In any organization, there is usually certain criterion that is used to hire and fire employees. There are certain rights that both the employer and the employee is guaranteed. These correspond to duties that both have toward each other. There are set guidelines which determine who will be promoted and who should work in a different department, whether to ire a new employee or promote the existing ones.
The two criteria that can be employed are common merit date and anniversary date. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. An organization can adopt the criteria that works best for them and which adheres to their goals and objectives. The core values of an organization must also be put into consideration.
There are some rules which apply to al organizations though. Firstly, there is a civil service system which is designed to avoid situation where politics influence the decisions regarding employment. Other privileges enjoyed are providing remuneration that is proportional to the work done, protecting all employees against discrimination and providing protection to employees against unnecessary disciplinary actions. (Douglas, 2003)
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Common Merit Date
The merit date is the most common since it is believed to be fair and does not encourage discrimination against employees. One advantage of the merit date is that it encourages employees to work hard. This is because in case of promotion, the promotion will be given to those who appear to produce good results in the work they have been assigned to do. Another advantage is that is considers quality performance. This is because decisions are based on the good performance of the workers and what they have to show for their efforts.
Coupled with that, the organization which employs merit date in the decision making processes is usually managed by qualified and competent personnel. The staff member is also satisfied since there are usually no favors and everyone is treated equally. The merit system instills confidence among the staff members that they are on the right track and all the decisions are being handled in the most discreet and professional way possible.
Merit system encourages healthy competition among the workers. This means that more and better results are produced. Another benefit iof merit system is that employees are given the same kind of treatment and this promotes healthy relationships among themselves. If the same kind of treatment is rendered to all then chances one being sidelined by the rest is almost nil. Again in the merit system all appeals made by employees regarding cases of violation can be handled by ‘The Civil Service Commission’, as well as other acts of disciplinary and other forms of discriminations faced at work places. (Edwin, 2003)
The disadvantages of merit date however cannot be ignored despite the benefits it brings in employment. Firstly if merit is used then decisions are slow. Many factors are considered hence making the system lengthy and time consuming. Coupled with that, the merit date may not be completely effective especially when all the employees are all performing very well. It can be argued that performance alone may not be the only determinant when awarding promotions.
All employees despite working very hard cannot produce wonderful results. Another disadvantage of merit is that it can cause unhealthy competition and breed into deep seated animosity among employees at extreme cases. For instance one may tamper with his or her colleagues work or delete important files so that the other employee appears inefficient. In extreme cases, it can cause dismissal especially where one employee tries to make his or her colleague appear to have been involved in gross negligence.
The other disadvantage is that it is costly especially if some cases have to be dealt with by the higher authority. There are some companies which have rules and regulations require that the merit requirements be put on hold or put off for a later date where the worker has not achieved the expected requirements on some of the requirements despite the fact that the workers’ overall PPR is in the line with ‘meets requirements’ or even better. (Edwin, 2006)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Anniversary Date
The other criterion that is employed is the anniversary date for annual merit increases. It is also riddled with its own advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that most mangers believe that his kind of approach ensures even distribution of the evaluations throughout. It therefore reduces the chances of piling up workload.
Another advantage is that the evaluations done are usually fairer and the quality is also higher since they are not done in a hurry. Enough time is also assigned for every task and hence therefore it is easy to keep the records and be able to account for the decisions that were made at a particular time. Another advantage is that proper answers are prepared to the problems that have been raised in the course of work. This ensures that the answers being given ought to be taken seriously and it is not just a formality. (Alexander, 2005)
The disadvantages of anniversary date are that some important issues are likely to be forgotten since issues have been piled over a period of time. The other problem is inclusion of pay which is based on performance. This kind of review process may encourage a kind of system which may be very hard to budget for. If the performance of the employees is not well known, then the system is reduced to guesswork because when a certain percentage is attached to a certain level it may not be fully representative of the actual score. (Alexander, 2005)
As an employee receiving an increase, the merit date is more preferable because it ensures that the employee is not discriminated against and all proper considerations are based on merit. When decisions are based on merit it will encourage employees to give quality and quality. This boosts the employee’s morale and confidence.
On the other hand, for a manager who is administering merit reviews the anniversary date is more appropriate. This is because it prevents roadside decisions. All the answers given are well thought through and alternatives are considered in good time. The manager had adequate comparisons to make before arriving at a decision. In addition, the process is all inclusive and it encourages teamwork in all the departments.
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Douglas, M. (2003) Harvard Business Review: An Uneasy Look at Performance Appraisal, Princeton Press, U.S.A.
Edwin, L. (2006) Goal Setting: A Motivational Technique That works, University of Maryland Press, U.S.A.
Alexander, S. (2005) Performance Management: What’s Hot; What’s Not, University of Maryland Press, U.S.A.