Incident 1: these things are a pain

 

“There, at last it’s finished, “thought Rajiv Chaudhry, as he laid aside the last of 12 PA forms. It had been a busy week for Rajiv, who supervise a road maintenance crew for the Georgia Department of Highways.

                In passing through Rajiv’s district a few days previously, the governor had complained to the area superintendent that repairs were needed on several of the highways. Because of this, the superintendent assigned Rajiv’s crew an unusually heavy workload. In addition, Rajiv received a call from HR office that week reminding him that the Pas were late. Rajiv explained his predicament but the HR specialist insisted that the forms be completed right away.

                Looking over the appraisals again, Rajiv thought about several of the workers. The PA form had place for making quantity of work, quality of work, and cooperativeness. For each characteristic, the worker could be graded outstanding, good, average, below average, or unsatisfactory. As Rajiv’s crew had completed all of the extra work assigned for that week, he marked every worker outstanding in quantity of work. He marked Joe Blum average in cooperativeness because Joe had questioned one of his decisions that week. Rajiv had decided to patch a pothole in one of the roads, and Joe thought the small section of the road surface ought to be broken out and replaced. Rajiv didn’t include this in the remarks section of the form, though. As a matter of fact, he wrote no remarks on any of the forms.

                Rajiv felt a twinge of guilt as he thought about Roger Short. He knew that Roger had been goofing off, and the other workers had been carrying him for quite some time. He also knew that Roger would be upset if he found that he had been marked lower than the other workers. Consequently, he marked Roger the same to avoid a confrontation. “Anyway,” Rajiv thought, “these things are a pain, and I really shouldn’t have to bother with them.”

                As Rajiv folded up the PAs and put them in the envelope for mailing, he smiled. He was glad he would not have to think about PAs for another six months.

Questions

1. What weakness do you see in Rajiv’s performance appraisals?

2. Should HR have the ability to “insist that the forms be completed right away’? Discuss

3. Many managers would agree with Rajiv in saying that “there things are a pain, and I really shouldn’t have to bother with them.” What are the disadvantages in doing away with performance appraisal?

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