Here is an essay on the ‘Promotion of Employees’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on the ‘Promotion of Employees’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on the Promotion of Employees
- Essay on the Meaning of Promotion
- Essay on the Types of Promotion
- Essay on the Importance of Promotion
- Essay on the Essentials of a Proper Promotion System
- Essay on the Lines of Promotion
- Essay on the Principles of Promotion
- Essay on the Promotion System in Various Countries
- Essay on the Efficiency Ratings to Determine Promotion
Essay # 1. Meaning of Promotion:
Promotion has its roots in Latin word ‘Promovere’ which means ‘to move forward’. Its dictionary meaning also is almost the same e.g. to elevate, to advance, to contribute the growth or prosperity of etc. Really speaking, promotion refers to advancement in rank and status leading to enhancement of emoluments.
In the words of Scott and Clothier, “A promotion is the transfer of an employee to a job which pays more money or one that carries some preferred status.”
Promotion, in the words of Dr. L.D. White, “means an appointment from a given position to a more difficult type of work and greater responsibility, accompanied by change of title and usually an increase in pay.” It is to be noted that mere increase of pay is not promotion.
Although in most cases promotion implies larger salary too, its essence is getting into a post of higher duties and responsibilities. Real promotion means rising to a higher post carrying a higher grade.
The change in duties and responsibilities form the essential characteristic of the promotion process. If a lecturer is appointed the Head of the Department in a college, it is promotion. Similarly if the Head is appointed Principal it is promotion because it has led to a change of duties and responsibilities and higher pay scale.
Promotion generally leads to the enhancement of salary but sometimes it may result in immediate financial advantage, for example, when a person getting Rs. 280 in the grade of Rs. 150-10-300 is promoted to the grade of Rs. 250-25-750.
Promotion is not Advancement:
Promotion should be distinguished from ‘advancement’ and ‘increase in compensation.’ Advancement or what is also called, “administrative promotion,” has been defined by Dr. White as a personnel administrative device which pertains “to an advance in pay by a prescribed increment within the scale of pay appropriate to a given position.”
The employee enters the service in a fixed grade and as he progresses in his service and gains more experience, he is given higher pay scale. This increment, which is annual, is called technically ‘advancement’ or ‘administrative promotion’. It differs from promotion proper inasmuch as it does not entail any change in status, duties or responsibilities.
It is merely an increase of emoluments which is usually automatic. For example, a lecturer in the past had a prescribed scale of pay which started from Rs. 2200 per month and went up to Rs. 4000. The annual increment was then of Rs. 75. When he completed a year, he earned an increment which meant his compensation had been increased or he had received an advancement of pay or administrative promotion.
But since it did not involve charge in his duties, designation and responsibilities, it did not mean called promotion proper.
Essay # 2. Types of Promotion:
Promotion can be of three types depending on – (i) length of service in the position and (ii) efficiency of the employee. Sometimes, length of service and sometimes, efficiency of the employee is counted for advancement. A good personnel system, however, is the one which gives weight to both length of service and demonstrated efficiency of the employees, for purposes of advancement.
The three types of advancements are as under:
1. The Automatic Advancement System:
Under this system, an employee earns increment of advancement on the basis of length of service. Immediately on the completion of a year’s service, he is given his annual increment prescribed in the scale of his pay.
Whereas this system of automatic advancement reduces the chances of personal jealousies because the employee is ensured of his regular increment, it turns his officer helpless and ineffective to control and supervise him.
It also makes the employee lethargic and sluggish for it is not the quality of his work but the length of service which is counted towards his advancement. This system results in the discouragement of the more industrious and conscientious employees.
2. The Conditional Advancement System:
Under this system, efficiency of the employee is made the sole criterion for advancement. Increments are advanced if the head of the organization certifies that the employee has been doing his work efficiently and there is definite improvement in his quality of work and conduct.
No doubt, this system serves the purpose of pulling up bad employees and is an incentive to more conscientious workers it is open to suspicion of corruption and nepotism. Besides it is feared that howsoever impartial the boss may be, he is likely to err as he does not cease to be a human being.
