Module 4 responses

Response 1
Kiara P.
Module 4

1. What political concerns do you think arise most in the performance review process? Why?

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There are several political concerns that arise in the performance review process. Inconsistent ratings is a huge one due to the fact that inter-rater reliability is generally very low between managers at any organization. One manager may feel an employee has given an acceptable performance and another may feel it was inadequate or above and beyond. Often Times it will go back to a conscious decision made by the supervisor or rater who either wants to justify a low score and therefore a smaller bonus or make his or her team look better in order for them to then receive positive ratings.

2. Have you ever experienced a performance review process (either as a reviewer, reviewee, or observer) when it was clear that political concerns were impacting the process? If so, please describe the situation. If not, develop a hypothetical example (story) where this happens.

I have personally never experienced a performance review process in which it was clear that political concerns were impacting the process, however, I can imagine how this could occur. Supervisors may give higher or lower appraisals depending on how the company is doing. For example, if the organization is struggling financially, they may give an employee a lower score than deserved in order to justify a lower pay increase or bonus. On the opposite hand, employees in higher positions may receive higher performance review scores than deserved based solely on the position they hold. Either way, the employee knows the value of his or her work and is not being evaluated accordingly due to ulterior motives.

3. Provide some recommendations (evidence-based best practices) that the organization could use to reduce the likelihood of political concerns interfering with the performance appraisal process.

Organizations can take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of political concerns interfering with the performance appraisal process. The Latham & Dello Russo paper mentioned that environmental factors can contribute to this reduction. Several studies found that “perceived control moderated the relationship between perceptions of politics and job anxiety, general job satisfaction, and satisfaction with one’s supervisor.” Another study found that “a supportive supervisor acts as a buffer against the stress employees experience from organizational politics.” When an employee feels a sense of control and understanding in the workplace by means of relevant issues being explained to them and instructions being clarified when given they are less likely to experience the negative consequences of organizational politics on job performance. Employees and employers or supervisors should always be on the same page regarding what is expected of them, and there should exist a consistent agreement between them when it comes to the employee’s own individual goals. That way, the employer can then be in a position to support those goals when possible. Procedures and practices within an organization should also be clear and well defined. According to the Latham & Dello Russo paper, “several studies support the argument that politics emerge in an environment where procedures are ill-defined.” The lack of consistency, transparency, and communication fosters a deeper sense of distrust and negativity. This sort of ambiguity contributes to there being political concerns that then interfere with the performance appraisal process. To that end, organizational leaders must make constant and active attempts at creating and maintaining an open, honest, and positive appraisal environment. Feedback is especially important in this case, and it should go both ways. Employees should also be given an opportunity or an outlet to be able to provide feedback to their supervisors regarding their assessments and those conducting the appraisals should be given feedback by their supervisors to ensure that nobody goes unchecked.

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Response 2
Chloe H.
Module 4

1. What political concerns do you think arise most in the performance review process? Why?

Some political concerns I think arise in the performance review process would be how someone is positively reviewed based on their behavior rather than how they work. Some behaviors would include self-promotion. Through self promotion someone can gain many connections in their field and promote themselves. When they go through performance reviews, they might be reviewed by a person they already networked with and so they would be reviewed favorable because of their self- promotion behavior rather than how they work. There are also status concerns as well, such as the employee being the child of the company’s CEO. Due to this, the performance reviewed might be afraid to give a negative review even if they do a bad job at work. This could also lead to a fear of retribution from the CEO.

2. Have you ever experienced a performance review process (either as a reviewer, reviewee, or observer) when it was clear that political concerns were impacting the process? If so, please describe the situation. If not, develop a hypothetical example (story) where this happens.

I have experienced a performance review process where it was clear that political concerns was impacting the process. In my previous work environment, I was quite close to my manager. I was aware of the favoritism she had in the work environment. I personally did not think I was the worst worker, but I was certainly not the best. However when my boss did a performance review, she believed I was the best worker and did the most work.

3. Provide some recommendations (evidence-based best practices) that the organization could use to reduce the likelihood of political concerns interfering with the performance appraisal process.

Some recommendations that the organization could use to reduce the likelihood of political concerns interfering with the performance appraisal process is to adapt a flexible work environment. This could help employees use their unique skills to better the work environment. It could also develop a friendly work environment among the employees so the performance reviewers won’t necessary be biased against certain people. They could also discipline employees when they do something wrong which could lead to less self-promoting behaviors.

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