1. Timing
2. The appraisal criteria
3. Appraisers ability – technique the appraiser will be able to understand
4. Accuracy of the technique
5. Resource availability
6. Appraisers – are they prejudiced?
Factors affecting performance appraisal
1. Soft spot syndrome – This is a tendency on the part of the supervisor or HOD to overvalue certain employees. This is frequently the byproduct of a soft spot that the manager has for particular employees
e.g. on basis of social relationships

2. Halo effect / stereotyping – This refers to forming an opinion that is favourable or unfavourable in judging the total worth of an individual on the basis of a single clue or inadequate number of clues or on the basis of a few characteristics which may prove to be dangerous e.g. overweight employees are considered lazy, attractive employees as better workers, older employees as behind time and cannot cope. Other stereotyped assumptions include judgment based on gender, religious background, race etc.

3. Generosity/leniency – This involves being lenient to the extent that nearly every employee gets high rating. The leniency problem may be as a result of inexperience in rating or poor supervision on the part of the manager hence the need to cover up through generous rating

4. Central tendency – This is the most common rating error. It occurs when an appraiser clusters all ratings around central measurements usually on average or mid point scale. The objective is to please everyone in the department. This type of rating denies good performers the benefits of deserved merits e.g. promotions while poor performers are denied a chance to improve.

5. Over strictness – Managers should not be too strict to avoid awarding the deserved scores to employees. This error may be due to setting very high performance standards beyond the reach of employees.

6. Recency error/ latest behaviour – This involves basing appraisal / rating on the latest behaviour demonstrated by the employee e.g. some employees may perform poorly during much of the year but as appraisal time approaches they burst into boundless work activity. Once the rating is over they lapse into inactivity. It is unfair to give a poor rating to employees who have performed well during the year but whose output may have declined towards the end of the year

7. Inter-individual standards – Rating based on inter individual standards should be avoided. E.g. Because Mr. X is such a model employee the rater may develop the habit of using him as the standard measure by which to judge others. Employees should be evaluated objectively based on their performance which should be measured against standards/job descriptions. 8. Lack of clearly defined performance standards
9. Lack of training the appraisers
Measures to improve performance appraisal systems
1. The appraiser should be well trained on the skills needed for an effective appraisal exercise
2. The management should clarify performance standards to employees
3. The appraiser should identify desired behavior in observable rather than subjective terms i.e. the rater should be as objective as possible
4. The appraiser should be aware of his or her personal bias and work hard to overcome it.
5. The management should try and use more than one rater and compare results to eliminate biasness
6. The appraisal results should be discussed and reviewed by the appraisee and their immediate supervisor.
7. The rater should always conclude performance evaluation with comments on further development recommended in terms of knowledge, skills or change of attitude through further training, development or other exposure.

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