Topic: Employee Discrimination
You are an I/O Consultant preparing to advise the manager or CEO about an issue directly relating to their organization.
You will be researching a specific topic related to I/O Psychology that would be useful and informative to a manager or CEO of a company. You will synthesize your findings from the research literature and present them as if you were advising that manager or CEO on that issue.
First you will find at least four journal articles on your chosen topic and write an annotated bibliography summarizing each article. Finally you will then synthesize your findings in a 3 to 4 page summary paper of what you found, the pros and cons found in the research, and your recommendation to the manager or CEO concerning this issue in their organization.
Write an annotated bibliography of each summarizing their main points in non-research language, including agreements and disagreements on particular findings. Next the summary paper should explain why this particular topic is important to the workplace and how the organization’s leaders and employees can use the information. Additionally you will make suggestions for this organization based on your research findings. The paper should be presented in a professional way, nicely formatted, free of spelling and grammatical errors, and presented in a clear and structured way.
This bibliography should include the four research articles you will use for your paper. These articles need to be on the previously approved topic for the research summary. For each article, you need to provide
- The citation in APA style
- A brief (no more than 1 page) summary of each article. The summary should include:
- The basic premise and research question of the study
- The methodology
You paper should not simply be a summary of your articles (as you did that in the annotated bibliography). Rather, it should be geared at professionals who do not have in-depth knowledge of research, but know something about management and organizations. You could pretend you are the personnel director of a company and are presenting to a group of managers. Your summary paper should convey the information gained from the research literature in an organized way and should make an argument for why this topic is important for managers to pay attention to. Also I would like to see you make some recommendations for action.
APA Style: All submissions must be written in APA format. Basically this means that the references must be written in APA style, all assignments written in 11 or 12 point font, double spaced, with 1-inch margins.
Anonymous., (2006, November.). 3 Steps to Take the Pain Out of Staff Performance Reviews.
IOMA’s Payroll Manager’s Report. New York. Vol. 60, Iss. 11., p. 1-4.
The main focus of this article is to make writing performance reviews easier by focusing on simple functions like linking job descriptions and department duties to the evaluation process. Focusing on an interview with Raeann Hofkin, from a Pennsylvania manufacturing company, the article reveals simple tips from using software packages to three core steps to creating and writing appraisals. This article is very useful in ideas that are both up-to-date and conventional.
Brown, D., (2002, April 8.). Re-evaluating Evaluations. Canadian HR Reporter. Toronto.
Vol. 15, Iss. 2., p. 2.
This article is predominately based on a survey conducted by Andersen Consulting in Chicago. 25 companies were surveyed to find out how both managers and employees perceived the evaluation process and whether or not feedback was efficient and constructive. Most of the results were negative. The results indicated that the outdated formats were no longer useful to employees and were no long in line with current company objectives. This is another great tie in to the point of MHSI having an outdated process.
Gordon, J., (2003, May 9.). Engineering Reviews. Business First. Louisville. Vol. 19, Iss. 41., p.
Jennifer Gordon focuses this article on the format of the review process. She says that if the businesses do not keep up with changing situations and modify the performance evaluation form, then employee appraisals will not be in line with company initiatives. She also suggests setting up the appraisals based on the job description rather than on objective behavioral traits. Another point made in this article is that appraisals should be done several times a year rather than just once. What I like about this article is that it focuses on the renewing of the appraisal form and more reviews throughout the year.
Pfau, B., Kay, I., Nowack, K., Ghorpade, J., (2002, June.). Does 360-Degree Feedback
Negatively Affect Company Performance? HR Magazine. Alexandria. Vol. 47, Iss. 6., p. 54-59.
In this article, Watson Wyatt’s 2001 Human Capital Index is used to evaluate how 360-degree programs figure into a company’s value. The findings from this research suggest that this type of program may actually be harmful to the organization than other types of evaluations. Dr. Jeffrey C. Pfeffer from Stanford University agrees with some of the findings. Kenneth Nowak points out that the difference between good and bad is that all the people involved with submitting ratings must agree on the interpretation of the questions. There is a lot of debate in this article, but it sums up with says that if the program is set up right, it should be highly beneficial.
Stella, P., (2006, June 1). Don’t Undervalue Performance Reviews. Government Video. New
York. Iss. 1707., p. 10.
This article is written as both a wake up call and also a means for advice on how to write a performance review that is meaningful and helps the employee walk away with a feeling that he or she has done a good job but can also improve in some areas. There are some helpful ideas like writing the article to the employee instead of about them. It also makes a suggestion to have the employee evaluate themselves and then compare with the manager. The tone of the article is a little story like, but it serves well for the reader since the advice is aimed at making the reader a better manager. The message of this article is clearly aimed at the manager.
