Merit rating of federal employees
Weidner, Robert Eugene
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The potential value of employee rating as a managenaent tool has not been attained by the rating plans v;hich have been used during the past decade in the Federal government for rating Federal employees. This was found to be generally true by the Hoover Commission in so far as the Unifcnc Efficiency Rating Plan v;as concerned. It is also true of the Performance Rating Plan presently in use, if the plant at which this investigation was undertaken can be cited as an example. Specific reasons for the failure of these two rating plans have been determined. It may be said, however, that the primary cause of the failure of the Uniform Efficiency Rating Plan was due to the plan itself. It was neither reliable nor valid for the purposes it was designed to serve. Likewise, it may be stated that the primary cause for dissatisfaction with the Performance Rating Plan has been due to the fact that personnel who administer and use the plan have failed to comprehend the real purpose for which it was designed. The resulting misuse of a basically good plan has led to almost complete failure to derive any of the benefits which are inherent in this type of rating plan. Frustration and eventual withdrawal of interest has resulted. The present situation may be likened to the problem of fitting a square peg into a round hole. At present, the tendency has been to blame the peg for being square, i..^. Performance Rating being a poor system to have to use. However, in this case the peg must remain square, since Performance Rating is required by law. Therefore, the only alternative, if the problem is to be solved at all, is to change the shape of the hole (by altering the interpretation of those who are required to use the system). The proposed rating procedure represents a possible solution to the problem, and a practical one as well. It lies within both the intent and the letter of the law governing Federal rating procedures. It is in full accord with the general recommendations of the Hoover Commission, which led to the passage of the Performance Rating Act of 1950 The main ideas of the proposed procedure, namely those of: (a) requiring the supervisor to analyze the Jobs he supervises; (b) requiring the supervisor to let the employee know what is expected of him on his particular job; and (c) letting the employee know how he is doing and how he may improve his performance, should be of considerable value in accomplishing the stated objective of "improving the efficiency and economy of the Service through the improvement of performance of both supervisory and non-supervisory personnel".
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