Choosing a performance appraisal system

Prepare a 3-4-page plan that states your recommended course of action and analysis to leadership for selecting a performance appraisal system in the provided scenario.

Workplace appraisal systems are extremely challenging and the differences among appraisal systems are quite significant. Although intended to be beneficial for HR-related decision making and a vehicle for determining raises, promotions, training, retention, and much more, most people see workplace performance appraisal systems as an uncomfortable and disagreeable process. The reasons for these perspectives by employees, supervisors, and HR professionals typically have to do with incomplete or inaccurate choice of performance appraisal methods. In this assessment, the SHRM behavioral competencies of Leadership and Organizational Navigation and Consultation and Critical Evaluation as well as the HRM content knowledge areas of Workforce Planning and Employment and Human Resource Department will be important for supporting your recommendation for a new performance appraisal system.



You are a newly hired HR professional in a medium-size community hospital, which is in a growing mid-western city. The hospital is a general health care services setting with no competition in the local area. The hospital has board-certified fellowship medical professionals who offer superior care to all the hospital’s patients. The mission of the hospital is to support a comprehensive range of health care for the local community and surrounding area. 

The hospital has grown from two HR staff members to six HR professionals supporting over 700 employees and the same performance appraisal system has been in place for several years. The hospital administration team is not all that comfortable with any system of appraisal but has accepted that one is required.

The hospital currently has a healthy employee engagement program. Part of the program is a yearly organizational satisfaction survey that over time has provided employee input about what they perceive as a lack of performance appraisal effectiveness. Some employees feel the current performance appraisal system is not capable of identifying struggling employees. The same small group of employees feel that the current performance appraisal system is inflated. At the same time, it is also described as not having the capacity to recognize the best performers in the organization. There is a stated desire from a small minority of employees for a performance appraisal system that can better differentiate performance outcomes. This is particularly important in an organization with a broad spectrum of health care professionals who range from surgeons to custodial staff, all essential to the hospital’s success.

The current performance appraisal system is similar to the traditional academic evaluation system and it has five levels of performance: superior, outstanding, contributing substantively, developing, and needing improvement. The leadership in the hospital insists that a new three-level (3-superior, 2-contributing substantively, and 1-needing improvement) will favorably respond to the employees’ viewpoint. This new appraisal system that tracks the assignment of each performance level by employee would limit how many threes would be given every year, thus most people in the organization would fall into the category of proficient. This has led to loud feedback from a majority of employees who feel they are not accurate recognized or valued. In fact, the new performance appraisal has negatively impacted overall employee morale. 

Your Challenge

As an HR professional in the organization, you desire the best outcome for your organization and its employees, and are not sure if this three-level system would be best. Your challenge is to select the best course of action among the following options and recommend that action to the leadership team. You can recommend 1) they retain the current five-level performance appraisal system, 2) they adopt the three-level system with forced-distribution preferred by the leadership team (3-superior, 2-contributing substantively, and 1-needing improvement), or 3) they adopt an alternative appraisal system from any source.


Prepare a 3–4-page plan that states your recommended course of action. Along with your recommendation, include the following: 

  • Analyze how your proposed HR solution to an HR challenge contributes to organizational goals and strategies.
    • Identify 5–6 performance appraisal systems and their attributes and then select one type for the third alternative in this scenario before making a decision.
      • Weigh the impact on each group as you consider the three options. The majority did not complain about performance appraisal inflation and the minority did. What are the implications of rejecting the minority’s request for what they see as a rational and effective system? What are the consequences of having a majority or employee-rated system?
      • Include the barriers, consequences, or outcomes that you see for the course of action you have chosen.
  • Explain the role of the HR practitioner in advancing a proposed HR solution.
    • Briefly explain the role you will take to influence the eventual outcome. Consider aspects of leadership, negotiation, and consultation.
  • Discuss the application of any SHRM behavioral competencies to the process of solving an HR challenge.
    • Which SHRM behavioral competencies do you think are most directly applicable to a successful resolution of this challenge, and why?
Additional Requirements

The deliverable for this assessment applies professional skills in HRM to workplace situations that you will likely encounter in your day-to-day work in HRM. As part of your learning, we focus on the development of effective professional communication skills for the workplace. Your assessment should meet the following additional requirements:

  • Length: Your plan should be 3–4 typed, double-spaced pages, plus the cover and resources pages.
    • The first page should be a cover sheet with your name, the course number, assessment title, and date. No other information is required on this page.
    • The last page should be the reference list.
  • Organization: Make sure that your assessment writing is well organized, using headings and subheadings to organize content for the reader.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point. 
  • Resources: Use 2–10 resources from peer-reviewed articles.
  • Evidence: Support your assertions with data and/or in-text citations.
  • APA formatting: Resources and in-text citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
  • Written communication:
    • Support main points and recommendations with relevant and credible evidence.
    • Address the appropriate audience, using familiar, discipline-specific language and terminology.
    • Use spell-check and other tools to ensure correct spelling and grammar.

Note: Faculty may use the Writing Feedback Tool when grading this assessment. The Writing Feedback Tool is designed to provide you with guidance and resources to develop your writing based on five core skills. You will find writing feedback in the Scoring Guide for the assessment, once your work has been evaluated.

Portfolio Prompt: You may choose to save this learning activity to your ePortfolio.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies:

  • Competency 1: Analyze the ways in which the human resource function contributes to individual and organizational performance.
    • Discuss the application of any SHRM behavioral competencies to the process of solving an HR challenge.
  • Competency 3: Explain the strategic role of human resources in the support of organizational goals in a multicultural and global environment.
    • Analyze how a proposed HR solution to an HR challenge contributes to organizational goals and strategies.
  • Competency 5: Analyze the strategic and operational roles that a human resource practitioner plays within an organization.
    • Explain the role of the HR practitioner in advancing a proposed HR solution.
  • Competency 6: Communicate clearly, accurately, and professionally in the human resource management field.
    • Support main points and recommendations with relevant and credible evidence.
    • Address the appropriate audience, using familiar, discipline-specific language and terminology.

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