some flexibility in the criteria for incentive and the method of payment.

e. Teamwork:

Poor PRP systems can create a lot of single-minded personals. The significance of teamwork should be identified in structuring the scheme and in defining decisive success factors and performance statistics. Personals should be aware that achieving their goals at the expense of others is not measured competent performance.

f. Avoiding short-termism:

To keep away from the danger of PRP focusing attention on short-term outcomes at the cost of more important longer-term objectives, long-term as well as short-term goals should be place wherever suitable and short-term objectives should be talked in their overall context.

g. Involvement in the design process:

The design of PRP systems is usually an iterative procedure - trying and testing thoughts on measures and structure with those who will finally be concerned in the scheme. It is also a precious learning procedure, which can throw up basic strategic and business matters. Those due to contribute in the system should have an input into approving important success factors and performance indicators equally for themselves and the organization.

h. Getting the message across:

PRP gives a very commanding form of communication. To get the right messages from corner to corner, the following question will have to be dealt with:

i. Assess reasons for PRP

1. Why do we want to establish PRP?

2. What, realistically do we presume to get out of it?

ii. Assess readiness for PRP

1. Is PRP correct for our culture?

2. Do we have the performance management and other procedures in place needed for successful PRP?

3. Are the approaches of management and other employees in support of PRP? (An outlook survey can be held to recognised opinions).

4. Do the people related with managing PRP have the needed skills and resources?

5. Is PRP likely to make a important enough influence on performance to align the costs of developing, introducing and operating the system?

iii. Decide whether or not to set up PRP

1. Does the result of the above evaluation point out that PRP is right for the organisation?

2. If no, what are the options? There are many. Consider performance associated team pay, organisation-wide profit sharing or profit related pay plans, gain sharing, the use of incentive or bonus plans, concentrating more on the motivational views of performance management, job re-design to increase inspiration, performance-linked training more intensive management coaching and training to make better leadership abilities, process re-engineering to develop organisational performance and productivity.

iv. Brief, consult and involve employees

1. How should employees be notified of the organisation's objectives and intensions regarding the introduction of PRP?

2. How do we minimize anxiety about PRP through this briefing process?

3. To what level and how should we discuss and involve employees?

v. Design scheme

1. What criteria should be used to verify PRP awards? It can be an suitable mix of:

a. Input criteria associated to the skills and knowledge brought to accept on fulfilling role responsibilities

b. Process criteria linked to the behavioural competencies used effectively in achieving results

c. Output performance signs related to the accomplishment of objectives and meeting performance necessities as set out in statements of principal accountabilities or main jobs

d. Outcome contribution signs which measure how outputs play a part to the achievement of team, departmental and organisational goals and how the behaviour of personals support company values

2. To what amount will it be possible to define the criteria in the main jobs for which PRP will function?

3. Are performance measures accessible for these criteria, which will allow fair and reliable assessment to be made?

4. What form of ranking scheme should be used?

5. How are we going to make sure that ratings are fair and reliable?

6. What are our policies should be on the size of payments in connection to performance, contribution, skill and ability?

7. What should our policies to be on the rate of succession and any limits to succession within pay ranges?

8. Does the organisation want to make condition for performance connected lump sum bonuses for special accomplishment or constant high level performance at the top of a range?

9. Should PRP assessments be separated in time from performance reviews managed as part of the performance management procedures?

10. What rating, pay increase and financial plan principles are going to be concerned to managers implementing PRP in their departments?

11. Should performance matrices be used? If so, how should they be raised?

12. How PRP will be observed and its effectiveness be assessed?

13. How the cost of PRP would be organised?

14. What is the program for mounting and introducing PRP?

vi. Brief and train

1. How the organisation is going to inform and train line managers on the PRP system?

2. How the organisation is going to inform employees in common on PRP so that they understand how it will function and how they will benefit?

vii. Implement

1. How the practice should be started? Even after proper care some unforeseeable problem will take place. It is often wise to start with a direct scheme, probably at management level so that they recognise the principles, benefits and problem before applying PRP to the people for whom they are accountable.

2. How to monitor the initial stages? It is necessary to keep closely in touch with how things are going so that difficulties can be expected or dealt with swiftly when they arise.

viii. Evaluate

1. Have clear aims been established for the system the progress towards which can be measured and assessed?

2. How to carry out a ongoing monitoring and assessment process?

3. Who is responsible for assessment and taking any corrective action that may be needed?

4. What points should be covered?

i. Evaluating performance related pay

It is necessary to assess the acceptability and cost effectiveness of PRP. The following questions should be answered.

To what level have the defined objectives of PRP been attained?

How much have been paid out under the format?

What differentials have come out between high/average performers over, say, 2-3 years?

What measurable profits has PRP produced in the shape of improved organisational, team and personal performance?

How do managers consider PRP? Do they, for example, consider that it is operating fairly?

To what level have rewards been connected to main and measurable areas of performance? Are rewards meeting people's beliefs?

Does performance management method provide sufficient support for PRP?

Does the organisation want to keep PRP in its present form? If not, what are the options?

j. Performance related pay (PRP) in practice

There is no doubt the system of PRP must be made to suit the culture of the organization. This either means that the on hand culture can be receptive to the competitive and personal elements of PRP or the culture has to be changed. PRP can be used as part of the change procedures but, on its own, it is unlikely to be powerful enough to prove successful.

k. Performance related pay (PRP) - a judgment?

Does Performance Related Pay work? Most experience is that better use of performance pay results in improved organizational performance as calculated by return on capital employed, mainly when applied to managerial pay.

Finally, all research has approved that employees consider positively the concept of PRP but refuse quite strongly that it acts as a motivator for them in practice, and are mostly vital of the resulting procedural and distributive justice. It can be accomplished that employees may work harder, in a more focused way and get better outputs through a PRP schemes which is under printed by a strong performance management scheme but employees may do this through a mixture of need and fear, rather than a genuine desire to do so.

