This paper attempts to present and define three of the concepts from the Human Resource Management course. In addition to the definitions, the mentioned concepts will be illustrated and discussed in terms of how one is to react to encountering these phenomena in real life. The three concepts are performance appraisal, sexual harassment in the workplace, and job analysis.
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As a concept, performance appraisal is also known as the evaluation of performance. It stands for the process that serves to assess the results, productivity, and quality of work of an individual employee according to the criteria that were defined primarily (“Performance Appraisal” par. 1). That way, the specific standards, and tools are required to perform a qualified evaluation of an employee. The purpose of performance assessment is to collect the data about the employees’ work. On the basis of the gathered information, the manager would be able to analyze the performance of the employees, assign fines or incentives based on the achievements or failures, and provide guidance for the workers as to their future objectives (MSG par. 1).
The evaluation of the employees’ performance is required for the manager to be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, provide timely and useful feedback to correct and adjust the performance, and achieve better productivity. Besides, the appraisal allows the manager to evaluate the quality of training programs preparing the employees for their work, and helps them to maintain order in the workplace by means of learning about the most recent changes in performance to avoid possible problems or to enhance the areas of the highest success.
Performance appraisal is not limited to the business environments and workplaces and can be applied in many spheres. For instance, performance appraisal can be observed in personal relationships when the family members, friends, or couples provide feedback to one another based on certain events. For example, a parent may review their child’s grades to evaluate how well the child is performing as a student and take all the required measures to help the child improve the results or express appreciation of the current performance if the results are good.
My first personal experience of performance appraisal occurred at my very first job – a salesperson at a flower shop. In that workplace, the performance of all the employees was evaluated on a daily basis by the store owner. The only criterion for the appraisal was the level of income each worker would bring per one shift. Based on the assessment of the results, the owner would express his appreciation or dissatisfaction verbally. The main motivator of the employees was the condition based on which we were paid – a percentage of each purchase. As a manager, the owner of the store was not skilled, and that is why whenever he was dissatisfied with the results of a particular worker for about a week in a row, he would make the decision to fire this person and hire a new worker.
The training of the newly hired personnel was delivered by the experienced salespersons. In fact, training a new employee I had my first experience of providing the performance appraisal. I was aware that the owner was mainly interested in the profit generated by the workers but as a salesperson with some experience of work at that store I knew that some other qualities were necessary. For instance, since many people shared the same work on a daily basis, it was appreciated when a worker was organized and had a habit to clean up the working space after ending the shift. That way, my evaluation of the new employee’s results was based on how well her customer service skills were, how many purchases she had per shift, and how well she treated the common working space. I delivered my feedback in the form of recommendations guiding her performance.
In my opinion, performance appraisal is a crucial aspect of any work and it is beneficial for both the employees and the managers as it provides them with the awareness of the development of the work process, informs the about strong and weak sides of the performance, and helps them adjust the future attitudes in order to improve the results.
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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment is defined as sexual behavior that can be perceived as insulting, humiliating, offensive, or intimidating by the individuals towards whom it is directed (“Sexual harassment in the workplace” par. 1). The actions recognized as sexual harassment can be performed in a physical, verbal, or even written form. Sexual harassment in the workplace is characterized as one of the major factors contributing to work-related stress and psychological hazards at work (“Workplace Harassment” par. 1).
Sexual harassment is not a rare phenomenon and, unfortunately, can occur anywhere in the world and at why workplace. Sexual harassment is recognized as work-related when it happens between colleagues both at work and outside of it, when it occurs at work events, or when it happens between two people who are employed at the same workplace (“Sexual harassment in the workplace” par. 1). In developed countries, the problem of sexual harassment in work environments is frequently discussed and addressed. There are laws designed specifically to protect the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, so the employees subject to threats of this kind are provided with a chance of reporting the aggressive behaviors and get compensated and protected from them. However, in many cases victims are powerless, and their responses are limited by various factors such as threats to get fired, for instance. In the developing countries, the situation with work-related sexual harassment is even worse as the legislation protecting the victims is practically absent. That way, the persons exposed to aggressive behaviors at work are to get over this kind of stress and continue functioning in the extreme psychological pressure.
Personally, I have never been sexually harassed. However, while I was employed at the flower store, the owner tended to practice something that I viewed as sexism back then. At some point, when I had been an employee for a while, he changed his policy and began to target only women as salespersons. There were several cases when he mentioned to me that women are “more presentable” as salespersons. However, the female workers who were employed at the same workplace admitted that the owner of the store sometimes acted in a sexual manner towards them trying to hug them occasionally as if by accident, always stood very close to them when talking, or told sexually inappropriate jokes that some women found offensive.
One of the employees was a rather open person, so she characterized the boss’s behavior as “innocently playful”; however, some other women found it particularly unpleasant. Among the female workers I knew, one left the job because of the store owner’s behavior, and the other one was afraid to lose her job and stayed employed tolerating the behavior she found insulting. Most importantly, evaluating the women who would come to the job interviews he would choose them based on their looks. There was one case when he refused to hire a woman after she practiced for one day motivating it by saying that she “was not pretty enough”.
In my opinion, sexual harassment in the workplace (or anywhere else) can and should be eliminated by means of providing the individuals with opportunities to protect themselves, report the incidents, and be helped without getting fired. Sexual harassment devaluates the people who are victimized and creates a high level of stress at the workplace that leads to low productivity, high turnover, job dissatisfaction, and costly lawsuits. In addition, I believe, a manager is responsible for the creation of a safe and healthy work environment and ensuring that the employees are secure and protected from threats coming from the superiors of peers.
Job analysis is a set of practices and procedures designed to assess the characteristics of various jobs within organizations based on their content and requirements (“Job Analysis” par. 1). This set of procedures serves to determine which individual qualities an employee suited for each particular job would need to perform at a high level. Job analysis helps the managers to staff organizations selecting the most suitable candidates for every position. Besides, job analysis carries an important function helping the managers to evaluate the performance of the employees based on the knowledge of the importance level of each task they are to perform. For instance, a waiter can be excellent at communicating with the customers, but at the same time, he may be unable to memorize the orders and mix them up on a regular basis. The analysis of a waiter’s job includes both – the communication skills and the ability to memorize the orders, however, the second quality is higher in the hierarchy of requirements. That way, failing to perform this task, this waiter automatically is evaluated as unsuitable for the job.
As mentioned previously, the manager of the flower shop where I used to work added the requirements for the candidates’ appearances to the list of job demands. These requirements were added informally and were not specified in the job advertisement. However, they played a crucial role in his decision-making process as several rather suitable candidates were rejected based on this parameter. In my opinion, this approach is highly irrational, and the manager made a big mistake putting his personal interest above the interest of a business. As a result, the shop experienced high rates of turnover and low job satisfaction. As a person, interested in the productivity of the business, and evaluating the workers based on the profits they made for the store, this business owner was supposed to focus on the skills of his employees assessing their suitability for the job and prioritizing the qualities they were required to demonstrate the get hired.
Overall, I think job analysis is a highly important procedure that allows the hirers to understand the jobs better so that they could target specifically the type of candidates able to benefit the business and be happy doing the job.
The paper included the descriptions, illustrations, and discussions of three concepts from the course – performance appraisal, sexual harassment in the workplace, and job analysis. I used the same scenery to provide personal experiences about the three concepts to establish the connections between them, as they can be tightly related to one another in situations such as the one I observed at the flower shop.
Job Analysis. 2015. Web.
MSG. Performance Appraisal. 2014. Web.
Performance Appraisal. 2015. Web.
Sexual harassment in the workplace. n. d. Web.
Workplace Harassment. 2015. Web.