ACR systems must be replaced

Performance appraisal systems in India, particularly the government have usually been treated as a confidential process that is handled by the supervisor alone. Hence the name annual confidential reports or ACRs. In this system, blind faith is placed in the superior’s objective evaluation of a subordinate’s performance. The superior could also be frank while appraising since the report was not discussed with the employee. Due to the confidential nature of the process, subordinates rarely received any feedback about performance. Only in cases where performance was unacceptable did official and formal communication take place. Recently the ACR system followed in Indian companies has been criticized, first lack of supervisor accountability and for being used as a tool to control subordinates rather than facilitating performance. Realizing that, more and more Indian organizations are moving away from the ACR system to more open systems of performance appraisal.

Critical Incident method:

Keeping a record of uncommonly good or undesirable examples of an employee’s work related behavior and reviewing it with the employee at predetermined times.

This method has several advantages. It provides examples of good and poor performance the supervisor can make sure to explain the person’s rating. It makes the supervisor think about the subordinate’s appraisal all during the year (so the rating does not just reflect the employee’s most recent performances). The list provides examples of what specifically the subordinates can do to eliminate deficiencies. The downside is that without some numerical rating; method is not too useful for comparing employees or for salary decision.

It’s common to accumulate incidents that relate to the employee’s performance goals. In Table below, one of the assistant plant manager’s continuing duties was to supervise procurement and to minimize inventory costs. The critical incident log shows that the assistant plant manager let inventory storage cost rise 15%; this provides an example of what performance she must improve in the future.

Table: Examples of Critical Incidents for Assistant Plant Manager:

Continuing Duties:

Schedule production for plant: 90% utilization of personnel and machinery in plant; orders delivered on time. Instituted new production scheduling system; decreased late orders by 10% last month; increased machine utilization in plant by 20% last month.

Supervise procurement of raw materials raw materials in inventory control: Minimized inventory costs while keeping adequate supplies on hand. Let inventory storage costs rise 15% last month; over ordered parts A and B by 20% under ordered part C by 30%.

Supervise machinery maintenance: No shut downs due to faulty machinery. Instituted new preventative maintenance system for plant; prevented machine breakdown by discovering faulty part.

Narrative Forms:

All or part of the written appraisal may be in narrative form. Table below presents one example. Here, the person’s supervisor is responsible for providing an assessment of the employees past performance and required area of improvement. Narrative assessment aids the employee in understanding where his or her performance wad good or bad, and how to improve that performance.

Table: Appraisal coaching Worksheet

Instructions: This form is to be filled out by supervisor and employee prior to each performance review period:

Employee ————— Position ——————–

Supervisor ————– Department————————-

Date: ———– Period of work under Consideration From —- to —–

1) What areas of the employee’s work performance are meeting job performance standards?
2) In what areas is improvement needed during the next six to twelve months?
3) What factors or events that are beyond the employee’s control may affect positively or negatively) his or her ability to accomplish planned results during the next six to twelve months?
4) What specific strengths has the employees demonstrated on this job that should be more fully used during next six to twelve months?
5) List two or three areas( if applicable) in which the employee needs to improve his or her performance during the next six to twelve months (gaps in knowledge or experience , skill development needs, behavior modifications that affect job performance etc).
6) Based on your considerations of items 1 – 5 above, summarize your mutual objectives:

A. What supervisor will do.
B. What employees will do
C. Date for next progress check or to re-evaluate objectives.
D. Data / evidence tha will be used to observe and / or measure progress.

Employee Signature Supervisor Signature