Performance Appraisal Essay Example

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Executive Summary

The Human Resource (HR) department has the mandate of conducting performance appraisals to evaluate the performances of their employees as well as that of the organization in general. It is critical for HRM to take this fundamental objective seriously because it significantly impacts the performance of the firm. The report has, therefore, discussed the concept of performance appraisal which is concerned with the evaluation of the performance of an individual and comparing that to their compensation as well as the objectives of the firm. The report has also discussed the benefits of performance appraisals which have been found to be offering a career path, enhancement of decision-making ability, targeting needs, building relationships, as well as motivating employees. The report has also highlighted two major challenges of performance appraisals which are poorly trained managers as well as performance evaluations not being utilized for performance improvement. Finally, the report has evaluated the relationship between performance evaluations and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). The report has found the link to be the standardization of the performance appraisal processes for all, as well as equality and equity in the entire process of performance process.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Performance Appraisal 4

Key features of Performance Appraisal 5

Benefits of Performance Appraisal 5

Offering a Career Path 6

Enhancement of Decision Making Ability 6

Targeting Needs 6

Building Relationships 7

Employee Motivation 7

Challenges of Performance Appraisal 7

Poorly Trained Managers 7

Performance Appraisals not Utilized for Performance Improvement 8

Performance Appraisal and EEO 9

Conclusion 10

References 11


One of the prime functions of the Human Resource Management (HRM) is to undertake performance management. This performance management system is what entails performance appraisal which consists of various processes and activities which are embraced by a given organizations with the aim of enhancing the performance of employees and the firm as well. Thus, this shows that the HRM has the responsibility of measuring the individual performance of employees through a process known as performance appraisal. Many companies usually undertake performance evaluation following the various benefits that are associated with them and which will be discussed. On the other hand, this process also has challenges which will be highlighted in the paper. There is a relationship which exists between performance appraisal and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) which the paper will assess. Thus, in a nutshell, the report will evaluate why performance appraisal is a critical function of HRM.

Performance Appraisal

Performance evaluation can be defined as the process of systematic assessment of employee performance which is aimed at understanding their abilities for further development and growth. In the course of conducting performance appraisal, firstly, the supervisors and managers measure the employees’ payments and then compare that payment to the plans and targets of the organizations (Fletcher, 2001). Secondly, the managers then evaluate the factors which are behind the employees’ work performances. After this evaluation, the HR will then be in a better position to offer appropriate guidance to the employees which will steer them towards achieving better performance levels (Fletcher, 2001).

The HRM is highly concerned with conducting performance appraisals for various reasons. One of them is to maintain accurate records of their employees so that they can determine their appropriate salaries, wage structures, and other compensation packages (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004). The HRM also conducts performance appraisals so that they can identify the weaknesses and strengths of the individual employees for appropriate job allocation. This process enables the HRM to offer the employees with the right feedback regarding the related status and performance whereas it also serves as the basis for impacting the employees’ working habits (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004).

Key features of Performance Appraisal

As has already been identified above, performance evaluation is concerned with the systematic as well as the periodic process which evaluates the productivity and job performance of employees and relating that to the pre-established organizational objectives and criteria. Some of the other aspects of performance appraisal in relation to the individual employees are accomplishments, organizational citizenship behavior, as well as the possibility for improvement among various other aspects (Brown and Heywood, 2005). The systems of performance appraisal are typically employed so that there can be the management and alignment of all the resources of an organization with the aim of achieving the highest organizational performance. The way corporate performance is managed is a significant determinant of either the success or failure of that company (Guest, 2002). Thus, this is an apparent reason as to why the performance appraisal is a critical function of HRM which needs to be among the organizational priorities of all companies.

Benefits of Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is a critical part of the contribution of HRM to a given organization. This is because of the advantages that are associated with the process and which will be discussed below.

Offering a Career Path

Performance appraisals are the perfect opportunities for addressing some of the long-term objectives. This then provides the employee with the adequate opportunity to feel valued and satisfied with their jobs as well as make themselves useful to the organization (Brown, Hyatt, and Benson, 2010). Additionally, one of the aspects of performance appraisal is that it gives feedback to the employees regarding their strengths and weaknesses and offer advice on the way they can make themselves better. Doing this lights up the way for the employees towards them having a career path that is successful and at the same time inspires stability and loyalty towards the individual organization (Brown, Hyatt, and Benson, 2010). This is, therefore, a win-win situation for both the firm and the individual employee.

Enhancement of Decision Making Ability

Performance appraisals offer the HRM department with the adequate and detailed information regarding employee performance which then makes the decision-making process easier (Roberts, 2003). Additionally, when the HR fills the open positions with the existing employees, it usually tends to promote employee loyalty as well as strengthen the organization. When the HR knows the strengths that an individual employee display enhances the speed that projects could be assigned (Roberts, 2003). Also, the performance appraisals offer a framework which can be utilized to make decisions regarding compensation as well as that of layoffs (Roberts, 2003). Therefore, this shows that the efficient utilization of performance appraisals assists a company to operate efficiently and at the same time with focus.

Targeting Needs

Conducting performance appraisals enables the HR managers to target a particular weakness area which needs assessment as well as remediation (Poon, 2004). This can also be a valuable tool which can be utilized to establish goals and objectives which will, in the end, result in career development and promotions (Poon, 2004). Therefore, performance appraisals enable the HR managers to uncover the training needs of the employees which then enable a firm to focus their efforts on the narrowly defined areas.