Performance and Development Planning (PDP)

PDP is a procedure for managers that supports personal performance with organisation goals and makes sure focus on the development of ability and aptitude company-wide. PDP is an essential step in their corporate effort to appoint and enable employees to deliver their involvement to their business. Also, PDP serves to enable employees to recognise and understand personal opportunities for growth that are aligned to present and future business challenges.

PDP procedure enables each employee to realise his or her true value-added to the organisation.

Steps for successful execution of PDP are:

So, while apparently time consuming on the front end, the PDP procedure, with a formal, useful foundation of solid individual and business goals, is less time consuming as quarters pass. The PDP carries on creating business and employee achievement and value during its lifetime. With quarterly updates, the PDP procedure adds into the future.

Outcomes of the system

Improving Performance

Rogers (1999) recommends that one of the main components of performance appraisal is solving problems - i.e. improving performance. He also recommends that even as many managers may have the talent to recognise the requirement to improve performance, they may need much more help than is currently made accessible to sort them. Poor performance can happen from a host of reasons, with inadequate leadership, dreadful management or imperfect work systems (Armstrong 2000). Pigott-Irvine (2003) quoted research that recommended the need to distance appraisal and disciplinary procedures. This is also argued by Armstrong (2000) who recommends that capability subjects should be taken outside of the appraisal procedure. This appears rational, but unrealistic to some level. A main feature of the appraisal system is success of goals, and a need of achievement must at least assign managers an early warning that something is not right.

Appraisal outcome and reward

The existing Sidmak appraisal system is not associated to pay, even though previous versions have. Performance Related Pay is finest illustrated as the open relation of financial reward to individual, group or company performance (Armstrong & Murlis 1991). There is much research on the topic of appraisal direct to pay. Research by Simmons (2002) uncovered strong opponent from respondents in HE and FE sectors next to linking appraisal to pay, citing disruptive criteria and the influence on teams performance in particular. Marsden and French (1998) undertook research at the Inland Revenue on the impact of an appraisal scheme connected to performance related pay. They found that the system had the common appearance of reducing inspiration and teamwork. A new system of performance appraisal set up at Rother Homes was measured a big success (Langridege 2004) and one main element was division of pay and bonuses from the appraisal system.

Research into the connection between performance appraisal and financial reward was undertaken in 1995. That part of work concluded:

There is no proof to imply that pay itself rewards inspiration - moreover weak implementation of PRP can initiate dislike and demotivate staff.

In drawing together research from this ground, Rogers (1999) recognised a long list of criteria which were significant to successfully connecting appraisal to financial reward. These included;

(Source; Rogers 1999)

Most of the literature review shows weakness right across the practice of performance appraisal. It is recommended, then, that unless organisations spend significantly in this area, connecting it to financial reward may be best keep away. There are other rewards, non financial, that are appreciated by employees. Williams (2002) recommends these include;

Picking up this theme, Yuk1 (1994) recommends that research into what rewards people want should be undertaken and included into the performance appraisal system. This will be investigated further through the observed research.

Personal Development and Training

All commentators on performance appraisal have the same opinion that recognizing and implementing development plans is a main outcome of the performance appraisal procedure. Performance is assessed, and then from that appraiser and appraise agree a plan to improve performance. Appraisal will concentrate on both short term matters and also long term career requires (Shelley 1999). If this is the case, it is of anxiety, as personal development conditions may take a weak second space to instant on the job training. Rees and Porter (2003) recommend that care requires to be taken in establishing practical priorities and to recognise the possible conflict between personal aspirations and organisational requirements.

Motivation and Job Satisfaction

There is much research on how raters may twist final assessment scores through their personal motivation (Poon 2004). Some research has exposed examples of manager's deliberately deforming staff performance ranking for political reasons (Fried and Tiges 1995). Longnecker et al (1987) research bring out that managers were more worried about the consequences of their employee rankings on themselves. Poon's (2004) detailed research into this area accomplished that manipulation of rankings or inconsistent rankings did have an effect on job fulfillment. However, a well build up and executed performance appraisal system can have a positive impression. Research by Langridge (2004) presumed that new systems of performance appraisal and management development have assist to revive a UK housing association. The system implemented separated out financial bonuses from the personal performance review, which was awesomely maintained by all staff.

The experimental research will attempt to connect motivation stages to expectations and experience. Employee expectations are important to present thinking on psychological contracts. Initial definitions of what the psychological contract is, places the weight on shared expectations between employer and employee (Kessler 2000).

The idea of a “psychological contract” could be helpful in analysis the quality of personal employment relationships within the organisation (Boxall and Purcell 2003). One of the well-known researchers in this area is Denise Rousseau (1995), who describes the contract as a personal's beliefs about the terms of their relationship with their employing organisation (Boxall and Purcell 2003). The following diagram is modified by Boxall and Purcell (2003) from earlier work by Watson (1986). It puts out the connection between expectations and performance, and is very appropriate to the performance appraisal process.

The psychological contract and performance appraisal

Source: Adapted from Watson (1986)

The top box explains potential employee faiths about performance appraisal that efforts will lead to performance will lead to conclusions. If this occurs, the psychological contract is unbreakable. If it is not, then Demotivation will take place, and the psychological contract is not act out. Performance appraisal would be seen as failing.

Summary

This chapter has set out a literature review on performance and appraisal. It recommends that there are major weaknesses in both the theory and practice of performance appraisal, but that if it is properly planned and implemented, the organisational advantages could be noteworthy.

The Sidmak performance appraisal system would seems to be deficient in many aspects and major omissions consists of communication of purpose, directions and training in use, and capacity of competencies.

