Performance Management and the Employee Appraisal Process


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Managing Human Resources 
Snell & Bohlander

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Select one the following METHODS for performance appraisal:

Trait methods
Behavioral methods
Results methods

Select two ASPECTS of a performance appraisal from the following list:

Strategic Relevance
Criterion Deficiency
Criterion Contamination
Compliance with the Law
Appraiser Training

Write a five (5) page paper (double spaced) addressing the following:

Select an industry or organization that has many occupational positions within it (the retail industry, the transportation industry, a marketing organization, or others) and explain why you chose this particular one.
Give an example of a job title for which each of the above METHODS would be an appropriate performance appraisal method.
Explain the special challenges for each of the ASPECT areas and what would be the impacts on employees and employers if the challenges were not addressed?
Describe the characteristics of an ideal appraisal system.


Performance Management and the Employee Appraisal Process


Introduction. 2

Retail Industry and Methods of Performance Evaluation. 2

Methods of Performance Appraisal 3

Trait Method. 4

Behavioral Appraisal 4

Results Methods. 4

Aspects of Performance Appraisal 5

Characteristics of an Ideal Appraisal system.. 6

Conclusion. 7

References. 8


Performance management is a continuous process through which managers monitor employee productivity and the overall contribution to the goals of the organization. Employee appraisal process is a major component of performance management (Bohlander & Snell, 2014). It is a systematic method of evaluating employees, their growth and providing feedback. This then forms the basis for promotions and salary increments. This paper will look into the methods of performance appraisal and aspects of performance appraisal. It will analyze performance management and employee appraisal in the retail industry. This evaluation will consist of a detailed application of the process for specific job roles within the industry.


Retail Industry and Methods of Performance Evaluation

The retail industry is a suitable point of analysis because it is a fully-evolved and diversified sector. This industry is heavily driven by sales in the same way that performance appraisal is heavily linked to compensation and payment policies. This sector demonstrates the biggest dependent correlation between performance and salary. This requires intricate planning and designing of comprehensive policies that motivate employees and rewards them in equal measure for their efforts.

At the outset, it is important to understand the structural employee and management organization in retail companies. The working staff is divided into office and store staff. Office staff consists of top and senior management that oversees fundamental units of the business. These are general areas of finance, marketing, sales, distribution and human resources. These officials are concerned with the regulation and decision-making processes. They are hired on specific job titles with defined roles and responsibilities. Compensation is directly tied to the job role and experience level. Compensation appraisal is based on evaluation of growth and improvement within the job title. Store staff members are allocated responsibilities in sales, warehousing and distribution. These employees begin with basic wages and get raises based on their unit sales and progress.

A retail store manager is in charge of the daily operations and functioning of the store. This individual synchronizes the departments and individuals in a store for maximum results. The manager is then supposed to report to the regional or general manager on the performance of his/her store. This allows the general manager to evaluate the performance of separate stores, identify strengths and weaknesses. In addition, this process is crucial for planning and allocation of resources.

Methods of Performance Appraisal

The most common approaches to performance appraisal include trait, behavioral and result method. All of them can be applied to performance appraisal for the role of store manager in one way or the other. It is important to identify a set of standards that are acceptable to the organization and its employees against which the performance appraisal is to be made (Cizek, 2001).

Trait Method

The trait method uses personal traits and characteristics such as ethics, loyalty, leadership, communication and appearance as a standard unit of measurement. These traits are identified through daily interaction with the individual. However, it tends to be very subjective for its reliance on judgment and preferences (DeNisi, 1996). Thus, evaluating a store manager using this method would be of limited qualitative value. To a small extent, though, it can be used to observe leadership and communication patterns. Nonetheless, this method may be more productive if applied in the appraisal of store staff who depend on social and physical factors to drive more sales and likeability with customers. Thus, appearance, communication and professionalism can be evaluated rather well using this method for this group of employees.

Behavioral Appraisal

This method concentrates on behavior patterns to determine performance by using accurate scales and numbers to evaluate different areas of behavior including customer interaction and training. It can be a very effective way of appraising the performance of a store manager as well as designing scales that are of particular importance to specific areas of evaluation. However, it would be a cumbersome technique for store staff due to the huge workforce numbers involved. In such a case, evaluation would become generalized into groups of employees instead of individual employees.


