Information Technology does not only impact what can be done but also influences various facets of an operation including speed and geographical locations as well. In relation to performance evaluation and appraisal, information technology influences the evaluation process by accelerating results and evaluations as well as possible evaluations of a huge number of employees scattered around wide geographical distances.
In addition to that, information technology plays an increasing role in performance appraisal. One of these aspects is through the electronic monitoring and performance evaluation which allow an organization like SMEs hold a huge amount of data on multiple dimensions of work performance. IT facilitates a more continuous and detailed collection of performance data in jobs and has the capacity to do so in a non-obvious manner.
The second impact of information technology on performance evaluations is seen through feedbacks. There was a reversal in the feedback process of small and medium enterprises. Feedbacks before were done face to face, but with the emergence of computers and information technology, feedback to employees after performance evaluations can now be sent via e-mails and electronic gadgets. Many software packages are now available to record and aggregate performance ratings and observations. However, because feedbacks are done electronically, there are questions arising on whether such feedbacks were credible and if it does have the same impact as compared to face to face feedbacks. Browsing through some researchers, there were some findings answering such questions.
Firstly, the question of having feedbacks sent through computers seen as impersonal. Findings showed positive answer regarding such issue. It was found out that electronic feedbacks are more sought than those of face-to-face meeting. The reason behind such is that there may be lesser apprehension and less emotion in getting feedback from a computer. Furthermore, electronic feedback lessens the biases especially among supervisors who have interpersonal interest on appraisers. These findings also suggest that the more impersonal a feedback is given, say for example via computers, the greater the objectivity which is very important in performance evaluations.
It was also found out that electronic feedbacks lead to improved performance and learning than when feedbacks were given face-to-face. The reason is that the employees tends to focus more on improving more their works and performances rather than modifying their behavior in order to appear likable to their supervisors. Questions about knowing directly the true reaction of the employee on the other are sacrificed.
Another impact and influence of information technology on performance evaluation is seen through the added accuracy and speed of information. Information technology has the potential to make more information available and much faster without the need to wait for a scheduled appraisal review to receive it. Rapid feedback, for example giving feedback immediately after a certain task is done, will lead to better performance and learning.
We can certainly say that computers through information technology have brought implications in the performance evaluations are done and implemented. Firstly, it has helped reduce biases in giving appraisals especially feedbacks but cannot entirely erase such. However, we should also see to it that IT should only facilitate feedbacks rather than replace face-to-face interviews. Moreover, computer-based performance appraisals would only be most effective when employees have the capacity to use it and resources to have computers. This way, electronic feedbacks will surely come in a more natural way.
Effective utilization of information technology has been very useful especially in making performance evaluations. IT has made performance evaluations among SMEs much more credible and accurate with added speed and precision. With the continuous studies on improving the use of IT in performance evaluation, it will not be impossible to achieve more benefits from it aside from those already available software packages ready-made for organizations to install and do performance evaluations with just a click of their computer mouse.