Employee performance appraisals are no longer novel practices in the human resource management field. According to Arthur Sherman, George Bohlander and Scott Snell, employee performance appraisals have been around since the nineteenth century and were routinely administered to federal employees in the United States (303). The activity gained considerable commendation enough to make it increasingly popular both among small and large, and public and private organizations.
It was not until after World War II, however, that performance appraisal became widespread and became accepted as a regular part of organization check-up and maintenance (Bohlander). Longenecker and Goff, on the other hand, summarized the oft-cited purposes of performance appraisals in literature. As stated by them, performance appraisals are used to motivate employees, provide a basis for salary or wage dispensation, facilitate discussion regarding employee concerns, provide data for human resource decision and serve as communication tool of managers towards their employees.
Performance appraisals are response to the ever more competitive pressures in the nature of employment (Murphy and Marguiles 2). There are various other functions of performance appraisals explained in literatures, yet overall, they generally refer to the fulfilment of administrative as well as development purposes. I was able to get an interview from the Middle Manager of a firm and I was able to get her opinion regarding their policies in the company and how she treats her people.
She explained furthermore that she employs performance appraisal as a logical part of running their organization, and a means of appraising, developing and maximizing the knowledge and abilities of employees—the organization’s greatest wealth. It is a basic part of managing human resource in that most practitioners consider it an indispensable part of maintaining or improving organizational effectiveness.
Emily McGregor, a Human Resource Deputy Manager of the _____________ stated that the main objective of their performance appraisals is to provide logical judgments so that they can back-up salary increases, promotions, transfers, and terminations. She also mentioned that performance appraisals are tools of informing a subordinated about the quality of his work and how he can improve in the areas that need change. Lastly, she emphasized that performance appraisals are venues where coaching or counselling sessions between a boss and a subordinate can take place.
Those were great words, I guess, and I was awed at the keen intellect this woman possesses. During the course of the interview I was able to record the exact words she said such that I got to listen to it again and looked at how her comments were person-centered or position-centered. When one shifts from talking about the topic to talking about the person, then she is engaging in person-centered comments. These comments are more often than not, negative ones. Also, the shift can result from a most reasonable discussion into a bitter argument. Most of these focus on the word “You.
” I also got to look at how she engaged in position-centered communication which emphasized rules and norms that apply regardless of whether or how others are affected by the behavior. The manager told me that she has slowly developed specific communication strategies that help in conflict management and resolution. Her early learning experiences seem to establish the more generalizable patterns she has used in later years. She states, “As I watch and hear my parents manage their own interpersonal and intrapersonal, I have slowly learned through imitation.
Moreover, my conflicts are inevitable in any management methods used in these conflicts set patterns for later development. In the course of coping with these conflicts, I have reinforced certain coping styles, often on a partial reinforcement schedule. Thus, I am reinforced for compliance while others are reinforced for defiance, some for cooperation and some for the expression of hostility, some for disengagement. ” Thus, she continued by saying that she confronted one of her supervisors who was not doing well with her job even after several confrontations.
I told her, ‘When we hired you for this job, I was emphatic in letting you know that we are a struggling small company. If you are not successful in bringing in cash, we night as well not be able to make payroll and our other expenses. ” Thus, after some time, I found out that there was no more motivated collection person than an employee who was convinced that every non-paying debtor is keeping food out of the mouths of her babies. Certainly, hiring someone to manage receivables and make sure people got paid was a fabulous way to improve cash flow.
But other tricks can be used over the past years which have also achieved substantial success. For example, Ms. McGregor can be ruthless about cash management. All expenditures must be justified and “smart. ” All large purchases must include some measure of bargaining or looking for the best deal. ” She tells me that she would tell her people about simply denying credit. She said that as a practice they just simply deny credit on smaller orders. They were willing to lose some customers to make sure that they were fully paid.
Looking closely at this interview, one is able to pinpoint the person-centered comments which she used. She comments again when she said that “If you are not successful in bringing in cash, we night as well not be able to make payroll and our other expenses. ” She was actually stating a fact, but this seemed emphatic and too direct as if the person to whom she was saying it to was to blame for the small cash collections. Her other comments though, were a little bit more position-centered as he told the employee in an objective way that, “All expenditures must be justified and “smart.
” All large purchases must include some measure of bargaining or looking for the best deal. ” REFERENCES Longenecker, Clinton and Nick Nykodym. “Public Sector Performance Appraisal Effectiveness:A Case Study. ”Public Personnel Management. 25(1996) Longenecker, Clinton and Stephen Goff. “Performance Appraisal Effectiveness: A Matter of Perspective. ”Management Journal. 57(1992) Murphy, Terrence and Joyce Margulies. “Performance Appraisals. ” ABA Employment law Section. Proc. Of Equal Employment Opportunity Committee Mid-Winter Meeting. 24-27 Mar 2004.