Chapter 9: Appraisals, Promotions, and Dismissals

Chapter 9 Summary
Chapter 9 covers appraisals, promotions and dismissals. By the end of the chapter we will be able to discuss the importance of appraisals, define and give advantages and disadvantages of many appraisal methods and be able to identify several errors that supervisors make when appraising.

Performance evaluations are a good way to measure an employee’s performance and inform the employee how of areas that they are good in and areas that they could improve. Performance appraisals address the employee’s potential as well as their past performance. There are three purposes for conducting performance appraisals. An Administrative purpose provides a method to allocate the resources of an organization. In other words, they determine who gets promoted, fired, transferred and so on. They can also be used to determine salaries and compel supervisors to constructively think about themselves and those who work under them. An informative purpose is to inform the employee of who their performance rates next to what is expect of them. They can give recognition for outstand performances or address problem areas. Either way they are meant to help an employee to perform at their best. Lastly, the developmental purposes give employees the ability to develop on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. By addressing both positives and negatives they can learn and grow in the right direction.

Appraisals can’t be the same from employee to employee. They have to be based off of their job descriptions. Job descriptions inform the employee of their responsibilities and assign them duties. It must be clear to the employee and the management team alike.

Appraisals are a done by discussion. They are a formal means to performance evaluation and must be treated as so. The actual interaction and dialog covering an appraisal is called the appraisal interview. Prior to the meeting the employee should be given notice and allowed a part in discussing a time and place of the interview. The manager must then fill out the proper forms and review the employee’s performances of the past to provide an accurate evaluation. It is important that the employee understands the purpose of an appraisal and this should be discussed at the beginning of the appraisal interview. If the employee’s performance has been good it is appropriate to let them know early in the interview and the opposite if it is bad. Addressing the past should also be held for the end of the interview which keeps the present the main topic of discussion. In the end the employer should summarize the points that he or she wanted to address most and then discuss how they will be corrected or continued. A copy of the appraisal is given to both parties and the manager should let the employee know the discussion can be resumed later if they’d like.

There are several types of techniques used to conduct an appraisal. The graphic rating scale, or profile rating sheet, list the factors to be considered and the terms to be used. They also allow all managers to use the same forms and make comparisons easy and reliable. A good example is a graphic scale is an evaluation with the choices poor, average and excellent. The critical incident technique records actual employee behavior that’s observed while notes are taken and discussed shortly thereafter or at a later time. Essay appraisals require the manager to write a paragraph or more about the employee’s weaknesses and strengths. This method is a bit more subjective than the others and tends to consume more time but it also gives the employee a broader picture of the situation. Ranking technique compares employees against each other and is most useful when considering several employees for a promotion. It is best to avoid this method when at all possible because it tends to create jealousy, rival and other negative employee to employee effects.

360-degree feedback is a process system of appraisals that collects feedback from all stakeholders in an employee’s performance. Field reviews are done by a group of fellow employees, managers or a combination there of. Using groups to evaluate an employee can be fairer than being judged by an individual. Peer appraisals are conducted by fellow employees and encourage acceptance within the peer group. Upward appraisals take the opinions of employees to rate their supervisors. Though it may make the management team feel undermined, it empowers the employees and builds a degree of trust as long as the supervisor does not look down on the process. Self-appraisals allow the employee to take part in their evaluation. This puts the employee and his or her manager in a discussion as their performance is evaluated and helps the employee take the constructive criticism better.

Management by objectives is a system of appraisal that is widely used. This system has the manager and the employee set goals together to reach during the next evaluation period. Together they must set specific objectives, agree on a how performance will be measured, develop a list of short term goals and focus on the results that will be reached based on the set goals. The manager and the supervisor will then have occasional progress checks to support the MBO which can then be later used to determine raises, promotion or punishment.

