Performance appraisal is defined as a formal and productive procedure for measuring an employee's/worker's work and results based on job responsibilities.

It is used to measure an employee's added value in terms of increased business revenue compared to industry standards and the employee's overall return on investment (ROI).

In the recent past, in public administration, when compliance with SIADAP became mandatory, it was seen as a burden – merely another legal obligation to comply with.
With the evolution of evaluation models, as in private companies, it is now seen as an extremely important work tool for a global increase in performance and level of demand in any function.

Today, local governments that are more evolved in this area, combine monitoring and constant feedback on the achievement of objectives and skills analysis with the Employee Portal, to generate a perfect harmony between the employee and what the organization expects from him.

Vision, mission and purpose of Performance Evaluation in organizations

What is the purpose of performance evaluation? We will give here the vision of the University of Kansas:

Performance appraisal on a regular basis acts as a “notepad" for leadership that recognizes the work the employee has done in a given period of time and the possibility for improvement.

An employer can provide consistent feedback on an employee's strengths and come up with joint efforts for areas of improvement for that same employee.

Performance appraisal is also an integrated platform for both the employee and the employer to reach common ground on what both think is appropriate for quality performance. This helps improve communication, which generally leads to better and more accurate team metrics and therefore better performance results. And of course, better and higher motivation.

The goal of this whole performance appraisal process is to improve the way a team or an organization operates, to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.

A manager should evaluate his team members on a regular basis, not just once a year. In this way he can anticipate various situations, communicate better, remedy possible conflicts and loss of motivation, and thereby improve competence and efficiency.

The management of an organization can (even should!) conduct frequent training and competence development sessions for employees based on the recognized development areas diagnosed after a performance appraisal session.

Management can effectively manage a team and identify resource allocation after assessing predefined performance objectives and standards.

Regular performance appraisal can also help determine the scope of an employee's career growth and the level of motivation with which they contribute to an organization's success.

Performance appraisal allows an employee to understand his or her position relative to others (and relative to leadership) in the organization.

The already talked-about scoreboard

There are several biases to performance evaluations (especially annual ones). One of the frequent biases is memory.

Truth be told, in conventional performance appraisal models, this issue is still a problem. In the most current models, which involve an Employee Portal for example, a unique journey of the employee is recorded, much built by the employee, and with this, the issues related to memory are dissipated and the evaluation becomes more accurate and circumstantial.

In fact, having a systematically built “notebook" in the form of an Employee Portal, minimizes and actually extinguishes most of the biases to performance appraisal, and here we analyze them:

Halo Effect: the employee, holding an exceptional quality in a certain field, tends to be seen by his appraiser as exceptional in all fields. With a continuous record of self-assessment of the employee and of course, assessment by his or her leader, this bias ceases to exist.

Horn effect: the opposite of the Halo effect. If the employee is less good at a particular characteristic, the evaluator tends to generalize that disability. Again, with a detailed record of periodic evaluations, this bias ceases to exist.

Central tendency: the assessor uses the intermediate scores in all subjects under evaluation. In this respect, a systematic and continuous recording minimizes this bias.

Severity: the rater usually gives low scores. Or complacency where the appraiser systematically awards high scores. These two aspects can be disciplined and minimized by a good employee portal and frequent performance appraisal.

Similarity effect: the appraiser tends to value in the employee what he/she is also good at. He therefore favors appraisees who share his attitudes and values, in other words, who behave like himself. Since this bias is more behavioral, we can also minimize it with good records of the employee's career path so that they can be remembered in a performance appraisal context.

Effect of previous expectations: the appraiser judges the employee's performance according to previous expectations of the employee. And the temporal proximity/memory effect: more recent events and behaviors (whether positive or negative) have a greater impact on the appraisal. Both can be minimized and blurred with a good Employee Portal.

For a feedback culture

Performance appraisal is nothing more than a good feedback culture. We would say that this is the only secret and the “soul of the business": communicate to thrive.

Aligned communication in an organization is all that is needed for all parties involved: management, employees, and customers to be satisfied.

Business evolution is built on good information management, efficient communication, and good feedback. All this starts inside the organizations and not only from the organization to the customer. Our internal business “health" determines the external one.

Make your internal processes more fair, loyal and equitable.
We are here to help you!

by Célia Barata – RegTech & HR Business Manager @Uniksystem