Staff Performance Development Reviews Term Paper

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Legal and Ethical Considerations. Because job performance is the most widely studied criterion variable in the organizational behavior and human resource management literatures, the validity of performance measures is regarded as a critical feature of the process.

Given the nature of the employee review process, though, remaining fair and equitable about the facts is of course a given; however, there are also some important legal and ethical considerations that must be taken into account as well. According to London (2003), "The performance review process must be conducted in a professional and fair manner, focused on behaviors and outcomes (not personalities) and free of discrimination unrelated to job performance."

In addition, in the United States, any type of employee performance review system that is used to make human resources decisions about a member of a protected class (e.g., based on age, race, religion, gender, or national origin) must be recognized as a valid system (i.e., an accurate measure of performance associated with job requirements), or it may be successfully challenged in the courts (based, for instance, on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975).

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Companies that use rating systems that rely on subjective criteria and personality trait evaluations rather than evaluations of behavior may be setting themselves up for a lawsuit; in fact, these types of review processes may be worse than having none at all in place.

While there are a number of ways to categorize employee performance measures, the most popular approaches have been between objective and subjective measures. According to Bommer, Johnson, Mackenzie, Podsakoff and Rich, "Objective measures are defined here as direct measures of countable behaviors or outcomes, whereas subjective measures consist of supervisor ratings of employee performance."

Term Paper on Staff Performance Development Reviews Performance Assignment

Employee reviews are inherently subject to the raters' subjective biases and prejudices which may not even be consciously projected; therefore, appraisal systems that are linked to goal-setting initiatives must also integrate an ongoing procedure, such as a timely and effective review process. In fact, if just an annual or semiannual review meeting takes place that merely addresses the most recent performance information, it may not even be a valid system, or it may not provide acceptable justification for informed human resources decisions.

Besides such frequent performance discussions, London recommends that managers ensure that they document employee performance in behavioral terms on an ongoing basis as well; however, it must be taken into account that this type of formally recorded material is regarded as discoverable in court and it must therefore be accurate and factual. According to London, "The supervisor should be clear with the subordinate at the outset of the performance period about how the appraisal will be used. Also, managers should review their appraisals of subordinates with the next level of supervision as a way of holding the manager accountable for a thorough and fair evaluation."

Finally, a related legal and ethical issue concerns sexual harassment in the workplace. This type of harassment can take place when inappropriate feedback is given an employee. London points out that sexual harassment involves sexual favors or the creation of an environment that tolerates unwelcome sexual advances or language. Companies must have a clearly stated policy regarding such behavior, but this author also recommends that the performance review guidelines and associated training include a specific reference to this policy; further, there should also be some type of mechanism in place to help prevent the creation of a hostile environment during the review process itself. "This includes any sexual advances, innuendos, or vulgar statements that an employee could consider hostile or objectionable."

Conclusions and Recommendations.

The research showed that the employee performance review process represents both an opportunity for managers to motivate their employees as well as a potential threat to the company's survival if improperly administered. Therefore, it is vitally important for managers at all levels with performance review responsibilities to understand how and why people work the way they do, and just how powerful and influential the feedback -- both positive and negative -- they receive from management can be on their performance. In the final analysis, it would seem that almost everyone desperately wants and needs to know how they are doing on the job, especially if they feel they are making a significant contribution to the company's success.

Bibliography

Bommer, William H., Jonathan L. Johnson, Scott B. Mackenzie, Philip M. Podsakoff and Gregory A. Rich. 1995. "On the Interchangeability of Objective and Subjective

Measures of Employee Performance: A Meta-Analysis." Personnel Psychology, 48(3),

Denton, D. Keith. 1992. Recruitment, Retention, and Employee Relations: Field-Tested

Strategies for the '90s. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Gellerman, S.W. 1992. Motivation in the Real World: The Art of Getting Extra Effort from Everyone -- Including Yourself. New York: Dutton.

London, Manuel. 2003. Job Feedback: Giving, Seeking, and Using Feedback for Performance

Improvement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Luthans, Kyle. 2000. "Recognition: A Powerful, but Often Overlooked, Leadership Tool to Improve Employee Performance." Journal of Leadership Studies, 7(1), 31.

Risher, Howard. 2003. "Tapping Unused Employee Capabilities: How to Create a High

Performance Environment by Changing the Work Paradigm and Taking a Radically

Different Approach to Train the Next Generation of Managers and Supervisors." The

Public Manager, 32(2), 34.

Rudman, Richard. 2003. Performance Planning and Review: Making Employee Appraisals

Work. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.

Strebler, M.T., S. Bevan and D. Robinson. 2001. Performance Review: Balancing Objectives

and Content, Report 370. London: Institute for Employment Studies.

M.T. Strebler, S. Bevan and D. Robinson, Performance Review: Balancing Objectives and Content, Report 370 (London: Institute for Employment Studies, 2001).

S.W. Gellerman, Motivation in the Real World: The Art of Getting Extra Effort from Everyone -- Including Yourself (New York: Dutton, 1992), p. 2.

Richard Rudman, Performance Planning and Review: Making Employee Appraisals Work (Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2003), p. 2.

Howard Risher, "Tapping Unused Employee Capabilities: How to Create a High Performance Environment by Changing the Work Paradigm and Taking a Radically Different Approach to Train the Next Generation of Managers and Supervisors" (The Public Manager, 32(2), 2003), p. 34.

Risher, 2003, p. 34.

Risher, 2003, p. 35.

Kyle Luthans, "Recognition: A Powerful, but Often Overlooked, Leadership Tool to Improve Employee Performance" (Journal of Leadership Studies, 7(1), 2000), p. 31.

F. Herzberg, Work and the Nature of Man (Cleveland, OH: World, 1966) in Luthans, p. 31.

Luthans, 2000, p. 31.

Luthans, 2000, p. 32.

Luthans, 2000, p. 32.

D. Keith Denton, Recruitment, Retention, and Employee Relations: Field-Tested Strategies for the '90s (Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2003), p. 88.

Rudman, 2003, p. 3.

William H. Bommer, Jonathan L. Johnson, Scott B. Mackenzie, Philip M. Podsakoff, and Gregory A. Rich, "On the Interchangeability of Objective… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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