Free «Employee Satisfaction with Performance Appraisal» Essay Sample

Introduction

Appraising the performance of employees is one of the most crucial human resources (HR) practices. It serves various functions, including evaluating employees’ contributions to the achievement of the organisational objectives (administrative purpose), assessing employees’ performance in order to enhance their competence (developmental purpose) and helping with other HR decisions such as distributing rewards and promotions (Jesuthasan 2013). The performance appraisal (PA) system has been described as a crucial aspect of the overall HRM function (April & Chun 2005). Many authors emphasise the significance of using PA as a developmental tool in order to develop and motivate people. In addition, many authors agree that employee reactions towards PAs is an essential consideration (April & Chun 2005; DeNisi & Pritchard 2006). In this respect, for PAs to result in positive effects on the behaviour and development of employees, employees should have positive experiences and reactions to the applied PAs; otherwise, the appraisal process is bound to fail.

The most common employees’ reaction towards PAs is satisfaction. Studies have indicated that satisfaction with the PA is positively linked to the job satisfaction (Buller & McEvoy 2012; Jesuthasan 2013). Vast researches have been conducted to explore the factors affecting the level of employee satisfaction and reactions towards PAs. Nevertheless, there is an inadequate empirical evidence focusing on the factors affecting employees’ satisfaction with the PA system.

Several organisations experience challenges when trying to measure and enhance the performance of their employees. As Boudreau and Jesuthasan (2011) explain, the performance of organisations significantly depends on the quality of the workforce, including their levels of performance; thus, it is crucial to assess their performance to ensure that they contribute to the achievement of the organisational goals. Performance has been defined as the level of completion of the tasks related to the job of an employee (Boswell 2006). DeNisi and Pritchard (2006) maintain that performance indicates how employees are seen doing their work and evaluated with respect to the result.

Employees have the right to a PA process that is fair. April and Chun (2005) point out that successful appraisals are characterised by supervisors performing an objective and comprehensive appraisal as well as the willingness of employees to accept the feedback and work towards improving their performance in the future. Nonetheless, employees still show dissatisfaction with the appraisal systems. Jesuthasan (2013) shows that dissatisfaction with PAs may be an indicator that the appraisal is failing as a tool for motivating and developing employees. Many authors emphasise its significance to a considerable degree.

It is essential for organisations to understand fairness in the appraisal practices and process, since this relationship affects the organisational commitment and their job satisfaction (Buller & McEvoy 2012). The perception of employees regarding the established targets, outcomes and how the appraisal results are used will benefit the organisation, when a number of factors are taken into consideration. For instance, employees tend to a more supportive and receptive approach towards an appraisal process if they are of the view that the process is a crucial feedback source that will help in enhancing their performance (Buller & McEvoy 2012). Moreover, staffs are likely to show a meaningful participation in the appraisal process if they believe the appraisal presents an opportunity for the personal development and promotion. PA systems help in making effective managerial decisions. The outcomes of the appraisal process can be a basis for managerial actions and decisions such as rewarding employees with exceptional performance and punishing those with poor performance. Additionally, when employees view PAs as an irrational bid by the management in terms of supervising and controlling them, negative reactions may be observed (Buller & McEvoy 2012). Therefore, it is significant for the organisation to make sure that the appraisal process is fair and provides proper results regarding employees’ performance. To this end, this study sought to assess the level of satisfaction of employees with the PA used at the ABC University. The specific objective of the research was to measure the satisfaction of employees of the PA system at the organisation.

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Data and Research Methods

Research Method and Design

A quantitative case study method was adopted for this research, which was selected because the study is primarily descriptive. The use of the quantitative method stems from the need to report findings that can be generalised to include all employees at the ABC University. The structured nature of the research problem is also another justification for using the quantitative design (Cozby 2012). This is because of the well-defined delimitations and boundaries associated with the current research – exploring the perceptions of employees towards the PA system. The descriptive survey design was employed in this research study. This design places the emphasis on investigating the nature of relationships between variables, which is the case with the current research. The particular approach that was employed in realising the descriptive survey design is the quantitative case study with the ABC University being the case study for this research. Thus, the objective is to evaluate employees’ perceptions of the appraisal systems used at the university.

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Study Population, Sample, and Sampling Approaches

The population for this research consists of employees at the ABC University. This means that the sample was drawn from people working at the university. A stratified random sampling approach was employed, wherein the study population was divided in accordance to the type of staff (teaching and non-teaching staff), after which participants in each group were selected randomly. The sample for this study is representative because of the probability sampling used (Cozby 2012). Moreover, the strata used in the sample was proportionate to the groups in the study population. The final sample size comprised of 100 participants, with 25 teaching staff and 75 non-teaching staff based on the ration of teaching to non-teaching staff at the university.

Data Collection

The data collection instrument utilised in this research was the self-administered questionnaire, which was employed to solicit responses from participants regarding the variables under study. The questionnaire was distributed to employees at the university physically and collected after 72 hours in order to allow participants to fill the questionnaire at a time of their convenience. The questionnaire used in this survey contained an introductory letter specifying the study purpose, employees bio-data such as age, gender, years worked at the university (years of service), their attitudes and perceptions towards the PA system, and their level of satisfaction with the appraisal system. In addition, the questionnaire captured the type of appraisal system administered to the employees. Close-ended questions were utilised in the questionnaire to help participants in answering the questions with a relative ease. Multiple choice questions were also included in the questionnaire to help in guiding the respondents. The level of satisfaction was measured using a 0-10 rating scale, with 0 indicating the least satisfaction and 10 indicating the highest satisfaction.

