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Effects Of Performance Appraisal On Employees Performance In Government Institutions

(A case study of Builsa south district Assembly)



1.1 Background to the study

One of the major concerns of any organization is to attain maximum performance.  Employees’ performance is determined by a number of factors like managerial standards, Knowledge and Skill,

Commitment and Performance appraisals effecting employee’s performance (Lillian & Sitati 2011).

Performance appraisal is defined as a systematic process that helps to evaluate past and current employees’ performance and identifying employee’s potential for further growth and advancement within the organization’s career ladder (Igbojekwe and Ugo-Okoro, 2015). Performance Appraisal (PA) has been also defined by Byers and Rue, (2000) as the process of determining and communicating to employees how he or she is performing on the job and ideally establishing a plan of improvement. These definitions show that, if performance appraisal system(PAS) is successfully carried out in an organization, the employees would be able to know how well they are performing and what is expected of them in future in terms of effort and task direction through an established plan for performance improvement. In general performance appraisal is a useful tool for understanding and assessing employee skill and potential

The history of performance appraisal is quite brief. Its roots can be traced in the early 20th century to Taylor’s pioneering time and motion studies. The practice of performance appraisal system started mainly in the 1940s and with the help of this system, merit rating was used for the first time near the Second World War as a method of justifying an employee’s wages (Lillian & Sitati, 2011). During 1950’s, great interest developed in the performance appraisal of technical, professional & managerial personnel. It was recognized that appraisal, on systematic basis, was an integral part of a well-designed development programs. Even though the writers of this paper do not find when performance appraisal system was started in Ethiopian higher education, it was a common practice that every University employee in Ethiopia receives a written performance appraisal each semester which provides a feedback on performance and justifies personnel decision such as promotion and compensation.

Danielle (1998) indicated that performance appraisal system measures usually include both behaviors (what an employee does) and results (the outcomes of an employee’s behavior). In order to realize the purpose of performance appraisal, organizations should carefully design appraisal system and implement accordingly. According to Gomez-Mejia (2001), different steps are followed in appraisal process. The first step in the performance appraisal process is identifying what is to be measured. This process seems fairly simple at first glance, in practice, however, it can be quite complicated. If a significant dimension is missed, employee morale is likely to suffer because employee who do well on that dimension is missed, employee will not be recognized or rewarded. He goes on saying if an irrelevant or trivial dimension is included, employees may perceive the whole appraisal process as meaningless.

The Second step in performance appraisal process is measuring employees‟ performance. This process involves a number to reflect an employee’s performance on the identified characteristics or dimensions. The third step in performance appraisal is managing performance. The effective management of human performance in organizations requires more than formal reporting and annual rating. A complete appraisal process includes informal day to day interaction between managers and workers as well as formal face to face interviews (Gomez-Mejia, 2001).

The latest growths of performance appraisal (PA) systems have tended to move away from being primarily control and maintenance based towards an approach that is more concerned with motivational and developmental issues (Kimiz, 2005). Hence, a favorable PA would positively affect employee attitudes, behaviors and the organizational efficiency. For example, higher employee performance and productivity attainment is derived through the PA capability in reflecting, measuring and evaluating an individual employee’s behavior. Over a specific period of time these positive outcomes are a function of the employees’ perception on the overall PA effectiveness.

As Coens and Jenkins (2000) state, performance appraisal is a mandated process, in which a group of employees’ work performance and personal traits over a specified period of time are individually judged, rated and described by the rater of the group and the results of the evaluation are kept by the organizations for future reference. Performance appraisal is normally a formal process and an important part of the human resource management practices in organizations.

The researchers also inspired by the low attention given to the practice of PA system and lack of sufficient empirical studies related to the practice of performance appraisal system in the Ethiopian HEIs. The current study tried to assess the practices of performance appraisal process and the processes which is mainly focus on performance standards were established, performance expectation to employees were communicated, how actual performance was measured, actual performance with standards was compared, how the appraisal result with the employee was discussed and how corrective actions (Decision making) were  indicated.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The main challenge that faces managers in all types of organizations is how to get maximum performance from their employees. Performance appraisal, therefore, seems to be inevitable.  In the absence of a carefully structured system of appraisal, people will tend to judge the work performance of others, including subordinates, naturally, informally and arbitrarily. The human inclination to judge without a structured appraisal system can create serious motivational, ethical and legal problems in the workplace. Without a structured appraisal system, there is little chance of ensuring that the judgments made will be lawful, fair, defensible and accurate. It is in the light of this that the present study intends to investigate the effects of performance appraisal on employee performance.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study is to investigate into the effects of performance appraisal on employees’ performance at Builsa south district Assembly.

The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

(a)        to determine whether performance appraisal is done effectively and efficiently at Builsa south district Assembly.

(b)        to explore the attitudes of the employees and correlation between fair and biased performance appraisal at Builsa south district Assembly.

(c)        to understand the attitudes of the employees after performance appraisal at Builsa south district Assembly.

(d)       to identify challenges inherent in performance appraisal system at Builsa south district Assembly

(e)        to identify the benefits associated with performance appraisal system at Builsa south district Assembly

(f)        to make recommendations on how to improve on performance appraisal system at Builsa south district Assembly.

1.4 Research Questions

In order to achieve the aims of the study the following research questions are considered.

  1. How effective is performance appraisal done at Builsa south district Assembly?
  2. What are the attitudes of employees towards performance appraisal at Builsa south district Assembly?
  3. Does the attitude of employees towards work change after performance appraisal at

Builsa south district Assembly?

  1. What are the challenges of performance appraisal at Builsa south district Assembly?
  2. What are some of the benefits associated with performance appraisal at Builsa south district Assembly?
  3. What recommendations do you have to improve performance appraisal at Builsa south district Assembly?

1.5 Significance of the study

The outcomes of this study will first, enable managers to identify the areas where development efforts are needed so that personal and career development will be enhanced. Again it will help managers to make out individuals who have specific skills so that their promotions and transfer will be in line with organizational requirements. In addition, it will enable managers to administer a formal organization reward and counsel poor performers. Furthermore, it will inform managers about which selection devices and development programs are needed for the smooth running of organizations. Finally, other researchers studying in the field of human resource management may find this research helpful to extend their knowledge about performance appraisals.

1.6 Scope/Limitations of the study

This study on Effects of performance appraisal on employees performance in government institutions will a study focused on the  Builsa south district Assembly.



Limitation of the study

Financial resource was a major limitation to the research. Time constraint was the most frustrating as some of the respondents did not fill the questionnaire due to lack of time.

Again some of the employees gave safeguarded answers to some crucial questions.

Retrieval of answered questionnaires was a real challenge to the research.

1.7 Organisation of the study

This study has been organized into five chapters. Chapter one is on introduction. It also covers units such as Background of the Study, Problem Statement, Objectives of the study, Research questions, Significance of the Study, Limitations and Organization of the study. The second chapter deals with review of related literature concerning the study. The third chapter deals with an explanation of the research process and the methods adopted for collecting and analyzing data.  These are   population, instrument for data collection and administration of questionnaires. Chapters four and five dealt with analysis and Interpretation of data and finally discussion of findings, conclusion and recommendations.


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