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The Performance Appraisal process is an important organizational system that facilitates delivery of optimum performance from the workers within the organization.

But just like any other human management system, the Human Resource or other managers are  prone to encounter problems that can impede the efficacy and authenticity of the process, and one of the best way for Human Resource Managers to avoid problems with an appraisal system is to find out where these problems can come from and set in place steps to avoid these pitfalls.  Basically, appraisal problemsemanatesfrom three areas, the people, the process and/or the preparation of the process.

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Let us take a look at each:

 People Problems

The performance appraisal can run into problems that are arise from people due to their lack of trust in the appraisal process either as a result of previous experiences or merely based on perceptions they hold about the process. Some workers see the appraisal process as generating negative experiences based on past activity since it has to do with assessing work done (their target and performance on the job).

Another area of concern in the appraisal process is the aspect where the manager focuses  on the personality of the appraise rather than performance. This is a major clash area as the purpose of appraisal is performance related and when this is done, the result can be objectionable an become a major source of conflict.

Also, having poorly trained people conducting the appraisals is an issues that has serious implication on the process. Performance appraisals process requires the use of highly competent and impartial persons with high integrity is the desired result is to be achieved. The appraiser must be knowledgeable and skillful in the process knowing exactly what is to be done, when it should be done and how it should be done.

 Process Problems

Process problems can arise due to poor process design,

Complex process

Poor fit with the capabilities of the organization

Lack of training

Little or no co-ordination of the activities

Little or no real support for the process from the senior management level

Poor communication

No link to overall strategy for the company

No credibility


Preparation Problems

These can arise due to:

Lack of time allotted to carry out the process in a professional and complete manner.

Lack of a support structure

Unclear objectives

No value assigned to the process therefore it has no priority in terms of preparing.

Poor training in the process


Having identified the main problem areas with appraisals, the process can be designed so as to eliminate the problems or to minimize their impact.  To have an effective performance appraisal system that adds value to the organizational activity, as many problems as possible should be removed.

How do can you eliminate these problems?

To remove or prevent problems in the appraisal process, the organization can:

Design the performance appraisal process to suit the requirements of the organization

Provide an appropriate level of support

Provide the required structures

Ensure that those involved in performance appraisal are capable through training

Set objectives and communicate them so that they can be used to drive the performance appraisal process

Communicate and highlight the value of the performance appraisal process across the organization.

Ensure that the process is seen as a transparent and open process designed to assist people as opposed to blame or hinder them.

Link the process to the proactive development of personnel.


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ADR Daily is a specialized news portal with a focus on providing authentic news, information and research analysis on Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Human Resource Management (HRM) and Industrial Relations Management (IRM) in Ghana and beyond. This platform serves as an information resource base for the progress of the ADR, HRM and IRM industries, and seeks to promote professionalism in ADR practice by supporting a network of ADR professionals within and across nations and continents. ADR Daily keenly encourages the mass adoption of ADR mechanisms, particularly negotiation, mediation and arbitration for the resolution of disputes in all spheres, through the publication of industry news and information, as well as by deploying innovative awareness creation engagements.