The most effective performance appraisal programmes typically combine four critical elements. They should be used by HR managers when developing procedures for those who conduct appraisal sessions. Supervisors and employees set performance objectives. Goals can be short-term or long-term, and they can address a variety of issues. Where possible, they should be specific and quantifiable (e.g., completion of a specific task within a defined time at an established quality level).
Employees may require additional training or other support to meet their goals. As workplace changes occur, goals should be reviewed and modified, if needed, with employee input. Regular, informal feedback from supervisors . Annual formal appraisals do not allow employees to assess progress toward goal attainment. More frequent input is needed, which occurs as supervisors work closely with employees and provide them with ongoing coaching.
A formal procedure for dealing with performance or disciplinary issues. Methods for improving poor job performance should be well-known, fair, and applied equally to all employees. From a legal standpoint, this entails using a formal method that details, in writing, the procedures and policies that must be followed consistently by all managers. Performance issues should be identified as they arise, and a plan of action for improvement should be established. Managers should be required to document the problem as well as the agreed-upon resolution plan and timeline in written procedures.
Regular and formal appraisal . Formal reviews that accurately document each staff member ’ s performance should be conducted regularly. In addition to
pinpointing improvement concerns, appraisals should identify specific steps for employees to enhance their long – term position with the organization.
Each of these performance appraisal characteristics may appear obvious, but busy supervisors may not receive training in the methods required by the hospitality
organization. In large properties, human resources specialists typically work with department heads, managers, and supervisors to develop property – wide procedures. In small organizations, the general manager and other personnel with human resources duties must ensure that these characteristics are incorporated into the performance appraisal system.
A properly implemented formal performance appraisal system provides numerous advantages:
Outstanding performance is recognised. Employees learn about their strengths and weaknesses in the best appraisal systems, which boosts morale and reduces turnover. Managers should praise desired employee behaviours unless a termination decision has been made. Every employee most likely possesses admirable personal work characteristics such as attendance, punctuality, neatness, adherence to dress code, friendliness, or other characteristics. Make a point of emphasising these because positive reinforcement of employee strengths often makes it easier to achieve improvements in other areas.
Identification of necessary improvements . When an employee knows and can excel in a position, it becomes more enjoyable. Few employees want a job that they do not understand, nor one in which their performance is poor. Some employees may not know about needed improvements. When an unbiased supervisor conducts a regularly scheduled appraisal, employees will learn how their performance can be improved, and both the employee and the operation will benefit.
Clarification of work standards . Well- designed performance appraisal systems emphasize how well employees have attained goals. Sometimes, this is simple. For example, a room attendant ’ s guest room cleaning times can be assessed. In other cases, performance is more difficult to measure. While most hospitality
managers agree that helpfulness is an important characteristic of a good hotel concierge, an objective evaluation of this trait is more complex than a timed measurement of task completion.
Regardless of measurement difficulty, if friendliness will be evaluated, an employee should understand its importance, how the trait should be displayed, and the expected end results of its display. Guest comments, management observation, and shopper ’ s services can provide input for the appraisal. If a friendliness concept is not communicated clearly, it is questionable whether managers can evaluate its occurrence. Performance appraisal provides the opportunity and responsibility for HR managers to clearly define and communicate job expectations.
Opportunity to analyze and redesign jobs . An effective performance appraisal program can identify the need for job redesign. Consider a situation in which a better way to perform an inventory count is volunteered by an employee who is responding to concerns that his or her performance of this task is below standards. If a specific job should be, but has not been, redesigned, applicable benefits are lost.
Identification of specific training and development needs. A performance appraisal system that identifies deficiencies, but does not address them, is deficient because it creates frustration. Specific steps that an employee and the operation should take to improve the employee ’ s skill levels are needed. Opportunities to discuss professional development activities can be part of this dialogue.
Determine professional development activities . Information discussed in a performance appraisal session establishes a foundation to help plan the employee’ s career. If career goals are known, beneficial educational or training activities can be considered, agreed upon, and used as a benchmark for subsequent performance appraisal. For example, an agreement might be made that an employee will complete an Internet – based course offered by a community college, and the hospitality organization will reimburse the employee if the course is successfully completed.
This can be a factor in a subsequent appraisal session, because the manager and the employee agreed that successful completion would be a priority. Validation of screening and selection processes . In previous thread , you learned about the importance of proper employee selection. Performance appraisal sessions allow managers to evaluate the effectiveness of these procedures. If employees consistently do not meet expectations, screening and selection tactics may be reasons. Well – managed appraisal systems help managers to pinpoint potential shortcomings.
Opportunity for employee feedback and suggestions . The best managers use appraisal sessions to learn about issues that affect guest satisfaction from the employees who actually interact with them. Remember that employees at all levels of the organization serve either internal customers or external customers. Most employees are eager to share beliefs about how their jobs could be improved and how service to guests can be enhanced.
Objective method to identify candidates for pay increases and promotion . Performance appraisal systems commonly yield decisions about which employees will receive compensation increases and promotions. It is a workplace reality that scarce organizational resources must be allocated rationally, and properly designed appraisal systems help with this task.
Human resources personnel have three primary roles in performance appraisal:
(1) advocate for effective appraisal,
(2) coordinate process planning and implementation
(3) determine legal requirements. In efforts to coordinate the planning process, they should evaluate alternative processes.
After the performance appraisal system is established, the human resources role continues as applicable policies, procedures, evaluation forms, and other documents are developed. Implementation involves communication with affected personnel. Those who will conduct performance appraisals must be trained, and employees must learn about the system. Follow – up tasks, including process evaluation, revision, if necessary, and management of specific ad hoc issues, are required. Also, because appraisal information will become part of the employees ’ personnel records, information must be collected and managed.
This brief description of steps in the process of developing and implementing a performance appraisal system suggests that it is complex (many steps are required), and it must be centralized to apply to all personnel. Human resources employees in many organizations are in the best position to assume this coordinating responsibility.