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Human Resource Management: Appraisal Interview

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    Introduction The performance appraisal interview is the first round in the performance appraisal process and this is the round in which the manager communicates his evaluation of the employee’s performance during the appraisal period or the time that the employee’s performance is being evaluated. Quite frequently one is confronted with the view “Why should an Assessment Interview be carried out at all – we talk with each other all the time anyway? ” One does not exclude the other.

    Daily communication at the work place is vital for factual cooperation, just as much as frequent talks during breaks. Both however cannot be a substitute for the purpose of an Assessment Interview. For the successful conduction of an Appraisal Interview talking enough time for it (at least an hour) as well as choosing an appropriate, quiet location are vital. The structured outline of enables both, the employee and the manager, to look back on past performance as well as to agree on future goals and tasks.

    Due to the written form those agreements become verifiable and binding, while at the same time remaining confidential because of the four ? eyes principle. No content of the interview (except agreed? upon training measures) is passed on to third parties. The Appraisal Interview fosters trust and cooperation within the organizational unit and is valuable for all parties involved. The Appraisal Interview demands for mutual willingness for dialogue, joint evaluation and analysis of agreed? pon goals and possible deviations. It enables the identification of potential areas for development together with appropriate training measures. The Appraisal Interview also facilitates the agreement on annual targets in regard to carrying out the necessary tasks of an organizational unit. Finally it also provides an opportunity to getting to know each other better. Objectives This document is intended to discuss aspects of Human Resource Management regarding Appraisal Interview processes and results.

    The discussion is related with an IT service organization named Smart IT Engineering Ltd (SITEL) registered in 1 Dhaka, Bangladesh. With the company motto being “IT for SMARTer living”, SITEL’s vision is to produce solutions that will allow people to have a life without any hassle. SITEL is an IT services and consulting company. SITEL produces cutting edge software using the state-of-the-art facilities and latest technologies. SITEL’s primary focus is to provide e-commerce platform for all brands, shops and distributors in Bangladesh to allow them to merchandise over internet.

    SITEL also have solutions for accounting inventory management with technology that allows customizing according to our customers needs. SITEL also have partnership with multiple overseas company from Norway, England and USA for outsourcing wing. What is a Performance Appraisal Interview ? A performance appraisal interview is the first stage of the performance appraisal process and involves the employee and his or her manager sitting face to face to discuss threadbare all aspects of the employee’s performance and thrash out any differences in perception or evaluation.

    The performance appraisal interview provides the employee with a chance to defend himself or herself against poor evaluation by the manager and also gives the manager a chance to explain what he or she thinks about the employee’s performance. In a nutshell, the performance appraisal interview precedes the normalization process and is subsequent to the employee filling up the evaluation form and the manager likewise doing so. The interview is the stage where both sides debate and argue the employees’ side of the story as well as the manager’s perception.

    Concisely Appraisal Interviews are talks between employee and manager happen on an almost daily basis. The annual Appraisal Interview however offers the opportunity to systematically discuss the following content: • • • • Discuss work and performance of the past year – tasks, work conditions and cooperation Resolve problems and misunderstandings Mutually voice acknowledgement and critique in a factual matter Agree on measures to boost development and further education 2 • Mutually agree on long term goals and focus points Hence, an Appraisal Interview is a One? n? One interview which: • • • • Takes place at least once a year Requires both parties to prepare for it Is semi? structured Is carried out by the employee and the direct supervisor using specific contents Types of Appraisal Interviews There are four basic types of appraisal interviews each with its own objective: • • • • Satisfactory-Promotable Satisfactory-Not Promotable Unsatisfactory-Correctable Unsatisfactory-Not Correctable Satisfactory-Promotable is the easiest interview: The person’s performance is satisfactory and there is a promotion ahead.

    Our objective is to discuss the person’s career plans and to develop a specific action plan for the educational and professional development the person needs to move up. Satisfactory-Not promotable is for employees whose performance is satisfactory but for whom promotion is not possible. Perhaps there is no more room in the company. Perhaps he or she is happy as is and doesn’t want a promotion. The objective here is to maintain satisfactory performance. The best option is usually to find incentives that are important to the person and enough to maintain satisfactory performance.

    These might include extra time off, a small bonus, additional authority to handle a slightly enlarged job, and reinforcements perhaps in the form of an occasional well done! 3 Unsatisfactory-Correctable, When the person’s performance is unsatisfactory but correctable the interview objective is to lay out and plan for correcting the unsatisfactory performance. Unsatisfactory-Not Correctable, If the employee is unsatisfactory and the situation is uncorrectable you can usually skip the interview. You either tolerate the person’s poor performance for now, or dismiss the person.

