The impact of performance appraisal on worker’s productivity, case of the South West Development Authority (SOWEDA) Buea
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Many organizations are experiencing low productivity due to lukewarm attitudes of their management to performance evaluation system. Organizational training needs can be identified using performance evaluation out comes. Performance evaluation has been identified as an alternative paradigm to high productivity and performance. The study therefore examine the impact of performance evaluation on employee’s performance in the Southwest Development Authority (SOWEDA) Buea Cameroon. The study adopted a survey design to sample 100 staffs and employees at SOWEDA through a purposive sampling technique using a structured questionnaire, personal observation and interviews which were presented using tables, simple percentages, bar chats and histograms. Results revealed that the level of performance evaluation awareness is high among the staffs of the Southwest Development Authority (SOWEDA). Results also established that performance evaluation has significant impact on employee’s performance and that the in ability to provide on time feedback is a challenge to performance evaluation in SWEDA Buea Cameroon. The study recommended that management should be objective during appraisal exercise, provide regular feedback and offer career development in order to help the organization win the desired competitive advantage.
In every business organization, the performance of the workers is important in achieving organizational goals. The success of every business organization can therefore be attributed to performance evaluation. Performance evaluation is one of the basic tools that make workers to be very effective and active at work. A critical look out on this may bring about the need for motivation, allowances, development, training and good human relationship in an organization.
One of the crucial management function of the Southwest Development Authority is performance review. If done correctly, it will increase motivation and productivity, pave the way for workers to develop and perform better. One the other hand, poorly handled performance review may cause workers to feel unsatisfied with their jobs and acquire bad attitudes towards their employers, which will reduce productivity. Another challenge faced by the society due to this problem is lack of objectivity in performance evaluation or appraisal. The Regent University says that one of the biggest appraisal issues is employee’s belief they are not evaluated fairly. This is because performance appraisal or evaluation are based on assessment and are subjected to rater errors and biases. Again, comparing employees to their coworkers may also cause employees to acquire bad attitudes.
Performance evaluation are used to decide who will be promoted, retained, or fired as well as who requires training. In order to obtain the best performance, many firms are switching to short cycles (every quarter or six months) and others have already made the switch to weekly cycles. Performance appraisal are now conducted on a large cycle. The success or failure of an organization is greatly influenced by how performance is handled inside that company. Therefore, one of the top task of modern organization should be to improve performance appraisal for everyone. However, the procedure typically requires employee’s commitment as it establishes on employees loyalty and physical attachment to their position.
Performance appraisal system originated in the Southwest Development Authority (SOWEDA) as a simple method of income justification. That is appraisal was used to decide whether or not salary or wage of an individual employee was justified. The process was firmly linked to material out comes.
The Southwest Development Authority was created in 1987. It was officialized by decree number 87|1874. This administrative public establishment is an arm to the government in the Southwest Region serving as overseer in identifying and implementing programs with the ultimate goal of improving on the socio-economic and social development of the southwest region. It is placed under the supervisory authority of the ministry of agriculture and rural development. The activities are funded by the ministry of agriculture and rural development and the ministry of finance. SOWEDA’s chief mission is to pursuit of ways to raise the standard of living of the rural population through agricultural development and improvement of infrastructures like roads, water, markets and so on.
SOWEDA in carrying out its mission is affected by performance appraisal in that appraisal help reinforce good performance, alert managers to the need for training and development in certain areas or the need to offer assistance to a poorly performing personnel and establish systems or rewards and promotion all geared towards improving performance. However, it can also creat a negative experience if not properly carried out.
Edwin Flippo (1976:p.23) defines performance evaluation as the systematic, periodic and an impartial rating of an employee’s excellence in matters pertaining to his present job and his potential for a better job.
Bacal (1999: p.93) defined performance appraisal as the process by which an individual’s work performance is assessed and evaluated, it answers the basic question “How well has the employee performed during the period of time in question?”. Its just one part of performance management and not a whole.
According to Dale S. Beach (1980: 290) performance appraisal is the systematic evaluation of individuals to their performance on the job and their potentials for development.