From the literature review, and evaluation of the present system, four key issues have come out that will be looked at through the research. These are:

Objectives and benefits

Data concerning to performance appraisal of employees are recorded, collected and used for a number of functions.

Objectives

Benefits

The following are the benefits of a doing well appraisal system

For the organisation

For the appraiser

For the appraisee

In line with the purposes of performance appraisal, to acquire its benefits, this system has to be useful failing which it may ruin the very purpose of performance appraisal.

Effective appraisal process

When it comes to performance appraisal, managers and employees have the same opinion about one thing. They hate going through them. Employees, managers and HR experts agree that fear; blame, accountability and bitterness are the genuine reasons why most employees fear the appraisal process. Besides some think that it is a formal procedure that is mandatory to follow.

A successful review procedure helps organisation in three areas:

  1. Evaluation and improving individual selection and training schemes
  2. Preventing wrongful extinction and
  3. Increasing real employee variety

Good appraisal begins with information from several resources, and they assess employees at all levels from top to bottom. This system needs both appraise and appraiser to equally measure the employee's skill to complete the duties and achieve the goals set forth in the previous appraisal. HR professionals should think about the following steps and make the appraisal procedure simple more effective.

Appraisal results, both directly or indirectly, decide reward outcomes. The enhanced performing employees may get the greater part of available merit pay increases, bonuses and promotions, while the inferior performers may need some form of counseling or in severe cases no increases in pay. The assignment and validation of rewards and penalties through performance appraisal is a very doubtful and divisive matter and express both satisfaction as well as dissatisfaction with an employee's job performance. Whatever is the situation, organisations should promote a feeling that performance appraisals are positive opportunities that give for overall growth of the employee, in order to get the finest out of the individual and the procedure. Hence performance appraisals should be positive experiences and it should never be used to handle matters of regulation.

Methodology

This chapter explains the methodology that was used to collect the prime data. It also summarizes the research paradigm selected, sets out the research policy, and also justifies the selection of the methodology. Ethical topics will also be addressed in this chapter. There are a lot of alternatives for research paradigms, strategies and detailed data collection.

Source: Based on Saunders, Levis and Thornhil 2003

Research Philosophy

Much of the literature reviewed on research paradigms and methodology recommended that selecting a research philosophy is a subjective topic. Fisher (2003) and Easterby Smith et al (2002), amongst others, have the same opinion that in practice any research methods could really be used. It comes into view that there is no right or wrong answer to which research philosophy, but some will be more suited to responding the research question than others.

Bearing in mind the choices for research philosophy from the research opinion above, there are two alternatives, at opposite ends of the spectrum, interpretivism and positivism. A positivism view, which is linked with quantitative research, was ruled out. Positivism looks for truth (Jankowicz 2000). The positivist view presume that everything can be verify and known (Fisher 2007) and is very scientific in its approach. Silverman (2005) explains it as a model of the research procedure which treats social reality as existing independently of both participants and researchers. The positivist researcher likes to work with an observable social reality and that the end product of the research can be law-like simplifications similar to those created by the physical and natural scientist (Remenyi et al et 1998). The researcher would be needed to take the task of an objective analyst making isolated guess about data collection in a value free manner (Saunders et al 2003). Positivism is not measured suitable to researching areas where human behaviour is issue (Sobh and Perry 2006). Fisher (2007) thinks positivism is a report about the power of science and logical thought to understand and manipulate the world. It is claimed above that positivism is more related to with hard science. Robson (2002) recommend that the ambition for social researchers to turn out to be hard scientists is not possible. It is far from the meaning of the author to take on a scientific approach to the research. A positivist paradigm clashes with the researcher's motivation to look at the human factors that guide to captured view on expectations and experiences of performance appraisal.

The interpretivist tactic is normally associated with qualitative research. In much literature (Saunder et al 2003, Miles and Huberman 1994) it is also explained as phenomenology. Researchers who take this place consider that reality is socially constructed (Fisher 2004). This method appeals to the social interest of the author. Interpretative research looks for individual's accounts of how they make sense of the world, and the structures and processes within it. This is precisely applicable to capturing data on expectations and experiences of performance appraisal, which, according to the literature review, is a very subjective matter. The interpretative method lets researchers to get close to participants to understand their subjective understanding of reality (Shaw 1999) and demands to the author as a way of obtaining depth of understanding.

Research Approach

There are two major types for the research approach. A deductive method is reliable with developing a theory and testing it through research, whereas an inductive method gathers data to develop a theory (Saunders et al 2003). Induction is when a conclusion is sketched from past experience (Fisher 2004). The main research query is to find out what sets the foundation of performance appraisal and what are the key elements. The previous chapter developed a theoretical framework, which structured the issues uncovered so far, but drop short of becoming a theory to be tested, it did, however, conclude primary findings, which recommends a real inductive method is not appropriate. However, an inductive method appears most suitable to answering the research question and was used.

Research Strategy

A case study was selected as the main appropriate research plan. Saunder et al (2003) described a case study as “a policy for doing research which includes an empirical investigation of a specific contemporary fact within its real life context using multiple sources of facts”. This suits well with me, intention to investigate a real life questions through a diversity of data collecting ways. Jankowicz (2000) recommends the appropriateness of a case study when the theory directs on a collection of issues in a single organisation. Supporting the case study strategy, Hartley (2004) recommends case studies also likely to be inductive as they sample together evidence to support theory progress. Depth of knowledge is significant for me. Morris and Wood (1991) and Fisher (2004) both recommend that case studies are more suitable for an in depth knowledge of a specific situation. Punch (1998) argues that while there may be a different type of specific reasons or research questions, the common objective of a case study is to build up as full an understanding of that case as possible. By the time of the collation of data, all Sidmak staff will have been through their performance appraisal interview, either as appraise, or may be as both appraise and appraiser. All of the staff will be capable to suggest on their experiences of the process, may be in the situation of a major transformation of the organisation. It gives me the opportunity to understand the issues and tell a story.