Employee Performance Appraisal Process
One of the most important roles for an organization is to evaluate employee performance. When companies do not have a formal method of appraising performance and communicating with their staff, employees have a false sense of everything is ok when things are not exactly as they appear. MHSI has already noticed the value of this process and has instituted a formal process that all managers perform and delivery once a year. The question before us is whether or not the current process provides accurate, timely, and efficient methods of communication or feedback to employees with regard to their specific and individual job performance in correlation to company goals and initiatives.
First we must start the process of review by understanding the current process in place. This quick overview will help us in analyzing the research. MHSI is an engineering firm working with the automotive industry to develop, implement and deliver packaging for automotive parts. The company goals include diversification of customers, products and to delivery quality customer service through innovation and creativity. MHSI personnel include staff in the following departments: Engineering, Design, Finance, Sales and Marketing, and Analysts and other supportive staff. Appraisals for all staff are done once a year and are done on a generic form, not specifically written for any one department that measures behavior attributes as: quality and quantity of work, adaptability, and how much initiative an employee shows. All employees are appraised on a scale of 1 to 6 in each area with an overall appraisal that is the average of all sections. Each area of the review is open to interpretation where each manager may rate a person different under the same category. Lately, employees are usually presented with the annual performance review and the salary adjustments at the same time.
Knowing all this, the focus now changes to the findings within the research. The majority of the research indicates that rating employee’s performance is definitely a key area companies should focus on. Secondly, appraisals should be conducted more frequently than once a year. “Best-in-class managers don’t review performance once or twice a year. They do it all year long.” (Stella, p10) Third, perhaps the most important agreement is that appraisals should be based on “job descriptions and performance expectations [that are] clearly documented and reviewed with the employee”. (Anonymous, p. 1) Fourth, a company should review their current process and upgrade it. A Survey that was conducted in Chicago across “25 firms” showed that “most managers and employees do not value their performance management system [because the] systems were obsolete [and] feedback was insignificant”. (Brown, p. 2) The reason for this huge discrepancy is that “a lot can happen to an organization in five years” and when the performance system no longer “reinforces management philosophy” or the new company “mission and values”, the organization can not accurately appraise performance nor provide adequate feedback to employees. (Brown, p. 2)
The research also suggested several alternatives to the current appraisal process in place today at MHSI. First, writing the appraisal form so that it focuses on “individual job tasks” like “maintaining computer hardware and software” will help managers remove “subjective judgments” and focus on “job-specific criteria” instead. (Gordon, p. 15) Using “performance appraisal software programs” may help “formalize…appraisal procedures” and help with customization for each department’s needs. (Anonymous, p. 1)
What was interesting about all the research was that there was little mention of an exact right or wrong way to write the performance appraisals other than making sure that they line up with job duties and company goals. Little mention of the different types of performance appraisals was found. However, there was an article about “360 degree feedback programs”. (Pfau, Kay, Nowack, and Ghorpade, p. 54) With this approach, managers, the employee and his or her co-workers partake in this process. Each is given the same line of questions to rate. But while some argue that the program is great because feedback is coming from a variety of sources, other argue that it “may hurt more than help”. (Pfau, Kay, Nowack, and Ghorpade, p. 54) Part of the disagreement stems from “disagreements between rater groups…resulting confusion creates challenges for employee development”. (Pfau, Kay, Nowack, and Ghorpade, p. 54) All that this shows is that the 360 degree program is not all that different from what is currently used today at MHSI. There is still a difference between managers and how they rate individuals.
Te recommendation is to revise the current appraisal process by following a simple set of steps: “start with the job description”, “clarify performance expectations”, and “apply an objective ratings scale”. (Anonymous, p. 1) The Human Resource department should verify and / or develop a detailed job description for each employee. Then using that job description, each department should have a specifically designed appraisal process developed. While many of the current items should be included, the evaluation of each employee should be based on their individual job descriptions to provide them with a clear line of expectations. Secondly, set up a program where employees and managers go through the process several times a year. This will help communication build between the manager and the employee and hopeful lesson any surprises at the end of the year. In fact, let the employee have input on particular goals they may have or where they feel they need help. This opens the door for more “comprehensive, constructive” feedback from both sides rather than the employee feeling left out. (Stella, p. 10)
In summary, the current process for evaluating employee performance is out of date and in desperate need of attention. Employees feel that the appraisal process is not value added and that managers are not communicating effectively to allow employees the chance they need to improve. The current format is generic and very open to interpretation and no longer is in line with current company goals and initiatives. To evaluate the current process and adjust it to meet current company initiatives providing more feedback between managers and employees will provide a stable and consistent platform to evaluate employees and help them become more focused on company goals and initiatives. Everyone wants the opportunity to improve and feel that they are an asset. Up grading the current process will only help improve relations between employees and management.
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