Performance Appraisal Discussion
Supervisors appraise their employees to assess their performance levels and to clarify what needs to be done to establish a plan for improvement. Performance appraisals benefit supervisors by providing needed input and acquiring data to determine necessary training and development needs. Performance appraisals also give supervisors a chance to encourage performance improvement levels. Supervisors can suggest changes in behavior, attitude, skills and knowledge. Performance evaluations benefit employees by clarifying the job expectations of management as long as the appraisal process is objective. It also gives the employee a chance to focus on their strengths and weaknesses. The performance appraisal process allows the employee to voice their opinion and to discuss problems that they may be having that hinder their performance levels. Issues surrounding an employee’s evaluation process can be openly addressed at these appraisal job analysis meetings.
The appraisal method that I would prefer to use as a supervisor would be the Essay Appraisal Method. I believe that a competent manager must possess the necessary communication skills to provide feedback to the employee. Various other methods could be incorporated into the essay appraisal method such as ratings scales that are relevant to the job itself. A standardized method which that would be objective and equal to all employees would be necessary for a supervisor to complete this type of employee appraisal method. I believe that there is no better way to express to an employee how they are doing on the job than to express it in your own words in an essay form.
While working at the United States Postal Service I very rarely had employee evaluation meetings. Initially upon hire, there is a 90 day part-time flexible (PTF) evaluation period in which your skills are monitored and was usually based on production levels, safety record, and being on time for work. Since our job required us to drive government vehicles we were also required to take a government vehicle driving test by driving inspectors sanctioned by the U.S. Postal Service safety office. These tests were very similar to a state motor vehicle driving test except that we were also required to use extra driving skills with cones in the parking lot of the Postal Service such as backing up skills.
Job performances of routes were annually done, but it was more for evaluating postal routes then they were individual performances, in theory. We were timed on how long it took us to “case” our routes with mail that was individually counted and how long it took us to load our trucks, and perform the actual delivery of the mail. Our actual steps were counted per minute as we walked on our street delivery routes. This would fall under the Production Standard method approach.
On-line appraisal methods were also used by conducted surveys that were called employee satisfaction index surveys. Some of the questions included whether or not we were satisfied with our pay. We were discouraged from participating in these surveys by our unions because the unions claimed that Postal management used them against us in contract negotiations regarding our satisfaction with pay.
A behavior anchored rating scales (BARS) was only used approximately 3 times during my 23 year career with the Postal Service. Supervision was interested in our career objectives and our future with the United States Postal Service. Only progressive thinking managers used this method and they are far and few between in government service. I actually enjoyed these appraisal meetings because I felt that management was actually interested in how I felt about the job. It was the only time that I had a chance to voice my opinion in an open discussion with management about how I felt the workroom floor was managed.
Although I chose the essay appraisal method as a form that I preferred to use as a supervisor, I would welcome an open discussion on the narrative form appraisal in a one on one meeting with an employee. Even though I preferred the (MBO) method of appraisal in my employee experience over the production standard method I feel that this method does not address individual employee concerns because there is too much emphasis on production level achievement goals. I would be more concerned on whether or not the employee enjoyed working for me. I would embrace an “open door” management style where all employees would be treated equally and not based necessarily on a non-realistic expectation approach to performance goals. I feel that there are too many variables that could influence production levels and measurability would be unfair based on a diminutive approach method. I would be more pro-active in my management style and let it be known that my employees were my most valuable resource.