Performance Management: Performance Appraisal (Generic to Performance Management)

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business and Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision for Nonprofit Staff.

Organizations try to manage the performance of each employee, team and process and even of the organization itself. The performance management process is very similar, regardless of where it is applied. Information in this topic describes the general performance management process. The information is customized for each application in the topics Employee Performance Management, Group Performance Management and Organizational Performance Management.

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Suggested Previous Reading
Basic Steps in a Performance Appraisal

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Learn More in the Library's Blogs Related to Performance Appraisals for Employees, Teams, Processes and Organizations

In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to Appraisals for Employees, Teams, Processes and Organizations. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog.

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Suggested Previous Reading

Readers will benefit most from having read the subsection Overall Goal and Basic Steps, Key Terms, and Performance Plan included in the section Basic Overview of Performance Management.

Basic Steps in a Performance Appraisal

As described in that last subsection, development of the Performance Plan typically includes the first eight steps of the basic 14 steps in performance management. The Performance Appraisal picks up from step nine. We also continue our example of the machine operator. At this point in our example, the Performance Plan has been developed.

Information in this section is generic to performance management, that is, the information generally applies to any performance management effort, e.g., organization, process, subsystem or employee.

NOTE: As review about key terms in performance management, key terms are bolded and italicized below.

9. Conduct ongoing observations and measurements to track performance
The operator's supervisor would observe the number of high-quality prints, including staying in contact with the Director of the Catalog Department.

10. Exchange ongoing feedback about performance
Feedback is information relevant to how well results are being achieved. Useful feedback is timely, feasible and understood. Ideally, feedback address key activities to improve or reinforce performance. Usually, the larger the number of sources giving feedback, the more accurate is the depiction of events. In our example, the employee, supervisor and Director of the Catalog Department should continue to share impressions of how well results are being achieved. Any ideas to improve or support performance should be implemented as appropriate. This ongoing feedback is often one of the most important aspects of performance management.

11. Conduct a performance appraisal (sometimes called performance review)
A performance appraisal (or review) includes documentation of expected results, standards of performance, progress toward achieving of results, how well they were achieved, examples indicating achievement, suggestions to improve performance and how those suggestions can be followed. If the above steps in the performance management process were followed, the performance appraisal is usually quite straightforward to carry out. In our example, the appraisal should include input from the employee, supervisor and Director of the Catalog Department. The performance appraisal should be carried out at regular intervals as performance tracking is underway.

12. If performance meets desired performance standards, reward for performance
In our example, the machine operator may be due some form of reward, that is, recognition or compensation, e.g., letter of recognition, promotion, letter of commendation, etc. This step in the performance management process is often overlooked when focusing on organization-wide performance improvement, or on a major subsystem.

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