Research Methods - data collection

At first, self administered questionnaires were judged as a key method of collecting data. It was visualized that the literature review reveal the areas of concern, and then staff members could point to their expectations and experiences on a scale of 1 to 5 in a self-completed questionnaire. Concerns were lifted in the literature review about the appraisal scheme being seen sometimes as ticking boxes. Following on from the text above on case studies would like to get depth of knowledge; it was felt that completed questionnaires would not provide me sufficient material to really say the story. Questionnaires also limit the capability of respondents to look at their own understanding of performance, appraisal and outcomes, as it does not permit for free format answers. A latest in depth survey of employee views had been carried out, and a minor element did cover performance appraisal and new forms of feedback. Research findings and conclusions will mainly be notified by the qualitative interviews, but also some triangulation will be tried with the results of that survey.

A thorough literature review of performance management and performance appraisal had been carried out. This gave me a structure of the issue, design recent history and developments within the topic, and analyse hopes and experiences of performance appraisal. To give further practical confirmation to answer the research questions, the following process was followed:

In phrase of actual data collection from the interviews, a number of alternatives were considered. It was vital to correctly capture the points being made by respondents, but also give notice to what they were saying. The research is a qualified note taker, and has had training in active listening. It was also the most suitable approach in terms of maximizing competency of effort.

Focus Group

A focus group is best explained as “a collection of people who are brought together to have a free-pouring but focused conversation on a particular subject (Fisher 2004).

For the rationale of this research, it was visualized that there would be two outputs from the focus group.

Firstly, the literature review recognised the following issues that were measured necessary to research in order to please the research objectives;

Performing the focus group would give me belief and certainty that all of the vital factors had been considered.

Secondly, the output from the focus group would be significant to give the overall findings, and help to find out what set's the foundation of performance appraisal and make out how this whole interaction and review procedure is useful to the organisation.

A focus group was carried out with members of the constituted staff forum. The organisation had no union representation, but the making of the staff forum gave senior managers the chance to provide and get important feedback and communication. Attendance at the focus group was controlled. I gave a two minute presentation of the theoretical objectives of the research project at the staff forum two weeks earlier, asking for an hour the following month to look at the matter in an open way. The group was informed that any could refuse to take part. However, all took part happily. According to Saunders et al (2003) it is the job of the researcher to start the discussion and try to keep a balance between encouraging participants to concentrate on the subject area and permit a free flowing discussion. There were some realistic problems linked with the focus group method as all the procedure was done online with the help of skype software. Firstly, a lot of productive information was available, so it was significant to make notes as the meeting move forward, at the same time facilitating the discussion and keeping others involved. Secondly, a tendency to prejudice could happen from me, who has had the benefit of an in depth literature review of the topic. To avoid prejudice, I did not take part in discussions but did make easy and encourage full participation. Attendees of the focus group were six members of staff; three of whom are appraisers as well as appraisees, and three junior members as appraisers.

Semi structured interviews

In semi-structured interviews, the researcher will have a list of themes and questions to be covered, although they may differ from respondent to respondent (Sunders et al 2003). These were conducted with five staff that has been apprised. This adds in staff who are purely appreisees, and staff who appraise and are appraised i.e. more senior in the organisation. Unstructured interviews were managed out as they may suitably have operated outside of the framework of the research area. All of the members were notified of the objectives of the research, promised of confidentiality, and were promised a written summary of the discussion to make sure my explanation of the chat was correct. Following advice from Easterby et al (2002) open questions were operated in a neutral tone of voice, to avoid partiality. Each of the interviews took between 15 minutes to 20 minutes. It was pleasing to notice that all five respondents quoted an interest in the area of research.

Data presentation

The approach selected for this research provides themselves to a text based presentation of responses, which will be a factor to tell the story. The research plan is very qualitative in nature. However, in command to quantify in some way, responses to each of the main themes will be marked on an approximate 1 - 5 scale for expectations i.e. 1 being low and 5 being high.

Ethical considerations

As I was well known to all staff in the small organisation, and was a member of the executive team, ethical factors were far above the ground. Qualitative research is aimed to give a profound understanding of the subject, and the quality of responses depended on open and honest answer. As such, it was essential that participants had a high stage of trust in the honesty of the researcher.

I gave a promise to all participants concerning to anonymity and confidentiality. The interviewees were also proposed the opportunity to evaluate the summary of the interviews to be involved in the findings of this research. I helped the discussions within the focus group. At the same time anonymity would have been not possible within the group, I gave a commitment not to assign comments to personals. Finally, the anonymity of those who took part in semi-structured interviews was guaranteed. Interviews were conducted in private. Confidentiality was given to all participants in that all data would be applied purely to inform this research, which in turn, would guide to suggested developments and progress to Sidmak Performance Appraisal System. After the study was complete, all data was shredded.

To keep away from prejudice and also keep away from a clash of interest, I make sure that all respondents were not line reports or line manager to the researcher. Partiality of the interviewer was kept away through the use of semi-structured interviews that were used again and again throughout. Further, participants in the staff focus group were offered the chance to review the summary of observations and following notes. To make sure informed approval was gained; all participants were informed of the main purpose of this research, to fulfill an academic research dissertation. They were also making aware findings could be used to make better the current performance appraisal system. All respondents were pleased to participate with that knowledge.

Summary

This chapter has set out the methodology that will be taken on to undertake the research. It considers other methods to those chosen. It is argued that an interpretivist approach, typically related with qualitative research will be accepted. Overall, the research strategy is to build up a case study. This includes telling of a story. The story will include dissemination of human factors, and so the use of surveys was considered and then ruled out. The main systems to be used will be around face to face interviews with the help of skype software, informed by an initial focus group. Ethical thoughts have been addressed, with the main issue being confidentiality.

