JEL Classification O20, O50, R50
Performance assessment is one of the most important processes in human resource management. One of the benefits of performance appraisal is as an important career promoter tool both for managers and employees. Performance appraisals are able to provide reciprocal benefits for organizations and employees. Managers are able to direct and guide employees in order to achieve both of organizational and individual goals. On the other hand, employees are able to get a definite understanding of the work for which they are responsible. The important role of performance assessment is to communicate organizational goals, objectives, strategies and plans to employees. On the one hand, employees need a definite information relating to their role to work effectively. On the other hand, organizations need the means to communicate goals, objectives, and strategies (Epstein et al., 2010).
According to the various results of studies on the practice of performance assessment of civil servants found that there are still employees who consider performance assessments only formalities and are arranged as a condition for promotion. Based on existing theory (Johannes, 2018; Addeli, 2019), employees do not understand how to fill out performance assessments (Johannes, 2018) and they lack motivation and commitment to carry out performance assessments (Addeli, 2019). While observing the practice of performance assessment of civil servants in Banyumas District, data showed that performance assessment has been carried out not only in accordance with government regulations, but also based on objective evaluation that has not been achieved optimally. Problems in the implementation of employee performance assessments are: individual performance goals that are contrary to the culture of collectivism in Indonesia; complex procedures resulting in difficulty setting targets, realization and evaluation; assessment behavior that reflects biases and assessment results that lack reliability; and lack of employee work motivation (Hendriarto et al., 2016).
One of the strategies to improve employee performance is to carry out effective performance assessments that can motivate employees to realize the targets that have been established. This study aims to analyze the effectiveness of the performance assessment system that has been practiced in the Banyumas District government. The questions of this study are classified as follows:
a. How is the performance assessment system applied in the Banyumas District government?
b. What does the effectiveness of employee work goal-based performance assessment system entail?
2. Literature Review
The study of employee performance assessment is an interesting study. A study conducted by Iqbal et al. (2014) browsed 37 journals and found 127 articles that discussed performance assessment along with a variety of different focuses including general management, human resource management, organizational studies, and even psychology. This observation is based on the fact that the search results showed articles with a general management focus were published in 8 journals and consisted of 32 articles. Publications in human resource management journals were published in 8 journals consisting of 22 articles. Publications in organizational study journals were published in 4 journals, consisting of 17 articles, while for psychology journals there were 17 journals, with a total of 56 articles (Iqbal et al., 2014).
Performance appraisal can be defined as the process of measuring and developing the performance both of individuals and groups (De Andres et al., 2010). Another opinion mentioned that “performance assessments are formal assessments conducted periodically on work performance where the results of the assessment are able to be used as a basis for decision-making on development and training, promotion, succession planning and incentives” (Boachie-Mensah, 2011).
Performance assessment is one of the most important aspects of human resource management that can have a positive impact on organizations and employees. Various studies have shown almost the same results, namely the benefits of performance assessment results are able to improve work performance and identify the causes of employee performance weaknesses and recommend training that suits their necessity (Agarwal, 2016). While the other studies found that performance assessments in addition to having an impact on work performance can also improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency (Shaharyar et al., 2014), provide opportunities to achieve organizational goals and expectations, as well as improve employee understanding of effective performance (Streib and Pitts, 2013).
Performance assessments (Osmania and Maliqi, 2012) can be classified into four categories, such as assessment of personal character, behavior, results, and self-assessment. The type of personal character assessment, evaluation of employees is done through assessments that are in accordance with work performance. They are classified into skills, talents and personalities, the deficiency of this type of judgment is that good personal characteristics cannot guarantee high performance. The second type is behavioral assessment, where the assessment is done by looking at how employees work and the response to the work completion process. This second type is better when compared to personal characteristics, because feedback is directed at performance.
The third type is the assessment of results, where the evaluation is done by looking at differences in the quality and quantity of the same work and done by two different people. In the assessment of results in addition to performance assessment, the skills, competencies and contributions of employees will be identified. The fourth type is self-assessment, which is an evaluation method that positions employees to assess and evaluate performance in order to achieve organizational goals. The disadvantage of this assessment is the concern of the emergence of subjective factors so that self-assessment is considered unrealistic.
