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Performance Appraisal is a really important part of a manager's responsibilities and should always be taken seriously. In larger organisations, performance appraisal can be taken for granted and is just done as a standard procedure and filed away until the next review which means none of the information gathered can be put to use effectively and makes the task a waste of time. If done correctly, performance appraisal can be really beneficial to the employer and to the employee. For the employer, they can assess the performance of individuals and see how well they're getting on with tasks set to them, if the employee is superior to his colleagues, for example, a pay rise may be in order whereas if he is inferior to his colleagues training may be needed. The appraisal may bring to light how well the employee is getting on in his section and if a promotion may be needed or even a transfer in some cases. For the employee, it's a career development exercise. He can bring to light where he wants to go on from there and how the company can help him do that. For example, if the employee wants to be promoted or move up in the organisation, the appraisal can help him set objectives and make a path to follow so he can achieve his goals. The appraisal will clarify his job and the duties and tasks that he has to take care of in case he's doing other people's jobs or not doing enough. The employee will become aware of his own potential and what he is capable of.
Performance appraisal should leave a positive impact on the employee and if done properly should contribute to the overall welfare of the organisation. It can increase productivity and performance through out the company. Most individuals find it comforting to take a 'time out' from the busy work day to concentrate on their own job and get the recognition they deserve for their work efforts. In this time, the manager can learn about the employees hopes and fears relating to the job. It can help raise self-esteem and motivate employees to do better but above all it strenghtens the managerial / subordinate relationship which is very important. The employee takes honour in knowing the organisation is genuinely interested in his development.
There are a range of different performance appraisal methods. Ranking is one of the oldest methods, it's done by the appraiser ranking employees from best to worst according to overall job performance. It's a simple process that appears to be the easiest method and is quite useful for a comparative evaluation. It isn't the best basis for decisions though as it doesn't factor in all characteristics of the individuals; i.e. an employee who is more outgoing but less qualified.
Paired comparison is a better technique than ranking because it compares two employess each time to see who is superior. This is a more detailed approach but it can be very difficult with large numbers of people in an organisation. Rating of employees is when the appraiser looks at the individuals and sees who has the relevant characteristics. It can be a easy way to look at employees and compare them to ideal characteristics but it's a subjective process and can be tricky to measure personality traits.
The Critical Incident method is a time consuming process in which the appraiser writes down the positive and negative behaviour as the basis for assessment which can be difficult because negative behaviour will always be more prominent and isn't a fair basis on measuring how the actual job is done.
Free Form Appraisal is a more flexible method where the appraiser will write up an evaluation of the employee and give examples of his work to back up the information. It's a detailed approach but its hard to judge because the appraiser may be biased.
The Assessment Centre method is where the employee goes through a number of interviews and tests to see how far they have come and to get a detailed analysis of the individual which can be beneficial but can often be expensive and is not always job specific.
Self Assessment is where the employee evaluates himself using certain formats which can give him a chance to participate and get his point across but this may often lead to conflict between employee and appraiser.
Performance/ objective-oriented systems involve the appraiser setting the employee objectives and then seeing how the objectives are met. This is a more popular method as it's job-related, participative and generally meets objectives. It concentrates more on what must be accomplished rather than how its accomplished.
360 Degree Feedback is where the appraisee receives anonymous reports from all different sources including supervisors and peers in which he will get detailed analysis of his work and how he can improve on it, in some circumstances customers or suppliers may be involved.
3.2 Behavioural Theory:
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This is a motivational theory in which Maslow states that people's physiological needs are what motivate them to do anything. If a manager can learn exactly what an employee needs, then he can motivate them by promising them, for a greater work effort, what they need.
3.2.1 Safety: The need to feel safe secure and protected at all times in the work area and at home, also to have stability and order so for instance a permanent contract of work for job security or paid health insurance to feel protected. Health and safety at work also makes the individual feel safe.
3.2.2 Social: The need for friendship and love, all humans have the need for friendship and in an organisation managers can motivate people by having social nights out, teamwork, staff trips, and social clubs. All employees can socialise with each other in these outlets and boost staff moral.