    Why carry out an Appraisal Interview? From the manager’s perspective A manager’s success depends on how well an employee can carry out his or her tasks. The Appraisal Interview enables the manager to fulfill his/her leadership role. The manager • Agrees on goals with the employee therefore providing the employee with a direction to go to • Facilitates important information regarding the University and/or the organizational unit • • Evaluates goals together with the employee and conducts causal research

    Receives information regarding himself, his employees and organizational unit (mutual exchange of expectations and desires) • Assists and promotes his/her employees From the employee’s perspective An employee’s success and career depend on how well he/ she develops his/her skills and competencies , performance and job satisfaction as well as how well he/she prepares for possible future tasks and new requirements. The employee • Receives, via the Appraisal Interview, a guideline on the basis of which criteria he/she will be evaluated. Receives feedback on his/her performance 4 • • • Receives information regarding the University and the organizational unit Can influence his/her area of work and set goals Can get information on possible paths for development, requirements and training and can also voice his/her wishes regarding training. Appraisal Interview Process Smart IT Engineering Ltd follows the best practices of HRM. Managers holds a performance review meeting once every six months with each of their direct reports.

    In reality many managers confine this meeting to a yearly discussion, if at all. Some see the review process as a form-filling exercise, which, once done and dusted, is not referred to again until the following year. An appraisal should be the formal element of an on-going and active performance management process. For existing employees (i. e. not new recruits), the process looks something like this: 5 The date for the interview should be agreed upon at least two weeks ahead. The interview takes place during work time. Schedule approx. ne to two hours in a appropriate and quiet environment Manager and employee prepare for the interview independently. Employee and direct supervisor carry out the interview Balance of the Appraisal Interview Manager Employee Manager and employee commonly stipulate the agreement Agreements remain with the manager (confidential), a copy is given to the employee. Information, that the appraisal interview was carried out is entered in the VIS Information regarding required training are sent to the HRM Department 6 Preparation of Appraisal

    Performance Evaluation ? Talk about past performance and the level of goal achievement ? Analyze problems and difficulties and discuss potential for improvement (focus on the past) Identification of Position ? How do we currently work together? ? Strengths and Weaknesses of the employee and manager (focus on the present) A conversion with the topics Systematic Support ? Support career development of the employee via targeted training ? Commonly discuss development potential and plan qualification actions (focus on the future) Goals/Focus Points ?

    Agree on new goals and focus points (precise, with deadlines and fulfillment criteria) (focus on the future) 7 Performance Evaluation and Review Employee Which of the agreed upon goals were reached? Extent to which they were reached (teaching, research, administration) Which tasks were not performed, resp. not performed in a satisfactory manner? What do you consider being reasons for this? What is the split of your workload between research, teaching and administration? Do you wish to change this split? How satisfied are you with the work results?

    In Research: Publications, projects, presentations, participation at scientific events, activity as reviewer, results of evaluations… In Teaching: Type and volume of teaching, development of concepts and performance appraisal, supervision of thesis and dissertations, development of learning aids, didactic training… In Administration: Nature and scope of administrative work for the organizational unit, coordination of congresses and trainings, activities in committees, involvement in shared tasks… Manager Which measures were taken by the employee to reach those goals?

    Were they reached in a timely manner? See previous year’s form “Agreements” Which tasks were not completed, or completed unsatisfactory? Where do you see opportunities or the need to improve the work environment? Can or should missed tasks be made up for? Would it make sense to delegate those tasks to a different employee? How can current work output be optimized? Are you satisfied with the employee’s engagement, motivation and willingness to perform?

    In Research: Publications, projects, presentations, participation at scientific events, activity as reviewer, results of evaluations… In Teaching: Type and volume of teaching, development of concepts and performance appraisal, supervision of thesis and dissertations, development of learning aids, didactic training… In Administration: Nature and scope of administrative work for the organizational unit, coordination of congresses and trainings, activities in committees, involvement in shared tasks… Identification of Position and cooperation with the manager and colleagues Employee How satisfied are you in terms of cooperation with your manager?