Building Relationships

When the HRM conducts performance appraisals, both the employee and the employer are accorded the opportunity to concentrate and discuss performances. During these meetings of discussing achievements, there is the strengthening of relationships between staff and supervisors (Wright and Gardner, 2003). Developing this appropriate rapport then opens an adequate line of communication that the employees could utilize to make future suggestions for the organization or even applying for job promotions (Wright and Gardner, 2003).

Employee Motivation

It is evident that when HR conducts performance appraisals, they often serve as adequate motivational tools for the organizational employees. During the process, a firm may give bonuses or some other motivational perks to the employees which will enable them to enhance their performances (Roberts, 2003). It is critical to offer some of these improvement opportunities like mentorships, training seminars, or relevant classes which are designed to improve their performance appraisals (Roberts, 2003). Therefore, performance appraisals are positive avenues of improving the employee motivation.

Challenges of Performance Appraisal

Poorly Trained Managers

It is critical to highlight that it is essential for managers to understand the way to conduct performance appraisals effectively. Since the processes of performance appraisals may be different from one organization to another, it will be critical to train the managers to the performance appraisal philosophies at the organizational level (Teclemichael and Soeters, 2006). This will include the rating systems, form review processes, as well as the way data of the process is gathered. Many organizations have not been able to undertake effective performance appraisals because the managers lack the know-how of the way to conduct the process productively and efficiently (Teclemichael and Soeters, 2006). This then presents the need for them to undergo regular refresher courses to improve the quality of the process’ outcome. Additionally, if the HR manager is conducting the performance appraisal for the first time, then there are high probabilities that they may be uncomfortable with the process which may then result in some levels of awkwardness during the review process (Teclemichael and Soeters, 2006). Thus, one of the ways to overcome this challenge would be to follow a review format that is standardized which will be utilized for each employee. This will then be utilized to ensure that the HR managers are treating every employee in an equal manner and it will, in turn, assist them to be more comfortable when conducting the process of performance appraisal.

Performance Appraisals not Utilized for Performance Improvement

The purpose of conducting performance appraisals is not to offer input to employees only regarding what they are doing, but it is also aimed at providing the company with indications of the individual areas of potential improvement. However, it is unfortunate that only a few organizations do actually utilize these performance appraisal results for efforts of performance improvement (Roberts, 2003). Through assessing the results as well as taking advantage of both of the best practices of development opportunities and the way employees are performing, firms can potentially acquire maximum value and benefits from the efforts of performance appraisal (Roberts, 2003).

Performance Appraisal and EEO

The term Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is often utilized by federal governments to mean the practices of employment which ensure there is nondiscrimination on the basis of gender identity, national origin, mental ability, sexual orientation, marital status, among various other aspects. The principle that underlies EEO is equality and equity where every person needs to have equal opportunity access when in the workplace (Strachan, Burgess and Henderson, 2007). The public policy which is related to EEO is often stipulated in the anti-discrimination laws. Most of the EEO laws typically vary from one workplace to another regarding the employers’ terms or some of the other entities which they cover, often the people that they protect, or the transactions that they seek to regulate (Strachan, Burgess and Henderson, 2007). This philosophical EEO concept typically every time the employers strive to engage their employees. Thus, in a nutshell, EEO aims to eliminate any forms of discrimination in the HRM practices and policies, while providing equal opportunity and access to all the employees (Strachan, Burgess and Henderson, 2007).

There is a relationship which exists between performance appraisal process as well as EEO. One way is that EEO is a framework or standard which monitors the practices of compensation as well as the systems of performance appraisals for any patterns which could be linked to possible discrimination (Suk, 2007). Therefore, EEO enables the HRM to ensure that the performance evaluations that they undertake are genuinely based the actual work performance of the employees, and that is not biased in any way or form (Suk, 2007). On the other hand, the performance appraisals can be said to a component of EEO or an entity which oversees the principal of EEO is achieved through overseeing that there is consistency (Suk, 2007). This means that the comparable job performances are given or awarded similar job ratings which are regardless of the system of evaluation.

The systems of performance appraisals are related to EEO in that these performance appraisals seek to develop the potential of managers, supervisors, and employees with the principal of EEO at the back of their mind (Strachan, Burgess and Sullivan, 2004). This is through offering mentorship and training which then provides the staff members from all the backgrounds the information, experience, skills, opportunity which is necessary to enable them to perform well as well as ascend to high levels of their jobs (Strachan, Burgess and Sullivan, 2004). Additionally, the HRM seeks to undertake performance appraisals which address the needs of employees who come from all the backgrounds where they are accorded equal access to the networks in the workplace (Strachan, Burgess and Sullivan, 2004).


Performance evaluations are processes which are increasingly being utilized by organizations with the aim of enhancing the performance of employees and the organizations as a whole. Performance appraisal is a process of evaluating the performance of employees and compare it the goals of a company as well as their compensation benefits. Some of the primary features of performance appraisal include organizational citizenship behavior, performance enhancement, and job performance among various other aspects. Some of the benefits of performance appraisals include offering a career path, improvement of decision-making ability, targeting needs, building relationships, as well as motivating employees. On the other hand, the two major challenges which are associated with performance appraisals include poorly trained managers as well as performance appraisals not being utilized for performance improvement. The report has also discussed the relationship which exists between performance appraisal and EEO. The underlying principle of EEO is overseeing that there is no any form of discrimination in the workplace. The two concepts are connected in that there is standardization of the performance appraisal processes for all, as well as equality and equity in the entire process of performance process.


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Suk, J.C 2007, Discrimination at will: Job security protections and equal employment opportunity in conflict. Stanford Law Review, pp.73-113.

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