Performance appraisals, also known as performance evaluations, performance reviews, or employee appraisals, refer to whatever method is used by a manager, supervisor, or owner of a business to evaluate the employees that business. Performance appraisals are considered to be an essential aspect of career development and typically occur at regular times throughout the year, or on an annual basis, as determined by the employer.
Usually, performance appraisals are performed using some type of objective measure (although the measures themselves may still be dictated using subjective means within an objective, standardized format) and are designed, theoretically, to assess an individual employee's productivity and job performance. In addition to the employee's productivity at their specific job, they are also typically reviewed in relation to their ability to operate as a team, fit into the organizational culture, assess their own strengths and weaknesses, establish expectations for job performance in the future, and identify future potential within the business. When possible, there are several types of reviews that may be considered in determining a performance appraisal: judgmental evaluations that use varying levels of subjective assessment, personnel issues (as typically identified by Human Resources or direct supervisors), peer reviews, objective production (such as the number of cars sold, or number of objects produced), and more.
Historically, most organizations perform employee evaluations on an annual basis, as well as within the first 3 to 6 months of a new employee's tenure with the company. Some companies are moving toward shorter cycle appraisals to more rapidly identify areas of concern or potential problems with the employee or their job performance. Still others are getting rid of traditional performance appraisals altogether, due to the numerous flaws in the evaluation process. One of the many things you will do in this course is identify the challenges presented in various performance appraisal methods, and how to make each method optimal as an effective tool of management.
The traditional employer-given reason for performance appraisals tends to focus on the idea of measuring an employee's success and performance in their job. Nevertheless, there are multiple aspects to this process and they are not all as cut and dried (or even positive) as it may seem. Other reasons for performance evaluations include improving communication between employers and employees, clarifying and communicating expectations of supervisors and managers, providing an "official" avenue for documenting problems with the employee's performance, identifying motivational tools and techniques, promoting trust and an open relationship between employees and their supervisors, and setting goals for the future -- typically including both goals to effectively address problem areas, as well as identify the potential of future success and company growth. Because performance evaluations have become standard, employees may not always be aware of the multitude of purposes and intents their employer may have when performing evaluations.
Likewise, performance appraisals seem to be an excellent idea in concept - especially when they contain some level of feedback regarding the supervisors and managers, as well as lower-level employees. Of course, anyone being evaluated tends to feel anxious or nervous regarding the evaluation, but these are hardly the only reasons that some employees choose not to utilize performance appraisals. Although your next lesson will go into more detail regarding specific concerns and tips on how to mitigate those situations, in general some people do not support the idea of performance appraisals, because they believe they are inherently flawed and incapable of measuring what they claim to measure, that they may be misused by management to get rid of an employee for reasons that may not be legitimate, or that they encourage managers and supervisors to wait to address issues, rather than solving problems as they arise. Essentially, for every positive aspect of performance appraisals, there can be a negative aspect, as well.
As an employer, if you want to learn about performance appraisals to ensure they are being used effectively in your place of business, or you are concerned that perhaps their current use is not without significant flaws, throughout this course you'll learn to evaluate not only your business as a whole, but also your management team and the rest of your staff. You'll also be asked to consider some of your own decisions, motivations, and capacity for change. Above all, it is important that you recognize that whatever measures you put your employees through, you should be willing to experience them, as well. Although you may be using a different kind of standard, and certainly your job description will be different, it is nevertheless important that you don't subject your employees to something you are unwilling to experience yourself.
For employers, performance appraisals can serve many purposes that will help you better manage your staff and company, saving you money, time, and other finite resources that can help your company be more successful. Above all, performance appraisals will allow you to identify areas and individuals that need improvement, and help you communicate effectively with your staff, so they understand your expectations. That said, it is very important that you hold up your end of the bargain - that is, you ensure that appraisals are being done correctly, offer constructive criticism, and allow the time and effort on behalf of managers and supervisors to accurately determine the strengths and weaknesses of each member of their staff. Moreover, you should expect and allow for employee feedback -- not only about their own evaluation, but to participate in an evaluation of their supervisors, as well. If you can do these things through a performance appraisal, you can successfully improve your team and better your company as a whole (as well as increase your bottom line).
As an employee, this course will help you better understand the perspective of management and give you some ideas as to how to handle difficult situations that arise in performance evaluations. Although the way your company manages employee appraisals may be deeply flawed, or even unfair, this course is not about empowering you to take legal action against your employers; you certainly may do so, especially if you believe they are using illegal methods to hire and fire individuals, but we simply are not acting as legal advice in this course. Nevertheless, we can help you learn what to expect when it comes to your own performance appraisal, what you can do to encourage better performance appraisals within your company, how to effectively give feedback and constructive criticism as part of the appraisal process, and more.
As an employee, it may sometimes seem as though performance appraisals are only designed to criticize you and the job you are doing, rather than act as a constructive tool. Thankfully, you do have some control over this. Even when dealing with an ineffective, or simply difficult manager, you can help steer the appraisal into being something purposeful - although it may not change the written appraisal itself (at least the part of it if that human resources and management keep records of), but it can nevertheless help you gain some understanding of what your supervisor is looking for. Depending on the method of performance appraisals used by your management, chances are that at some point you will have the opportunity to provide comments or feedback, particularly regarding your own appraisal. You can use this opportunity to correct or clarify any issues that have been addressed by management or human resources. Although you may dread when it's time for performance reviews, you can also make the best of the situation by using the opportunity to address changes you would like to make, your future with the company, and any other issues you may not feel as free to address at other times.
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- Accredited CEUs
- Define what a performance appraisal is
- Summarize potential benefits and problems of performance appraisals.
- Describe traditional judgmental evaluations.
- Describe peer and self-evaluations.
- Describe traditional performance appraisals alternatives.
- Describe performance appraisals in non-traditional work settings.
- Describe legal, career, and cultural implications of performance appraisals.
- Prepare for performance appraisals.
- Identify alternatives to performance appraisals.
- Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
|An Introduction||1 points|
|Lesson 1 Exam||10 points|
|Lesson 2 Assignment||2 points|
|Lesson 2 Exam||10 points|
|Lesson 3 Exam||10 points|
|Lesson 4 Exam||10 points|
|Lesson 5 Assignment||2 points|
|Lesson 5 Exam||8 points|
|Lesson 6 Exam||10 points|
|Lesson 7 Assignment||2 points|
|Lesson 7 Exam||8 points|
|Lesson 8 Exam||9 points|
|Lesson 9 Assignment||2 points|
|Lesson 9 Exam||10 points|
|Lesson 10 Exam||7 points|
|The Final Exam||50 points|