Performance appraisal system in British airways:


Effective People resources include not only the acquisition of quantity and quality of people, as well as management employees to endorse that performance is constantly reviewed, and at a level that meets the objectives of the organization. It is important that employees should know what is expected from of them, not only in terms of roles and responsibilities, but also in terms of performance. The research proposal involves mainly the performance appraisal system of British Airways. The study aims to analyze the performance, evaluation, monitoring, hearten and build up and improve their effectiveness, in turn contributes to the success of the organization. Performance appraisal includes an assessment of the employee, opinion for people and confrontation, as productivity can be improved.

Definition of performance appraisal:

Management of the people on work is mainly apprehensive with the managing interaction between what are the indoor people human competence, inclinations and needs, how the quantity and quality of 'output' and the satisfaction that people can get from their jobs.

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According to ACAS 2003 [i] 'Appraisals is the frequently evidence an assessment of an employee's performance, potential and development needs. The assessment of people is a prospect to obtain an overall sigh of work content, heaps and level, to look back on what is actually achieved during the reporting period and agree objectives for the next.

Structure of the organization:

The structure of the world's leading airline focused on improving operational efficiency and financial fit, In order to achieve strategic objectives. British Airways is necessary to measure HR performance in business and make their managers abide the responsibility for the delivery of objectives.

British Airways is the UK's largest international listed airline, flying to over 550 destinations at convenient times, to the best-located airports. Whether customers are in the air or on the ground, British Airways takes pleasure to providing a full service experience. The British Airways Group consists of British Airways PLC and a number of subsidiary companies including in particular British Airways Holidays Limited and British Airways Travel Shops Limited.


Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (2003 Employee Appraisal)


(Rights at work)

Performance measurement question and objective:

"My research problem is to analyze and evaluate the British Airways performance Appraisal and performance management system that is using for the purpose of measurement of the performance of staff"

I have developed the following questions to support my problem statement:

What is the performance appraisal management system that are using in the British Airways?

What is the Difference between the performance appraisal and performance management system in British Airways?

Which tools, techniques and standards British Airways using for the analysis and the evaluation of performance?

How the British Airways can improve their performance, quality, motivation and satisfaction of employees?


There are some objectives of my research:

Measurement of performance against the goals and objectives, i.e. what is achieved

Measurement of performance against key competencies, i.e. how it is achieved

Feedback of results

To improve communication and understanding between managers and employees

Identifying performance which requires improvement

Recognizing and acknowledging performance

To set performance goals and objectives

Determine key competencies

Literature Review

2.1 Performance Appraisal:

Performance Appraisal is a formal Management system that provides for the evaluation of the quality of an organization.The management of people at work is most concerned with managing the interaction between what is inside people i.e. human capacities, inclinations and needs, and what is with in work, i.e. the quantity and quality of 'output' and the satisfaction that people can get from their job.

People go to work to apply their capacities, inclinations and needs to objective of organization to produce goods and services in economic quantity and quality. To measure how well they have performed in organization to achieve its objectives is done by performance appraisal.

According to Glueck [ii] formal performance evaluation is "is a system set up by the enterprise to regularly and systematically evaluate employee performance"

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While Kenney, Donnelly and Reid [iii] defined it as "appraisal of an employee's work by his staff strengths and weaknesses"

On the other hand Anderson [iv] describes performance appraisal as a tool of training and development according to him "if an employee's strengths and weaknesses are not known, it would be only accidental that development efforts would be aimed in the right direction".

According to ACAS 2003 [v] 'Appraisals regularly record an assessment of an employee's performance, potential and development needs .The appraisal is an opportunity to take an overall view of work content, loads and volume, to look back on what has been achieved during the reporting period and agree objectives for the next'

Fletcher and Williams (1985) [vi] have gone further. They have said that the assessment of people is not the only thing that they do when they appraise a person's work performance. They feel that there are in fact two conflicting roles involved in appraisal- i.e., Judge and Helper.

Thus performance appraisal can be seen, at least in theory, as a process that brings together all the different approaches to the management of performance and permits managers to exercise them. It is a procedure that can both reward and discipline, a means by which employees can be coached and counselled, and a vehicle through which improvements to performance level can be negotiated.


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2.2 What is Performance Appraisal?

Performance Appraisal involves the identification, measurement, and management of human performance in organization [vii] as shown in the figure 1.1




Figure 1.1: A Model of Performance Appraisal

2.2.1 Identification:

It means, determining areas of work a manager should examine when measuring performance.

