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Human Resources Management Midterm Study Guide: Managing and Appraising Employee Performance

Updated on February 15, 2016


Criterion deficiency occurs when performance standards focus on a single criterion and exclude other important but less quantifiable performance dimensions.



Studies have shown that employees who earn performance-based pay are more satisfied.



Developmental purposes for performance appraisal include evaluating training programs and determining promotion candidates.



A problem with performance appraisal is that it:

tends to be objective and consistent

identifies weaknesses of employees as well as strengths

tends to focus on short-term objectives rather than long-term learning

tends to be a bottom-up process

Graphic rating scales include sets of statements between which the rater must choose, such as "works hard" vs. "works quickly."



The two most common purposes of performance management programs are administrative and developmental.



Regardless of the number of points on a rating scale, it is critical that:

each level is clearly defined

managers use the ratings consistently

the scale fits within the organization’s culture

all of the above

A zero to 10 rating scale is the most commonly used.



Freedom from criterion deficiency of performance appraisals refers to the extent to which:

standards relate to the overall objectives of the organization

standards capture the entire range of an employee's responsibilities

individuals tend to maintain a certain level of performance over time

factors outside the employee's control can influence performance

Behavior observation scales have raters check statements that they believe are characteristic of the employee.



A major drawback of the essay method is that composing an essay that attempts to cover all of an employee's essential characteristics is very time-consuming.



While 360-degree appraisals have many advantages, they are not for every employer or every type of employee.

For your initial post, imagine you are an HR manager for a company that has a large call center. The call center manager wants your help initiating a 360-degree appraisal for his call center representatives. In your initial post, discuss whether you would encourage or discourage this and why. Describe what conditions would need to be in place in order for a 360-degree appraisal process to be effective with the call center staff.

If I were a HR manager for a company that has a large call center where the center manager wants my assistance initiating a 360-degree appraisal for his call center representatives, then I would begin by discussing the 360-degree appraisal with the center manager. A 360-degree appraisal is a performance evaluation that is carried out by different people, who interact with the employees, comparable to supervisors, peers, subordinates, and customers (Bohlander, Snell, & Morris, 2013). I would discuss the 360-degree appraisal with the call center manager so as to understand the reasoning and goals with having a 360-degree appraisal done. The reasoning behind the 360-degree appraisal would influence my decision to either encourage or discourage the 360-degree appraisal. If the reason was a legitimate one where the center manager’s reasons were valid, then I would encourage the 360-degree appraisal. I would encourage the 360-degree appraisal because the feedback would be gathered from multiple perspectives, the bias would be lessened, the number of people involved in the 360-degree appraisal would decrease the chance of prejudice affecting the feedback, and the feedback could improve an employees’ self-development (Bohlander, Snell, & Morris, 2013). However, if the reason was either not legitimate or if it could be handled through a different type of appraisal, then I would discourage the 360-degree appraisal. I would discourage the 360-degree appraisal because of the complexity of the system, the feedback can have an intimidating effect on the employees which could cause feelings of resentment, the possibility of conflicting feedback due to the numerous perspectives, the time it would take to train all of the raters, the fact that raters may collude the system through unfairly evaluating each other, and the fact that the raters may feel that they are not accountable if their appraisals are anonymous (Bohlander, Snell, & Morris, 2013).

In order for a 360-degree appraisal process to be effective with the call center staff steps would need to be taken to minimize the negatives of the appraisal. In order to make the 360-degree appraisal less complex I would create a step by step plan that I would provide to each of the raters so that the appraisal would be laid out for all of them. I would attempt to counteract any feelings of resentment of employees feeling ganged up on and intimidated by having all the respondent’s appraisals reviewed to ensure that if any employee receives numerous negative appraisals that they can be spoken to and encouraged to improve instead of wallowing in resentment. I would ensure that the raters were not colluding the system through rating each other unfairly by having each appraisal reviewed by an outside third part such as a consultant. To ensure that the 360-degree appraisal process will be effective with the call center staff, I would explain the appraisal to the entire staff during a meeting and explain the fact that even negative appraisals are good as they can help people to form goals and to improve in areas that they are weak in.


Bohlander, G., Snell, S., & Morris, S. (2015). Managing human resources (17th ed.). Thomson/South-Western.


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