In most companies, performance appraisals (PA) are a common practice used to evaluate overall employee performance while monitoring and fostering the success of both the employee and the company as a whole. This month’s installment of Case in Point, a blog series drawn from SAGE Business Cases and containing insights from thought leaders in business and management, explores a case study written by Dr. David Kimball that follows one human resource director’s journey to construct a valid PA and performance management system (PMS). The following is an interview with Dr. Kimball as he explains the benefits of teaching performance review systems to students in a classroom setting:
- The case you wrote describes the implementation of a performance appraisal system at a company that had never had one in place before. In your opinion, what are the top three takeaways from this case for those learning about implementing a performance review system for the first time?
The top takeaway is to consider performance appraisals from the ground up. The student is able to think of the true goals of the PA. What does the company really want to accomplish with the implementation of a PA process?
The second takeaway is for the student to consider what an employee can learn from the PA process. What areas of a job are reviewed in the performance review? In the case, students can assess the areas of work that are the human resource director’s strengths. Where are her weaknesses?
The third takeaway is for students to design and complete a PA Form. Students can either use the form in the case or practice designing their own form. Students can also complete the form for this particular director’s performance.
- What kind of information would you expect students to bring to this case study in order to accomplish the assignment?
Most students have not been in a management position where they administer a PA. So, the case allows the student to experience what this individual has to accomplish by creating and administering a performance appraisal system. The student in class is able to role play being the human resource director in a performance appraisal situation.
- How are problem-based case studies particularly helpful in teaching real-world management issues in the classroom?
Student engagement in class increases dramatically during case discussions. This case is intentionally short to allow students to read the case in class, discuss it within teams during class, and present their findings in class. Students like to participate in Skill-Building cases that allow them to develop their own skills as managers.
Learn more by reading the full case study, Why Do We Conduct Performance Appraisals? Jennee LeBeau and the Case of the Missing Performance Appraisal System from SAGE Business Cases, open to the public for a limited time. To learn more about SAGE Business Cases and to find out how to submit a case to the collection, please contact Rachel Taliaferro, Associate Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read last month’s case in point, A For-Profit Model for Social Entrepreneurship.