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Case Study on Evaluation and Morale

Updated on April 2, 2014

Evaluation and Morale

The case study Evaluation and Morale provides several examples of problems that can take place during a performance evaluation. The employee performance appraisal gives the supervisor an opportunity to give the employee constructive feedback of their work performance. It is essential for the nurse manager to create a non-stressful evaluation procedure in order to achieve the desired results of continued motivation and advancement towards excellence in patient care and to meet the goals set by the organization. In this situation, the supervisor did not give constructive feedback and focused on one situation instead of a variety of situations. The nurse did not know her supervisor placed so much importance in the one situation and felt like it came ‘out of the blue’. This is a problem because any situation that requires disciplinary action must be performed at the time of the incident in order to improve future performance. By waiting until the performance evaluation to focus on the incident, the nurse manager created stress and the nurse shut down the communication that is essential to the appraisal process. Another problem was that the evaluation was one-sided and the employee did not have any opportunity to participate in the process. The lack of active participation in the evaluation creates questions of the validity and reliability of the appraisal process. The validity and reliability of a process is associated with the perceived ‘fairness’ of that process. In studies, the fairness of the appraisal and been identified as the most important aspect of how the employee responds to them (Vasset, Marnburg, & Furunes, 2010).

The nurse manager must try to improve this situation in order to regain the working relationship. This can be accomplished through Management by objectives, where the nurse is given the opportunity to set goals and develop the methods to meet and evaluate those goals. This will create an interactive evaluation process which will be effective and give the nurse increased autonomy and accountability for professional growth. The supervisor must also give positive comments of situations where the nurse excelled. It has been found that employees who did not receive praise for their work were more likely to be dissatisfied with their work (Seiden & Sowa, 2011). The nurse manager must also provide ongoing feedback out side of the performance appraisal to increase communication and performance. Research has shown that effective feedback improves employee performance and increases their sense of fairness toward the evaluation process (Seiden & Sowa, 2011).

The nurse manager’s behavior could be attributed to several factors. Supervisors can have significant pressure from higher management to increase productivity or meet organizational goals. The nurse manger also may not have had the needed education to conduct evaluations correctly. It is also possible that the nurse manager was not focused just on the one bad incident and other positive things were conveyed to the nurse. The nurse could have been the one who focused on the one bad incident and did not hear anything other than the criticism from the supervisor. If this were the case, the supervisor needs to work on finding different communication styles for different people and how to identify the signs of a break-down in communication. Employees do not react to things in the same way; this requires the need to think about how employees may respond to certain situations and to factor that into the performance appraisal process (Seiden & Sowa, 2011).

Performance appraisals are a valuable system designed to improve performance. When used correctly, it is a valuable tool for organizations to increase morale and meet organization goals. In order to get the most out of a performance appraisal, everyone involved must understand the program and be an active participant. The mutual benefits of performance appraisal programs include career advancement and increased economic performance.


Seiden, S., & Sowa, J. E. (2011, Fall). Performance management and appraisal in human service organizations: management and staff perspectives. Public Personnel Management, 40(3), 251-264.

Vasset, F., Marnburg, E., & Furunes, T. (2010, May). Employees’ perceptions of justice in performance appraisals. Nursing Management, 17(2), 30-34.



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