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The best means of staff appraisal: management and employee perceptions - Dissertation Example

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Personal development is a necessary element for both personnel and organizational benefits.Performance appraisals are the best means of identifying the training needs of staff, evaluating the standards of staff performance …
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Research Proposal The best means of staff appraisal: management and employee perceptions. Objectives: The objective of this study is to take an investigative approach to research the various staff appraisal systems available and implemented within the business arena. A study will then be undertaken in order to determine management and employee perceptions on the effectiveness of such systems. Research Question: What is the most effective means of staff appraisal? It is envisaged that this research will contribute to the existing body of research literature in relation to staff appraisal systems and theories used within the workplace, and has the potential to provide suggestions for future appraisal systems that take both management and employee perspectives into account and thus foster best opportunities and maximum efficiency and effectiveness of personnel. Background Personal development is a necessary element for both personnel and organizational benefits. Performance appraisals are the best means of identifying the training needs of staff, evaluating the standards of staff performance, determining salaries and advancements and detecting any factors that impinge on staff effectiveness. An effective appraisal system is one that considers cultural values (Feng, Foster & Heling, n.d.), that is perceived by staff as being fair and acceptable, that is a reciprocal cooperation between staff and management and one that is appropriate to daily duties (Duraisingam & Skinner, 2005). Such a system fosters staff satisfaction and motivation. Kavanagh, Benson & Brown (2007) discuss theoretical support for performance appraisal processes and explain that such support is evidenced in ‘control theory and social exchange theory’ (p.134). Process control theory proposes that staff perceptions of fairness are related to the degree of control each employee is able to employ within the process (Konovsky, 2000, p.493 cited in Kavanagh, Benson & Brown, 2007). Social exchange theory on the other hand, refers to ‘relationships that entail unspecified future obligations’ (Kavanagh, Benson & Brown, 2007, p. 134), wherein the way management treat employees is of significance. Fairness therefore, may be perceived in relation to the amount of control an employee has within the process and the way in which their appraiser handles the process. Diversity impacts to a great extent on the appropriacy of the way in which the performance appraisal is carried out and therefore requires deep consideration as to how best accommodate diversity among employees. There are a number of appraisal methods available, such as those based on ratings and those based on comparisons with objectives, wherein a staff member and his or her supervisor or manager collaboratively decide on a set of objectives and appraisal is then centered on the level to which the objectives have been attained. This method of appraisal, based on staff accomplishment, provides opportunity for input from the employee and is thus more objective than the rating method (Acas, 2005). Critical incidents appraisal requires the manager or supervisor to take stock (record) of both an employee’s positive and negative behaviour over a specific time period. At the time of occurrence the manager or supervisor provides either approval or guidance and advice. The record of such occurrences is kept and used as the focus of the employee’s appraisal statement (Acas, 2005). The Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS) is a rating scale based on specific tasks or aspects of a job. Managers are required to ascertain a list of activities or aspects of an employee’s job (similar to a job description) and determine what represents poor, average or good performance for each. Each aspect is given a value rating and once developed the managers or supervisors rate the individual employee according to the scale and his specific job (Acas, 2005). It is the intention of this study to explore a variety of factors related to staff appraisal systems; it is assumed that such factors can be brought to the foreground by examining perceptions as to the effectiveness of the systems by both management and staff. Methodology This study aims to take a qualitative approach to determine management and employee perceptions (sampling number to be determined) and will combine one-to one semi-structured and in-depth interviews and focus groups. Interviews have been selected because they allow the interviewer more flexibility in terms of changing direction within the interview, allowing the interviewee to steer the focus, whereby emerging themes may appear (Bryman & Bell, 2007). The focus group method of attaining data has been selected because it allows staff to come together and share their points of view and perceptions of our performance appraisals. This group interviewing provides a less stressful process for those who may feel intimidated in a one-to one interview. All interviews will be recorded for later analysis. References Acas, (2005). Employee Appraisal, Retrieved from http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/o/q/B07_1.pdf Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2007). Business research methods. New York: Oxford University. Duraisingam, V. & Skinner, N. (2005). Performance Appraisal. In Skinner, N. Roche, A., O’Connor, J., Pollard, Y. & Todd, C. (eds.), Workforce Development TIPS (Theory Into Practice Strategies): A Resource Kit for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Field. National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. Retrieved from http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/o/q/B07_1.pdf Feng, Y., Foster, S. & Heling, G. (n.d.). Study on the impact of societal cultural orientations on employee performance evaluation practices in business organization: the case of China. Retrieved from http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fweb2.msm.nl%2Fnews%2Farticles%2F050707papers%2F0211_Feng_Foster_Heling.PDF&rct=j&q=Study%20on%20the%20impact%20of%20societal%20cultural%20orientations%20on%20employee%20performance%20evaluation%20practices%20in%20business%20organization%3A%20the%20case%20of%20China.&ei=jSCuTfvvJIeIvgPF28WPDw&usg=AFQjCNGWdiQGX2Kwhf7y83eaACErNpaglw&cad=rjt Kavanagh, P., Benson, J. & Brown, M. (2007). Understanding performance appraisal fairness, Aisa Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 45 (2): 132-150, Retrieved from Questia. Read More
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