Results Methods

Results methods solely consider an individual’s performance on the job. This method analyzes the individual employee’s professional growth and his/her continuing performance. It is measured using factors such as leadership, input/output, teamwork, knowledge and innovation. This strategy is significantly accurate when projecting expected career and performance goals (Cizek, 2001). It can be used to evaluate office staff such as the store manager and store employees in equal measure. It is accurate and fair regardless of position and job position. However, it leads to automation and mechanization of work which hinders creativity and flexibility.

Aspects of Performance Appraisal

The five aspects of performance appraisal to be examined in this section include strategic relevance, criterion deficiency, reliability, compliance with the law, and appraiser training. Strategic objectives are used to measure the effectiveness of the performance appraisal in addition to helping to merge the evaluations and company goals. They are typically set in accordance with the general company objectives. It is important to align these objectives with the ethics and ideologies of the company and the individuals (London, 1997). In the long term, this gives direction to both the employers and employees.

Criterion deficiency occurs when the measures used in performance analysis exclude one or more aspects of analysis that contribute to the overall evaluation, and this is majorly due to overemphasis on certain objectives to the exclusion of others. The result is the evaluation process becomes flawed and the results are inaccurate, creating a gap between the employers and employees. In more extreme circumstances, the communication link between these two parties may be severed.

On the other hand, a performance appraisal is reliable if different people belonging to a similar team or group can use the same system and obtain the same result. Inconsistency in the system leads to extreme loss of employee motivation. Additionally, the system should focus on performance instead of subjective factors and traits (Clardy, 1996). Lack of reliability in performance management nullifies the entire process and goals of promoting productivity.

Regarding legal compliance, it is self-evident that the performance evaluation process is not exempt from the law, which requires that basic freedoms such as privacy and equality are safeguarded. If the law is not observed, legal consequences could result for both the employees and the employers. Lastly, appraiser training matter a lot in performance management. It directs the actions of evaluators during process design, execution and monitoring, thereby allowing for the streamlining of the entire process according to the law and universal ethical principles. Poor appraiser training leads to poor evaluation and loss of trust by the employees. Over time, the entire productivity level of the organization is destroyed and its entire output loses value.

Characteristics of an Ideal Appraisal system

An ideal appraisal system should entail accurate job analysis and description, training, and a compensation policy. Job description creates a manual of the expectations of both the employees and management. An effective appraisal system will put resources and time in all job descriptions. A functional appraisal system provides training for both the evaluators and the employees. The evaluators are equipped with techniques that are fair and provide productive feedback. At the same time, employees are trained on the sequence of the process to promote transparency. Besides, compensation is one of the most important parts of the process. An ideal appraisal system will have a guaranteed and tied compensation policy that delivers reward and consequence in proportion to the evaluation. This contributes towards employee motivation and ownership of their work responsibilities (Prosek, 2011). The compensation policy must go ahead to offer reliability, security and continuity.


Performance management is an integral component of business operations in the present corporate world. The retail industry offers an excellent choice for this undertaking in the context of this paper because it allows for the evaluation of many categories of employees. The industry is also extremely decentralized and broken down into separate job roles. The evaluation methods of trait, behavior and result can be merged and balanced to obtain maximum results. All the aspects of appraisal should also be observed to avoid process constraints. Finally, the human resource department has the ultimate responsibility of designing an efficient and comprehensive appraisal system that is objective, results-oriented and sustainable.


Bohlander, G. and Snell, S. (2014). Managing Human Resource. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Cizek, G. (2001). Setting Performance Standards: Concepts, Methods and Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Asocciates.

Clardy, A. (1996). Managing Human Resources: Exercises, Experiments and Application workbook. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

DeNisi, A. (1996). A Cognitive Approach to Performance Appraisal: A Program of Research. London: Routledge.

London, M. (1997). Job Feedback: Seeking and Using Feedback for Performance Improvement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Prosek, J. (2011). Army of Entrepreneurs: Create and Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. New York, NY: Amacom.

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