Supervisors: Human Resource Management and Performance Appraisals

Introduction
Performance appraisals benefit the company in a variety of ways. On the flip side, they can also create difficulties if they aren’t completed correctly. Many problems within the company can arise when supervisors haven’t been properly trained on appraisals. On a bigger note, companies can also be placed in legal trouble if appraisals are done incorrectly. To avoid these issues, the Human Resource Department needs implement training to the supervisors who conduct performance appraisals. Problems
Employee Development

Using performance appraisals for developmental purposes is one of the greatest uses of them. Employees need to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses in order to produce the best results for the company. Improvements in performance will only occur if the manager has proactive discussions and shows the employee how to make improvements. In this case, Hubert isn’t helping Harriet by fibbing on her performance appraisal. She will continue to “slip” on her duties because she might not be aware that she is doing it. Reviewing a negative performance appraisal can be a very difficult task, but needs to be done to help the employees develop within the organization.
Rating employees the same on the appraisals will not benefit the company at all. Not only is he hindering Harriet’s development, but it probably doesn’t keep Neil motivated. If his performance is outstanding, his rating needs to reflect that. Hubert should be able to tell him how valued he is to the company and how much his performance is appreciated. Retaining good performers is easier when these positive performance aspects are communicated to them. When done correctly, appraisals help to increase employee development and keep valuable employees motivated.
Administration Use
Performance appraisals are also used for administration use, an example being what the case represented. The way Hubert is conducting appraisals will not help managers when it is time to determine pay increases, decisions need to be made about promotions, transfers, and demotions, or if disciplinary actions lead to termination (Mathis & Jackson, 2011). Now that it is time to make demotions, the appraisals need to help with decisions.
These appraisals are not accurate due to Hubert lack of correctly evaluating both supervisors (Mathis & Jackson, 2011, Case: Supervisors). Since there is no documented differences between the two supervisors, the appraisals are useless for administration use. “An appraiser should be required to provide justifications for the ratings in addition to appropriate documentation and information” (Smith, 2012). The company is going to have to let the better performing supervisor go in order to avoid legal issues. This could create some negative impacts for the company because the appraisal process wasn’t being implemented correctly.
Legal Issues
Disparate Impact or Treatment
Discrimination can either be intentional or unintentional; either way it is illegal. Performance appraisal need to show an absences of disparate impact and treatment (Mathis & Jackson, 2011). Using the scenario from the case, Harriet could file a lawsuit for discrimination is she were to get demoted or laid off during the reduction in force. Since there is no documented differences in their performance, Neil should be let go due to the seniority Harriet has over him. There could be grounds for a lawsuit if Hubert decides to demote or laid off Harriet.
She could claim that they fired her because of her gender, and there would be no way for the company to prove that she was the poorer performer. There have been similar cases like this. “Adverse impact statistics have also been used successfully in “Disparate Treatment” cases to support an individual’s claim of race or gender discrimination” (Ducham, 2013). The importance of training manager correctly and evaluating the appraisal systems comes to light in this case.
Supervisor Training
It is important for companies to properly train their supervisor avoid legal issues with performance appraisals. These appraisals are very beneficial to
the company and training of them should be stressed by the Human Resource Department. From the situation that occurred in this case, it seems as if Hubert hasn’t had any training on performance appraisals. To avoid situations like this from happening in the future, Hubert and all supervisors/department heads need to be trained on how to do these appraisals correctly.
Mathis and Jackson (2011) pointed out some key topics that Human Resources should focus on when conducting training on appraisals. For this company, training how to communicate positive and negative feedback, when and how to discuss training and developmental goals, and how to avoid the common rating errors should be addressed (p. 347). Conclusion
Hubert has created a problem for this company, but has showed the importance of proper training on appraisals. The company needs to evaluate their training procedure and make the appropriate changes. With a good training program in place for supervisors, the company will be able to avoid future problems with appraisals.

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