Free «Benefits and Compensation» Essay Sample

Despite not being directly involved in the operations of the company, the Human Resource (HR) department is one of the key sections of an organization. The department is in charge of the overall welfare of the workers who, in turn, are the key resource of the company. Therefore, HR policies greatly affect the running of the organization. This paper discusses the main characteristics of effective employee expectations that meet internationally acclaimed best practices as well as the most crucial party that provides information for a legally defensible performance appraisal system.

A2: Characteristics of Effective Employee Expectations

The job environment is an arena of expectations. Accordingly, after some period of working, employees expect some form of compensation whether monetary or emotional one. The employer, in turn, sets some goals that they expect the workers to achieve. These targets, however, have to meet some specified criteria for them to be effective; specifically, they should conform to some internationally acknowledged practices.

Goal setting is the measure of employee performance expectation that conforms to the best practices. Besides, it is the main method that most companies use to evaluate the performance of their workers. This paper, therefore, will discuss goal setting a bit extensively. One of the criteria that have to be met when setting an objective for employees is that this objective has to be maximum specific. Being specific ensures that a worker knows exactly what is expected of him/her rather than working on assumptions. The employer, therefore, should make the target as precise as possible. For instance, if the goal of the company is to increase its current market share, the managers have to define by what percentage, what it will take, and what the employees should do to achieve it. “I want a ten percent increase in our current market share” is more specific than “I want an increase in the current market share.” Thus, the definite objective is a powerful force that creates focus in the entire organization. Whenever an entity creates a focus on a goal, it becomes a magnet that pulls the entire resources of the organization towards it (Zahorsky, 2016). The more the focus of the organization is towards a goal, the more power is generated.

The goals set for the employees should also be measurable. A target that does not have a quantifiable outcome is like a sports contest without a scoreboard. Thus, specific numbers have to be put in the goals so that the workers can track progress and know whether they are in the right direction (“3 characteristics,” 2012). To exemplify, if the organization intends to attain 1000 sales at the end of the year from each employee, they may be given targets of selling 100 units per month. This way, the employees will be able to devise mini-targets that will help them to attain the main aim. In many organizations, the manager conducts regular meetings to crunch down the numbers and, thus, evaluate whether the employees are moving towards the overall goal. Regard the example, a goal white board put in the office can perfectly serve as a weekly reminder to keep oneself focused on the targeted results.

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Another characteristic of employee performance expectation is that the goals must be attainable. Setting unrealistic goals is one of the things that lets employees down because of inherent nature of human greed where everything must be accomplished in the shortest time possible. No wonder that fast food joints such as McDonalds are so popular and continue making supernormal profits as Americans continue to grow obese. Considering an example of losing weight as a personal goal, one can deduce that it is unrealistic for a person to aim at losing 50 kilograms in two months. On the contrary, it is more reasonable to shed five kilos in a month and eventually lose the fifty kilos in ten months. The problem of setting over-ambitious targets is that the employer is setting himself and his workers up for disappointment and frustration (Operation Meditation, n.d.). He/she has to remember that no individual has ever established a multi-million dollar empire overnight; they all do it gradually. Undoubtedly, it is a positive thing that the organizations want to achieve massive feats, but they have to start with targets which are realistic. Moreover, venture capitalists and investors despise business plans with outlandish goals. On the contrary, they prefer reasonable targets that will not strain the organization's resources too much. Saying metaphorically, the company should have a vision that aims for the stars but should be careful to have a foot that is based on reality. To exemplify, if the current rate of wastages is fifteen percent, it will be unreasonable to expect that the figure can be cut to zero percent in one month. Oppositely, it would be more appropriate to install a system where the rate of wastages is anticipated to decrease in a gradual manner.

Other elements of employee performance expectation that conform to the best practices are assessment and appraisal. They are the methods via which the performance of a worker is documented and evaluated (Caruth & Humphreys, 2008).  Furthermore, they are an essential part of career development and entail reviews of employees’ performance on a regular basis. The process occurs periodically whereby the worker’s performance is assessed in relation to some pre-existing criteria or the objectives. In addition to the performance, the employer has to assess worker’s accomplishments, the potential for future improvements, and behavior in the organization. The three major methods used to collect data for performance appraisal normally include objective production, employer’s judgmental evaluation, and personnel’s judgmental evaluation. The interview with the employee can be used for various purposes including providing feedback, counseling the employees, discussing a number of job aspects such as compensation, disciplinary decisions, and job status.

Coaching and feedback is also an excellent method of setting employees’ expectations. Coaching means to train and give instructions. Essentially, it is a desirable skill that is often used to promote the development of self-accountability and responsibility. Besides, coaching is an ongoing process that regularly assists in the development of supervisor-employee working relationship (Caruth & Humphreys, 2008). By using this skill, the supervisor is better placed to assess the growth needs of the workers as well as assist the employees to develop the requisite skills. While coaching and providing regular feedback, the supervisor and the employee can collaborate and develop plans that entail training, new assignments, and job enrichments. Furthermore, the two parties can set targets that are to be achieved by the employee as well as devise methods that will assist in their achievement. Some of the vital elements of the coaching process include building trust, setting the aim of achieving success, and defining the issues in a manner that is understandable to both the coach and the mentee. Feedback goes hand in hand with coaching as it entails providing employees with information and guidance on the progress. Actually, it is a two-way process since the workers provide information on the challenges they are experiencing while the supervisors provide information on the employees’ performance as well as the areas they need improve.

C3: Legally Defensible Performance Appraisal System

Performance appraisal denotes the systematic review of the employee’s propensity to achieve the tasks as well as comprehend his/her abilities to enhance them. Performance appraisal should be done in the following ways: measuring the wages of the worker and comparing them with the targets, analyzing factors behind the employee’s performance, and guiding the worker for better results. Nevertheless, the biggest challenge concerning an appraisal system is that it should be created in a way to withstand a case in law courts.

One of the basic principles of law is that you cannot condemn a person unheard. In other words, you cannot make a judgment regarding a person before hearing their side of the story. Similarly, a decision cannot be made about an employee without their input. Such information from the employees should be always in use while judging their performance (“What factors,” n.d.). For instance, if the manager wants to make a decision on a supervisor who did not produce the expected results, the manager should call the individual and ask him/her to explain why the performance was poor. Lastly, the employee should be asked to account for their results, and if their explanation is satisfactory, then it must be taken into consideration while making the decision. By doing this, even if the person appeals the organization’s decision in court, the company will be in a position to defend itself legally. Including the employees’ input in the performance appraisal system is one of the main ways of strengthening it. Thus, one of the most important sources of information of a performance appraisal system is the employee.

Therefore, I would recommend that information from the supervisors be the first point of reference when appraising their performance. This information has more weight since it confirms that they understand what was expected of them, and they can judge whether they performed in according to the anticipated standards. Nevertheless, in court, proving objectiveness of the process is often a matter of probability: the one will be right who has more proof of the issue. On the other hand, whether the employee was heard is very factual. If a judge establishes that the employee was neither heard nor given an opportunity to be heard, the company will be likely to lose the case.

In conclusion, this paper outlines the main characteristics of effective employee expectations that conform to the best practices. Goal setting, assessment and appraisal, coaching and feedback are the characteristics discussed in the paper. Lastly, the study identifies the employee as a party that has to be consulted and provided with information for a legally defensible performance appraisal system.


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