This system is very popular in small private organizations but practically finds no place in large-scale private and public administration.
3. The Semi-Automatic Advancement System:
The system steers a middle-course against the first two systems. Under it, an employee gets his regular increment on the completion of a year’s service provided he has worked conscientiously to the entire satisfaction of the head of the organization.
The head of the organization can withhold the increment if he is not satisfied regarding the quality of work and conduct of the employee. For this, definite reasons have to be given by the head to his employee.
A brief study of the above three different systems of advancement makes us conclude that the last system scores over the other two systems. It strikes the middle course and is a compromise between the two extremes. Although, even in this system, the head of the Organization can abuse his powers yet he cannot act arbitrarily because he is required to submit reasons for his action against the concerned employee.
Essay # 3. Importance of Promotion:
First, the existence of a proper promotion system is vital for attracting talented persons to public services and preventing them from migrating to private ones.
Lack of promotion system, as Prof. Arthur W. Procter says, “has a marked retroactive effect on all the processes of personnel administration. It has a discouraging effect on recruiting. It tends to deter ambitious and capable workers from entering the public service. It frequently causes the better type of worker to leave the public service for work in the field of private enterprise. It discourages workers from entering upon courses of training calculated to prepare them for increased usefulness in public employment. It makes difficult the maintenance of discipline and of goodwill and enthusiasm throughout government establishments. As a result it renders difficult the maintenance of high standards of individual and group efficiency.”
Second, a good promotion system keeps the employees interested in the job and works as a continuously effective incentive to them.
As Mr. Procter has put it:
“To the employees promotion is of direct significance as a reward, or possible reward. Actual promotion is a reward, while the opportunity for promotion is a possible reward, something still in the future but nevertheless a matter of considerable significance.”
Besides, promotion is of direct significance to the management, inasmuch as the regards given to the employees and the incentive held out to them react in important ways on practically all of the phases of employment administration.
The actual promotions given to employees tend to create a contented stable and efficient personnel. The opportunities for promotion held out to employees have similar effect. They operate as fundamental and far reaching incentives.
They affect the success with which suitable workers are originally recruited; they determine in large part the success with which employees are retained; they affect the efforts of employees in the direction of training and self-improvement; they affect the maintenance of proper discipline; they determine in large part the goodwill and enthusiasm that prevail; and they determine in large part the standards of efficiency that are maintained.
Mayers has emphasized this point still more strongly in the words:
“…But if promotion methods fail, the fact is known to all the personnel affected, and, more surely and universally than any other defect in personnel methods, breeds discontent, diminution of incentive, and general impairment of morale. The necessity for not merely efficient but for highly accurate methods of selection is thus substantially more important in promotion than in recruitment; and from this it results that rigid or mechanical methods can be much less confidently and generally employed than in recruitment.”
Third, a proper promotion system helps in retaining the services of the most capable amongst its employees and also in giving them an incentive to improve their capacities and qualifications. In the absence of promotion, ambitious, intelligent and capable persons leave the job.
The employees remain discontented. It leads to the general impairment of morale. Dr. White has rightly pointed out, “a badly planned promotion system harms an organization not merely by pushing ahead unqualified persons but also by undermining the morale of the group.”
Fourth, the provision of promotion helps procuring of best possible incumbents for the higher positions.
Fifth, the public interest is best secured when reasonable opportunities for promotion exist for all, when really superior civil servants are enabled to move as rapidly up the promotion ladder as their merits deserve and as vacancies occur.’
It does not, however, mean that all the higher posts should be filled up by promotion. It will be an unhealthy practice if the fresh blood is not injected at the higher levels of administration and energy of the department as a whole is not stimulated.
However, denigration of seniority and extolling of merit results in unseemly rivalry in the civil service for procuring an excellent character roll. It mars their healthy relations and develops suspicion and distrust of each other adversely affecting the set goals for common welfare.
