Conducting a Performance Appraisal Interview (Coaching and Development…
Conducting a Performance Appraisal Interview
The Organization Goals
provides information about the performance of organizational members used in decisions about placement, promotions, firing, and pay
An evaluation system can help track those people who have potential so that they can be placed in developmental positions
The process of influencing behavior is important to the organization’s development of future human resources, and it is of utmost importance to managers’ efforts to obtain the results for which they are accountable.
The performance appraisal process can help motivate employees, point out needed change in the way they do things, and help them grow and develop competence needed now and in the future
To give feedback to subordinates so they know where they stand.
To develop valid data for pay (salary and bonus) and promotion decisions and to provide a means of communicating these decisions.
To help the company in making discharge and retention decisions and to provide a means of warning subordinates about unsatisfactory performance.
Coaching and Development Goals
To counsel and coach subordinates so that they will improve their performance and develop future potential.
To develop commitment to the larger organization through discussion of career opportunities and career planning.
To motivate subordinates through recognition and support.
To strengthen supervisor-subordinate relations.
To diagnose individual and organizational problems
The Individual’s Goals
Individuals want feedback about their performance because it helps them learn about themselves
If this information is favorable, it helps satisfy their needs for competence and psychological success
if it is not, they tend to experience failure, and the feedback is often difficult to accept
When rewards such as pay and promotion are tied to the evaluation, employees have a further reason for wanting to avoid unfavorable evaluations
Problems in Performance Appraisal
Ambivalence and Avoidance
supervisors are likely to be extremely ambivalent about the performance appraisal process
subordinates are likely to be very ambivalent about receiving negative feedback
They are likely to want to discuss negative aspects of their performance so they can improve and develop, but will not want to jeopardize promotions, pay, or their own self-image
the sandwich approach
The supervisor may carefully package his negative feedback between heavy doses of positive feedback
may make only very general statements, without referring to specific problems
negative feedback is often not explored in depth and is not fully understood and internalized by the subordinate
Feedback and Defensiveness
The conflict in appraisal between the organization’s evaluation objectives and its coaching and development objectives tends to place the manager in the incompatible roles of judge and helper.
Some managers feel obligated to fulfill their organizational role as judge by communicating to the subordinate all facets of their evaluation
They want to be sure they fulfill their obligation of letting the subordinate know where he or she stands by detailing all shortcomings in performance
Subordinates may try to blame their unsatisfactory performance on others or on uncontrollable events; they may question the appraisal system itself or minimize its importance; they may demean the source of the data; they may apologize and promise to do better in the hope of shortening their exposure to negative feedback; or they may agree too readily to the feedback while inwardly denying its validity or accuracy
Potential Solutions to Appraisal Problems
Uncoupling evaluation and development
Two separate performance appraisal
interviews can be held: one focused on evaluation and the other on coaching and development
The open, problem-solving dialogue required for building a relationship and developing subordinates comes at a different time of the year from the meeting in which the supervisor informs the subordinate of his overall evaluation and its implications for retention, pay, and promotion
Choosing appropriate performance data
A manager can minimize defensiveness and avoidance by narrowly focusing feedback on specific behaviors or specific performance goals.
Feedback about specific incidents or aspects of job performance is more likely to be heard than broad generalizations and will also be more helpful to the individual in terms of changing behavior
A behavioral rating scale, for example, asks supervisors to indicate the degree to which subordinates fulfill certain behavioral requirements of their job
One of the appraisal dynamics that contributes most to defensiveness and/or avoidance is the authoritarian character of the supervisor-subordinate relationship
power must be equalized or at least brought into better balance during the interview
An upward appraisal can help a supervisor create the conditions needed for an effective performance appraisal interview
Eliminating the performance appraisal system
A company might eliminate the requirement for a formal appraisal unless it is requested by the employee or the supervisor initiates it to warn an employee or give special recognition for outstanding performance
Subordinates are less likely to be defensive and to do something about what they hear
Managers who see serious performance problems are more likely to be motivated to be direct and open with marginal performers.