Why Do We Conduct Performance Appraisals? Jennee LeBeau and the Case of the Missing Performance Appraisal System

Why Do We Conduct Performance Appraisals? Jennee LeBeau and the Case of the Missing Performance Appraisal System


David Kimball

  • Online Pub. Date: January 04, 2017  
  • Original Pub. Date: 2016  
  • Subject: Employee Performance Management, Management Communication
  • Level: Intermediate  
  • Type: Experience case  
  • Length: 1097 words  
  • Copyright: © SAGE Publications, Inc. 2017
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  • Case
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  • Case

    Jennee LeBeau was very excited to be hired as the Director of Human Resources at Sunshine Hotels. Her office was located at the Main Island Hotel. Jennee spent her first year at Sunshine Hotels getting used to the processes used by human resources (HR). She spent most of her time in her office at Main Island Hotels. She didn’t get to visit the other two Sunshine Hotels very often. Jennee’s employees in HR like her hands-off supervisory style. However, they also feel she would be an even better supervisor if she left her office and interacted with the employees more often.

    Jennee had spent the last seven years as the assistant director of HR for a chain of 10 fast-food restaurants. She figured being in charge of HR for a growing chain of three hotels would be similar to her experiences working in the fast-food industry.

    While working in her office, she noticed Sunshine Hotels didn’t conduct performance appraisals. Jennee thought performance appraisals (PA) were a common process in all companies. She was quite shocked at finding such a review process was not in place at Sunshine Hotels since they have nearly 30 employees. She decided the hotel chain was not overly concerned with evaluating employees in their first two hotels since the employees were mostly family and friends. But the addition of a third hotel has forced the Sunshine Hotel owners to create more HR policies, rules, and forms to make sure they are following all the laws of HR.

    Jennee did some research and found that a performance appraisal is an ongoing process of evaluating employee performance. However, it is also a tool of the large process of having a performance management system (PMS), which is the process of identifying, measuring, managing, and developing the performance of the HR in an organization. Thus, a PA is really a mechanism to help evaluate employees so they can develop into larger roles and to ensure the success of the company going into the future.

    The good news is that Jennee figured out she could start from scratch and develop her own PMS. She figured she could set up an entirely new PMS. PAs of individuals could be part of an ongoing process of evaluating employees.

    Jennee has to decide what will be included in her new PMS. She wants the PA to collect valid information. That means what she measures must be true and correct. She wants to be sure to measure the performance process. Although Jennee wants to collect valid information, she also has to be concerned that the process isn’t overly long or costly. She figures she can keep costs lower by emailing the PA to each employee to reduce mailing costs. She also wants to use a multiple choice style PA so she can easily quantify the results.

    The PA also has to be reliable. She has to trust that the performance data collected are consistent and that the PA works the same each time she uses it.

    Jennee wants the employees to accept the process as important to their own career development. Acceptability means that the use of a PA is satisfactory or appropriate to the employees that will use the PA to improve their work performance.

    Jennee also wants to develop a process that would not be overly expensive or time consuming to implement. If the PA is overly long to complete, then the manager and employee will not use the PA as a tool to improve performance.

    The PA has to be specific about an employee’s job performance so that it is a useful instrument for improving areas that need development for that specific employee.

    Another important goal is the PA has to help achieve the mission and goals of Sunshine Hotels. Completing the PA process should help employees better understand what Sunshine expects from them and how they can complete their own job to help the company fulfill its mission.

    Jennee is starting to realize that she has walked into a very large project in designing a PMS from scratch. She is starting to realize she will need to organize a committee to help develop the process, especially the PA form. In answering her own questions, she realizes she will be putting together a PA that Sunshine employees will be using for the first time. Employees currently receive a straight raise across the board. If the owners of Sunshine Hotels determine everyone deserves a three percent raise, then all employees get the raise irrespective of their own work performance. A new PMS and performance appraisal process will most likely make it easier to administer raises based on the rating each employee receives as part of the process. However, the employees might prefer the across-the-board raises rather than having to personally earn their raises.

    Jennee decides to create a first draft of her performance appraisal form. She can show this draft to her committee. The following is Jennee’s performance appraisal:

    Employee Performance Appraisal Form


    Jennee LeBeau


    Main Island

    Department and Job Title:

    Director of Human Resources

    Date of Appraisal:


    January 1, 2016


    December 31, 2016

    Employee Signature

    Jennee LeBeau

    Employer Signature

    Patrick Staal



    Needs Improvement


    Demonstrates Required Job Knowledge


    Quality of Work & Productivity


    Makes Effective Decisions


    Builds & Maintains Relationships With Others


    Communicates Effectively


    Exhibits Supervisory Abilities


    Overall Performance Appraisal Plan of Action

    Jennee LeBeau has been the Director of Human Resources for the last year. She has excellent knowledge of the human resource concerns at Main Island Hotel.

    As the Director of HR. Jennee is well liked. However, there is room for improvement since she spends most of the time in her office.

    Jennee needs to develop better social skills. Developing better social skills will help her to improve her communication and supervisory abilities.

    Jennee will participate in team building sessions to improve her communication and supervisory skills.

    Discussion Questions
    • What is the real goal(s) of a performance appraisal?
    • How can Jennee be sure to collect valid and reliable data with her new performance system?
    • How can Jennee get the employees to accept the process as important to their own career development?
    • Can Jennee develop a process that is not overly expensive to conduct with employees?
    • Complete the performance appraisal form in the case using Jennee LeBeau as the employee you are rating. Assume you are Patrick Staal, who is the chief financial officer (CFO), who is rating Jennee’s first year of performance.
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  • Author Bio

    Dr. Kimball has been the Professor of Management at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts for nearly three decades. He is the Chair of The Division of Business which includes majors in Accounting, Management, Marketing, Sport Management, and Health Care Management. Professor Kimball has taught Business Strategy courses at the undergraduate and at the MBA level.

    As a former employee in the old AT&T he is often interested in the mobile communications industry and the technology used in similar industries. Before entering the field of teaching full-time, Dr. Kimball also worked at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company as a corporate trainer. At times, Dr. Kimball’s early work experiences at McDonald’s can be found in his views since he still believes in the McDonald’s credo of cleanliness, service, and value. Dr. Kimball completed his dissertation about business mission and written mission statements while finishing his doctorate degree in Management Systems. Dr. Kimball is a co-author of two textbooks. The first of these is in its 3rd Edition and serves as an introductory book on Sport Management; and the second is in its 2nd Edition and is about Entrepreneurship.

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