Term Paper: Employees Use the 360 Degree Feedback Method

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¶ … employees use the 360 degree feedback method, or in other words, they evaluate themselves. Each employee is evaluated by a colleague, a superior and a person inferior hierarchically. However, employees should be evaluated by the Human Resources Specialist or by external consultants. The appraiser is recommendable to be a psychologist, because psychologists are trained to work on the complete assessment process such as: job analysis, to establish the job specifications; from these processes the criteria for performance appraisal of employees are derived. But also, the appraiser can be the employee's immediate supervisor. But the advantages of the psychologist as appraiser are notable. He is the objective person beneath the work process, and he is also in the position to take into account the cognitive and behavioral elements involved in the assessment process and establish an adequate interaction. Moreover, the psychologist is able to provide frequent feedback in a way that fosters development and suggests career development needs while also taking into account the individual development plan as a tool for continual feedback and development.

There are many circumstances that require the evaluation of employees. More often individual's work performance is assessed - by that person's line manager and the discussion that follows is aimed at solving problems, improving performance and developing the individual appraised (Fletcher, 2002). Therefore, most often, employees are evaluated to test their level of competence or to monitor performance. Otherwise employees are evaluated in order to establish the payment scheme or advancement criteria (rewards and recognition). An extreme case in which performance is appraised is downsizing. According to Blum and Naylor, (1968), some of the criteria used in employee evaluation are: work productivity (quantity and quality of work), accidents/incidents in the work process, professional knowledge, seniority, absenteeism, promotion rate, 360 degrees feedback (appraisal done by the hierarchic superior, by colleagues and self-evaluations). Formal performance evaluations should take place at least once a year. Informal performance appraisal may be done daily (day-to-day evaluation).

In conclusion, performance appraisal needs to meet the following criteria, according to Drewes & Runde, (2002): appraisals take place at regular intervals; a standardized method is used, based on previously agreed upon performance criteria; either the employee's behaviour or outcome of performance is to be evaluated; the employee is evaluated by the next higher-ranking superior, equally ranking colleagues, other coworkers or makes a self-appraisal.

2. Training is first of all important in organizations, because it is recognized that training improves performance. Performance evaluation is therefore needed to provide documented feedback on an employee's level of performance. Moreover, several authors have recognized that carefully planned evaluation serves several purposes. In relation to training, a needs analysis is usually conducted which is the foundation for the training program and its goals. Then, a follow-up evaluation takes place after the training program which provides the opportunity to practice the skills learned during training. The follow-up performance tests included in the evaluation facilitate retention and transfer of knowledge and skill. (Hesketh & Ivancic, 2002). Overall, training is necessary in organizations because it leads to a just and adequate performance appraisal system that is able to increase employee motivation, performance, and productivity, while reducing potential exposure to litigation.

In order to make the appraisal a legal act, people responsible with this should make sure that the process results in actual performance appraisal documents. In order to make sure the performance evaluation system is legal organizations should avoid discrimination, harassment, should not force unfair retaliation and should provide adequate documentation (Amy Delpo, 2005; chapter 2).

In what concerns job analysis this is also an important process on which the evaluation system is based. Job analysis is important as it offers accurate job descriptions and psychological specifications that predict a good performance on the job. An accurate job analysis is also a criterion for promoting just evaluations in the workplace, as long as objective and fair standards of performance are deduced from the process.

3. A good survey on pay includes a clear job definition and job evaluation. These are the main characteristics which further lead to a correct pricing and delineation of the job. Moreover, a good survey on pay allows the comparison of jobs. Jobs are compared according to job description, and not according to job titles. This is why job analysis and job evaluations are vital.

However, a good survey on pay should reveal similarities in pay for similar work in a specific area while also allowing for the recognition of performance and contribution of employees to organizational development and profit.

By contrasting job responsibilities with the ideal profile of employee on a specific job, the evaluations lead to an accurate comparison and establish a hierarchical order of performance (a ranking system is employed); under the simple-ranking system, job descriptions are compared against each other and are ranked according to difficulty and responsibility. After job descriptions are ranked by value to the firm, the next step is to group jobs that are similar in scope and responsibility into the same pay grade. Then these groups are arranged in a series of pay levels from the highest to lowest. The number of pay levels depends on the total number of jobs and types of work in the organization.

Another possibility that links pay with performance is to introduce a performance-related pay which is based on identifying the characteristics more relevant of performance; it has been suggested that these take a quantitative form (the essential characteristics are scored) and then contrasted or related to unit quality or to organizational effectiveness. These requirements necessitate a preceding analysis of the larger work process in the department or firm. (Thierry, 2002).

4. First of all, the employees pensions are guaranteed by law. Laws help ensure that employers properly fund their workers' pension plans and provide meaningful new disclosure to workers about the status of their pension plan. However, there are different benefits plans. The benefit pension system may consist of traditional pension plans that promise workers a specific monthly benefit when they retire. There are strict requirements for private pension plans. Pension plans are set up under a contract between a union and a group of employers that often are run by a board of trustees made up of union and company officials. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for seeing that pension plans are properly operated and that their assets are managed in an appropriate manner.

In USA, the benefits plan in cases of financial distress of the employer is taken over by the federal Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). When confronting difficult times the employer must show the organization is under severe financial distress and that continuing to fund the pension plan would deal a fatal blow to the business. PBGC is involved when a pension plan is terminated but there are not sufficient assets in the pension plan to cover the benefits that the company has promised to its workers and retirees.

In conclusion, aside from the legal obligation, the other reasons why employers offer benefits to the employee are (taken from Kennedy, 2005):

To attract workers who look for benefits, especially health and retirement, as a condition for employment

To promote economic security by insuring against certain risks and to raise living standards

To add economic stability by securing the income and welfare of employees and their families

To encourage employee savings which contributes to capital formation and economic productivity

5. In today's complex and changing business world training is more important that ever. In order to survive, gain in flexibility and adaptability, organizations need to be faster-learning. The ability to do this enhances the value of training in organizations.

Training is needed both to preserve and develop employees' skills and serves as a foundation for career advancement. Therefore, it also plays an important role in the retention of employees. However, the need for training is even more pronounced in today's business climate due to the exponential growth in technology with its effect on the economy and society at large. McNamara has identified the following as general benefits from employee training: increased job satisfaction and morale, increased motivation, increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain, increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods, increased innovation in strategies and products, reduced employee turnover.

Globalization imposed the need to compete at international standards of performance and this is another reason why organizations should value training Trainers have the function to develop highly skilled "expert" workforce that will contribute to the competitive advantage of the organization. Moreover, due to such high expectations, modern training has become more technology-driven. (Hesketh & Ivancic, 2002).

It will be no surprise, therefore if, in the future, online training will replace classroom training. Moreover, this type of learning has several advantages. Online training is more easily adapted to employees' needs since they can learn without leaving the workplace. Apart from this type of convenience, online training also means that each employee can learn at his/her own pace. Added to this, online training is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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