Performance appraisal is designed to help individuals and organizations improve performance. By conducting an annual appraisal, individuals are able to communicate with others, standards can be monitored, expectations and objectives can be agreed upon, and individual training needs can be established. However, sometimes individuals (e.g. managers and appraises) do not like appraisals. This is because they might feel that it takes too much time and effort. The process of performance appraisal might be viewed as an additional administrative responsibility. The entire process can also be emotionally challenging because individuals have to receive comments which they might not like, and some management might not want to provide negative information. Some negative comments might also be avoided because people might fear negative consequences. If individuals are not comfortable and willing to receive (and provide) feedback, then the purpose of performance appraisal is not met. All of these factors should be considered during the implementation of an appraisal system. Those involved should be educated to understand that appraisal is about development and ensuring that the organisation’s needs and objectives are met by approproately developed employees. Appraisal should therefore not be seen as a negative experience, rather more like a workout in the Gym. Proper training is required on the part of the apraisee to reflect such an attitude towards appraisal.
Archive for January, 2009
If the environment is relaxed and the individual feels comfortable, they will be more open to responses. Having a meeting with your supervisor regularly, throughout the year might reduce your anxiety. Discussions relating to your aims, development, and career will allow you to become more familiar with your boss and develop a sense of trust with him/her. This will eventually lead to reduced stress and uncertainty about the performance appraisal meeting. For example, imagine two individuals: where one person speaks to their employee once in six months and another individual communicates with them once a week. The individual who speaks to their boss once a week will be more comfortable with communicating ideas, and feel more relaxed when they have meetings. They also might be open to more discussions as they would have developed a sense of trust with them.
If you are feeling anxious, then it is best to communicate these feelings to your boss. You can also initiate the discussion and do not be afraid to ‘take the lead’ at times and be honest. This is because you want your performance to be evaluated realistically and if you give a false impression of yourself then this could have negative consequences in the long term, for you and the organization. Appraisals will work better when communication is done well. This can be developed by having regular talks and once the formal appraisal will take place it will be more natural and productive. Remember this meeting is helpful to your own development, and all types of performance appraisals are effective if the purpose and delivery is effective. The entire process should be clearly explained and agreed upon.
For thoese who conduct appraisals, training on how to conduct a performance appraisal properly can be carried out. For example,understanding different approaches to appraisal (e.g. formal, informal, 360), knowing ways to reduce anxiety and fear for managers and employees and practicing skills for feedback. If managers and directors feel that appraisals do not work, then this attitude and behavior will negatively impact on the appraisal, which is why appraisal meetings need to be well-prepared.
A 360 appraisal is a development feedback for employees. The feedback on performance can come from anyone who works with the employee. For example, this might consist of co-workers, subordinates or managers. Other sources where the feedback might come from are external individuals, such as clients, and individuals who are not employees of the company. The employee can rate themselves also, this is known as self-assessment. The information can be used to make vital decisions within the organization, such as training or developmental needs.
Feedback can provide organizations and the employee with information relating to their performance. The appraisal can also be done anonymously and employees can provide feedback to their managers without feeling uncomfortable. Rather than just getting feedback from one individual, the employee is provided with an overview of their performance from many stakeholders. Strengths and weaknesses of the individual can be used to benefit the organization as specific developmental needs can be targeted. The questions asked on the performance appraisal should be specifically targeted to the individual’s job competencies.
A critical issue of 360 appraisals is confidentiality of information. Employees might be concerned about rating their superiors poorly and might fear that the information they provide might be used negatively against them in the future. The organization needs to ensure good communication with employees and encourage honesty and openness.
Your results always remain strictly confidential in accordance with the Hong Kong Privacy Law, UK, Australian Data Protection Acts and similar international legislation. If you are completing an internet-based assessment, your data will initially be stored in a secure database maintained by a UK or Australian Internet Service Provider and thereafter the responses will be forwarded directly to the trained person who has commissioned your assessment. Unless specific arrangements have been made, the data will thereafter be stored securely by the test publisher for six months, after which, it will be anonymised, i.e. all reference to the original source will be removed. This allows the developers to continually monitor the quality of the assessments. If you are completing a non-internet based assessment, the Internet Service Provider and publisher are still involved in the process as your responses will be added manually to the system. We do arrange data-sharing with some organisations, again to allow us to monitor the quality of our assessments. Where this happens, you will be duly informed and have the right to request that we do not hold your data. Again, any data held will be anonymised after six months. The person who commissioned your assessment will be able to provide you with further details on that particular organization’s data-protection policy. All policies should conform to the legislation mentioned above.
After the session, your responses are analysed and a report produced. You should receive feedback on your results soon after the session and should have received an explanation about this prior to your test session. Your feedback will be in a non-technical form that you can understand. If there is anything that you do not understand, then ask the person providing feedback to clarify. Usually, an interpretation of your results will be given to the person or group of people that have/has asked for testing to be carried out. You will be aware of who these individuals are because you gave permission for them to see your results prior to test administration. Your results will not be seen by anybody that you have not given permission to view. Finally, your test results will be considered alongside all other sources of information that we have about you before making any final decision on selection or development. Test results alone are never used for decision-making.
Some of our tests may be taken at home and others must be administered in more controlled environments. Your administrator will be aware of the conditions and have made an informed decision as to where your test should be completed. If you were not provided with the option of testing at home, then you should assume this option is not available for your particular test. If you have been provided with the option of home-based testing, please ensure that you know exactly what is required of you prior to the testing session and that you will have an ample amount of time free from distraction of any kind.
Yes, wherever possible. It is important that you inform your test administrator in good time of your requirements in order that s/he may try to satisfy them.
If you are sent practice materials, you should complete these as detailed in the instructions. If you get questions wrong, you should try to work out why. Your test administrator should send you some details about the test(s) that you are going to complete. Ensure that you read and understand all of the information you are given. Make sure you know where the testing session will be held (how to log-in if you are using on-line testing), the time the session commences and the time required to complete the tests. Make sure to bring any necessary aids with you such as reading glasses etc. If you are uncertain about any aspect of your testing session, please contact your test administrator as far in advance of testing as possible.
Depending on which test you are completing, you may be provided with a few questions that represent those found in the actual test. However, you will not be provided with a copy of the test prior to your testing session under any circumstance. This is because it is important to keep test materials securely locked away in order to prevent reducing the utility (reliability and validity) of our tests. Also, we wish to know your current level of performance or your preferred way of approaching the world. Providing you with a copy of the test would provide you with a learning advantage and therefore your results would not be reflective of the real you. This may lead to you being selected for an inappropriate job, unnecessarily rejected for a job, short-listed for inappropriate training and development or not put forward for required training and development.
In the United Kingdom, the British Psychological Society maintain a database of individuals qualified to administer tests (Test Administration Certificate). PsyAsia is very particular about ensuring that individuals using our tests are appropriately qualified, thus, usually, this would have been ascertained prior to providing the individual with test materials and online access. The British Psychological Society also maintain a register of individuals qualified to administer, score, interpret and provide feedback on ability (Level A Certificate) and personality (Level B Certificate) tests.