Eckel Industries: Fine Tuning Performance Appraisal Reports - Essay Example

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The case deals with the different perspectives of the four managers working at Eckel Industries on evaluating performance of subordinates, in the background of the prevalent practice of ‘fine tuning’ reports, subjectively. …
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(your Case Study: Eckel Industries: Fine Tuning Performance Appraisal Reports Case summary The case deals with the different perspectives of the four managers working at Eckel Industries on evaluating performance of subordinates, in the background of the prevalent practice of ‘fine tuning’ reports, subjectively. This practice is being followed by different managers either to punish an employee or to protect one, distorting evaluation of their actual performance. A manager’s subjective preferences negate the benefits of objective appraisal. It is important to limit subjectivity since the higher management depends upon the appraisal reports for a variety of purposes including rewards, punishments, planning for further training and succession plans. Q.1: Perspectives The perspectives of the four managers on ‘fine tuning’ range between extremities – with Max Steadman using the process from a highly subjective perspective to Tom Hamilton being confused even about one’s ability to do an objective appraisal. While Lynne Sims is not averse to use it to help an under-performing employee with temporary personal issues, Jim Coburn, even while questioning its accuracy, is favorable disposed to use fine tuning to reward or punish an employee. (your last name) 2 In my view, performance appraisal and discussing each report with the concerned employee is the most democratic way of giving/receiving feedback, recognizing merit, encouraging better performance and cautioning non-performers, ultimate aim being superior performance of the organization as a whole. Keeping these objectives in mind, I believe that there is little merit in deliberate distortions in the name of fine-tuning. Q.2: Limits It is perhaps more appropriate to answer this question by considering when ‘fine tuning’ an evaluation is acceptable and therefore, arrive at what is not acceptable. Every organization spends considerable time, effort and resources to employ/train a person and hence barring serious recruitment mistakes, each employee is a valuable asset. If marginal positive fine tuning of an employee’s performance report motivates him/her for better performance, it is acceptable. Similarly, if an otherwise strong performer slips temporarily due to personal issues, fine tuning helps that employee to recover faster and perform better as in the earlier periods. Finally, fine tuning in a negative way can be accepted for disciplining a team member who despite being a good individual performer causes conflicts that may lead to overall dip in team performance. Beyond these circumstances, fine tuning that deliberately distorts actual performance to settle scores or to get rid of troublesome employees is unacceptable. Q.3: Remedies Firstly, I would recommend each manager to keep a ‘diary of short notes’ on individual employees’ performance throughout the year – both behavioral and job related. Such diaries help to overcome the problem of memory lapses and help in more accurate/objective evaluation. (your last name) 3 Secondly, I would reemphasize with them the importance of annual evaluation reports for Eckel Industries’ medium and long-term plans on business and employee succession plans. Thirdly, I would argue with the managers that deliberate and unfettered fine tuning of reports would seriously damage the credibility of the company, its employment policies, and its ability to attract/retain new talent. Finally, I would remind them that subjectivity should be tempered by objectivity for the benefit of the company as a whole, rather than individual departmental concerns. (your last name) 4 Bibliography Archer North Associates, “Introduction to performance appraisal”, 2011, web Dattner, B. “Performance appraisal” 2011, web. Read More
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