3.2.3 Esteem: All humans have the need to be respected and to have self-esteem and self-respect, everybody needs to be accepted and valued by others. Promotion is the main motivation to this need along with awards, praise and perks. In my opinion promotion is the biggest motivational tool because its complete recognition for all your hard work and lets everyone know that as well. With promotion you usually have more responsibilities and with this meets new challenges that you can overcome.
"What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualizationâ€¦It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."
Self-Actualisation is the need to be the best at what you're doing all the time and to achieve all that you are capable of, in a business sense, a manager may motivate people by offering extra training or perhaps shares in a business or more commonly an extra bonus for outstanding work.
3.3 Behavioural Theory & HRM
3.3.1 Bershka is a clothes shop belonging to the Spanish Inditex group, which is one of the biggest fashion retailers in the world. It has over 600 stores in 42 countries with sales of over 1.1 billion euro, representing 10% of the total revenues of the Inditex group.
I work in Bershka, at the Jervis Shopping Centre, as a cashier which means all my duties are behind the cashdesk. I have more responsibility than the sales assistants and my role also requires more training. Performance apprasials are a common thing in Bershka with one done about every six months. It's done between a manager and the employee in an office, with the manager asking the employee certain questions almost like an interview, for example 'What sort of training/experience would benefit you in the next year?' or 'What elements of your job do you find most difficult?'. Although you have no time to prepare perfect anwers for the manager, I think it's better that way, so that you can really communicate on what issues you have with the job or what training you think you need.
In my last performance apprasial I suggested that I have more training in certain aspects of the cashdesk because new software was installed on the systems before the Christmas period and because it was so busy, I didn't have adequate training. I felt uncomfortable when I was asked to use it but due to the apprasial, I was able to explain that and get the sufficient training that I needed. Also in my apprasial, I was told that they wanted to invite the cashiers to know more about the fashion collections on the floor so that when I had spare time in work, I could ask a manager about the current collections or to show me them and point out key items. This would keep me informed instead of having to ask a sales assistant when a customer approached me. This way I'd be more confident knowing about the stock on the floor and if customers had a queries when they arrived to at the cashdesk, I could answer it instead of having to wait for a sales assistant.
3.3.2 In my opinion Performance Apprasials are an excellent idea and have a positive effect on the organisation. Bershka isn't that big a shop, employing around 35 people, but because it is so busy, there is not that much time for apprasials so one can only be done every six months. However, as staff turnover would be high enough due to the nature of retail, perhaps management feels six months is sufficient time. In my recent apprasial, I was rather happy with the result as I got the training I asked for. I had more motivation then to learn more things about the cashdesk and even about the collections on the floor because I saw that they were genuinely interested in my performance in the store and were willing to help me so that I would be more confident in my daily duties and in the new ones I had acquired with my extra training. I also felt more respected now that they trusted me with extra tasks and because I was able to do these well, I was offered more hours to work during the week. I was motivated to learn new things while I was working during the week and get more involved in the shop and watch how efficiently it was run.
4.1 In summary, Performance Apprasials are an excellent source of learning if carried out correctly. They are essential for the effective management and evaluation of staff. They clarify the duties and tasks that are set for staff and let the employees know that the employers are genuinely interested in the development of their staff and want them to achieve the goals and objectives set out.
The motivational theory from Maslow stated that employees can be motivated to work harder if the manager can satisfy their physiological needs. For example, I was motivated to learn more and work more when I got more hours to work during the week.
5.1 The only thing I would recommend for Bershka would be to have a performance apprisal every three months to make it more efficient. Due to the nature of retail, the staff turnover would be quite high and because of this I feel some employees mightn't be able to experience an appraisal so that if they were having problems within the shop, unless they approached the manager, they wouldn't really have an outlet to discuss where they could maybe improve in their daily duties or if they needed extra training.
5.2 I also feel that Bershka could improve on the safety part of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I think that the Health and Safety training should be reviewed every three months just so that all the employees would have the training fresh in their memory in case of emergency. I think it's a really important part of working that sometimes is taken for granted. In my opinion employees would be more motivated if they knew the organisation were more interested in their Health and Safety at work.