The Performance Appraisal case

Jennifer and Mel disagree over the importance of having performance appraisals. Mel says it’s quite clear whether any particular Learn In Motion employee is doing his or her job. It’s obvious, for instance, if the salespeople are selling, if the Web designer is designing, if the Web surfer is surfing, and if the content management people are managing to get the customers content up on the Web site in a timely fashion. Mel’s position, like that of many small business managers, is that “we have 1000 higher priority things to attend to “such as boosting sales and creating the calendar. And in any case, he says, the employees already get plenty of day-to-day feedback from him or Jennifer regarding what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.

This informal feedback notwithstanding, Jennifer believes that a more formal appraisal approach is required. For one thing, they are approaching the end of the 90- day introductory period for many of these employees, and the owners need to make decisions about whether they should go or stay. And from a practical point of view, Jennifer believes that sitting down and providing formal, written feedback is more likely to reinforce what employees are doing right, and to get them to modify what they might be doing wrong.” May be this one reason we’re not getting enough sales,” she says. They have been debating this for about an hour. Now, they want you, their management consultants, to advise them on what to do. Here’s what they want you to do for them.

· Is Jennifer right about the need to evaluate the workers formally? Why or why not? If you think she’s right, how do you counter Mel’s arguments?

· Develop a performance appraisal method for the sales people, or Web designer, or Web surfer. Please make sure to include any form you want the owners to use.

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