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Thread: APPRAISAL OR CRITICISM

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    APPRAISAL OR CRITICISM

    An extract from my new book - "The S M E Human Resources/Industrial Relations Toolkit" in it's 21st Edition Released in CD/DVD Format September 2009.

    OVERVIEW: LEGALLY DEFENSIBLE PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

    PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL AND COMPLIANCE


    Performance documentation. In general, any personnel action such as discipline or dismissal may be defended from challenge if it was taken pursuant to a legitimate business justification. Poor performance is one such business justification. In any suit that challenges an adverse personnel action, the first piece of evidence that a Applicant’s attorney will ask for is the employee's past performance appraisals. If the case goes to CCMA/CDR, those appraisals will be enlarged and put on display for a Commissioner to scrutinize. They will also take them back committee to be reviewed in detail. It is therefore essential that performance appraisal be done fairly and consistently.

    Nondiscriminatory. Unions and Legislation prohibiting employment discrimination are the main sources of legal concern for performance appraisal. Employees may allege that a promotion denial, layoff, dismissal or compensation action was illegally influenced by the employee's race, sex or age. Employers typically will turn to past performance appraisals to justify the action. If performance appraisals are not well documented or inconsistently applied, however, the employer's defense is weakened or destroyed.

    LEGALLY DEFENSIBLE PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

    A legally defensible performance appraisal system should contain the following elements:

    ____ 1. be in writing

    ____ 2. contain specific procedures

    ____ 3. specify documentation to be used and in what manner documentation is to be gathered

    ____ 4. include specific instructions for supervisors

    ____ 5. provide training for supervisors in how to evaluate and administer the system

    ____ 6. use standardized forms for related groups of employees

    ____ 7. establish objective and/or measurable job criteria

    ____ 8. be thoroughly communicated to employees

    ____ 9. be given formally at least on an annual basis

    ____ 10. evaluate specific work behavior and not personal traits

    ____ 11. periodically review the system.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Well, yes but, you do need nice big posters showing all the steps that needs to be taken and these posters must be displayed and must be explained to the workers. This is always the first step... “Simplify procedure” and then work with escalation systems. Especially with “performance appraisals” You need to inform people what it is you are looking for and they need to be informed every single time “before work start” otherwise you are building a nice victimisation case for the CCMA...

    The procedures “must be simple to understand and always be on a nice BIG poster” If a worker is unsure at anytime the worker must be able to check it up with ease... this is where the “simplicity” factor plays an important role.

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    Not at all necessary. You need to restructure. You need to go back to the beginning. Do a summary booklet in their language, hand it to them. Give them seven days to comment, not approve but comment. And voila bobs your uncle.

    When can I meet you? You need my free demo. South Africa is soooo big!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Does a company have to do performance appraisals?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Its not legislated. It only assists in determining how the employee affects the ROI. This is important to the business especially when it comes to training and discipline.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Does a company have to do performance appraisals?
    No. Not as a general thing, although it is good practice. They do however become neccessary once you start wanting to take action, hence any previous paperwork could shorten the process.

    I think it is important especially for SME, to look at principles of big business and see how we can apply them to smaller operations. Eg, a small company cannot afford market research, but we can look at the cars in the car park, and see what packets people are carrying in teh mall, to get an indication of the clientele in a mall we are contemplating opening a shop in. Likewise a performance appraisel need not be a long complicated process. As a rule in restaurants I use a framewok of 6 things. The appraisel takes 10 minutes. I also encourage that different managers do it, which helps smooth out personal issues and sometimes, in a controlled environment, other departments do it or colleagues on each other. Also I think we often think we need to appraise evryone and every month and that scares us. A policy of completing the cycle everyy 6 months, so each person twice a year is better than nothing.

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    I couldn't agree more. An exercise in ROI would be in order at this stage. Has Dave done his Human Resources, OFO Code and Skills Audits yet.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    That's a red herring, but I'll bite anyway

    The skills audit forms part of our process in developing our Workplace Skills Plan (WSP). An aside: We probably need to watch it with the acronyms. Ultimately it's a pretty small portion of the populace that attends SETA meetings.

    I take it the Organised Framework of Occupations (OFO) is finalised then? The last meeting I went to it was still a work in progress.

    The reason why I ask about having to do routine performance appraisals is ultimately they can only be used against the business in a contested disciplinary process. It would seem preferable to have just a history of disciplinary related documentation available for analysis.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    You need a skills audit to set up your training matrix. You need to know what other qualifications your employees have or part qualifications. I have a programme that I have shared with MERSETA to do collective and Skills audits. The skills audits also help with internal promotions. The programme is easy to follow and has a vast amount of info on the employee. It also assists with your Employment Equity Plans.

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