In practice, many organizations set different goals. Geet et al. (2009) mentioned that “generally, the air of working performance assessment able to categorized as an evaluation goal, development and controlling”. This result of working performance assessment is giving information that able is to distinguish each performance among one employee with others. This information is used as a basis term to identify the necessity of employee development and carrying out control.
Each organization has certain objectives in conducting performance assessments for its employees, whatever goals are to be achieved, performance assessment should be able to provide information on how well employees perform, what employees should do, what opportunities can be given to employees, high low employee performance individually and collectively, organizational support to help employees improve performance, are there rewards for performance, and is there training to improve performance? (Geet et al., 2009). The various objectives of performance assessment will be achievable while the organization implements effective performance assessments. The benefits obtained are reflected in the availability of performance planning, performance management, coaching, facilitating discussions between employees and leaders to plan development and performance improvement as well as documents for decision making (Longenecker and Fink, 2011).
To derive the various benefits of performance assessment, organizations must implement effective practices. Performance assessment will impact more effective performance planning, better coaching and performance management, facilitate discussions to achieve improved employee performance and development, as well as provide documentation that can be used for a wide range of human resource decisions (Longenecker and Fink, 2011). The results of research come from several experts regarding effective performance assessment, require various criteria that have to be used in the performance assessment system of an organization. According to the opinion of various authors (Bjerke et al., 1987), an effective performance assessment has to be qualified for the assessment process as follows:
a. The performance assessment process is able to provide performance information
b. The performance assessment process has to be acceptable to the organization, employees and leaders.
c. There is constructive and beneficial feedback for employees and leaders.
d. There is training of appraisers to overcome errors in judgment.
e. An efficient assessment process, including a simple and concise format, fulfilling of organizational objectives, as well as a source of information.
The characteristics of an effective assessment system were also stated by Mondy and Noe (2005) who identified seven characteristics of this evaluation system. First, the main assessment criterion is related to work. Employee performance is based on work therefore the job analysis is needed. Employee behavior consists of such as initiative, enthusiasm, loyalty, and cooperation that are becoming important factors, but are not major factors in assessment. Second, the leader has to explain the criteria and performance targets used in the performance evaluation to their subordinates who are in the early stages of assessment. Furthermore, the third, it is necessary to be standardized, where employees in the same job category under the same leadership has to be assessed using the same evaluation instruments. The assessment should cover the same time period. Leaders should make regular time to provide feedback and assessment interviews for all employees. Fourth, there has to be a qualified appraiser, who is responsible for evaluating employee performance. Fifth, the characteristic is the communication that is well established between both of employees and leaders. Sixth, the next characteristic is the ease of obtaining information on performance assessment results including the opportunity to raise objections if the results of the assessment are not appropriate. And the seventh criterion, reflects the opportunity for employees to appeal inaccurate or unfair performance assessments to avoid the subjectiveness of the leadership in providing judgments.
Other opinions regarding effective performance assessment showcase the fact that there are five components that should be considered, namely focus on performance, the opportunity for employees to express opinions, feedback, encouraging the achievement of individual and organizational goals, and training for assessors (Coutts and Schneider, 2004).
An effective performance assessment system requires three components that have to be applied to the organization: effective system design, effective managerial system practices and the support of an effective performance assessment system (Longenecker and Fink, 2014a,b). These are classified as follows:
1. Effective system design includes clearly defined, it is convenient to understand and value-added performance assessment objectives, paying attention to input from employees and managers on how performance assessment systems can function, assessment forms and procedures that are easily applied in the execution of work and based on performance, conducting training for managers and employees to provide an understanding of how to use the assessment system.
2. Effective managerial system practices are related to managers’ roles and abilities in crafting performance planning, clarifying roles, objectives and expectations. In addition to providing assessments in writing, managers conduct informal assessments through observation and coaching to improve performance itself. Managers make time to compile written performance reviews by doing face-to-face discussions to obtain honest data.
