Appraisal is a part of employment and the sole purpose is to give appraisee the opportunity to show the reflection of their work and performance. Simultaneously an appraisal is also displays the learning needs of the appraisee in order to improve their performance.
Performance appraisal is a task for the appraiser, however due to time constrain, work load and improper attention the appraisal reports are not aligned, irrelevant and non conclusive. An appraiser should always be responsible and must carry out appraisal within ethical framework, leaving all biases behind. On board a ship the appraisal system is different from other industry, there are many dissimilarity as below;
- No long appraisal period with same appraiser and same job. Usually in shore industry there are quarterly, half yearly and yearly appraisal system.
- Short period of appraisal, usually 4-6 months for officers and 6-9 months for others.
- Some times the appraiser has spent very short time with appraise and they need to prepare appraisal which is just a formality.
- Change of appraiser during tenure.
- Change of peer & subordinates.
- Different attitude, priorities, expectations, level of competency of appraisers.
It is a tough task for human resource department to actually decide whether multiple appraisal of an individual is aligned and is a true representation of appraisee.
Feedback system of appraisal is now well in practice in most of the companies, appraiser and appraisee discusses the report and appraisee is asked to give feedback, after completion of feedback and re-feedback from appraiser, the appraisal cycle is completed. Discussing their development and feedback on their job performance in a way that is constructive and motivational. Another method of appraisal is close ended appraisal, appraiser prepares the appraisal and submits direct report to office without discussing with appraisee, which is rarely used now a days.
How to make appraisal fair and more effective?
- Appraiser should think that “is he/ she a responsible appraiser?” and “is his appraisal worthwhile?”
- Appraiser should prepare for appraisal within ethical framework, means he should leave all biases aside.
- Formal training to all appraiser should be conducted to explain the purpose of appraisal system and value of it.
- Weightage should not be given to appraisal report if appraiser and appraise has spent less than 1 month together.
- Appraiser must give open feedback to appraise and must discuss area of strength and weakness with him.
- Appraiser should act like a mentor, a coach and a guide to appraisee.
- Human resource department must keep record of appraiser who are regularly giving similar appraisal to all.
- Human resource department must plan for development and training required as per feedback.
Scale of appraisal – there are different methods used to scale the appraisee. Some appraisal system uses scale of 1 (extremely poor) to 10 (Outstanding) and some used only scale of 5, usually wider the range, the appraisal is better but standard scale of 10 is best in practice and divided as below;
0-2 Unacceptable (fails to meet standards)
3-4 Needs improvement (frequently fails to meet standards)
5-6 Satisfactory (generally meets standards)
7-8 Outstanding (frequently exceeds standards)
9-10 Excellent (consistently exceeds standards)
In some organisation 360 degree feedback is followed for performance feedback, but there is difference in performance feedback and appraisal. In 360 degree feedback, appraisal includes people at all levels of relationship, i.e. bosses, peers and direct reports. All are appraiser and all are appraisee for one another.
There is another way of feedback, 180 feedback, where appraisal is prepared by peer only. Unfortunately neither 360degree feedback nor 180 degree feedback is applied on ship. This new tool will certainly enhance the value of appraisal system on board.