Performance Planning and Review: Making Employee Appraisals Work

By Richard Rudman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
PLANNING PERFORMANCE

Most appraisal systems put too little emphasis on planning performance— on setting out just what employees are expected to achieve in terms of quantity or quality or time frames, on checking that they have the necessary skills and knowledge, on ensuring that the organisation can make the necessary resources available, on determining what will happen if the expected levels and standards of performance are, or are not, met—and on gaining employees' agreement and commitment to all these decisions.

Without performance plans that are carefully and well made, there has to be a risk that the end-of-year interview will become a session for allocating fault and blame for what has not happened, rather than a no-surprises occasion for reviewing achievements, perhaps celebrating excellence, and planning future performance.

As we saw in Chapter 2, an employee's first questions are 'What do you want me to do?' and 'How well do you want me to do it?' The answers should be found in a job description or similar document.


PERFORMANCE PLANNING AND THE
JOB DESCRIPTION

It is depressing how often employees reject their job descriptions as inaccurate, irrelevant or out of date. There are two major reasons for this: one is that the job description is inaccurate, irrelevant or out of date; the second is that the job description is often prepared for some purpose (commonly job evaluation, which few people in the workplace understand) or by a person who is remote from the immediate relationship of employee and manager.

The solution to this problem is to put the responsibility for job analysis, job design and job description in the hands of managers and employees. They might need and, indeed, welcome expert help from the human resources specialists. But the aim should be for the actors in this little drama to agree on a document that accurately sets out their roles and mutual expectations. The organisation may well need data about

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