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Introduction to Decision Making - Essay Example

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The matchmaking company's performance review problems stemmed from the most common failures of performance reviews. First of all, the reviews were given without a clear and concise purpose. The managers must be clear on why the review is given. Is it to rate the employee's past performance To improve productivity Is it a feedback form to HR or training The answer can not be all of the above…
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Introduction to Decision Making
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Performance Reviews The matchmaking company's performance review problems stemmed from the most common failures of performance reviews. First of all, the reviews were given without a clear and concise purpose. The managers must be clear on why the review is given. Is it to rate the employee's past performance To improve productivity Is it a feedback form to HR or training The answer can not be all of the above. The manager and the employee must both be clear on the review's intent and it must be focused.
The review must also be void of "recency". It must encompass the entire rating period equally and not just recent events that the manager recalls. Managers should have ongoing discussions and communications with employees and should keep records throughout the period to refer to when completing the review.
Another problem that the review process encountered was the subjective nature of the review form. Categories should not use terms that are not defined. "Meets expectations" may hold different meanings for different managers. Rating scales of 1 to 5 may be interpreted differently by different people. If an employee is average do they receive a 2, 3, or 4 The rating scale needs to be based on more objective data and not subjective evaluation.
The review system also needs to eliminate any political gain or loss for the management team. A manager should not be rewarded if his entire team exceeds expectations nor penalized for a poor evaluation. This can be solved by increasing the number of people beyond the immediate supervisor who has input into the review. These may be co-workers, other managers who are in contact with the employee, or peers.
To recap, People.com can improve its performance review system by implementing the following changes.
Develop a clear and focused sense of purpose for the review that is understood by all employees.
Managers should maintain ongoing communications with employees regarding their performance and refer to these records when writing the review.
Review form terms must be accurately defined.
Ratings scales must be based on objective data and not become biased by subjectivity.
Politics must not enter into the manager's decision on the evaluation of an employee.
The review system would benefit from a wider range of input.
The Framing of Decisions
In the example of Milhouse being sold a part, he fell victim to the contrast frame. The salesman was able to compare the success of the company to a can of soda. Milhouse deduced that the success of the company was more important than a can of soda. In comparing the two choices, the part was not considered. Milhouse used the inference of the company's success to represent the part. The salesman had manipulated Milhouse by taking him into this process a step at a time.
Milhouse could have reframed his decision by realistically evaluating how much money or downtime the part would save the company. The question then may have been framed as, "Is it worth $120 a year to save the company $75 in maintenance costs" In all likelihood when purchasing reviewed the order for the part they reframed it as, "Why are we spending $400 for a $200 part" The question will be framed by the self-interest of the parties involved. The salesman will attempt to frame it to his benefit, purchasing will frame it with an eye on expenses.
Framing a question can be used to elicit a desirable response or to sway an opinion. Political polling will frame a question to impact a person's stand on an issue without really caring about their answer. Framing draws the person away from rational judgment and into the area of fallacy, which can create an ethical dilemma if it is done to intentionally deceive. If the salesman truly believed that the part would contribute to the success of the company, he should try to convince Milhouse of its value. However, if it is self-serving manipulation, it can result in a moral shortcoming and negatively impact the relationship of the people involved.
References Consulted
Bacal, R. (2003). Manager's Guide to Performance Reviews. Blacklick, OH: McGraw-Hill Trade.
Rhodes, K. (1997). Three Framed Victims. Retrieved January 5, 2007, from http://www.workingpsychology.com/3victim.html
Stroh, L. (2002). Organizational Behavior : A Management Challenge. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates. Read More
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