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Data Analysis Techniques

Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analysing the data collected during the survey. The descriptive statistics used include frequencies, mean and standard deviations. Inferential statistical techniques, such as the t-test, independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA and simple linear regression, were used in analysing the relationships between the variables. The data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.

Limitations

The study has a number of methodological limitations. The first comes from using self-reported questionnaires, which makes it difficult to ascertain the honesty and truthfulness of the information provided by participants. Therefore, it is only assumed and not guaranteed that the information provided by participants is truthful.

Findings

Hypotheses

At the ABC University, the majority of employees have above average performance, which is related to the increased job satisfaction. Therefore, it is expected that high employees at the organisation will have high levels of satisfaction with the PA system. Thus,

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H1a: The mean of ABC University employees’ satisfaction with the PA is equal to 5

H10: The mean of ABC University employees’ satisfaction with the PA is not equal to 5.

At the institution, different appraisal systems are used for teaching staff and non-teaching staff, since their activities contribute differently to the organisation’s goals and objectives. In this regard, it is expected that they will have different levels of satisfaction with their PA systems. Thus,

H2a: The means of ABC University employees’ satisfaction with the PA of teaching and non-teaching staff are not equal.

H20: The means of ABC University employees’ satisfaction with the PA of teaching and non-teaching staff are equal.

Employees have different preferences for the PA methods. In this respect, it is expected that different methods of PAs will result in different satisfaction levels.

H3a: The mean satisfaction with PA for employees using self-assessment, peer assessment, 360-degree appraisal, supervisor evaluation, and objective production are not all equal.

H30: The mean satisfaction with PA for employees using self-assessment, peer assessment, 360-degree appraisal, supervisor evaluation, and objective production are all equal.

Job satisfaction plays a vital role in ensuring that employees stay with the company. Thus, the satisfied employees have longer years of service. Moreover, the overall job satisfaction results in the increased satisfaction with PA systems. Therefore,

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H4a: There is a linear relationship between years of service and satisfaction with PA systems

H40: There is no linear relationship between years of service and satisfaction with PA systems

Participant Characteristics

Table 1: Participants’ characteristics

n (%)
Age 20-19 10 (10)
30-39 26 (26)
40-49 28 (28)
50-59 28 (28)
60 and above 8 (8)
Gender Male 56 (56)
Female 44 (44)
Staff Teaching Staff 25 (25)
Non-teaching staff 75 (75)

Hypothesis Evaluations

A one-sample t-test was performed to ascertain whether the mean employee satisfaction with PA was different to the hypothesised value of 5. The mean satisfaction with the PA system (5.66 ± 2.82) was higher than the test value of 5. The findings indicated a statistically significant difference of 0.66 (95% confidence interval, t (99) = 2.34), p.  = .02). Thus, the alternate hypothesis is accepted, and the null hypothesis is rejected.

An independent samples t-test was undertaken to determine whether a substantial difference exists in the means of satisfaction with the PAs between teaching and non-teaching staffs. The findings of the research did not report any significant differences in the satisfaction levels of teaching (5.32 ± 3.19) and non-teaching staff (5.77 ± 2.70), t (98) = -.69. p = .19. Therefore, the null hypothesis is accepted, while the alternate hypothesis is rejected.

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A one-way ANOVA was performed to ascertain whether crucial differences exist in the satisfaction with PA with respect to the PA method. The results indicated a statistically significant difference between the groups, F (4, 95) = 5.45, p = .00. The Tukey post-hoc tests showed that self-assessment (3.88±2.88) had a substantially lower satisfaction, 360 degree feedback (6.58±2.41) and objective measures (6.27±2.50); and peer assessments (3.30±1.16) had a significantly lower satisfaction than 360-degree feedback and objective measures. Hence, the alternate hypothesis is accepted, and the null hypothesis rejected.

A regression analysis was performed to determine whether a linear association exists between years of service and the satisfaction with PA. The ANOVA table showed that regression model does not predict the dependent variable (satisfaction with PA) significantly well p = .42. The coefficient for the years of service is not statistically essential. Thus, the null hypothesis is accepted, and the alternate hypothesis rejected.

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Conclusion and Recommendations

The findings of the survey provide crucial insights regarding the employee satisfaction with the PA system used at the university. First, the study shows that the level of their satisfaction with the adopted PAs is slightly above average. The results also show no significant differences between teaching and non-teaching staff with respect to satisfaction with PA. The results also indicate that the 360-degree feedback has the highest satisfaction level, followed by objective evaluations, self-assessments, and then peer assessments. No differences existed between supervisor evaluations and other PA methods. Lastly, the study showed no relationship between years of service and satisfaction with PA systems. Therefore, it is recommended for the organisation to use the 360-degree appraisal in order for the PA process to influence employees positively and effectively.

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