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The globalization is flattening the playing field level and at the same time shrinking the world from micro to nano. The interesting facet about this era of globalization is that its individuals and small groups and not countries or companies that are the dynamic agents. Globalization has created a world where human talents are being fiercely fought for. Maintaining competitive advantage has never been more important than in today's economic reality. Many organizations are trying to take advantage of this downturn to re-seize market share by recruiting to upgrade talent. For success-driven organizations, keeping key talent and top performers engaged and retained through the turmoil is vital to its survival. Companies must realize the fact that in order to retain its high performing workforce, the organizational & environmental challenges should be mitigated with high level of support. They have to make it a point to identify their high potential employees and propagate them to carry on the organization vision into the future.
This paper aims to present how technology can help in appraisal reports and job evaluations to aid in retention of talent pool. It also envisages a time, not to afar from present; when businesses may realize the importance of such accurate measurement to alter to different levels of volatility and be able navigate through their prepared talent pool to propel to unprecedented echelons.
Charles Schwab said "I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism". Mathematics is a formal abstraction of quantity and logical deduction. There is a concept of evidence within it by which we can make a plausible claim based on an implausible premise. With all the technological revolutions, social changes, the need for measurement still remains significant. In fact measurement is one of the cornerstones in field of management, be it giving value to a process, a project, or a system. The only aspect that varies is the practice of the sort of measurement being used. Effective human resource planning, control and decision making is dependent on reliable information and comprehensive measurement. Many companies proclaim that their employees are their greatest asset. Unfortunately, the phrase has become somewhat cliché, similar to saying employees are "empowered." These are valid statements only if companies put actions behind their claims. If firms are serious about creating a workforce that's engaged and productive, they must devote time and attention to creating environments in which the people can flourish. The best way to go about this is job evaluation or performance appraisals. The purpose of these measurements has to focus on; to help the person being appraised to do better, to motivate employees, to acknowledge a job well done, a way of showing that management appreciates personal commitments. The problem with current evaluation process is that it often points out the excellent or poor employees leaving out the vast middle ground, employee are rated by a single person who may be motivated by political or personal reasons. Human Resources department has to incorporate a performance appraisal system that truly allows you to distribute performance evaluations in a fair and equitable manner, having advanced conceptual insights, state-of-the-art automation, and high-quality training methods. They need to embrace a performance appraisal system that can easily integrate with and support the organization's pay-for-performance, incentive, bonus, skill-based pay, and other reward systems for the talented employees and track their progress for future leadership roles.
Job dissatisfaction over the years has been main cause for turnovers in most organizations. Primary reason for the dissatisfaction is lack of appreciation and acknowledgement from supervisors, managers; which is manifested by lack of proper evaluation of performance. Thus we need intervention of technology which provides an unbiased approach and common platform to appraise an employee to decrease the count of turnovers and help us retain employees who are assets to the company.
How Current System Fails to Deliver
It is quite evident that there exists a short coming in the conceptualization, design, implementation, and follow-up of the appraisal system. The issues that managers fail to understand regarding appraisal are:
What are the purposes of an appraisal system?
What is to be appraised, or measured?
How to appraise or measure performance accurately and objectively?
What measurement methods or techniques to use?
Who are competent or best suited to make the appraisal?
When should the appraisal be carried out?
The purpose and subjectivity of this system remains unclear. Tendency of usage of variable rating, over inflation, unaccountability for development and conventions of excluding variation in work environment are few of its drawbacks. Thus instead of the report being motivational or developmental it becomes judgmental.
The Freudian views argue that personality development stops after age of 7-8 years, yet the trait approach being followed is personality-centered assessment. The value of performance appraisal becomes doubtful because of this. Hence we require including the variables of environmental factors like the project detailing and organizational climate in addition to the individual trait for analyzing performance potential of the employee in totality.
The described model shows the interplay between the factors which are often overseen in the current appraisal system, hence proving its inadequacy.
Need for Changes
The term appraisal is a backward looking word, i.e. it is dissecting the past. The emphasis has to be changed to being constructive and more forward looking. By terming the term from appraisal to assessment we provide a new direction which encompasses 360 degrees, i.e. superior, subordinate, peers, and self. Furthermore, the current tendency of single rater needs to be abolished and give people working more closely to the individual a higher weight-age. A revised appraisal system would have specific and clear aims both for individual and organization. It needs to have built in mechanism to offset or reduce subjectivity, just and impartial basis of comparison by suitable processing of the data. The system so deigned removes physiological (halo effect, emotional, perpetual, interpersonal relations, hypocrisy, and differential effect), environmental (political, career factors), intellectual (vagueness, leadership stimuli and frame of reference) and informational inhibitors, thus structuring a composite report.hrh_tb.gif
Thus the need for change is the balancing act of capability and motivation through correct channels of assessment which should include correction procedure for the flaws.
