Thesis: Performance Appraisals

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¶ … Employees

Performance Appraisals at the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino

It is now beyond any doubt that the world is changing at a rapid pace and that the people must develop alongside with it. Within the business community, the modifications are various, including elements such as a greater focus on the full satisfaction of the customers' needs and wants, the orientation towards offering services rather than products, the necessity to conduct business operations in an environment-friendly manner or the incremental emphasis placed on the human resource.

Modern day managers strive harder than ever to hire, integrate and retain the best employees the workforce market produces. The contemporaneous employee is motivated, trained and supported in his professional path. The human resource department is generally in charge of improving the nature of the relationship and interaction between firm and employee. The final scope of the human resource department is that of increasing the employee's on the job satisfaction, which would then culminate in higher levels of loyalty to the organization as well as increased employee efforts and performances.

In more recent times, a trend has been observed in retaining and motivating the already existent staff, in the detriment of hiring new personnel. The motivation of the workers can be achieved through diverse means, such as the offering of more financial resources (in both salaries as well as premiums and bonuses), the creation of flexible working schedules, or the training of the employees and the offering of support for professional development.

Yet, the treatment of the employees, however fair and equitable, has to be differentiated based on the efforts and results of each and every one of them. In order to identify the commitment and outcomes of each individual employee, and then present them with the adequate incentive (lack of it or even sanction if necessary), organizational leaders implement various performance appraisal systems. An economic agent that subscribes to the practices of performance appraisals is the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino.

2. The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino

The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino was officially opened on the 22nd of August 2003, after an investment of $150 million. It is located at 711 Lucky Lane Coarsegold, California 93614 and it pries on the beautiful landscape in the vicinity to promote the location and attract new clientele. The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino has positioned itself onto the market by creating a strong brand focused on pleasurable leisure time. The resort and casino promotes gaming, dining and entertainment as its main offerings, but also upholds their flexibility and eagerness to adapt to customer needs and host and personalize whatever events they need.

Chukchansi attracts its customers by promising them a great time at the latest and most popular slots, at an elegant restaurant, through luxurious lodging or by participation to unique events. The resort and casino hopes to appeal to the sense of the customers by presenting their:

1,800 popular slot machines

48 gaming tables a poker room with 12 tables

12 individually diverse and themed bars

400 luxurious hotel rooms

800 parking spaces (the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino Website, 2009)

The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino places their products and services within the market by promoting their ability to break the customer from his daily life and worries and transcend him into a world of no worries and luxury. Whichever the reason that brings the customer to Chukchansi, and regardless of the duration of his stay, the resort and casino promises that the visitors will experience "the most enjoyable and memorable getaway" (the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino Website).

While the main target is formed from individuals looking to gamble and participate to concerts and other events hosted by Chukchansi (only individuals over the age of 21 will be allowed in), the company also strives to attract tourists, who visit the area to enjoy the natural beauties. The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino takes pride in being located just minutes away from some of the most beautiful attractions in California. These attractions include the Yosemite National Park, the Bass Lake, the Golden Chain Highway, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad and Thornberry Museum or the California State Mining and Mineral Museum and are promoted by the hotel as the "local attractions that offer the best in recreation, sight-seeing and adventure" (the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino Website).

Another means of appealing to the customers is that of linking the casino and hotel to the Indian tribe Chukchansi. The tribe is one of the most reputable Indian tribes in the United States, having spread across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Freso River, the Finegold Creek, the Coarsegold Creek and the San Joaquin River. The tribe, most like any other Indian tribe, is recognized for its efforts in the protection of the natural environment and the leading of a live which perfectly balances the needs of men and the needs of nature.

Linking the casino to the beliefs of the tribe's forefathers offers it a sense of consistency, history and tradition which appeal both to Native Americans, as well as to other races looking for a cultural experience or respecting history. The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino takes great pride in its ancestries and promises to live up to the beliefs of the elderly and to protect the environment. Additionally, they argue that they use their resources and other elements in the casino and resort to further balance the relationship between man and nature. "We are proud to offer the beauty and enjoyment of our resort and casino. They allow us to sustain the health and well being of our elders, nature and educate our children. […] Our inherited role as nature's caretakers is apparent in the environmental initiatives that help preserve our sacred land" (the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino Website).

While the registration of profits remains the major goal of the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, the company strives to achieve this desiderate through the satisfaction of the needs of as many stakeholder categories as possible. They serve the general public by protecting the environment and improving the quality of life through better breathing air and less pollution. They support the customers by presenting them with numerous relaxation opportunities, from spa, to dining, to gaming or concerts participation. And they support the development of the communities in which they operate. The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino creates jobs in California, reducing as such the socio-economic problem of unemployment. They pay their taxes on time, creating as such more funds to the local budgets to be used in the further development of the Californian community. Finally, they offer various sponsorship contracts which improve the quality of life and create more opportunities within the community.

3. Performance Appraisals

In a simplistic formulation, Dick Grote and Richard C. Grote (2002) define performance appraisal as a "formal management system that provides for the evaluation of the quality of an individual's performance in an organization." They argue that the evaluation of an employee is generally conducted by the direct supervisor of the respective employee. The supervisor normally completes a pre-designed standard form, and then discusses its results with the employee.

An average appraisal is performed with three specific scopes:

First, the performance appraisal offers the logic and objective context for salary increases, promotions, bonuses, demotions or termination of employment

Secondly, the performance appraisal allows the supervisor to inform the employee on his performances, as they are perceived by the company, and offers input on what needs to change in the employee's approach to his professional responsibilities

Finally, the third scope of the performance appraisal, a more recent one, is that of allowing the supervisor to mentor the professional formation of the employee (Grote, 1996)

While most of the economic agents perform employee evaluations once a year, the academicians argue that the practice should be ongoing and part of the business model. In such a case, a cyclic four stage process would occur. The first stage, called performance planning, revolves around a meeting between employee supervisor at the beginning of the year, during which the two parties discuss and set goals for the year to come. The objectives are forwarded by both the supervisor as well as the employee.

The second phase, performance execution, occurs gradually throughout the year. The employee works towards the initially established goals, and the supervisor offers valuable feedback and helps the employee resolve any incurred difficulties. By the middle of the year, another meeting is held between the two parties, in which they discuss the up to day progress that has been made in the achievement of the pre-established objectives.

The third stage, performance assessment, occurs near the end of the year, when the supervisor gathers necessary information and fills in organizational documents for the appraisal of the employee. He analyzes the evolution of the employee and forms an opinion, after which he forwards the report to his direct supervisor. They then convene on the salary increase, the premium or… [END OF PREVIEW]

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