Evolution and Change
The performance appraisal system (PAS), designed primarily to evaluate employees’ performance and to provide them with constructive feedback, should consequently lead to improved employee performance and their enhanced future potential and value to the company. Ultimately, in a well-conducted PAS, the evaluation process can confer on employees many benefits related to their progress in the organization. The appraisal process also serves management in relation to the optimal exploitation of employees’ knowledge and skills, by providing pointers in relation to the employees’ future in the company and, in general, by indicating where management strategy in relation to its employees can be improved as the company moves forwards. A consideration of the number of conferred functions that PAS serves organizations, as described in this chapter, enables managers to see the great potential value in the performance appraisal system. Clearly, the more management defines the goals of the performance appraisal in clear and unambiguous terms, the more likely it can select the appropriate measuring techniques (or performance management strategies) that can be applied to achieving those goals. Defining the goals for which the PAS will be used is critical, not only so that appropriate methodologies will be applied to the execution of the evaluation, but also because these goals can conflict with each other and lead to ambiguous or untenable results (Cleveland, Murphy, and Williams, 1989; Murphy and Cleveland, 1995). In this respect, it is useful for management to make a clear distinction between the possible employments of PAS to further goals related to (1) individual employees’ accountability, in contradistinction to (2) goals related to management’s administrative (developmental) purposes.
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