The appraiser may be any person who observes the employee while performing a job. The appraiser has thorough knowledge about the job content, contents to be appraised, and standards of contents. The appraiser should prepare reports and make judgments without bias. Typical appraisers are supervisors, peers, subordinates, employees themselves, users of service, and consultants.
Supervisors include superiors of the employee, other superiors having knowledge about the work of the employee, and department heads or managers. General practice is that immediate superiors appraise the performance, which in turn is reviewed by the departmental head manager. This is because supervisors are responsible for managing their subordinates and they have the opportunity to observe, direct, and control the subordinate continuously. Moreover, they are accountable for the successful performance of their subordinates. On the negative side, immediate supervisors may emphasize certain aspects of employee performance to the neglect of others. Also, managers have been known to manipulate evaluations to justify their decisions on pay increases and promotions.
Peer appraisal may be reliable if the workgroup is stable over a reasonably long period of time and performs tasks that require interaction. However, little research has been conducted to determine how peers establish standards for evaluating others or the overall effect of peer appraisal on the group’s attitude. The concept of having superiors rated subordinates is being used in most organizations today, especially in developed countries. For instance, in most US universities students evaluate a professor’s performance in the classroom. Such a novel method can be useful in other organizational settings too, provided the relationships between superiors and subordinates are cordial.
If individuals understand the objectives they are expected to achieve and the standards by which they are to be evaluated, they are to a great extent in the best position to appraise their own performance. Employee performance in service organizations relating to behaviors, promptness, speed in doing the job and accuracy, can be better judged by the customers or users of services.