Behaviorally anchored rating scales, otherwise known as BARS, measures performance against predetermined standards that have been set mutually by manager and subordinate. In order for a company to develop scales for measurement, records should be kept of critical incidents. With these records, performance dimensions are developed and scaled to the incidents. More and more companies have been going paperless using software and the internet as sources for employee development. By doing this, there has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of paper used, and 24-hour availability of performance information can be provided. When managers want to rate employees, there are some things that they want to keep in mind so they rate them accurately. One of these things to keep in mind is the halo effect. The halo effect occurs when a manager gives an employee a good rating in one category just because they are good doing something completely different. It’s important for managers not to assume that an employee is good at everything just because they are good at one thing that they can see. Personal bias is something else to keep in mind while conducting evaluations. If a manager rates someone because of they are the same race, same age, belong to the same club as them, are intelligent or good-looking, etc. then the manager is taking part in some kind of personal bias. Central tendency bias is when a manager will give all of the employees up for evaluation similar ratings and disregard their actions so that all of them will come out about average. Recency bias is when an employee receives a rating based on a most recent performance rather than an overall performance. Promotions can be determined by tradition, laws, and the availability of qualified candidates within a company. Upon receiving a promotion one can expect several things to change in the workplace such as more responsibility, more authority, more hours, more communication, more meetings, more learning, more development, and more management skills to acquire. A couple of different reasons for promotions can be merit based and ability based. If you are promoted because of merit, it will be based on your past performances. An ability based promotion focuses more on potential that an employee might have. If there are some problems in the workplace, disciplinary action may be taken to reach a desired state of order and readiness. Some of the worst disciplinary mistakes that a supervisor can make and that should be avoided include being inconsistent, losing control of emotions and allowing your tempers to flair, avoiding any disciplinary action entirely, and playing the role of buddy instead of leader. Some things to do before imposing disciplinary actions include giving employees advanced notice, regulate some disciplinary rules, enforce rules equally, and relate the penalties to the severity of offenses. Demotions and dismissals should only be made after written or oral warnings have been issued to the employee. These two actions should be a last resort for a supervisor and should be thought about extensively and carefully before doing so. Managers must also think of the employee, the department, the company, and themselves before doing anything drastic. A couple of things that can be done to help with these situations include planning for layoffs or employing outplacement counselors to help employees cope with what could happen to them.

Case Study 9-1
In this case study a supervisor asks us to recommend someone in our department to supervise a staff of 10 salespersons. In our department we have three choices to decide from; John McVean, Kathy Crevier, and Bob Koyne.
John McVean has been a sales representative for 5 years and has exceeded his sales quota for the last 4 years. He has initiative and drive but his major disadvantage is that he is overly aggressive to both; other employees and customers.
Kathy Crevier has been a sales representative for 3 years and is very personable, outgoing and tends to be the center of attention in group activities. Kathy has an outstanding sales record and her peers view her as a valuable member of the team but when discussing business she tends to become quite and reserve and does not contribute to the conversation.
Bob Koyne has been with the company for 7 years, of which the last 6 years, have been outstanding sales years. Bob is steady, quite producer, who is a team man in conversations with you but does not like to talk about his personal life.

As a group we picked Bob Koyne for the supervisor job. He has been with the company the longest and we believe that seniority works well in the work place. He has a proven sales record with no complaints against him except for the fact that he does not like talking about his personal life or himself as an individual. John and Kathy both have qualities that would make for a great supervisor but they need to work on their issues before being offered the job.
The new supervisor should relate to his employees by first, having an official meet and great. After officially meeting his employees, he should have a productive relationship with his subordinates, meaning; fairness, good communication, recognition, and awards for productivity. Bob should try to gain a close business relationship with each one of his team members and find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Bob must also, work on communication between the team if he wants to succeed as a supervisor because communication is the key.

It is extremely important for a first-line supervisor to have technical competence. In chapter 2, we discussed that management has 3 broad aspects: technical, conceptual, and human relations. First-line supervisors and other lower levels in the organization must be an expert in their field to help their subordinates with problems and situations that may come up. Bob must demonstrate technical expertise in his field and take more of conceptual approach to his management technique to be considered for his next promotion.
If a first-line supervisor has initiative and drive, it will likely have an effect on his or her subordinates. From personal experiences with different managers and supervisors, we came to the conclusion that we showed more initiative and drive if our supervisors expressed these qualities. If an employee can tell that his or her manager is a slacker, then they may sense their boss is not putting a 100% effort into his or her work and not work to their full capability. In chapter 11, James B. Kouzes and Barry M. Posner explain, “followers expect their leaders to have a sense of direction – a since of vision for the future of the organization, as well as for how to lead it there. Constituents see this clear sense of a true north for the organization as critical. Not only do followers expect their leader to have a since of the future, but they also want and expect that person to communicate it energetically and enthusiastically,” (Tucker, McCarthy, Benton, 2002).

Emotional stability is extremely important for a supervisor because if we just suppress our emotions then those same emotions are liable to come up at different situations. A good supervisor will know how to deal with all of his or her emotions and will be able to handle different situations with different techniques, as well as, being able to empathize with others. A supervisor must not let his or her emotions get the better of them because if a supervisor seems irritated it could come off as seeming angry and this could affect the communication throughout the whole team. A supervisor with good emotional intelligence skills will be able to effectively work through opportunity as well as diversity.