Saturday, March 30, 2013

Performance Reviews

By: Ido Saltarelli

     Performance reviews are used in almost every industry and it is virtually guaranteed that you will be the reviewer and the reviewed at one time or another. Often times performance appraisals fall on the shoulders of Human Resource professionals, but supervisors sometimes administer them. Misiak, (2010) states that an “Appraisal is one of the most important tools in the management of human resources. However, made in an inappropriate way, it can be harmful rather than useful.” My goal is to shed some light on the importance of well managed and ethical performance reviews.

     Employees should be viewed as an investment for the company rather than an expense. (Schraeder, Jordan 2011) This means that an organization should care for its employees. Money, time and intangible resources have been used to acquire an employee, so the employee should be given clear guidance on what is expected of them and guidance on how to further their career. This will in turn benefit the company. The company holds the obligation of employment and leadership of an individual that works for them. (Priest, 1998)

     The way reviews are approached should be determined by management and HR professionals, in order to determine the objective of the reviews. Reviews should have an appraisal system so the employee can see how he/she is preforming. For example a numeric system 1-5, 1 being out standing 5 needs improvement.(Misiak, 2010) Appraisals should be managed by a set of rules that are outlined for everyone to know. Employees should have input in the appraising system. Doing this allows employees to know what to expect and have a say in their review. (Misiak, 2010) A worker should know what is expected of them. Not just in daily tasks but as an overall view of how they are preforming. The Reviewer can, if there are short comings in performance that need to be corrected, convey what is not being done up to standard. Also supervisors should outline, and guide employees on actions that will help resolve the issue. Reviews are can be a meaningful tool for acknowledging positive aspects, work habits or tasks that an employee has accomplished. 

     A Performance review should be scheduled in advance, at least a week. The time and location of the meeting are important. It is not good to schedule a review for 4:45 Friday afternoon. The reviewer should be well prepared, review the employees performance prior to the review. A Performance review should have a clear objective, be 2 sided, and have an open positive atmosphere. (Misiak, 2010) The ethical manager will deal honestly and directly with employees, advising them where they are falling short, how to correct the problem, and the consequence of not correcting it. When appraising an employee’s performance identify any areas of improvement without attacking the employee. It is important to allow the employee to talk about the performance being addressed. (Schraeder, Jordan 2011) For instance if goals were not stated clearly the employee may have had different objectives than managers over the period in review. When conducting a review never compare an individual to another individual. (I.E. “you should try to be more like Mr. Smith”) This would be unethical even if “Mr. Smith” is doing a good job comparing employees may cause resentment.  Instead state the issue and what is expected of the employee in the future. As the review progresses it is important to outline accomplishments and give positive reinforcement. Make sure to outline future goals. Guide employees through this process so that they have expectations in line with the expectations of management. Corporate ethical conduct should be addressed in performance reviews to reinforce the company’s ethical conduct policies. (Schraeder, Jordan 2011) Document appraisals so that they can be reviewed on later appraisals to see if progress has been made and goals have been met. Also the documentation can serve as a written warning in the future if poor performance is not resolved. The review should be conducted to include ways for the employee to manage their career and resolve issues if there are any. As the review comes to an end it is important that both parties are in agreement with the review and the goals that have been laid out.

     Appraisals are an important tool for managers. Reviews are a way for managers to inform workers of how they are performing in the eyes of the management team. Management can reinforce company policies, goals, objectives, and future tasks through this process; Employees can bring grievances, issues, or ideas to the table as well. As documentation is collected from reviews management can use a longitudinal approach to identify and track individuals that strive to continually improve or individuals that are not improving. (Misiak, 2010) These metrics can be used to identify individuals that may not be a right fit for the origination and need to be let go. It is important to have these reviews so the individual has knowledge of short comings and has time to try to remedy them, so that being let go is not a surprise. Employees that perform well can be identified for increased roles of responsibility or promotion. Reviews are an important tool for managers and employees for 2-way communication, and performance metrics. They should be conducted regularly for the benefit for the organization and the employee.

Misiak, S. (2010). Ethical system for employee performance appraisal in practice. Economics & Sociology, 3(2), 101-113,139. Retrieved from
Schraeder, M., & Jordan, M. (2011). Managing performance: A practical perspective on managing employee performance.The Journal for Quality and Participation, 34(2), 4-10. Retrieved from

Priest, J. T. (1998, Oct 30). Ethical terminations. Journal Record. Retrieved from

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