Discuss the importance of communication among employees.

The shortcomings of precision’s performance appraisal method

A merit pay program is a pay increase of the employee on the basis of his/her meeting the conditions of a set criteria by the employer. Merit pay is referred to as pay-per-performance. The issue of merit pay is only involving to the employer and the employee or his representative. The process usually inculcates the employer carrying out a meeting with the employee to review the employee’s performance at work during a particular period. The following shortcomings of Precision’s performance appraisal process are likely to cause Jackson to implement a merit pay program.

Employees lack a definitive job description. The process fails as in the job description of Process’ employees there is no clear definition of how their work performance will affect their pay or how they will be rewarded or not rewarded based on their performance. This will affect the organization in that; they will be unable to effectively recruit employees as would-be employees are unaware of what is expected of them in terms of performance. The productivity of employees is also reduced as these employees are unprepared for their duties and would thus require more training. For example the organization might find that an employee lacks a certain required skill. Another effect is that employees working without detailed direction can become demoralized, undergo confusion and be demotivated as there is no benchmark for what they are to do in terms of performance. Planning in the organization is derailed as without a job description, employees do not know of what to do or how to perform to go up in the organization chart (Arthur, 2008).

Lack of communication between supervisors and employee on performance. Supervisors require communication skills to enable effective communication between them and the employees. Communication affects performance in the following ways. Resolution of conflict is enabled as when the supervisor has skill in communication especially listening, they can be able to find out and resolve problems faced by the employees that limit on their performance. It is essential to communicate as to provide the employees with feedback on their performance and their behavior in the workplace. Also, good communication skills on the part of the supervisors enables them to foster interdepartmental relationships that in turn build on the cohesiveness of the organization unit building on performance.

Similar increases in pay across the board. All employees get similar increases in this performance appraisal process and as such there are effects. Employees are demotivated. As profit sharing or merit pay especially is not done, employees performing very well may feel demotivated and lacking recognition which they feel they deserve. The focus on long term goals that could otherwise be boosted by bonuses linked to long-term performance, is hinged as there lacks such incentive by the employer. Employees also, are less likely to go the extra mile in performance as there are no benefits on top of base pay to reward high performance. Lastly, employee engagement is most times minimal as the cohesiveness and oneness of the organization is loosened by a lack of a metric to appreciate or depreciate employees. This could give rise to animosity among employees as even when its clear their performance is not at par, their paychecks unfortunately are (Jensen, 2012).

Necessary changes to align the performance appraisal process to a merit pay program

Deepening evaluation. Analyzing the performance of 250 employees only on four metrics is somewhat inculpable. Quantity of work, quality of work, attendance and attitude simply don’t cut it. It is actually stringent to use a factor such as attitude in the process. This is because there is no metric to measure such a factor. Positive attitude however bears the following fruits. The employee is responsive to the needs of clients, responds to requests in time, serves customers in a friendly manner, completes assignments as required and asks for extra assignments, shares their best practices with co-workers, receives positive feedback from clients and goes the extra mile to satisfy customers.

Conduct a job analysis. This so as to enable job definition and come up with the employee behaviors needed to do the jobs not forgetting what essentially is expected of the employees in terms of performance. This will also enable employees to evaluate themselves and as such instill a sense of performance responsibility. When the employer’s expectations are clear and a reward system such as the merit pay is implemented, the employees will strive to attain the extra incentives by improving their performance (Jensen, 2012).

Set goals effectively. The organization should set goals in a way that they are not only clear to the employees but also understandable. The organization should set SMART goals i.e. Specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic and time bound goals. This reduces discrepancy. Ensure a continuous process. Planning for and monitoring performance, training and feedback are continuous and do support activities pertinent to rewards, development and learning. Training, feedback and evaluation of performance creates a feedback loop that is separate but still inculcated in the larger loop which should happen, most often allowing for vital adjustments in the process of performance planning (Arthur, 2008).

Supervisors should be adequately trained and prepared. Immense skill is required to manage the performance of employees. To ensure supervisors feel prepared to carry out performance evaluation efficiently, training could be required. Supervisors need to be conversant with human behavior, ways to foster motivation, ways to develop and provide training and also how to resolve problems. Supervisors must be able to carry out assessment and identify conflicts or issues that may limit performance. They must also be aware that different levels of supervision, input and support are required for different employees. A successful appraisal management process of performance is dependent on the supervisor’s ability to evaluate performance, give and receive feedback and perform efficient performance evaluation meetings (Jensen, 2012).

In conclusion, for a performance evaluation process to be considered effective it should enable supervisors and managers to measure and evaluate performance and increase productivity by; Linking employees’ daily activities with the organization’s strategy and objectives. Provision of clarifications and visibility on accountability in relation to expectations of performance. Putting down individual performance as a means to support career planning decisions and compensation. Establishment of focus on learning activity choices and skill development. And lastly coming up with documentation so as to legally reduce disputes and support decision-making (Arthur, 2008). It is my belief that by doing this Jackson will be able to not only successfully implement a merit pay program but also make-better performance evaluation and boost benefits from there being a system to recognize and reward good performance. He should however undertake this step-by-step to ensure avoidance of a cultural shock to the organization and also to aid in the responsiveness and flexibility of the establishment of a merit pay program.

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