3. Effective assessment system support is characterized by conditions under which a performance scoring system is able to motivate managers to implement effective assessment behavior. To obtain situations and conditions like this requires the support of the top leadership in the assessment process, the results of the performance assessment reflect performance ratings, and the availability of means for monitoring and evaluation in assessing compliance, system user satisfaction and corrective actions.
The design of an effective performance assessment system has several characteristics such as (1) the existence of organizational and employee objectives to be achieved together, (2) training to carry out assessments that will ensure performance assessments are carried out in accordance with objectives, (3) performance assessments are carried out periodically and programmed, (4) the maintenance of performance records that are the source of employee performance information, (5) the existence of a clear measurement system and able to measure precisely, (6) the existence of a complete performance assessment system, (7) the results of performance assessments are used as a basis for providing incentives (Boice et al., 1997).
According to the aim of performance assessment conveyed by Geet et al. (2009), one of the most important aspects is related to “the rewards given for performance achievement”. Curzi et al. (2019) stated that “the main characteristics of performance assessment should be able to provide feedback to employees through formal design”.
3. Research Method
This study uses a qualitative approach that aims to describe and describe phenomena and events regarding the effectiveness of employee performance assessments carried out at the Banyumas Regency Government (Aspers and Corte, 2019). This research was conducted on several local government organizations, namely the Regional Secretariat, Staffing Agency & Human Resource Development abbreviated as BKPSDM and the Secretary of the Council. Data collection techniques use interviews, observations and document review. Primary data comes from the original source obtained directly from the person who has the information. While secondary data comes from the second source in the form of reports, documentation, library browsing, scientific journals and statistical publications (McLellan et al., 2003).
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Employee Work Goals-Based on Performance Assessment
The legal basis of the issuance of Government Regulation according to Pemerintah Republik Indonesia (2011) regarding on the assessment of the work performance of Civil Servants as mentioned by (Hayat, 2014) relate to State Civil Apparatus, where article 78 states that further provisions of performance assessment are regulated by government regulations. The assessment of civil servants’ work performance according to Pemerintah Republik Indonesia (2011) stated that “a systematic performance assessment conducted by the assessment officer against the Employee’s Work Goals abbreviated as (SKP) and the work behavior of civil servants”. In this case, there are two aspects in performance assessment, namely employee performance goals and work behavior. Each aspect has a different assessment weight. Employee performance goals are given a weight of 60 percent, while work behavior is weighted at 40 percent (Pemerintah Republik Indonesia, 2011).
Employee Work Goals (SKP) has to be prepared by each employee as a work strategic plan for a period of one year. Civil servants who do not draft SKP will be disciplined in accordance with the provisions of regulations and legislation. These elements of the employee’s performance assessment are explained in the following subsections:
1. Employee Performance Goals
The performance assessment process begins with the preparation of employee performance goals. The performance objective element consists of key performance goals and additional tasks. The main performance contains job activities and targets that must be achieved in one year. In addition to the main performance of employees, they can also be given additional tasks. Additional tasks are other duties related to job that are not included in Employee Work Goals (SKP). In the preparation of Employee Work Goals (SKP) this additional task is grouped into supporting elements.
Employee Work Goals (SKP) assessment includes several aspects such as quantity, quality, time, and cost according to the characteristics, nature, and type of activities of each agency. The cost aspect can be used as a basis for assessment if the job title activities are supported by the budget. The assessment of civil servants’ work performance is carried out by the assessment officer once a year. More specifically, it is carried out at the end of December in the current year or at the latest until the end of January of the following year. The valuation weight for SKP is 60 percent.
2. Working Behavior
Work behavior is any behavior, attitude or action carried out by civil servants in accordance with the law. Aspects of behavior consist of elements of service orientation, integrity, commitment, discipline, cooperation, and leadership. The work behavior element has a weight of 40 percent. Assessment of work behavior involves comparing employee behavior with descriptions of each aspect. The criterion for assessing the elements of civil servants’ work behavior is regulated (Badan Kepegawaian Negara, 2011), as a guideline to provide an assessment of numbers and designations. The assessment criteria consist of Excellent (91 – 100), Good (76 - 90), Enough (61 - 75), Less (51 - 60) and Bad (50 and below). As an illustration, when an employee always completes the best service tasks with a polite and very satisfactory attitude for both internal and external services of the organization, that employee will get a score between 91 - 100, with the designation Very good.