Usage of Technology
"Researchers have demonstrated that fuzzy set theory could be successfully used to solve multiple criteria problems. This is because, in many circumstances, appraiser tends to use vaguely defined qualitative criteria in evaluating the performance of their subordinates. Therefore, it creates difficulty for appraiser to precisely quantifying the score of each candidate". A proposed methodology to utilize fuzzy set theory and electronic ostensible technology for multi-criteria assessment and decision-making in evaluations was put forward. Incorporating this theory with use of technology a new system could was developed which would give weighted score to each aspect and thus reduce the infectivity of current assessment system.
Technology not only helps to measure the performance but also abets in managing it. Calculating performance based on twenty three universally acknowledged factors of performance measurement is a herculean task and beyond the scope of human resource manager in large organization. "These factors are 1) know-how, 2) output, 3) quality, 4) initiative, 5) enthusiasm, 6) judgment, 7) cooperation, 8) attendance, 9) relationships, 10) coordination, 11) safety, 12) reliability, 13) planning, 14) organizing, 15) staffing, 16) leading, 17) controlling, 18) delegating, 19) decision making, 20) creativity, 21) employee relations, 22) policy implementation, and 23) policy formulation."
"Each of these universal appraisal factors listed has three sub-classifications connected with it. For example, the element of "attendance" can be sub-divided into 1) coming to work, 2) coming to work on time, and 3) staying on the job while at work, each of these must be addressed if one aspect is to be objectively appraised. As an additional example, for the factor "know-how" sub-divisions are: 1) technical knowledge, 2) interpersonal knowledge, and 3) conceptual knowledge. Each appraisal factor will have a weighting value associated with it based upon its relative importance to all the other factors."
A computer program once customized for an organization would take each factor into account with guided rating scale. An employee performance can thus be measured and managed on day to day basis with minimal time and cost. At the end of the period a collective progression or trend can be seen and evaluated with minimum upheaval. The Performance appraisal management software would help to systematically record all the data about the employee performance, pre-determined targets, the results achieved, compensation and reviews, succession planning and other related HR systems. The information can be methodically stored in metrics and be scrolled through when an employee performance needs to be compared with the targets and the standards. Technology can also facilitate analysis of the employees training needs by continuously monitoring their progress, their review, feedback and the improvement in the performances. It also supports the companies to implement and integrate various processes of the organizations by customized software system prepared according to their own needs and requirements. Different project managers and supervisors would have access to the system to add data to a personal file of an employee with inputs from peers and subordinates.
By incorporating technology the organization are not limited to 'regular' Performance Reviews, but it allows creation of any number of additional AD-HOC Appraisals as well, such as for Probation, Promotions, Succession, and Performance Improvement. The system enables the construction of job description and real time updating of it, giving managers the ability to view the Job Descriptions of their direct reports and employees to view their own, with the mere stroke of the keys. This functionality is extremely appropriate for matrix organizations and for employees who work with more than one manager during a performance period.
Academics have long debated the design of an appraisal system which is both reliable and valid and with advances in software engineering; technology can overcome this problem. The ease with which we can include content validity, construct validity, predictive validity, criterion-related validity, test-retest reliability, alternate-form reliability, and scorer/evaluator reliability proves that usage of technology is an ideal way to structure the new HR system. In addition to this, Control Procedures provided in the system would help in minimizing overrating and underrating tendencies and its associated problems in an organizational appraisal system. It can also include Due-process appraisal systems to provide considerable opportunity for employees and organizational representatives to present their views throughout the appraisal process.
Most of the measurement techniques can be interlaced with each other in the software to provide comprehensive scale on which to judge a person. The graphic rating scale, multiple step rating and point rating scale can be interfaced with rank order system, paired comparison system and force distribution system. Critical incident technique can be coupled with weighted check list to form empirical algorithms to provide basis to objective evaluation.
Technology can fashion complicated models and follow a systematic approach in formatting staff's performance, and therefore, it creates a system of appraisal which is able to consistently fabricate reliable and legitimate results for the assessment process.
Recommendation and Conclusion