Essay # 4. Essentials of a Proper Promotion System:
In view of the great importance of promotion system it is essential that it must be based on sound lines. The influence of a good promotion system is all pervasive. It is an important phase of a career service. The failure to establish a good system of promotion is likely to give rise to a number of evil consequences. First, it would have an adverse effect on recruiting.
Capable persons would not like to enter public services. Second, the incentive to good work will be crushed thereby affecting adversely the efficiency of administration. Third, the moral standards of the offices and employees will be lowered. It will make the maintenance of discipline difficult among them.
Conditions in India as regards this important aspect of personnel administration are not satisfactory.
Before the Central Pay Commission many voices were raised by the staff representatives such as that the names and applications of certain candidates were not even forwarded by the head of the department for consideration to the Public Service Commission, or that the personal records of the employees were not satisfactorily kept.
Besides, it was also pointed out that seniority is too firmly entrenched, precluding promotions on the basis of merit and that promotion is haphazard and arbitrary often based on prejudice, favouritism or coercive influence from outside.
The important stalwarts of the political party in power approach the authorities and persuade them to promote their own Hench men. Political pressure is exerted in large measure through members of legislature.
A new device of influencing the authorities has now come into being which is highly scandalous as the women are made instrumental in managing their promotion. This is, of course, a depressing feature. Moreover certain officers get angry with some employees on very trifling matters and thereby withhold their promotions. All these factors result in unjust promotions.
The failure on the part of governments to adopt proper promotion systems is not on account of low political morality but also due to difficulties that are present in working out a proper system. As far as human nature is concerned we have to take it for granted.
However if the following conditions are adopted, a satisfactory promotion system may be evolved:
(i) Adoption of standard specifications, setting forth the duties and qualifications required for all promotions in the government service.
(ii) The classification of these positions into distinct classes, series, grades and services.
(iii) The inclusion within this classification of all the higher administrative positions except those having a political character.
(iv) The adoption, so far as possible, of the principle of recruitment from within for filling up of higher posts.
(v) The adoption of the principle of merit in determining the promotion of employees.
(vi) The provision of adequate means for determining the relative merits of employees eligible for advancement.
Essay # 5. Lines of Promotion:
Normally promotions are departmental, i.e., a vacancy in a higher post in department is usually filled from among the employees of that department even though older or more experienced officials may be awaiting their chance for promotion in another department.
Interdepartmental promotions, however, take place (e.g., in England) in three cases; i.e.:
(i) In connection with the higher posts, e.g., of the Secretaries or Heads of departments;
(ii) When no suitable candidate is available in the department to fill a particular post;
(iii) When a new department is created or an old one is expanded.
If promotions are departmental, then equality of opportunity for advancement for the civil servants as a whole is not easy to be secured because in some departments especially of an expanding nature like Social Welfare and Education, chances of promotion may be brighter than in others.
To assure equality of opportunity for promotions, scheme for pooling promotions has been advocated. Under such a scheme all the officers judged fit for promotion are entered into a central pool, from which promotions are effected as and when vacancies occur.
This scheme has, however, been criticized, firstly, on the basis that importation of outsiders creates discontent and frustration among the employees of the department thus superseded; secondly, that officer coming from another department may not be able to efficiently perform the work of the department to which he has been newly promoted; thirdly, that it is difficult to devise a common standard to judge the competence of officers from various departments for selecting them for entry to the central pool.
Within the department, the line of promotion is determined by grades, classes and the services. The employee is promoted by grades, classes and the services. The employee is promoted from one grade to the next higher grade within the same class, e.g., a lecturer in the grade of Rs. 2200-4000 may be promoted to the next senior grade of Rs. 3000-5000 within the same class after 8 years of service.
Though inter-class promotion is not unknown, yet it involves special selection. Inter-service promotion is rare, e.g., a medical officer cannot be promoted to an engineering post.
Technical officers although can be transferred and promoted from technical service to administrative service but this is not very common, e.g., an engineer working in the Local Self-Government Department may be appointed by promotion as Secretary in the same Department.