The first stage of the performance assessment process begins with the preparation of employee work goals, namely work plans that will be implemented within one year. To compile Employee Work Goals (SKP) required a document description of employee duties, direct supervisor employment agreement, organization and work order, and direct supervisor Employee Work Goals (SKP). Before the use of Employee Work Goals (SKP) corrected by the direct superior, if it is appropriate, it will get approval and be determined to be an Employee Work Goals (SKP) document that will be the basis of the employee’s performance assessment. The preparation of Employee Work Goals (SKP) as an indicator of individual performance, has to pay attention to specific criteria, be measurable, realistic, have a time limit of achievement and adjust the internal and external conditions of the organization itself, while the target indicator includes aspects of quality, quantity, time of funds and costs.
The next stage is the implementation of work, where employees carry out a predetermined work plan. During the implementation of this work, assessor officials or superiors directly monitor by observing performance achievements through documentation in information systems. The purpose of performance monitoring to find out the progress of civil servant performance so that there are no irregularities. In this stage, performance coaching is carried out through guidance and counseling by direct superiors to help overcome obstacles that occur during the work implementation process.
Performance measurements are carried out periodically monthly, quarterly, semesterly, and annually. Measurements are made by comparing Employee Work Goals (SKP) targets with the realization of Employee Work Goals (SKP) performance, while standards of work behavior are compared to work behavior. In this measurement process is given feedback either verbally or in writing delivered during coordination meetings or through personal consultation. The provision of feedback is carried out according to the needs and purposes of the construction. Assessment of employee work performance is carried out by assessing aspects of work goals and work behavior. Assessment of aspects work goals is done by comparing the targets that have been set with performance achievements that can be realized. The results of the assessment will be converted in the form of numbers. While the assessment aspects of work behavior are carried out by comparing the results observations of civil servants’ work behavior that are assessed with the criteria for assessing elements of civil servants’ work behavior.
4.2. Effectiveness of Performance Assessment System
The results of research that examines the effectiveness of performance assessments have been widely done using various approaches. In this study the parameters used are the opinions from (Longenecker et al., 1999) which assesses the effectiveness of performance assessment based on critical assessment system components. Namely the design dimensions of performance assessment systems, managerial practices and support for performance assessment systems.
4.3. Effective System Design
The performance assessment system that will be discussed is the assessment of employee performance based on employee work goals in accordance with Pemerintah Republik Indonesia (2011). This work performance assessment has been carried out on Civil Servants throughout Indonesia. One of them is in Banyumas Regency Government. Based on the rules and regulations, the employee performance assessment system has the aim to ensure objectivity in civil servant management. The System design is designed to be used by all types of employees. As it is known in Banyumas Regency government. there are three groups of employees, namely structural employees, special functional employees, and general functional employees. Therefore, one assessment system can be used by all employees types.
In the early stages of leadership, Banyumas Regency government made efforts to explain the purpose of the new performance assessment system pending implementation. The provision of information about the performance assessment system was carried out by the Regional Secretary by issuing Circular Letter No. 863/5907/2013 on the implementation of civil servant performance assessments that began in 2014. The circular contains important points, namely the obligation of civil servants to prepare annual work goals and the threat of disciplinary penalties for civil servants who do not prepare annual work targets. Banyumas Regency Government drew up technical guidelines in order to implement this new regulation.
Socialization of how to fill the performance assessment system is carried out by the Regional Staffing Agency which organizationally has the duties and functions of staffing management. The dissemination of information is carried out through regular technical meetings by inviting the Head of The Administrative Sub-Section of all Local Government Organizations in Banyumas Regency Government environment. The obstacle faced in the explanatory component of assessment objectives is because the leader as an appraiser does not yet have the same understanding and perception and influences performance assessment practices. Especially at the stage of Employee Work Goals (SKP) preparation which still implies a level of confusion related to setting targets for unpredictable work. If the target is set too high and cannot be realized, it will lower the quantity valuation rate. In such a case, the leader has to provide the right solution.
