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Effects of Performance Evaluation Systems on Employee Morale - Research Paper Example

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This paper will look into theories and explanations as to why performance evaluation systems are important in boosting employee satisfaction or morale in most work settings. Discussion will center on are Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Expectancy theory, Goal-Setting theory, Acquired Needs theory, Equity theory, Job Characteristics theory…
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Effects of Performance Evaluation Systems on Employee Morale
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Download file to see previous pages In human resources management, morale is defined as “the extent to which an employee’s needs are met ant the extent to which the person perceives that satisfaction as stemming from his or her total job situation; (it is) synonymous with satisfaction”. Job satisfaction and employee motivation are two of the more important concerns of the human resource function in any organization as most of these recognize, that its people are its most important resources. Therefore it is to their ultimate advantage to take care and provide for the needs of their employees. People’s needs are of course determined by different sources and these needs variously control their motivations or the driving forces behind their behaviors. In the study of employee morale therefore, the theories on motivation could be useful to explain this psychological construct.
One of the most influential theories upon which many managers base their performance management approach is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. As people engage in activities that increase their satisfaction, the study of Maslow’s theory becomes important as it explains what particular needs people are trying to gratify through their pursuits. The theory proposes that there are five levels of needs, namely, physiological or the need for food, shelter, water, clothing and other biological needs; security or the need to for protection and safety; belongingness or the need for affection and love; esteem or the need for recognition either from himself or from others; and the highest need of self-actualization which is the desire for self-fulfillment. Maslow emphasizes that the needs in the lower rungs of the hierarchy should be met first before an individual can satisfy the higher level needs. This theory has important implications to management as it points out clearly which needs are to be met and provided at which stage at work and which could be used to motivate them (Jones, 2007). The need for esteem in particular relates to the need of employees to be recognized for their accomplishments, expertise, or skills. If an employee is motivated by this particular need, then providing timely and constructive feedback on how he does at work may encourage him to give a better performance. Another prominent theory on employee motivation is Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory which argues that employees will be more motivated to work if they believe that their efforts will lead to higher performance and that this better performance will result to more rewards (Jones (2007). It means then that if an employee will be provided knowledge about his past performance, he can gauge the likeliness of his success or failure in a future or similar task. Performance evaluation systems should be sensitive then to detect low performance so that managers can provide encouragement and the necessary support like coaching or training to underperforming employees. In the same vein, if the evaluation results show that an employee is performing very well at work, then managers’ congratulatory notes can boost the employee’s morale and self-confidence in his abilities and success at work. Psychologists Henry Murray and David McClelland introduced the Acquired Needs Theory which posits that individuals obtain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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