Essay # 6. Principles of Promotion:
The need for the principles of promotion arises because of the opportunities for it are limited. Everybody entering service cannot go up the highest rung of the ladder in due course, as there are not enough of higher posts to permit the promotion for everybody.
“Hence arises the underlying and irreconcilable conflict in any promotion system. Large number of employees, normally ambitious and intent on success in their vocation or profession, and under heavy economic pressure with the passing of the years, face a limited n umber of higher positions in which vacancies occur at relatively irregular and infrequent intervals. No form of promotion system can solve this dilemma.”
A large number of civil servants, therefore, cannot get any promotion and retire from the same class in which they had started their career. The employees who are not given promotion should be made to feel that their exclusion from promotion is not arbitrary and that they cannot be promoted in terms of some recognized principles.
The morale of public services is apt to be destroyed if promotions are made capriciously without considering any principle. Hence, There arises the importance of the principles of promotion.
Generally speaking there are two main principles of promotion, namely, seniority and merit.
1. Seniority Principle:
Historically speaking, this is the oldest principle though it is still prevalent. This means that the length of service would determine the order of precedence in making promotion. According to this principle, the employee who has longer service to his credit would be entitled to the promotion.
Determination of seniority is not, however, a simple affair. A public servant of a higher grade is senior to those who are in lower grade.
Similarly an employee of a higher class though getting actually less pay is senior to an employee of a lower class getting at the time more pay.
For example, prior to the introduction of U.G.C. grades with effect from 1.1.1986. a lecturer of class II getting basic pay of Rs. 250 was senior to a lecturer of class III getting Rs. 300 as basic pay. Among the employees of the same grade, one, who has been holding a substantive post longer than his rival, is senior.
Advantages of the Seniority Principle:
(a) It is an objective test. Seniority is a matter of fact which is apt to be accepted.
(b) Senior man is more experienced. Hence more experience ordinarily should be enough qualification for promotion.
(c) It is a fair and just basis of promotion as everybody gets an opportunity for promotion in turn. It is conducive to employer-employee relationship.
(d) Interference by politicians can be avoided if this system of promotion is adopted.
(e) It keeps the morale of the employees boosted as they are sure of promotion at their turn.
(f) Better type of persons may be attracted to the jobs when they are certain of promotions.
(g) The seniority basis of promotion leads to automatic promotion. It is simple and easy to comprehend.
(h) The old employees in particular stand for this system of promotion as they have not to be lorded over by the young chaps.
(i) It is a sort of objective test. Seniority is a matter of fact which is under viable to an employee.
(j) It is more economical than the process of open market competition.
(k) The government or management will have a known man having creditable record at the helm of affairs. Hence the risk of having an unknown outsider at the top position is avoided.
The arguments in favour of this principle have been admirably summed up by Mr. Mayers as follows:
“….that the length of service of employees determines in great part their technical qualifications, that under this system, internal strife for advancement is eliminated; that those responsible for making promotions are relieved from political or other outside pressure, and the feeling that is engendered in the service that promotions are being made with an even-handed justice tends to promote good feeling and thus promote general morale. It is held, furthermore, that the greater certainty of promotion that is held out to the individual employee attracts a better class of men to the service and retains in the service many valuable employees who would otherwise leave it.”
To quote Dr. Finer, “It is automatic, and avoids the need for making invidious distinctions between one person and another, of placing the young over the old, of measuring the responsibility for the result of promotion.”
No doubt, it is fool-proof system against favouritism and undue intervention of politicians. The principle of seniority is so simple, clear and objective that there is no cause left for heart-burning or resentment among the employees. The employees naturally favour this principle of promotion.
Drawbacks of the Seniority Principle:
The principle of seniority has, however, a number of drawbacks.
First, it does not lead to the selection of the best among the eligible. There is no guarantee that the senior man will also be more competent than his junior one. An incompetent person may come at the head of competent persons and this may cause resentment among the employees thereby impairing the efficiency of administration.
