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As appraisal program designers plan for the implementation of their programs, they should also plan for their evaluation. Ongoing program evaluation should be part of the program design and should be planned for, not only because it is required by regulation, but to improve the program's overall effectiveness.
Appraisal programs can be evaluated from two broad perspectives:
By asking the first question, evaluators are attempting to determine if the organization is in compliance with regulatory, system, and program requirements. Examples of these types of questions include:
By asking the second question, evaluators attempt to determine the effects of the appraisal program. The following questions represent possible criteria for assessing such effects:
Are the stated objectives of the program being met? If there are no stated objectives, do users have unwritten expectations and are those expectations being met? If there are no stated or unwritten goals for the program, at least the regulatory goals of performance management (found in section 430.102(b) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations) can be the basis for developing evaluation questions, such as:
Once a list of possible topics and questions has been developed for evaluating the program, the following guidelines can help ensure that the right questions are being asked in the right way:
A periodic, well-designed evaluation of the results of performance management programs will provide the information managers and employees need to continually improve their appraisal and awards processes.