Performance appraisal systems have been
a common element in the workforce since 1914, when Lord and Taylor Company
instituted a formal performance evaluation system in which they started rating
their employees annually against pre-established performance objectives
(Fletcher, 2001). The performance appraisal systems have been a main element of
business management ever since. Since the flourishing of the
Management-by-Objectives (MBO) movement, performance appraisal has become an
almost universal element in management.

The performance appraisal practice is arguably one of the more crucial
ones in terms of organisational performance and appears to be an indispensable
part of nearly any human resource management system (Shrivastava & Purang,
2011). It can be called performance reviews, annual reviews, merit ratings,
performance ratings, employee ratings, or some other title. Appraisals which
create feelings of justice and trust among employees result in increased
employee motivation. Employees know about their strengths and weaknesses
through performance appraisal implementation and it also help both employee and
managers to improve on-the-job performance. Performance appraisal assists in
human resource planning by analysing training and development needs and by
identifying high level performers in the organisation. Employees become aware
of the organisation’s expectations after performance appraisal, which helps
them in improving their performance so as to match the organisation’s standards
(Dessler, 2011).

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Performance appraisal has over time been referred to as an instrument or
form that is used to assess an employee’s job performance, an interview where
an employee’s job performance is assessed and feedback is given to the
employee, a system of setting employee job expectations, employee actual job
performance, assessing that performance and feedback to the employee on the
performance assessment and how to improve it in the future or setting new goals
and expectations for another period, or performance management with job
performance appraisal a part of it (Dessler, 2011). According to Grobler,
Warnich, Carrel, Elbert and Hatfied (2006) performance appraisal is an
important element in the development of institutions’ most important resources,
employees. They also declare that the development of employees could not be
achieved by any other human resource programme than performance appraisal.
Richards (2010) indicated that performance appraisal can provide an indication
of areas of training need as well as direction for leadership development,
performance improvement, and succession planning. The performance appraisal can
be referred to a management method where the performances of employees are
assessed for reward or punishment.

Performance appraisal can be defined as the assessment of employees at
the end of the performance process in order to see how they have performed in
terms of achieving the targets as set out in the performance agreement and
performance improvement plans. This process is conducted between supervisor and
subordinate. Performance appraisal has been differently defined by many
scholars, some of which are as follows;

   Performance appraisal is the
identification, measurement, and management of human performance in an
organization (Gomez & Cardy, 2001). According to (Van der Waldt, 2004)
performance appraisal is a platform
for performance management by establishing targets and making a range of
decisions aimed at improving the performance of employees in an institution.  “Performance appraisal (PA) is the ongoing process of evaluating and managing both the
behavior and outcomes in the work place” (Grobler et al., 2006). Performance
appraisal  is defined as a structured
formal interaction between a subordinate and supervisor, which usually takes
the form of a periodic interview in which the work performance of the
subordinate is examined and discussed, with a view to identifying weaknesses
and strength as well as opportunities for improvement and skills development
(Agyenim-Boateng, 2006).

Performance appraisal involves measuring job performance in which mainly
captures an essential element of the performance appraisal process without
specifying the actual techniques used for measurement (Kavanagh, Benson &
Brown, 2007). The above definitions suggest that, performance appraisal serves
as a basis for future decisions since it focuses on reviewing the past
performance in order to improve the future performance success of the


Employee Performance

          An Employee is a primary source of
competitive advantage in an organisation. 
No matter how solid a business model may be, it definitely needs great
people or workforce to back it up and deliver on the company’s promise to their
stakeholders (Boyce, 2014). Carter, Klein & Day (1992) defines performance
as a multi-dimensional concept which covers dimensions such as quality,
effectiveness, responsiveness, equity and efficiency.  Perceptions on what makes up high ranks of
organisational performance are possible to differ according to stakeholders
group which may include both internal and external stakeholders (Walker and
Boyne 2006).

          Employee performance is a behaviour
that is relevant to organisational goals and falls within the control of the
employee or staff (Campbell, McColy, Oppler & Sager, 1992). Employee
performance may include; value of productivity, measure of output, timeline of
output, commitment to work and employee co-cooperativeness (Gungor, 2011). According
to Kumar (2015), employee performance is the action expected of an employee and
how well those actions are carried out. Employee performance which is deemed to
be good has been correlated with improved customer view of the quality of
service whereas lowly employee performance has been related with immerse client
grievances especially with regards to organisations who deal with clients
directly.  Organisations normally assess
the performance of each employee annually in order to aid employees spot
recommended areas that need to be improved.



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