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ABUSING PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

posted 8 Jun 2015, 19:47 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 8 Jun 2015, 19:47 ]

The following article was published in the newsletter SWRHA TODAY, vol. 1 no. 2. The newsletter is published by the National Health Workers Union (NHWU) and deals with issues affecting workers in the South West Regional Health Authority

SWRHA, like many employers, abuses Performance Appraisal Systems and consequently lose an ideal opportunity to utilise a tool which analyses employees’ barriers, exposes their strengths, identifies training needs, career development and organizational strengths and deficiencies.

 In order to achieve these objectives the system must be designed as an analytical tool. It must engender trust so that the appraiser and appraised can be honest during the entire evaluation process. It should be noted that performance appraisal is not just a year end interview as happens in most places. It is a continuous process. It starts with an interview whereby the system, targets etc. are discussed, understood and agreed on both sides. The bad book system has no place in a performance appraisal. Good performances and bad ones are discussed throughout the period of review and formal midyear reviews are done. So that at year end there ought not to be any surprises.

The system analyses, it neither punishes nor rewards. Its findings feed into support systems for employees e.g. training, bonus, upgrade, promotion, EAP, etc. but never for disciplinary measures as this will undermine the trust and openness required by the system.  Many times required training cannot be accessed externally but in house resources are unavailable. The employer must accept this as their liability and guide their training capacity.  Employees must feel free to express career change and accommodation if possible must be provided.

Peer assessment is a key ingredient.  If properly structured and adequate training organization-wide is provided it is the most accurate guide into the appraised’s soft and hard skills. Evaluation should be based on self, supervisor and peer assessment with a weighting system in place. It must include an internal appeal system and access to the dispute procedure.

 All Appraisals throughout SWRHA go to Randolph Badall, Chief Operating Officer and he short-lists them. He operates within a policy directive from the CEO that a Supervisor is entitled to appraise a worker after twenty-one (21) days supervision. The culture SWRHA has fashioned is that a worker’s appraisal is used as a tool to terrorise fixed term contract employees because it is linked towards a worker getting his or her annual gratuity.  Workers are being pressured to change appraisal comments.

 Workers speak of a Wheel Barrow in the transport department as an infamous example. It is said that appraisals are to reward favourites and punish those who do not stick their tongues out. But the culture cannot be denied. It is one designed to keep the monthly paid pliant and subservient. The caste system which has spawned the ‘untouchables’ in mother India has taken root in SWRHA.

Workers speak of a Wheel Barrow in the transport department as an infamous example. It is said that appraisals are to reward favourites and punish those who do not stick their tongues out. But the culture cannot be denied. It is one designed to keep the monthly paid pliant and subservient. The caste system which has spawned the ‘untouchables’ in mother India has taken root in SWRHA.

Are the workers silent about this state of affairs? Not from the evidence being produced. Recently a petition of over 100 names surfaced for a Supervisor, himself on contract, to demit office but senior Management’s response is that since there is a mountain of complaints throughout the institution that particular Supervisor will stay on and training sessions to supervisors and managers attending to Appraisals will be pursued

 





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