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Performance Assessment: When Good Reviews Go Bad

According to Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright (2010) performance management


systems must help the organization meet its' business objectives and serve as "a
basis for developing employees' knowledge and skills" (p.251). Performance
Multiplier and Rypple help the organization meet its' business objectives by keeping
employees on track on a regular basis. Performance Multiplier has employees set
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Great weekly and quarterly goals, an important function in making sure employees
are working toward organizational objectives. Performance Multiplier would help
employees understand what is specifically expected of them and help them adjust
their behavior to meet these expectations. Rypple allows regular feedback so that
employees can shape their behavior in an ongoing manner. In this way, the tools fit
with strategy and validity. However, there is concern that Rypple's feedback, while
specific, may be anonymous. This may mean the feedback is more direct but it is
also important for managers and employees to communicate directly, without the
guise of a 140-character limit or anonymity. As a result the reliability, acceptability
and actual specific feedback come into question. These methods would tend to
measure irrelevant aspects of performance, as well, depending upon how
often/much the employees uses the tools. In addition, it is unlikely that the
appraisals would be consistent among raters and over time, particularly due to the
frequency of the interaction and ability for many to weigh in. These tools are
effective in giving frequent, regular feedback so they would be helpful in giving
strategic feedback. Administratively, these systems do little to help "provide
information for day-to-day decisions about salary, benefits, and recognition
programs" (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010, p. 226) other than to have a
general idea of which employees are succeeding and should continue with the
organization. These tools however would be helpful in developing employees, giving
them feedback and guidance to shape their activities. In the event my employer
introduced Performance Multiplier or Rypple into the workplace, I would be happy.
Currently there is very little feedback after tasks are turned in. I would like to know
the reaction of the manager who requested the task thought of my work and ways
for improvement. The appraisals in this case fulfill developmental purposes by
telling the employees where they stood in terms of skills and knowledge. The
appraisals also partially involve administrative purposes and strategic purposes. In
the case of Bostjancic, she was told about the downsizing effort (although a
replacement was hired shortly afterward, causing concern over the organization's
true intentions). Li was also informed of "restructuring". However, the Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi case does not state the reasons for the lay offs. There is some
information in the case of employee moves for strategic reasons (pay doubling
based on value to company, shifting to revenue generating job) but in general not
enough information is provided to accurately answer this question. In order to

minimize the likelihood of disputes arising over whether employees are continuing
to perform at the same level it is important for the performance management
system to follow the five criteria outlined in the text: performance measures must
measure all aspects of performance (and not measure irrelevant aspects).
Performance measures must be consistent among employees and raters. The
measures must be acceptable to those involved and they should "specifically tell
employees what is expected of them and how they can meet those expectations"
(Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010, p. 251). It is important to provide
examples and give checkpoints to employees so they understand how they are
doing in between reviews. In the event I had been in the HR departments of the
companies described in this case, it would be important to review each incident
against these criteria. It would be important to measure each woman's performance
against others in a consistent, fair manner, perhaps utilizing an impartial reviewer
with an absence of personal details (e.g. their maternity leaves). It would be difficult
to go back and resurrect the facts, however. It might be more prudent to ensure that
going forward all processes are fair and equitable.