Findings

Introduction

This chapter puts out the results of the research. The methodology was put out in the earlier chapter and was monitored closely. Selections from the focus group and also from the semi-structured interviews are integrated, together with significant extracts from the previous employee opinion survey. This chapter puts out results and begins the analysis element. The next chapter connects the findings to the research aims and the literature review, and illustrates together the conclusions.

Overall, the results have given me the ability to look at all of the main questions raised within the conceptual framework in detail. They give a rich foundation of qualitative data for performance appraisal, to make it easy to know, from the staff perspective - “this is what we assume, and this is what we get”.

It should be observed that references to “manager” in findings are basically to differentiate between seniority of respondents.

Findings from the focus group

The focus group consisted of members of the obtainable staff forum. It was organised on a lunch break in the organisations and was helped by my Executive Officer. Attendees of the focus group were six members of staff; three of whom are appraisers as well as appraisees, and three more junior members who have no experience as appraisers at all. Personal remarks were kept unidentified, as I have allocated letter A to F to each participant in notes.

In the beginning, I gave details about the overall purpose of the research, which was - to search out what set's the foundation of performance appraisal and what are the essential steps in Sidmak in order to inform an improved system. The whole group believed that this was a valuable exercise and were happy to take part in it, mainly as they would be shaped by final outcomes. This positive reaction gives support to the idea of Harrison and Goulding (1997) think it very important that employees are engaged in the design of the system, for practical, operational and psychological reasons.

Then I put forward four questions for the focus group to discuss;

  1. Why do we need a performance appraisal system?
  2. What are your anticipations of the current performance appraisal system?
  3. What are your anticipations of execution of performance appraisal?
  4. What are your anticipations of outcomes of performance appraisal?

Responses from the focus group

Summary of comments from the focus group

Summary of group response

Key quotes

Why do we need a performance appraisal system?

A very well learned and open conversation on performance appraisal. All know the importance of getting this right.

Group draw attention to the new corporate plan and business plans and consider all staff should have personal targets connected to them. They believed the new goals were meaningful to them and to the Sidmak they represent.

Without bringing out, the group also understands the need to have a correct system to determine how well they were doing, even though there were suspicions about how accurate and practical the feedback from managers was.

There was a strong agreement about the need for training and individual training. There were differences of belief in the group about the balance between occupation training, and career growth that should come from appraisal.

The group could observe the connection between performance appraisal and financial reward, but were, apart from one, against this due to short of trust in current system and execution.

We have to make sure everything everyone is doing, is connected to Sidmak success.

My task is still a bit unclear; until that is classified it's difficult to appraise me properly.

I think Sidmak requires one and will do it accurately.

We are carrying very few employees now, but let's hope these sorts out a small number of poor performers.

In my last workplace, a big private sector company, it was deal as really serious.

I want to get better, and I want to know how to do it.

What are your expectations of performance appraisal system?

Three of the group members had worked previous in the organisations where a much more comprehensive and defined scheme had been in place. After a short debate on some of the components of those other systems, the other three members realise the need for that detail.

Group anticipation was a much more difficult system to be in place for organisation like Sidmak.

All quickly evaluated the current paperwork and judged it “lightweight”.

Group mainly serious of the guidance given, which is just a few sentences on the form. Three of the six members had got training in previous organisations, either as appraiser, or appraise.

For those newer to the organisation, they were stunned at the short of measurement of competencies, thinking this was now a usual feature. Some of the more junior staff on the focus group considered that weight of competencies was more for the managers who were being apprised.

Everyone say yes that the present rating scale of objectives go beyond, met or missed did not give sufficient range of performance.

General agreement that the present system should contain more detailed capturing of development requires and also a review of previous development.

The staff should be engaged in development of a new scheme.

The present system is lightweight.

It is on the schedule to fix, so I am hopeful and will sort it out quickly.

My last boss always appreciates and recorded my efforts.

The ongoing ranking systems do not really tell a correct story.

What are your expectations of execution of performance appraisal?

The whole group experiences both in Sidmak and other organisations of weak preparation by managers. There was a common feeling that some managers gave a sense that the performance appraisal interviews were getting in the way of their good work.

The group took ten minutes to think and suggest what they wanted to be covered in the interviews, and the list below is written down from their flip chart.

1. How the organisation is doing

2. Their role and its connection to strategic direction

3. Development against set targets

4. New targets

5. How my team is doing

6. Effort put in

7. My skill set

8. On job training

9. Personal development

10. Career aspirations

11. Reward (mainly recognition)

There was common agreement that achievement of targets and on job training requires that would develop performance were generally well talked about, but other areas were not commonly well addressed.

The lengthiest conversation was on fairness of ranking. There was anticipation that rankings would be fair and reliable. However, the group completed that without training and moderation meetings, this would be difficult. In common, though, most remarked that their most present appraisal ranking gave a good reflection.

I have had actually good appraisal interviews and really bad ones. It is typically down to how well I get on with my superiors on a day to day basis.

At my last work place, the training what I get from them regarding appraising was very helpful.

I had a fall out with my last boss as I would not do his personal everyday jobs. My appraisal scores were terrible.

What are your expectations of outcomes of performance appraisal?

The groups were conscious that the present staff survey had exposed a strong support for the organisation goals. There was an expectation that performance appraisal system should play a role to corporate goals through improved personal and team performance. However opinions of positive experience were not high. There was no fact yet they had seen that the results of personal appraisal were evaluated as entire and connected to business plans.

Setting of new goals was measured as an outcome. The whole group thought that Sidmak was getting better at setting objectives connected to wider business plans.

