Being one of the largest technology distributor and foremost in technology sales, marketing and logistics, Ingram Micro values the career development of its employees through undertaking periodic performance appraisals for said resources. Through such continuous evaluations, feedback is provided and employees are informed of the status of their job performance in the company at the time of the conduct of the appraisal, as there is evidence in literature that if given appropriately, this procedure can lead to substantial improvements in future performance (Falcone, 2007).
The main method utilized to conducting a periodic performance appraisal within the Ingram Micro organization is the weighted checklist method, which consists of a number of statements that describe various modes and levels of behavior for a particular job or category of jobs. Every statement has a weight or scale value associated with it, and when rating an employee, an Ingram Micro supervisor checks those statements that most closely describe the behavior exhibited by the individual employee.
Such appraisals are conducted every six months, with the company supervisors carrying out the said responsibility for employees under their care. This checklist system is subdivided into four major factors: quantity of work, quality of work, job knowledge and responsibility. These four categories each have five behavior descriptors listed under them. To reduce bias on the part of the supervisor conducting the appraisal, the weights assigned to each descriptor (that are developed by the human resource department), are not known to said supervisors.
The activity is conducted in the confines of the office of the supervisor, and after such appraisal, the employee to be assessed is called in by the supervisor, then asked to sit down and told about past feedback and documented observations of performance. The current performance is then described to the individual, and then the desired performance is stated. Commitment to any needed changes is asked of the employee, then follow up is conducted by the supervisor two weeks after the session.
It is widely believed within the firm that the performance appraisal activity is a vital impetus to boosting the career development of its human resources, a fact highly agreed upon by Millward (2005) when the author dedicated a full chapter of her work to the subject. Additionally, this method offers the advantage of not being vague compared to the rating approach because actual job behaviors are described in the checklist (Caruth and Handlogten, 2000).
ADVICE TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT Several words of advice to the senior management of Ingram Micro: just as with salary administration programs, their performance appraisal system should be flexible enough to expand as the company continues to grow. In the same light, one of the most common errors organizations make in their systems us not to give adequate, clear instructions to the evaluator.
This compromises the objectivity and desired orientation of the method, which can be remedied by having written instructions accompany the performance appraisals, which should include such information as: (1) the purpose of the performance appraisal; (2) how the form is to be used; (3) the respective roles and relationships of everyone concerned in the performance appraisal process; (4) the exact period of time the appraisal is to cover; (5) specific definitions of rating terminology; (6) and whom the supervisors can go to with questions.
Further, in conducting performance evaluations, Ingram Micro supervisors should view the activity as a part of a continuous assessment process whereby employee job performance is continuously changing and open to improvement. Evaluations should be conducted with some recognition and consideration of the total range of factors (worker controlled or not) that may be determining the worker’s performance.
Finally, the evaluation needs to occur within the context of a positive working relationship, and the supervisor should discuss the evaluation procedure with the workers supervised.
Caruth, D. & Handlogten, G. (2001). Managing Compensation (And Understanding It Too): A Handbook for the Perplexed. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books. Falcone, P. (2007). Productive Performance Appraisals. New York: AMACOM. Millward, L. (2005). Understanding Occupational and Organizational Psychology. City Road, London: SAGE Publications, Ltd.