The involvement of employees and leaders in designing the assessment system cannot be accommodated considering that this employee performance assessment system is a central government policy that has to be implemented. However, employees and leaders can communicate at the stage of preparing employee work goals, where each employee and the leader able to discuss performance targets to be achieved. Broadly discussing the performance assessment process is divided into three stages. They are classified into stage of performance planning, stage of work implementation, and stage of work performance assessment. Each stage requires a different supporting document. In the performance planning stage of supporting documents for working goals various documents are established, namely annual work plan, leadership performance agreement, Organizational Structure and Work Arrangements (SOTK), and job description of the employee concerned.
The stage of implementation of work is the process of realizing the work plan. The chairman as an assessment officer conducts observation, construction and guidance on employees. The documents required at this stage are job requirements, diaries, pretension notes, and workload analysis. The performance assessment stage is the process of comparing between the target value and the willingness of work. There are two aspects that are considered to be the achievement of work goals and work behavior. The supporting documents needed are performance achievement standards and work behavior standards stipulated in Badan Kepegawaian Negara (2011). Work performance assessment system based on work goals assisting to clarify the role of employees and leaders in the work implementation. The division of labor in accordance with roles, responsibilities and authorities can be done fairly and it is possible to prevent the buildup of duties in one position. If there is a similarity of the type of work between employees, it can be divided according to the region.
4.4. Managerial System Practice
The practice of managerial systems is the second component in effective performance assessment. This component can be seen in the leader’s role as a direct supervisor who arranges performance planning as a basis classification on filling employee work goals both of leader concerned and subordinates itself. Performance planning interprets work goals, the quality of work implementation, the targets to be achieved, the period of achievement and costs needed to realize the work plan. The clarity of each employee’s role in realizing the work plan is determined by the leadership’s ability.
One of the employee’s expectations of performance assessment is the feedback from the leadership on the work implementation. The delivery of feedback is done as needed, can be given verbally or in writing. It can be delivered formally at a coordination meeting, or informally. Feedback can be praise for the good execution of employee work, or corrective action for mistakes that occur. In Banyumas Regency government environment, it has a tradition of providing an award as one of the efforts to provide formal feedback to employees who have excellent performance. This activity is usually held to coincide with the anniversary of Proclamation Day.
Related to leaders conducting effective assessments, performance assessment systems by using work goals encourage leaders to provide objective assessments in accordance with performance data. The focus of assessment is on two aspects, namely the realization of performance related to the implementation of tasks and work behavior. There are clear standards and counting procedures for providing judgment. Therefore, the assessment can be done effectively. In the event that employees have jobs that are cross-sectoral, performance assessments may consider input from peers and supervisors directly from the assessment officer.
4.5. Assessment System Assistance
Effective performance assessment system support requires the availability of means for monitoring and evaluation. To support this system has been implemented a policy of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of work periodically and record all daily activities of employees in the journal, which will be recapitulation at the end of each month. The Employee Performance Goals (SKP)-based performance assessment system provides applications that can be accessed by every employee. Procedures for filling and measuring performance are carried out in an easy-to-use system without complicated calculations, where employees simply input performance targets when compiling Employee Performance Goals (SKP) and input the realization of performance at the time of work performance assessment. The application of the assessment system will be automatically calculated and employees will get Employee Performance Goals (SKP) values in accordance with the realization of performance. The results of this Employee Performance Goals (SKP) assessment will be combined with the assessment results of the work behavior, and the final result is the employee performance value.
The results of the employee’s work performance assessment inform the high and low performance, advantages and disadvantages of employees in carrying out their duties. Performance assessment results able to help organizations to map employee development needs and as a basis for awarding. To be able to connect with the award system, the results of performance assessment must be equipped with Work Contract documents, Realization of performance agreements, Civil Servants’ Diary of Daily Activities, and Employee Work Discipline Achievement.
