Performance Management and Appraisal at Apple, Inc Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1601 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Performance Management Appraisal at Apple

Performance Management Appraisals at Apple

In this paper, we are going to be studying the performance evaluation procedures that are used by Apple. This will be accomplished by focusing on: conducting an in depth evaluation of the employee procedures that are utilized by the firm. Once this takes place, is when we can provide specific insights to show how this is helping the company to adapt with a host of transformations.

Over the last several years, the issue of Performance Management has been increasingly brought to the forefront. This is because a number of firms are realizing that hiring and motivating employees will help to give them a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Evidence of this can be seen with a study that was conducted by Tews (2011). He found that there are a host of factors that employers will use in determining who will be a good fit for the organization. These include: the mental competence of the person, their ability to work with others and consistency. The combination of these factors is designed to provide employers with a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. This helps a firm to determine what attributes will assist the organization in adapting with a host of challenges it is facing. As a result, those companies that have the best employee evaluation procedures will remain competitive. (Tews 94 -- 101)Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Performance Management and Appraisal at Apple, Inc. Assignment

In the case of Apple, the firm has largely been driven by the culture that was established by the founder Steve Jobs. At the heart of his approach, was to push everyone to do more to help make the firm more competitive. This caused the company to be increasingly demanding with its employees. To ensure that everyone is working as effectively as possible the firm has a performance management appraisal system (which is designed to hire and evaluate the most talented individuals). In order to understand this process, requires conducting an in depth evaluation of the employee procedures that are utilized by the firm. Once this takes place, is when the effectiveness of this process will show how Apple is able to attract and retain key talent. (Herbold 29 -34) (Griffin 430 -- 431)

The Performance Evaluation Process at Apple

Like what was stated previously, Steve Jobs is the individual who set the entire tone of the organization. This is because he was involved in every aspect from: product design to the actual marketing of merchandise. As a result, this has caused Apple to have a reputation for being known as an innovative company to work for. Evidence of this can be seen with comments from Edgar Woolard (a former Apple board member) who said, "If Steve has a good relationship with you, there is nobody better in the world to work with. He trusts you, listens to you and bounces ideas off of you." (Griffin 431) This is illustrating how Jobs was able to create an atmosphere that is conducive of helping employees to feel a sense of empowerment. In many ways, one could argue that this approach is what made the firm so successful. (Griffin 430 -- 431)

However, Steve Jobs is also known for being very confrontational and standoffish. This is because his personality is: dominant, aggressive and controlling. The combination of these factors has caused him to be viewed as a workaholic that expects everyone to sacrifice for the company. This is despite the fact that they have worked over 40 hours a week and have spent very little personal time with their families. As a result, this has led to criticisms of Jobs by showing how he is tyrant to work for. (Griffin 430 -- 431)

A good example of this can be seen with comments from Larry Tessler (the company's Chief Scientist) who said, "Everyone had been terrorized by Steve Jobs at some point or another, and so there was a certain relief when he would be gone. And on the other hand, I think there was incredible respect for Steve Jobs by the very same people and we were all very worried about what would happen to this company without his vision and charisma." (Griffin 430) This is illustrating how Apple also has an atmosphere that is aggressive by: focusing on quickly developing a wide variety of products and services for customers. During this process, is when there will be a sense of respect and contention for Steve Jobs. (Griffin 430 -- 431)

How the Process Works?

The way the employee appraisal process works is to hire the best people for different positions in the company. This involves having candidates meeting basic criteria for the position (such as: educational and experience). Those individuals that qualify are then moved to areas, where the company will evaluate specific skill sets. This involves Apple having employees take a practical exam, go through a series of interviews and they are utilizing different predictors in locating the best employees. (Highhouse 333 -- 342)

Once someone begins working for the company is when they will be provided with a competitive benefits package. A few of the different elements that are offered include: stock options, tuition reimbursement, flexible scheduling and health care / life insurance. The combination of these factors is designed to help Apple find the best employees. This is accomplished through aggressively screening applicants during the hiring process (by having them meet specific criteria). (Highhouse 333 -- 342)

Once they begin working for the firm, is when they will be provided with lots of benefits to ensure that they are motivated to do more for the organization. As a result, these factors are allowing Apple to be able to create innovative products by: having effective leadership and locating / compensating the most talented individuals. In many ways, one could argue that this approach is helping the firm to find and retain the best abilities inside the industry. (Highhouse 333 -- 342)

The Evaluation

The performance evaluation process of employees involves them receiving a semiannual review. This is when managers will determine the underlying strengths and weaknesses of the individual. During this process, is when three to four different executives will be working with employees to: understand specific areas to improve and those they are excelling in. The main focus is on helping everyone to see how they can become more productive. (Stone 38 -- 40) (Snell 143 -- 179)

At the same time, there is an emphasis on encouraging employees to discuss ideas that they may have. In general this will occur, through subdividing into specific teams that will identify the needs and will work on creating specific products. For example, during the creation of the I Pod is when Apple realized that the music industry was changing. as, the recording industry had no way of stopping the public from: downloading and listening to copyright protected titles. While simultaneously, the public preferred to download and listen to songs over the Internet. (Stone 38 -- 40) (Snell 143 -- 179)

To address these issues, Apple created the I Pod using a series of teams. Their basic approach was to have these different groups work on creating a device using digital music technology. What made the process so successful is that the company was using performance evaluation to help everyone to remain focused. This is when the reviews were used to: subtly point out weaknesses and how the employee could do better job. At the same time, staff members were allowed to openly discuss these issues with Steve Jobs and other executives. This improved communication and collaboration. Over the course of time, this approach created an atmosphere that was driven by creating products to revolutionize the world of music. (Stone 38 -- 40) (Snell 143 -- 179)

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