AN EVALUATION OF THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AND ITS EFFECT ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE: A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE KWAHU-SOUTH DISTRICT ABSTRACT Performance appraisals improve the work performance of employees by helping them realize their full potentials in carrying out their firm's mission and also, to provide information to employees and managers for use in making work-related decisions. They, also, provide feedback to employees and thereby serve as a vehicle for personal and career development. Performance appraisals, however, are beset with difficulties as a result of their complex nature. The general objective of the study, therefore, was to evaluate the performance appraisal system of the GES. The research design used in the study was the case study because it was appropriate for the achievement of the research objectives. The population for the study was 195 and a sample size of 100 respondents was selected using the non-random (Judgmental) sampling method. Interview and questionnaires were used as instruments for the study and out of 100 questionnaires distributed, 80 of them were retrieved from respondents. The data was analysed with tables, bar charts and pie charts. Among the main findings of the study was that the GES did not have a clear cut policy on the conduct of performance appraisal. This has in its wake, culminated in the low commitment of both appraisers and appraises in the conduct of performance appraisals. It is recommended in the study that there should a clear cut policy on the conduct of performance appraisal in the GES in order to improve on its conduct. Again, it is recommended that funds be earmarked for the conduct of performance appraisals in schools.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Contents Pages CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1. 1 Background to the study 1.2 Statement of the problem 1.3 Objectives of the study 1.3.1 General objective 1.3.2 Specific objectives 1.4 Research questions 1.5 Significance of study 1.6 Scope of the study 1.7 Overview of research methodology l.8 Limitations of the study 1.9 Organization of the study CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction 2.2 The concept of performance appraisal 2.3 Historical overview 2.4. The performance appraisal process 2.4.1 Establishing performance standards 2.4.2 Communicating the standards 2.4.3 Measuring the actual performance 2.4.4 Comparing the actual with the desired performance 2.4.5 Discussing results 2.4.6 Decision making 2.5 Effective performance appraisal process 2.6 Performance appraisal methods 2.6.1 Ranking methods 2.6.2 360 degrees feedback 2.6.3 Essay method 2.6.4 Critical incident method 2.6.5 Behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) 2.6.6 Management by objectives (MBO) 2.7 Purpose of performance appraisal 2.8 Who should evaluate performance? 2.8.1 The immediate supervisor 2.8.2 Peers 2.8.3 Self-appraisal 2.8.4 Customer or client evaluations 2.9 Challenges of performance appraisal 2.9.1 Halo error 2.9.2 Similarity error 2.9.3 Central tendency CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Research design 3.3 Sources of data 3.4 Research population 3.5 Sample size 3.6 Sample techniques 3.7 Data gathering instruments 3.7.1 Administration of questionnaires 3.8 Methods for data analysis 3.9 Organizational profile of the GES 3.9.1Vision of the GES 3.9.2 Mission of the GES 3.9.3 Divisions of the GES 3.9.4 Functions of the GES 3.9.5 The GES council 3.9.6 The Director-General CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION 4.0 Introduction 4.1 Respondents' Profile 4.1.1 Gender of respondents 4.1.2 Ages of respondents 4.1.3 Notice of performance appraisal 4.1.4 Timing of notice for PA 4.1.5 How often employees are appraised 4.1.6 How employees assess PA officers 4.1.7 The methods of PA 4.1.8 Things that happen immediately after PA 4.1.9 The objectivity of PA 4.1.10 Main difficulties for conducting PA 4.1.11 Inadequate funds, materials and equipment 4.1.12 How PA affects employee commitment 4.1.13 Factors that can help improve PA 4.1.14The PA processes appraisers involve appraisees in 4.1.15.Usefulness of PA records 4.1.16.Sanctions applied by GES to employees with low performance 4.1.17.Headmasters' involvement in developing appraisal 4.1.18. Performance appraisal policy 4.1.19. Reasons for PA 4.1.20 PA criteria and procedures CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.0.Introduction 5.1.Summary of findings 5.1.1.Reasons for conducting PA 5.1.2.Effect of PA 5.1.3.Policy on PA 5.1.4.Difficulties associated with PA 5.1.5.Uses of PA records 5.2.Conclusion 5.3.Recommendations 5.3.1.Policy on PA 5.3.2.Feedback on PA 5.3.3.Training, Promotion and Rewards 5.3.4.Skill training for appraisers 5.3.5.Logistics for conducting PA 5.4. Suggestions for further studies REFERENCES APPENDICES APPENDIX A: Questionnaires for Headmasters of selected Senior High Schools APPENDIX B: Questionnaires for Teachers of selected Senior High Schools LIST OF TABLES Table Pages Sanctions the GES applies to employees with low performance LIST OF FIGURES Figures Pages Gender of respondents Age of respondents Notice for PA Timing of notice for PA How often employees are appraised How employees assess officers who conduct PA The methods of PA Things that happen immediately after PA Objectivity of PA The main difficulties associated with PA Inadequate funds, materials and equipment at the GES How PA affects employees' commitment to work Factors that can help improve PA The PA processes appraisers involve appraisees in Usefulness of PA records Headmasters' involvement in developing PA The PA policy at the GES Reasons for PA The PA criteria often used by appraisers CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1. Background to the study A Performance Appraisal is a review and discussion of an employee‟s performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. The appraisal is based on results obtained by the employee in his or her job, not on the employee‟s personality characteristics. According to Thomas F. Patterson, (1987) appraisal