One of the objectives of performance assessment is the arrangement of employee performance information that is useful in the employee’s development in the future. The data assessed is the performance that has been carried out within one year, containing the quality of work, the quantity or number of works that can be completed, the length of work completion time and the costs needed in completing the work that has been planned. According to Pemerintah Republik Indonesia (2011), employee performance assessment has one goal, which is to ensure the objectivity of civil servant coaching based on the achievement system and career system. This is in accordance with the results of the survey which concluded that the purpose of performance assessment is organizational efficiency, while the assessment objective does not need a lot of terms contrary it will be easy to realize (Reneker and Steel, 1989).
Performance assessment designed in Pemerintah Republik Indonesia (2011) was a rating system that was applicable for all employees. Other research results suggest that different performance assessment systems are needed for different types of organizations (Ikramullah et al., 2016). The preparation of work goals as a basis for assessment itself. The direct supervisors, as assessors, determine the task activities of the position and targets to be achieved in the current year. Intense interaction and communication between employees and leaders in the form of consultation, guidance and coaching.
Filling employee work goals will be easy to do if supported by annual work plan documents, direct supervisor work planning and employee job descriptions. However, training is needed to understand the use of performance assessment systems to avoid a mistake. Performance assessment by using Employee Performance Goals (SKP) combines aspects of assessment based on performance and work behavior, with a percentage of 60 percent for Employee Performance Goals (SKP) and 40 percent for behavior. Combining these two aspects to minimize weaknesses in performance assessment that only pay attention to subjective factors. The managerial role of the leader can be done in the preparation of performance planning that becomes a guideline for filling employee work goals. Performance planning is structured to clarify the role of each employee in accordance with the task description. In this case, the ability of the leader in setting goals and expectations set forth in performance planning that is needed.
Effective leaders treat the performance assessment system as a means of managing employees (Wiese et al., 1998). Leaders are also required to have the ability to provide assessment and feedback in written and informally. The right feedback is regular feedback done through coaching activity (Sharma et al., 2016). Therefore, to place performance assessments to motivate, direct and develop subordinates and to maximize access to important resources within the organization. The results of employee performance assessments are able to provide information about improved performance, ideal workload, employee compliance, employee education and training needs, and the basis for placement and award considerations. Employee Performance Goals (SKP)-based work performance assessment system provides opportunities for more intense interaction and communication between employees and assessors. Communication is carried out at the stage of preparing performance goals, the stage of work implementation and the stage of performance assessment, where the assessment officer (as the supervisor) directly describes the work plan to be achieved over the next year.
Based on the critical assessment system component, there are ten key aspects that have to be fulfill by an achievement evaluation system to be categorized in an effective way. In the implementation of performance assessment in Banyumas Regency government there is one component (number 2) that cannot be realized, namely the involvement of leaders and employees in the design of the assessment system. It occurs because the performance assessment system in civil servants is designed by the central government, so that the government in the region only implements it. The implementation of the other nine components can be said to be effective, especially in the components of the available framework of procedures and forms (number 3), employees and leaders understand their role (number 4), sustainable assessment systems (number 10) and leaders provide effective feedback (number 6), leaders carry out effective performance assessments (number 7) and organizational support for effective performance assessment practices.
The aspects of a clear definition of performance assessment (number 1) can be implemented, contrary there are constraints related to a leader’s understanding of the system and the leader’s ability to explain the objectives of performance assessment. Aspects of the leadership doing effective performance planning (number 5) can be implemented properly, supported by the completeness of the Annual Work Plan document, the Leadership Performance Agreement, Organizational Structure and Work Order, and the Description of duties of the concerned employee. Employee performance assessment systems can be effective with the support of various documents that assist complement assessment aspects of employee work goals and work behavior. The needs of supporting documents should be adjusted to the stage of assessment activities.
Author Contributions: Lilis Sri Sulistiani: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Resources, Data Curation, Writing - Original Draft, Writing – Review, Editing. Muslih Faozanudin: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Resources, Data Curation, Writing - Original Draft, Writing – Review, Editing.
Funding: This research was funded by both Authors and from the supporting budget from the institution of Jenderal Soedirman University.
Conflict of Interest: The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest.
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