Discuss how rapid job re-design would impact a company’s ability to conduct performance appraisals. How could a company compensate for this fast change, assuming they have enough time to prepare/react?
Redefining the responsibilities of individual employees and then evaluating their performance without regard for those changes would be tantamount to the proverbial “moving of the goalposts” while the game is still being played. In other words, it would be unfair. Performance evaluations are intended to measure an individual employee’s record of efficiency and ability to meet deadlines with quality work for a specified period of time, usually measured since the last such appraisal. Those appraisals can only be accurate if they are based upon measurements of performance of responsibilities for which the employee in question has been assigned throughout the period under review. An exception, however, can be made for evaluation of the employee’s approach to change and for how that individual works in collaborative processes. The ability and willingness to function as part of a team is often among the most important indicators of an employee’s value to the company, as basic levels of competency can usually be assumed. In addition, performance evaluations can, irrespective of changes in the definition of one’s job, account for displays of personal initiative and receptiveness to prescribed changes in one’s responsibilities. As most managers will attest, personality, especially in businesses that place a premium on teamwork, is an intangible that can play a very important role in how an employee’s overall performance is rated.
How a business measures job performance while accounting for changes in an individual employee’s responsibilities is not particularly difficult. Job evaluations allow for discretion on the part of the manager conducting the performance appraisal. Managers are expected to take into consideration extenuating circumstances such as illnesses within the employee’s family that may credibly affect performance, and for transitions in the nature of the employee’s assigned duties. Any good manager will know to take such factors into account when evaluating an employee’s performance.