The first step in performance appraisal process is to identify what is to be measured. It should be rational and legally defensible based on job analysis. The process of identifying performance dimensions is very much like job analysis process. The appraisal system should focus on performance that affects organizational success rather than performance irrelevant characteristics such as race, age, or sex.

Identification of performance dimension is one of the most important steps in the performance appraisal process. If it is missed, it will demoralize the employee because he will not be recognized in that dimension. Also if an irrelevant dimension is included, employees may perceive the whole process as meaningless.

2.2.2 Measurement:

The second part of appraisal is measurement of employee performance. It entails making managerial judgements of how 'Good' or 'Bad' employee performance was or is. Good performance measurement should be consistent throughout the organization. All managers in the organization must maintain comparable rating standards [viii] .

Measuring employee performance involves assigning a number to reflect an employee's performance on the identified characteristic or dimensions [ix] .

Basically, measuring is to determine the level of performance by judging the quality, quantity, timeliness, and/or cost effectiveness of the work against a set of standards. For example what has been accomplished? It can also serve as a basis for deciding when those accomplishments deserve special recognition.

It is difficult to quantify performance dimensions. E.g. 'Creativity' may be an important dimension of advertising copywriter's job, but measuring 'Creativity' is difficult. How one can measure creativity?

Is it by the number of ads written per year,

by the number of ads that win industry awards,

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or by some other criterion?

These are some of the issues which mangers have to face when trying to evaluate an employee's performance.

2.2.3 Management:

Management is the overriding goal of any appraisal system. Appraisal is more than a past oriented activity that criticises or praises workers for their performance in the preceding year, rather, appraisal must take a future oriented view of what worker can do to achieve their potential in the organization. This means that manager must provide workers with feedback and coach them to higher levels of performance.

2.3 Difference between Performance Appraisal and Performance Management

Normally it is assumed that Performance Appraisal is the same thing as Performance Management. But there are significant differences. Performance Appraisal is an important part of performance Management. In itself is not performance management, but is one of the tools that can be used to manage performance.

First we have to understand the word Performance. What is meant by that word? It is important to clarify what it means. There are different views on what performance is.

Bates and Holton [x] have pointed out that 'Performance is a multi-dimensional construct, the measurement of which varies depending on variety of factors'.

Kane (1996) [xi] argues that 'performance is something that the person leaves behind and that exist apart form the purpose'.

According to Bernadin et al [xii] 'Performance should be defined as the outcomes of work because they provide the strongest linkage to the strategic goals of the organization, customer satisfaction, and economic contribution'.

The original meaning of Performance in Oxford dictionary is 'the accomplishment, execution, carrying out, working out of anything ordered or undertaken '. From this we can refer Performance is about doing the work as well as being about the result achieved.

According to Campbell [xiii] performance is behaviour and it should be distinguished from the outcome because behaviour can be contaminated by systems factors

More comprehensive view of performance is embracing both behaviour and out come. This is well put by Brumbrach [xiv] :

'Performance means both behaviours and results. Behaviours emanate from the performer and transform performance from abstraction to action. Not just the instruments for results, behaviours are also outcomes in their own right- the product of mental and physical effort applied to tasks-and can be judged apart from results'.

Now we know that Performance is both inputs (behaviour) and outputs (Results) of teams, individual or of an organization.

Performance Appraisal can be defined as the formal assessment and ratings of individuals by their managers. On the other hand Performance Management is about managing an organization. It is strategic in that it is about broader issues and long term goals.

Performance Management is a natural process of management, not a system or a technique.

Armstrong and Baron(1998) [xv] define performance management as:

'a process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organizational performance. As such, it establishes shared understanding about what is to be achieved and an approach to leading and developing people which will ensure it is achieved.'

According to Armstrong and Baron(1998) [xvi] performance management should be a device or tool to ensure that managers do manage effectively. The managers should ensure that the people or teams they manage:

Know and understand what is expected of them.

Have the skills necessary to deliver on these expectations.

Are supported by the organization to develop the capacity to meet these expectations.

Are given feedback on performance.

Have the opportunity to discuss and contribute to individual and team aims and objectives.

The differences between them as summed by Armstrong and Baron [xvii] are set up in Table 1.1

Performance Appraisal

Performance Management

Top Down Assessment

Joint Process through dialogue

Annual Appraisal Meeting

Continuous review with one or more formal reviews

Use of ratings

Rating less common

Monolithic system

Flexible process

Focus on quantified objectives

Focus on values and behaviours as well as objectives

Often linked to pay

Less likely to be a direct link to pay

Bureaucratic- complex paperwork

Documentation kept to minimum

Owned by the Hr department

Owned by line manager