There was a proposal from one of the group that, if talents and competencies were measured at that next round of appraisals, it would allocate a Sidmak wide baseline to be developed and progress observed. This was agreed by all members as a good idea.

The groups were fully opposition to connecting the appraisal system to pay or financial reward. In the previous organisation, this had happened and created conflict and uncertainty of the system. One member related an example from a private sector company he had worked for, where large bonuses came as a result of appraisal, but the system fell into disgrace from staff due to awareness of prejudice, discrepancies and programs of managers.

The idea that good work or success, either recognised at appraisal or any other time, could be integrated in the new staff newsletter was welcomed.

Who evaluates all of the appraisal results and makes meaning of them?

If money is connected to appraisal, the managers will be better off.

At my last appraisal we agreed my new goals. They in fact meant something to me.

Connecting appraisal to money will cause divisions.

I want to be a manager in a few years. There may be some opportunities here because we are so small, but I still want it and expect I can get the training.

Finally, I asked the group to finish their remarks on what they guess and what they get. Based on their debates, they concluded that Sidmak was organisation, with a much more businesslike method to strategic planning. High quality staff would be vital to really strengthen in the transformation, and succeed. As such, their hope for performance appraisal is very high, but skills falls a bit short of that. To end, I asked them to reach consent and plot the present position on the pattern, which I had replicated on a flip chart.

The focus group was successful on a number of faces. It exposed a high level of interest and awareness on the subject matter, which is cheering. It also worked to give a high level personal view of the present gap between expectations and experiences, which will be issued in to final investigation, to be covered up in the next chapter. No other areas of anxiety were highlighted by the focus group, which recommended that I had covered the important subjects in the literature review. This would now give a sound structure for the semi-structured interviews.

Findings from semi structured interviews

Framework of the semi structured interviews

Background

By the way of opening the interview, I put out the complete aim of the research - to measure the effectiveness of performance appraisal system, from the staff perspective, of performance appraisal in Sidmak in order to inform an improved system.

Confidentiality was guaranteed to all members, and any remarks would remain unidentified. Each interview took between 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Members were given a rough idea of the area for inclusion in the interview, established on prior research and findings from the focus group. The following is a list of themes, and more exclusive areas I mean to cover, not a vivid list of questions.

General

The organisation has just gone through a key change. How successful has it been?

Do you assist the organisation objectives? Are they the right ones?

How clear are you about your responsibilities and how it sets in to the bigger picture?

How would you explain your inspiration level at present?

Would you say Sidmak is a good place to work for?

What prior experience, positive and negative, outside of Sidmak, have you had?

Do you presently appraise as well as be appraised?

Purpose of Performance Appraisal

Why Sidmak does require a performance appraisal system?

What do you desire from it as an employee?

How fine is the point communicated?

The current system

What would you suppose to see in a good PA system?

What is your experience of the PA system in Sidmak (and elsewhere)?

Prompts

Guidelines / training

Delivery / Execution

What are you hoping for from your PA interview?

What are your experiences at Sidmak (and elsewhere)?

Prompts

Outcomes

What do you demand the outcomes to be?

What is your experience of the outcomes at Sidmak (and elsewhere)?

Prompts

Analysis of findings

Complete note of each of the meetings were arranged straight away after each interview. For ease of study, main points were captured and typed onto an excel spreadsheet (appendix 1). This let data to be reviewed by personal respondents or across subjects. Six staff members in general were interviewed in detail, giving a mix of staff / managers and length of service. The subsequent is a summary of main questions raised. Early commentary on the findings is integrated in this chapter but analysis and conclusions are enclosed within the next chapter.

Background issues

Most of the staff interviewed confirmed that the company renovation had been successful. Those same numbers of respondents also felt very much lined up to the new organisational objectives. Some of the respondents felt very inspired at present, with the remaining say that inspiration is not a negative issue. This recommends that staff ethical and inspiration at Sidmak overall is very high.

Breaking this down into seniority, all of the managers interviewed were confident about the organisation, and motivated. Some had been part of the transformation procedures, and some had joined upon induction of the organisation.

Some uncertainty still lives from some of the staff relating to job clarity, but respondents did not appear excessively concerned by this, as it is a organisation that is still finding its feet.

Finally, six of the respondent talked about previous experience of appraisals; a mixture of good and bad experiences was quoted most. Three respondents had no formal experience of performance appraisal prior to Sidmak.

Purpose of performance appraisal

I tried to know what respondents measured to be the main purpose of performance appraisal. The table below is a summary of the reason they offered.

Response to-Purpose of performance appraisal

Respondent

A

B

C

D

E

F

Manager?

Issued Raised

Strategic goals achieved

Objective setting

Objective measuring

Improved team performance

Improved individual performance

Motivation

Training / development

Interestingly, all members of the more senior staff remarked on the connection between performance appraisal and strategic goals. More junior staff respondents concentrate on personal and team performance and training / development. This table recommends that there is a broad thoughtful of the key purpose of performance appraisal. This will be analysed ahead in the next chapter.

When asked about how well the system is talked, the most optimistic statement was “could be better”. All other respondent were important of communication.

Current performance appraisal system

The whole respondent, without inducing, raised the matter of training and guidelines as a vital necessity. All three managers mainly emphasized this as a hope. More than half thinks that training for both appraisers and appraisees would be helpful.

Experience of training instructions came across as one of the most destructive experiences, with no positive remarks received at all.

For methods of feedback, there was a diverse support for multi-source feedback. All three managers think that 360 feedbacks would be useful, if put into practice and carried out properly. Only one junior staff member think about further feedback.

In terms of what is appraised, two respondents recommended it should be accomplished of objectives. A further one added tried to what they think should be appraised. All were appraised in opposition to purposes. Fifty percent responded that the appraisal discussion also covered behaviour and ability/competencies. There is a short of reliability applied.