    Which areas of cooperation are positive, which areas could be improved / changed? Do you receive enough information? Are you able to pass on information which is important for your job to your manager? Do you get feedback for the work delivered? (Acknowledgement, constructive criticism) How satisfied are you in terms of cooperation with your co? workers? With the team work? Manager How satisfied are you in terms of cooperation with your employee? Which areas of cooperation are positive, which areas could be improved/changed? Is the flow of information satisfactory? Does the employee rovide you with sufficient information regarding work delivered? Do you provide enough feedback regarding work delivered? Acknowledgement and constructive criticismyour appraisal in regard to What is cooperation of the employee with co? workers? …the contributions to team work? Focus Points, Goals, Tasks Employee Which specific goals of your organizational unit are particularly important for your area of work? Manager Which specific goals and deducted tasks of your organizational unit are particularly important for this department and area of work? What does the employee need to know?

    Which focus points do you see for the employee in the coming year? Which focus points do you see for the coming year in the area of • • • Research Teaching Administration Which suggestions do you have to make for your organizational unit (e. g. meetings…)? The agreements will be entered in the “Agreements” template and are signed by the employee and the manager. The employee receives a copy. 9 Systematic Development / Perspectives Employee Do your work tasks reflect your interests, skills and abilities? Are there other qualifications you could contribute? How do you evaluate your career development so far?

    What do you expect from your future career development? Which options for continued employment can you imagine, after your contract expired? Which qualification and training measures are necessary in order to reach the set goals? Manager Does the qualification profile of the employee fit his/her area of work? How do you evaluate the delivered performance in light of the necessary qualification for a scientific career (dissertation, habilitation) Which goals for development do you see for the employee? Which options for continued employment do exist, after the contract expired? …are there future projects? ualification and training What is the need that can be deducted from recent performance of the employee? (e. g. also scholarships) How could you use the latest qualification How were completed qualification and training measures? measures applied to work by the employee? Which other general conditions are Which other general conditions are necessary in necessary in order to reach the development goals? order to reach the development goals? The development and training needs will be entered in the “Information” template and this template needs to be sent to the Department for Human Resource Development.

    Please also consider the training possibilities of the Department for Human Resource Development. 10 Appraisal Interview – Confidential Agreements, Remains with the Manager, Copy will be given to the Employee Agreement between (Name, Function) Jointly developed on: and Employee Place Location Manager Date Goal What? Strategies to Realize How? Resources With? Time Plan Until When? Signature Manager Employee 11 Information will be forwarded to the Department for Human Resource Development Together with the following employees a need for further evelopment and training has been identified Name Development / Training Need Date Stamp of the Organizational Signature of the Manager and 12 Objective Evaluation versus Personal Biases Though management theorists like to propound the benefits of objective evaluation, it is a fact in contemporary organizations that an element of personal bias enters the evaluation. This is evident from the studies and surveys done by HR consultants like Hewitt that point to the employee’s dissatisfaction with the performance appraisal process as one of the main reasons for leaving the company.

    To curb the incidence of biases and heuristics playing a role in the appraisal, HR managers typically conduct orientations and trainings to both the Managers and the Employees to sensitize them to these dangers that are sometimes inherent in the process. On the other hand, the employees’ should approach the process without unrealistic expectations and expect the Manager to agree to whatever they write on the performance evaluation form. Hence, there is a need for both sides in the interview process to approach the same with an open mind and be as objective as possible.

    However, this is easier said than done and hence organizations expend resources on making the process as transparent and objective as possible. The Right and Wrong Way to Approach a Performance Appraisal Interview The performance appraisal interview must be taken seriously and both the employee and the manager must set aside time to go through the process. The manager cannot arbitrarily change the time or the venue and must not approach the interview in a haphazard manner.

    Despite all these injunctions, it is often the case that the manager has to be reminded about the interview and then he or she hurriedly arranges the meeting. This is definitely the wrong way to approach the interview. Further, the manager must make the time to go through the employees’ self evaluation and rate the same objectively. Though there is no right way to conduct the performance appraisal interview, it is incumbent upon the manager to avoid the pitfalls described above.

    A rule of thumb would be set aside a few days to conduct all the interviews with members of his or her team and ensure follow-ups to the process. The follow-up is needed when the employee is not satisfied with the interview discussion and hence requests for 13 additional time to debate the rating. In some cases, the HR manager may need to step in to ensure that the process is concluded to the satisfaction of the employee and the manager.

    Conclusion Surveys have shown that nearly 70% of the employees who leave organizations cite the bad rating that they have got as the reason for quitting and often voice their disappointment at the process in the exit interview. Hence, there is a need for organizations to smoothen the performance appraisal process and since the performance appraisal interview is the first step; the beginning must be made well. Since the career progression of employees depends on the ratings that they get, the whole process must be taken seriously by all the stakeholders. 14

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