or performance review is a method by which the job performance of an employee is evaluated (generally in terms of quality, quantity, cost and time) typically by the corresponding manager or supervisor. Again, performance appraisal is a part of guiding and managing career development as well as the process of obtaining, analysing and recording information about the relative worth of an employee to the organisation. It can also be termed as an analysis of an employee‟s recent successes and failures, personal strengths and weaknesses and suitability for promotion or further training. The appraisal again measures skills and accomplishments with reasonable accuracy and uniformity. It provides a way to help identify areas for performance enhancement and to help promote professional growth. It should not however be considered the supervisor‟s only communication tool. Furthermore, each employee is entitled to a thoughtful and careful appraisal. The success of the process depends on the supervisor‟s willingness to complete a constructive and objective appraisal and on the employee‟s willingness to respond to constructive suggestions and to work with the supervisor to reach future goals. According to Beer, M. et al, (1978) performance appraisal serves a two-fold purpose generally, thus, to improve the work performance of employees by helping them realise and use their full potential in carrying out their firm‟s mission and also to provide information to employees and managers for use in making work-related decisions. More specifically according to them, appraisals serve some purposes. Firstly, they support personal decisions to promote outstanding performers in order to weed out marginal or low performers and train, transfer or discipline others as well as to justify merit increases. In short, appraisal serves as a key input for administering a formal organisational reward and punishment system. Secondly, appraisals provide feedback to employees and thereby serve as vehicle for personal and career development. Again once the development needs of employees are identified, appraisals can help establish objectives for training programmes. Also, as a result of the specification of performance levels, appraisals can help diagnose organisational problems. They do so by identifying training needs and the knowledge, abilities, skills and other characteristics to consider in hiring as well as provide a basis for distinguishing between effective and ineffective performers. Appraisal therefore represents the beginning of a process, rather than an end product. In spite of the purposes of the performance appraisal system, it is beset by a lot of problems which inhibit its progress. According to the Mansis Development Corporation (2001), many organisations do not have clearly established corporate objectives for undertaking performance reviews .Many managers particularly in large organisations routinely complete the required forms which are then filed and the subject not mentioned again until the next review period, usually a year hence. Also another problem in many organisations is that the process of performance evaluations lacks credibility. This is due to the failure of management to spell out clearly what aspects of the job are to be evaluated and to define the standards against which performance is to be measured. Lack of clearly defined measurements can lead to intellectual dishonesty in the evaluation, unfair ratings and loss of credibility of management and the appraisal process. Again according to Gordon L. Simpson, Toronto Managing Partner of the Mansis Development Corporation (2001), a recent study of major United States corporations revealed that 40% of managers admitted to fudging performance data because it was obvious to them that the appraisal served no useful purpose in the way it was managed in their organisations. A performance appraisal or coaching session is a way to give feedback and define behaviours for improvement. Managers committed to the success of their team, take the time to frequently coach and mentor employees. Providing guidance and input on employee performance encourages positive behaviour. The key to performance improvement begins with recognising employee contributions while helping plan for future development and growth. Also performance discussions should be timely, informative and comprehensive. Again, the effective use of performance reports can result in improved productivity and higher levels of job satisfaction. According to Entrepreneur.com, performance appraisals are important because they boost motivation and help employees refine their competitive edge. 1.2. Statement of the problem Performance appraisal (PA) has over the years become a very crucial part of the Human Resource Management (HRM) in organisations and its benefits to these organisations around the world cannot be overemphasised. Notwithstanding its enormous contributions to the development of organisations the world over, PA usage has not as yet gone down well with a number of organisations most often government institutions and the GES is no exception. In the light of this, a number of discrepancies have been found in the PA processes being followed in government organisations specifically the GES. To begin with, due to the lack of accountability and job security at the GES, most employees have a laissez faire attitude towards their work. There is also the unavailability of the job description for many employees. Besides, most of the objectives of work at the GES are unchallenging, unrealistic and not timely reviewed and updated. It is therefore difficult to measure the average performance of employees. More so, the lack of complete information on appraisal forms, expertise and relevant training often affect the PA processes since they are not conducted on a regular basis. Other HR decisions such as rewards, training or promotions are not directly linked to the results of the performance appraisal process. Performance appraisals at the GES are mostly conducted on employees who are due for one promotion or the other. This attitude has undermined the credibility of the appraisal system which in the normal circumstances ought to have been organised periodically on all employees to assess their respective performances and to improve where necessary. As a result of this, employee performance has been greatly affected which has in turn affected the productivity and efficiency of the service. Again, there are a lot of laxities on the part of employees because they assume no measurement of performance is applied hence they work at their own pace. Therefore the purpose of the study is to evaluate the performance appraisal system on employee performance of the Ghana Education Service specifically the teaching staff of some selected Senior High Schools in the Kwahu-South District. 