IV. 6. Staff Appraisal
Joseph H. Kahle in “Assessing Executive Performance”
(1978, p.178) suggests that "evaluation of the work of practitioners
is an established and honored instrument for promoting professional
development and has, in fact, been adopted by a number of many helping
professions." He also reports that The Committee on the Study of
Competence of the National Association of Social Workers begins its
“Guidelines for the Assessment of Professional Competence in Social
Work” with the following statement: "One of the hallmarks
of a profession is its willingness to set standards for its members
and to have some mechanisms for designating individuals who are able
to meet these norms." The report focuses on defining competence
in service activities with individuals, groups, communities, and society
Carlisle (1987, p.389) suggests several significant purposes
of performance appraisal: keeping subordinates informed on how they
are doing; determining merit pay increases; uncovering training needs;
identifying candidates for promotion; recognizing barriers or problems
to improved performance; and discussing ways in which performance can
be improved both in relation to the individual and the work unit.
In a guide for executive evaluation, Kahle (1978) presents
a comprehensive statement of factors to be covered in evaluation of
I. The purpose of the evaluation – this section
should state briefly why the evaluation is being conducted, at whose
instigation, what it proposes to accomplish, and the time interval since
the last evaluation.
II. Responsibilities assigned and carried – this
section should include a summary of the basic job description that was
provided by the board at the time it was recruiting the executive. It
should also indicate any new or additional responsibilities that have
been added or that have evolved since the beginning of his employment.
III. General aspects of practice (strengths and
A. What is the extent of his professional expertise?
Does he attempt to increase his knowledge and keep himself informed
of new developments in the field?
B. Has he adequate working knowledge of the problems
and structures and of key groups and individuals in his community?
C. What are the quantitative aspects of his performance?
D. How well does he organize and prepare
IV. Specific (qualitative) aspects of practice (strengths
A. Service to the board or governing body
- How well does he relate to staff?
- Does he understand their work and the problems
that arise from their work?
- Does he use personnel appropriately?
- Does he delegate authority and responsibility appropriately?
- Does he communicate well with staff?
- Does he encourage and use staff participation in
planning, policy making, and operations?
- Does he contribute to staff development?
- Is he fair in his actions relating to personnel
C. Service to the community
- How effective is he in his relations with funding
- How effective is he in his activities with planning
- How effective is he in his relations with other
public voluntary organizations?
- How effective is he in community and social action?
- Is he effective in public relations and community
- How is he viewed by his peers in other institutions?
D. Service to the agency program
- Does he plan soundly?
- Is he creative and innovative?
- Does he assume the appropriate responsibility for
- Does he organize well?
- Does he use institution resources well?
- Is he effective in keeping the institution's program
related to current community needs?
- Does he demonstrate effective leadership of the
- Does he understand and use the budgeting process
- Does he demonstrate ability in developing physical
and financial re- sources?
V. Summary and recommendations – this section should
provide a condensation of the total evaluation; it should indicate the
executive's progress toward achieving agency goals, his strengths, his
problem areas, and his deficiencies. It should make recommendations
for specific changes and indicate when they are expected to be accomplished.
The summary should clearly state the board' s satisfaction or dissatisfaction
with the executive's performance.(Kahle, p.182-184.)
Various rating forms are utilized in the appraisal of performance
of professional staff. Traditional appraisal methods have involved study,
observation, and rating of persons in terms of traits they display on
the job; in one sense, this is a kind of personality inventory.
Recent methods of appraisal have tended to place more emphasis
on results and less on personality traits. What has the worker been
able to do, and what is that person doing now? Also, there has been
a shift toward more individualization of evaluations, with less rigidity
in regard to questions asked and answers obtained. Each person is unique,
and each person's job is also unique in some ways that need to be recognized.
A common practice is to share with the worker the evaluation
or appraisal that has been prepared. In some agencies, the empozyee
is asked to initial the report and is given an opportunity to discuss
it, sharing agreements, or disagreements. It is hoped that these interviews
will end on a positive note, with the supervisor indicating appreciation,
encouragement, and offering comments to improve the worker's motivation.
The employee's role in the process of evaluation is a significant
one. Self-evaluation in one sense, is the ultimate in staff evaluation.
Competent, caring workers will know what they are doing and will be
able to communicate this knowledge to the administrator concerned. The
worker is responsible for continuous self-assessment and development.
Written self-evaluations are often used in staff appraisal systems.
These are then shared and discussed with the supervisor to the mutual
advantage of both.
Name:________________________ Job Title:
Department: _______________________ No. of month in position
Circle appropriate rating