The present ranking system was taken into account by all respondents. All three managers and three staff members' thinks that the current rating system is much too narrow. The managers mainly raised ideas for improving the ranking system from properly rating competencies to a system that keeps away from middling.

Delivery of performance appraisal system

Unsurprisingly, there was a big anticipation for the appraiser to set time and force in to the procedure, through evaluating objectives before to the interview, allowing enough time and booking a separate room for confidential conversation.

The experience of training for appraisal was ranked very positive from all six respondents. All said that their manager had given them enough time and had prepared effectively.

Again, unsurprisingly, all respondents anticipated an open and truthful conversation, and fairness applied in the ranking. The experiences were again positive. Two respondents said that they have felt increased in the motivation after their appraisal interview. There were no apparent differences in responses from different seniority levels.

Eight of the six respondents bring in front the issue of comprehensiveness in the appraisal interview. The main subject to come out was that the system (documentation) did not support a comprehensive conversation covering all features of performance. From the responses, it seems that managers take it on their own to make sure a wide ranging discussion.

Performance appraisal outcomes

Respondents were asked about predictable outcomes from performance appraisal. Four marked up that a main outcome should be organisational development. Three out of six managers supported this. Three of respondents particularly lifted the matter of improved performance of teams. All respondents think an outcome will improve individual performance. Four out of six respondents lifted the matter of new meaningful goals as an outcome, and experiences were coordinated to this expectation. In spite of the short of guidance, staff thinks their new goals are more meaningful to them and the organisation. Development and training was anticipated, and this was lifted by all respondents. Four respondents raised the matter of financial reward, with three recommending that financial reward and appraisal should not be connected. One respondent recommended a bonus system connected to appraisal would be a good idea. All of respondents noticed that the organisational training strategy had been developed from prior appraisals and think this positive. Most remarked that they had got training as a result, or it was pending. There was very small number of other positive outcomes experienced. The ordinary response was that respondents had not observed a connection between appraisals, improved performance and organisational goals. Most were not certain what the organisation was doing with outcomes of appraisals, and monitoring of new objectives.

Other issues raised

Three of the managers quoted a strong attention in this area, and a wish to be engaged in the redesign of a new system that will meet support from all staff. One respondent expressed anxiety that the system was hold by the HR department, but the executive management team should take rights and drive it ahead with support from staff.

Summary

The findings from the focus group and semi-structured interviews have given me in depth knowledge about expectations of performance appraisal. The most crucial objective of the focus group was to construct the semi-structured interviews, and this was accomplished. The matter raised by the focus group was usually the same as those raised within the literature review.

The six semi-structured interviews were very informative. The chapter exposed that staff pleasure and inspiration overall was very good, after a fresh corporate transformation. There was a lot of in depth awareness of the idea and release of performance appraisal across all levels of staff. However, there was complete conformity that the reason of appraisal was not corresponded well.

Very positive comments were welcomed for preparation by managers, honesty of conversations, and justice of rankings. Respondents anticipated staff development to bring forward in outcomes, and seem positive in experience so far, mentioning the organisation staff development plan as a particular achievement. Respondents mentioned positive experiences of personal, and particularly team, performance. There was doubt to what the outcomes were, linking to organisation performance improvement as there appeared to be no facts of a connection between appraisal and attainment of strategic objectives.

Conclusion

Introduction

This chapter conveys to a conclusion all findings, from the literature review, selected methodology, and outcomes of the research. It begins with conclusion from the findings, connecting the results of practical research back to the literature review. It then takes into account the findings contrary to the research purpose and each of the four stated research objectives. The chapter then significantly assesses the selected research methodology, recognizing strengths and weakness. It concludes with restrictions of the study, and opportunities for further research. Recommendations from this research are included in the final chapter.

Conclusion about research findings

The organisation has come through a flourishing revolution. Data from the new employee opinion survey, backed up by answers from the focus group and semi-structured interviews, verify this. The reason of performance appraisal was addressed in the literature review. A number of commentators (Fletcher 1993 and Rees and Porter 2003) recommend there is anxiety about multiplicity of aims. Those relate to are not reliable with the practical research, which recommends staff do see the benefits of several objectives. The focus group and respondents had bear in mind the variety of objectives carefully. Better inspiration and identification of training and growth were also frequently raised. Overall, there are a broad variety of reasons to put into practice a successful performance appraisal system, and a collection of objectives is not an subject from staff perspective.

In spite of high consciousness and considered thought of the function, this has not been corresponded sufficiently by the organisation. Hartle (1997) mentions poor communication as interruption to successful appraisal systems. There is clearly a short of effective communication experienced, as all respondents lifted their matters.

Caruth and Humphreys (2006) recommend that a doing well performance appraisal system is one that has resulted from hard work, watchful thinking, preparation and integrated with the strategy and requirements of the organisation. The proof recommends that the Sidmak system falls well short of that.

The literature review discloses common evidence (Boice and Kleiner 2007, Brown 2001, Williams 2002) that training and instructions should be provided to appraisers and appraisees. There are no official training and instructions amounts to a few sentences on the form. Cook and Crossman (2004) contend that training should increase the overall efficiency of the performance appraisal system and the proof from Sidmak adds further confirmation to this point.

The known present method of feedback on performance is from the line manager only. Support for multi source feedback from respondents was combined. This is reliable with the literature review, which discloses some research suggesting the impression of multisource feedback is limited (Mabey, 2001 and Williams 2002) recommending it can guide to more dependable ratings and better performance improvement. The three managers interviewed measured that it could be helpful, if executed properly. Most of the more junior staffs were doubtful about its use. The focus group could see possible advantages, but were not influenced of its overall value.

