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When Good Reviews Go Bad

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1. Which purposes of performance management did the appraisals described in this case fulfill? Which purposes did they not fulfill? – The appraisals which were described in this case fulfilled the administrative purpose of performance management by assessing the employees day to day efficiency and overall all work ethic and attitude and this provides information needed for organizations to make decisions about hiring or layoffs. For example, Merrill Lynch laid Bostjancic off and hired new employee. – Developmental purpose was partially fulfilled by evaluating how employees were advancing and what skills and strength they possessed. In this case, Wan Li received performance appraisals reported that she was exceeding expectations. – Strategic purpose was not fulfilled. The employees were told what was expected but not what they had to do to meet those expectations. Like in Bostjancic’s case, she was only told that she must improve her work dramatically but not how to improve it specifically to match the organization’s goal.

2. How can managers and HR departments minimize the likelihood of disputes arising over whether employees are continuing to perform at the same level? – Providing examples of where levels and standards were met and where they were not. It’ll make the employees understand how their skills, knowledge, and other criteria met those standards which fit that level. – Clearly explaining where the employee is and where they are expected to perform at. Each employee have their own level and this level depends on how they perform at work. Their level reflects the truth about their skill, knowledge, and ability to perform their work. – Use several “checkpoints” to gauge where the employee is at with meeting standards throughout the year: • Communication with clients, artists, agents, etc.

• Working under pressure, deadlines met
• Improvements in performance, attitudes, behaviors

 This way is used to check that if the level fits each employee. During one year performing at that level, is there any problem happened to their performance at work, do they feel uncomfortable or comfortable and do they perform effectively at the current level, do they dispute each other in work…? This check can answer all those questions. Then it’ll lead to the solution and decision of the organization in changing the level of employees in order to minimize the disputes arising.

3. If you had been in HR departments if the companies described in this case, and the employees had come to you with their concerns, what would you have done in each situation? According to the case study, there are several different woman getting top performance appraisals but as soon as they came back from their maternity leave, they are transferred, laid off, or cut the position altogether. These ladies were working for leading corporations which are Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi respectively. All these employees were receiving excellent performance’s appraisals until, in the case of Bostjancic and Li, after maternity leave, their jobs were eliminated. In the case of Paula Best, she also had a glowing performance appraisal until after two years of expected promotion and there was none forthcoming, she was laid off together with other employees in her department. In general, when an employee announces she’s pregnant, her employer had better be aware of the federal pregnancy discrimination law, state maternity leave laws and the employee’s right to FMLA and pregnancy disability leave (Maternity, 2008).

Under the law, you can’t deny a woman a job or a promotion merely because she’s pregnant or has had an abortion. Nor can you fire her because of her condition or force her to go on leave as long as she’s physically capable of performing her job (Maternity, 2008). In short, the law requires you to treat pregnant employees the same as other employees on the basis of their ability or inability to work. In addition, women who take maternity leave must be reinstated under the same conditions as employees returning from disability leave (Maternity, 2008). Hypothesis that the companies described in this case have made appropriate and justified decisions or in other words, they haven’t committed discriminate actions against race, pregnancy and that we’ve been in the HRD of these companies, these following are what we will do to each specific situation: In Bostjancic’s case, we would have given metrics and clear descriptions of the new created position that the company asked her to take on and compare it to her previous work to see whether the company really demoted her.

We will explain to her why her plan for the new position was rejected and why we have to let her go. There’s proof that her manager treated her appropriately after her maternity leave so it can’t be that Merrill Lynch discriminates her against pregnancy. In Li’s case, we would have compared the level of hours she had with the commitment and skills she held previously to see if there were any reasons for reassigning her. After returning from her maternity leave, it’s hard for Li to catch up the work pace in her job. So that may be the reason why she couldn’t transfer from her temporary support post to a revenue-generating job but be transferred to another support role. In Best’s case, we would have held a meeting with her and the managers and had them lay out the qualifications steps to getting promoted and analyze why didn’t she get the promotion.

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