According to Armstrong M.., (2009: p.56), it is a developmental process that aims to improve the performance and potentials of people through their own effort and with the help of their managers and the organization.
According to Roberta, V.R (1986: 23) a systematic performance appraisal is one that provides information for making decisions about various issues such as promotion, pay increase, layoffs, training and development and transfers. It is manager’s powerful tool in controlling human resource and productivity. Mangers can improve an employee’s job performance through clarifying expectations and evaluating performance. Employees also in general prefer having some kind of appraisal to develop an appropriate version of their own effectiveness and opportunities.
According to C. Heyel in the human resource management unit 5 (1973:1) defined performance appraisal as the process of evaluating the performance and qualifications of the employees in terms of the requirement of the job for which he is employed, for the purposes of administration including placement, selection of promotions, providing financial rewards and other actions which require differential treatment among the members of the group as distinguished from actions affecting all members equally.
Performance appraisal is a separate but central subset of overall performance management, it is simply the process of formally evaluating work performance, making decisions on the effective utilization of resources, rewarding and motivating of staff, rectifying substandard performance and providing feedback to individual employees (Swanepoel et al.., 2010: 368).
Jones and George (2009:423) defined performance appraisal as the evaluation of employee’s job performance and contributions to the organization. Jones et al (2009:423) argue that one of the most important resources in all organization is human resources; the people involved in the production and distribution of goods and services. Recruitment/selection and training/development components of a human resource management system ensure that employees have knowledge and skills needed to be effective now and in the future. Performance appraisal and feedback compliments, recruitment, selection, training and development. Performance feedback is the process through which managers share performance appraisal information with their subordinates, gives subordinates an opportunity to reflect on their own work performance, and development with subordinates future strategies. (Jones et al 2009:423)
According to Jones et al (2009:441), performance appraisal gives managers vital information on which to base human resources decisions. Decisions about pay raises, bonuses, promotions and jobs moves all hinge on the accurate appraisal of employees performance. Performance appraisal can also help managers determine which workers are candidates for training and developing and in what areas. Performance feedback encourages high levels of employee’s motivation and performance. It lets poor performers know that their efforts are valued and appreciated. It also lets poor performers know that their unsatisfactory performance needs improvement.
Effective appraisals, if used correctly can significantly contribute to the satisfaction and motivation of employees. Since performance appraisal are done by people, there will always be an element of subjectivity, personal likes and bias, which may skew the evaluation process. Rating staff can provide a clear indication of how rewards are linked to performance; it can, however, also have a negative impact on employees who receive low evaluation results. Especially if such results are not managed pro-actively and in positive manner (Grobler et al .., 2011: 297).
The ultimate goal of performance appraisal is to maintain better performance by fostering employee’s motivation, which depends on their experience of situation in the work place, such as the present reward system, rules and regulations. Performance appraisal is a separate but central tool for overall performance management. It is simply the process of formally evaluating work performance, making decisions on the effective utilization or resources, rewarding and motivation of staff, rectifying substandard performance and providing useful feedback to individual employees. (Swanepoel, Erasmus and Schenk 2010: 368).
In Cameroon, most of the performance appraisal exercise\ programs is not well managed. Management of organizations tends to view it as a punitive measure that makes it lose its objectives and goals. Performance appraisal no longer seek to actualize its objectives of correcting deviations, hence increasing productivity and jettison all hindrances that tends to hinder productivity. But it is being used as a tool for subordination, oppression, victimization and exploitation.
Most organizations in the competitive market since their workers perform below standard for they are not encouraged to work harder. Managers and employees are the life blood of every business organization. If management does not invest much in to the welfare of their workers, problems are bound to rise leading to industrial strike actions, low commitment to work, low morale and low productivity of goods and services.
Attractive appraisal systems are established by some business organizations to help motivate their employees to strike hard to be recognized and rewarded. Once employees are rewarded, their performance reflects on productivity. Employees strive hard by pooling together skills, knowledge and efforts to achieve maximum output. Hence, the essence of this paper is to find out the part played by performance evaluation\ appraisal.
- Does performance appraisal have positive impacts on employee’s performance?
- How often are employees appraised at the work place?
- Is performance appraisal an ongoing process in the company?