1.3. Objectives of the Study The objectives of the study are categorized into general and specific objectives. 1.3.1. General objective The general objective of the study was to evaluate the performance appraisal system and its effect on employee performance of the Ghana Education Service. 1.3.2. Specific Objectives The following are the specific objectives of the study. 1. To examine the performance appraisal processes and procedures at GES. 2. To identify the main reasons for conducting performance appraisal at the GES. 3. To determine the main problems associated with the conduct of PA at the GES. 4. To evaluate the effect of PA on employee performance at the GES. 5. To identify the use of performance appraisal records at the GES. 1.4. Research Questions 1.What are the performance appraisal processes and procedures at the GES? 2.What are the main reasons for conducting performance appraisals at the GES? 3. What are the main problems associated with the conduct of performance appraisal at the GES? 4. How are employees‟ performance affected by the PA system at the GES? 5.What are the uses of performance appraisal records at the GES? 1.5. Significance of the Study Performance appraisal has become a very vital HR instrument owing to its immense contribution to organisations today. There is therefore the need to study and evaluate the system on employee performance at the GES. As a result of this, the research will help the Board of Governors of the schools, the Directors of Education, headmasters, teachers, parents and even students identify the need for performance appraisals to be made a regular feature in schools. Again, the research is intended to assist authorities of schools to identify the specific training and development needs of the staff as well as the essence of motivating them. Besides, the research is expected to help the GES authorities to identify the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the conduct of performance appraisals and how to improve upon the system. Ultimately, the research is also designed to help become a scholarly document for further studies by students who might have the opportunity of making further findings on PA. 1.6. Scope of the Study The research seeks to shed more light on the ineffective conduct of performance appraisal system in the Ghana Education Service and its effects on employee performance. The research therefore covers employees of the GES specifically the teaching staff of some selected Senior High Schools in the Kwahu-South District. 1.7. Overview of Research Methodology The researcher used case study as the design for the research and some selected senior high schools in the Kwahu-South District were used as study areas. Again, a non-random sampling procedure (Judgmental) was used by the researcher in obtaining information for the research. Also, the researcher used both the primary and the secondary sources of data to collect the needed data. The primary sources used for the data collection were interview and questionnaires which comprised both the close-ended and the open-ended questionnaires. The secondary sources for the data collection included the internet, books, journals and newspapers. Methods such as SPSS, Frequency Distribution Tables, editing and coding were used by the researcher for the data analysis. 1.8. Limitations of the Study The researcher was faced with the problem of finance because of the long distances the researcher had to cover to administer the questionnaires to respondents. The researcher was also hard pressed with time due to the fact that the researcher had to work alongside doing the research. The researcher again faced the problem of the unwillingness of some staff of the selected Senior High Schools to answer questions on the questionnaires. Even though some of the respondents accepted the questionnaires, some of the spaces provided were left unfilled. Again, the sample which was used as compared to the total population was very small due to financial as well as time constraints faced by the researcher. 1.9 Organisation of the Study The study consists of five chapters in all. Chapter one comprises the introduction which looks at the background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, the research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, overview of research methodology, limitations of the study and the organisation of the study. Chapter two also consists of the review of related literature which embodies the various books, articles and the internet which will help the researcher in extracting the relevant information to examine the concept of performance appraisal in organizations. Chapter three is the methodology. It highlights on the research design, research population, sample and sampling procedures, sources of data, data gathering instruments and the data analysis. It also provides a brief outline on the organisational profile of the Ghana Education Service. Chapter four also comprises the data presentation, discussions and data analysis. Chapter five highlights on the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations for the study as well as suggestions for further research.
AN EVALUATION OF THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AND ITS EFFECT ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE: A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE KWAHU-SOUTH DISTRICT
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