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Performance Evaluation

Performance Evaluation
Introduction
Different companies evaluate its workers differently. Some organizations base the evaluation on the quality of the tasks that the employees are assigned against job description. Others use the behavior of employees at the workplace and towards the customers. Furthermore, some organizations use traits such as attitude of employees in evaluating employee performance.
The company main points of concern with regard to the company’s current evaluation form are friendliness, workspace neatness, and attitude. Friendliness as performance evaluation criteria assesses performance of employee with respect to the relationships among the company employees. The company evaluates it workers by analyzing the how friendly an employee is to other employees at the workplace. Workers who are unfriendly to other worker are graded low on the friendship scale.
The workspace neatness of the employees is also considered as during the performance evaluation. The company assesses the general neatness of employees’ workspace. Workers who have neat/clean and well organized workspaces rated highly on the neatness scale and those with cluttered, disorganized, and un-neat workspace are rated low on the neatness scale. Finally, the company uses worker traits such as attitude in the performance evaluation. Employee personality and attitude towards co-workers and the supervisors is considered by the evaluating managers. Positive attitude to co-workers and supervisor coupled with respect for the supervisor attracts high performance rating. On the other hand, poor attitude towards co-workers and supervisors or managers is rated low during the performance evaluation of the company of employee.
Employee performance evaluation is a complex thing that should not be ignored. There are circumstances under which performance evaluations are thought to be unfair and biased by employees. Employees are more concerned by with the quality of the evaluation in consideration that the process affects their promotion and increases in salaries. Therefore, companies today have placed emphasis on performance evaluation criteria that are fair and unbiased at the same time (Robbins, 2009). The most commonly used sets of evaluation criteria in performance evaluation include trait, behavior, and job results. Traits that are related to job performance are evaluated. According to Robbins, such traits include employee aggressiveness, attitude, reliability, initiative, and personality. Employee behavior can be rated as being effective or ineffective. Organizations rate behavior as either being effective or ineffective depending on results that the behavior produces. Finally, job results are evaluated by ascertaining the quality of job results performed by an employee (Robbins, 2009).
Traits criteria have a relative value in the determination of performance based on the traits of employees as compared to behavior evaluation that values the dimension that are specific to certain behavior of individual. The behavior and task criteria have the value of clearly bringing out the actual importance of job success to the managers. The common value of the criteria is to enable the management to plan for the proper job performance outlines (Robbins, 2009).
 
Advantages and disadvantages of including supervisors, peers, and subordinates in performance evaluation
360-degree feedback is a performance evaluation method that utilizes feedbacks from multi-sources. There are a number of advantages that come with including supervisors, peers, and subordinates in performance evaluation. Firstly, inclusion of peers, subordinates, and supervisors helps managers to get performance feedbacks from a different source thereby eliminating bias that is usually present from single sources (Armstrong, 2012). Additionally, employees, managers, supervisors are become aware of their competences and how relevant they are to the organization. It also gives the subordinates and supervisors “a more rounded view of their performance” (Armstrong 2012) thereby contributing to improvements. At the same time, the feedbacks the inclusion of supervisors, peers, and subordinates in performance evaluation helps an individual to understand how they are perceived by their fellow colleagues at the present time as compared to previous periods. Furthermore, performance results that are generated by allowing the participation of subordinates, peers, and supervisors have greater validity as compared to self rating (Armstrong, 2012).
On the other hand, the including of peers, subordinates, and supervisors has some disadvantages. The whole process is bureaucratic and therefore, may undermine the process of performance evaluation (Armstrong, 2012). On top of, this whole process may not produce the best feedbacks as expected since some people do not give genuine and frank feedbacks regarding the issues in question and participants may be biased in their assessments. The process may also result stress and low morale among some individual on receiving the feedbacks of the evaluation. Finally, the whole process does not institute follow-up actions after the feedbacks have been revealed (Armstrong, 2012).
Performance evaluation method comparison
After collecting the performance data organizations usually analyze the data using different methods. The three most commonly used methods are graphical rating scale, Behavioral anchored rating scale (BARS), and employee comparison method   (Schermerhorn, 2012). Employee comparison method ranks the performance of employee by comparing employees to each other. The ranking takes different forms such as alteration ranking and paired comparison. Alternate assessment simple compares employee to one idle employee who receives highest ranking. The other employee’s are ranked from the second best to the worst performer. Paired ranking requires assessors to compare each employee in the group, and the each employee count is calculated into percentages that are finally used to rank the employee (Schermerhorn, 2012).
Graphical rating scale rates employee performance on different dimensions. The rating scale can use numbers or adjectives to rate the performance. The rating scale under this method is marked from task performance being unsatisfactory to being outstanding. For instance, employee performance can be put on a scale of 1 (one) to ten (10) whereby adjectives such as satisfactory, above average, average, and unsatisfactory are used to describe the quality of task performance (Schermerhorn, 2012).
 
Behavioral anchored rating scale (BARS) rates the desired behaviors that are necessary for successful performance of tasks. Assessors are required to assess employees and rate them according to different job performance dimensions with respect to their behaviors (Schermerhorn, 2012). The rating of behavior can either be poor, average or excellent. The rating scale is anchored on each dimension of the behaviors that are related to a certain job performance.
On a comparison of the three methods, there are a lot of similarities between Behavioral anchored rating scale (BARS), and graphical rating scale. These two methods utilize the use of a rating scale on which assessors are required to assess a specific task or behavior that is relevant to job performance. The assessor then rate employees on the scale according the how the employee meets the rating criteria. Employee comparison differs slightly from the other two methods because it is only comparing employee performance without tying it to a specific job dimension (Schermerhorn, 2012). On contrast graphical rating scale use numbers to rate task quality and adjectives to describe performance whereas BARS specific job behavior performance level is anchored by job dimension, and the process is more complex than graphical rating scale. Graphical rating scale and BARS can rate employee performance across different departments within the organization whereas employee comparison method can not be sufficiently used to rate all organization staffs performance. For instance, an employee may be ranked high in one department, but when ranked in another department he or she might not be among the top five (Schermerhorn, 2012).
 
Performance evaluation biases and errors
Performance evaluation is plagued with a number of biases and errors. The major biases are the performance evaluations are political bias, gender bias, recent negative incidents, and relationships outside the workplace between employees and assessors (International Association of Fire Chiefs, 2010)). The common errors in performance evaluation are biases, lack of performance follow-ups, negative approaches, untruthful feedbacks, and excessive leniency and severity (International Association of Fire Chiefs, 2010).
Improving performance evaluation
In order to eliminate the biases and errors in performance and evaluation the organization need to use a number of techniques to improve the whole process. The organizations should consider using interactive technique whereby the assessors seek input about the evaluation from employees and managers. Employees should be asked to provide their self assessments which are included in the final report by the assessors. The employee should also involve employees in the developing of the evaluation plan (Hale, 2007).
The second technique is the development and feedback technique whereby an organization makes performance reviews, conducts performance follow-up, and offers checklists to employees (Hale, 2007). The purpose of all these is to eliminate the errors that occur due to lack of follow-up and regular feedbacks. Furthermore, one-sided technique can be used where after the supervisor has finished writing an evaluation report discuses it with employees to help eliminate errors before submitting the report (Hale, 2007).
Conclusion
Performance evaluation is a very important subject for any organization that wants to maximize and change employee behavior at the workplace. Organizations should realize the importance of performance evaluation by embracing evaluation techniques that ensure the whole process is free from any biases and errors. By developing an interactive performance appraisal, the organization shall reap the benefits that are associated with efficient and effective job performance.

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