The present performance appraisal system assesses achievement of objectives. This was judged insufficient by the majority of the respondents, who thinks that measurement of effort and competencies should be integrated. Many organisations have stepped to measurement of behaviours and competencies. Research by Armstrong (1999) Rees and Porter (2003) and Redman and Wilkinson (2001) all recommends measurement of behaviour competencies has a number of advantages. However, some appraisers have taken it upon themselves to talk about competencies and behaviour in the interviews, as exposed by the experimental research. This recommends that a little different appraisal system for managers could be included, that includes measurement against a management competency pattern.

In general, the researcher exposed a strong interest in the subject area from respondents, which is encouraging, and can be connected to high enthusiasm levels arising from the successful change. Harrison and Goulding (1997) believe it is very important that employees are engaged in the design of the system for feasible, operational and psychological reason. Staff members have expressed a strong wish to be involved, and it is confirmed that the current system requires redesign, so the opportunity lives.

The declared goal of this research project was - what sets the foundation of performance appraisal and the key steps of performance appraisal in order to inform an improved system from the staff perspective.

The results have been notified by the literature review, by the employee opinion survey, and by latest empirical research performed via a staff focus group and semi-structured interviews. Anticipations overall are high. The staffs are motivated, signed up to the organisation objectives and seem concerned of the idea and requirements of performance appraisal.

Critical evaluation of the adopted methodology

At an early phase I ruled out a positive attitude, which is more linked with quantitative research. I think a qualitative method would give an in depth knowledge of expectations and experiences. A case study was selected as the research approach, and I conclude, with observation, that this was the most sensible choice. Morris and Wood (1991) and Fisher (2004) recommend that case studies are suitable for an in depth knowledge of a particular subject. I think that I have got required in depth understanding, within the added context of a successful corporate transformation.

For data collection, quantitative interviews were used, through a focus group, and semi structured interviews. This acted very well, letting in depth conversation and make sure ambiguity of questions could be keep away. It also suited my chosen style, to favour human engaged that science. I had previously received training in active listening, and facilitation, and put these to good exercise.

Six members of staff were occupied in detail through this research. Whist this may appear small. There is no promise that use of a self-completed opinion poll would have resulted in a higher answer rate. Further, anxiety were raised in the literature review that performance appraisal could sometimes be observed as a box-ticking work. I had valuable secondary data in the form of the Employee Opinion Survey. This let triangulation between data basis.

With observation, more interviews could have been carried out, which would have added to the weight of material, and also allowed more separation between seniority, age, sex and other human issues. An interview with the Executive EDP would also have been helpful, to recognise the foundation behind the current system and how connects between appraisal results and strategic aims could be bettered. However, this was ruled out as the Executive EDP was line manager of mine, and this brought into play ethical considerations.

All respondents in this research gave up their time enthusiastically, and took part in thorough discussions actively. It is disbelieved that any other research technique would have been as successful in collecting and organizing such in depth material.

Limitations of the study

There were several limitations of the study.

The first relates to sample size. Sidmak is a small organisation. With observation, it may have been suitable to compare/benchmark the data with a similar size organisation. At the same time managers were integrated in the sample, they were notified it was from the perspective of appraise, not an appraiser. The research would have advantaged from similar research to know the gaps between expectations and experiences from the appraiser's point of view. Concerns were lifted from staff about likely introduction of multi-source feedback and also the connection between appraisal and financial reward. I was tempted to follow these lines in substantial dept, but time and resources forbidden this. The research would have been improved by more thorough investigation into the outcomes of performance appraisal. In specific, with reference to the break between short terms training recognised and funding of long term goals, and what influence that has on strategic planning.

Opportunities for further research

I have highlighted a number of further research opportunities as follows;

  1. A thorough investigation of the anticipations of performance appraisal from the manager's point of view. What do they require from it to force the organisation forward? What are their experiences, mainly in dealing with difficult feedback? How do they mean to calculate the overall impact of better performance on the organisation?
  2. This research was taken on during a period of comparatively high inspiration of staff. It follows a new corporate transformation. Where the literature evaluates dissatisfaction at performance appraisal, there is no sign of whether overall the organisation was succeeding, or if the workforce was provoked. Further research into the association between organisation achievement, inspiration levels, and views of performance appraisal would add considerably to current thinking.
  3. It would be useful to research organisations that have effectively connected personal and team performance improvements to the ability of organisational goals. A case study with a suitable organisation would add to the discussion on the success of performance appraisal.

Recommendations

This chapter puts out suggestions for the development of a performance appraisal scheme that closes the gap between what staff demands from the system, and what they get from it.

A new performance appraisal system

A new performance appraisal scheme should be build up and put into practice as soon as possible, and it should contain the following characteristics;

  1. Development against personal objectives
  2. Setting and documenting of new aims, with clear connections to the business plan
  3. Discussion and explanation of task and responsibilities
  4. Recognition of short term training requirements connected to business plan
  5. Conversation on career objectives and identification of growth requires
  6. Prioritization of training and progress
  7. Recognition of difficulties to personal and team performance
  8. General idea of personal performance
  9. General idea of team execution
  10. A broad ranged ranking system for final score

Design of system - engagement with staff

Sidmak staff at all stages should be occupied in the design, discussion and approval of the new system.

Multi-Source Feedback

Further conversation should take place between the Executive Management Team and staff forum to examine the possibility and likely advantages of multi-source feedback, including 360 degree feedback and self appraisal.

Training and Guidance

Earlier to begin of the new system, guidance should be given to all managers on the purpose, system, distribution and conclusion of performance appraisal. Help should be given for staff receiving appraisals.

Performance Management

Sidmak Executive Management Team should talk about and agree a system that makes sure the conclusion of performance appraisal are included into the wider performance management system more widely. This system should recognise how the results of personal and team performance link to organisational performance and objective setting.


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