G. Jeze, a French writer, says, “Promotion by grade or class or by seniority is very much open to criticism; it suppresses emulation, renders useless zeal and intelligence in the exercise of the function.”
Dr. White remarks, “consistent application of the rule of seniority up to the scale of supervisory and administrative position would in itself cause the resignation of better men and thus invite progressive deterioration in the higher grades where special competence is particularly needed.”
Second, the principle of seniority does not ensure the reaching of the higher positions by every officer and his holding it for a reasonable period. As Gladden puts it, “All members of a grade are not fit for promotion promotions are usually few and far between, an abnormal rather than a normal process; while changes in personnel are most likely to be subject to irregular fluctuations.”
Third, if seniority alone is the basis of promotion, employees would not make any effort for self-improvement.
Fourth, seniority does not necessarily coincide with age specially in a grade which is partly recruited directly and partly by promotion and so a ludicrous position may result wherein young people may come to be placed over the older.
In the words of Prof Pfiffner, “A system of promotion by seniority will frequently result in raising to supervisory and directing positions persons who have “crank” complexes. Frequently advancing years, un-mellowed by the give and take of competitive life, acquire an intolerance in non-essentials which dampens the initiative of subordinates. Seniority alone will tend to fill the higher places with incompetent persons. It will discourage the ambitious and remove those incentives which develop personality, courage, self-reliance and progressive out-look.”
Fifth, the technological developments and the improvement in the working machinery necessitate the infusion of new blood in the administration. The older people lack the knowledge in consonance with the fast changing environments and are misfit for the current times.
In fact, bulk of employees who cannot hope to reach the highest positions enthusiastically support the principle of ‘promotion on seniority basis’ on the plea that it alone assures equality of opportunity.
It is difficult to pass any final judgment on the merits and demerits of the seniority principle. In its extreme form the principle of seniority is a contention for the acceptance of mere length of service as the basis for promotion.
In its mild form it means that seniority should determine the order in which the officers should be considered for promotion, but those found unfit may be passed over. This may be called seniority-cum-fitness principle. A third form of the principle is that seniority should be the determining factor in the lower range of the service, while for the higher services the merit principle may be employed.
In principle, authorities on the subject have come to mutual agreement that:
(a) In promotion to higher posts merit alone should be the consideration to the exclusion of the seniority,
(b) In promotion to middle posts, merit should be the primary and seniority a secondary consideration,
(c) In promotion to lower posts of a routine nature, seniority should carry greater weight.
In spite of all the arguments against seniority, it is still firmly entrenched as a principle of promotion. The pull of seniority over promotions is great. It is with great difficulty that seniority is ignored in practice. This led Tomlin Commission to observe. “In regard to service generally the factor of seniority is unlikely to be undervalued.”
However, entrusting higher responsibilities to a person simply because he is senior is not justified. For higher administrative posts, seniority principle should be set at naught and merit principle be opted for. Routine kinds of jobs of lower classes may be governed by the merit principle alone. The second Pay Commission limited the promotion to those who were ‘outstanding’ very good and good.
Thus, others who got ‘fair’, ‘satisfactory’ or poor were excluded. Later the government revised the instruction to the three categories ‘fit for promotion not yet ‘fit for promotion and ‘unfit for promotion’, while writing confidential report for secretariat officers of the status of undersecretary and above.
However, it is to be indicated whether the officer concerned possessed outstanding qualities which entitled him for promotion out of turn. Evidently the number of gradation has been reduced from five to four.
2. Merit Principle:
The principle of merit is just the opposite of the principle of seniority. It means that promotion would be made on the basis of qualifications and achievements of the employee irrespective of high length of service. The most meritorious or best qualified person would be promoted.
This principle would provide due incentive to the efficient and hard-working employees and thus help boost the general morale of the employees and increase the efficiency of the department. It would favourably affect the entire personnel system. Merit is, however, a complex concept. It is rather difficult to measure it objectively.
Generally speaking, there are three methods of judging the merits of the candidates, viz.,
1. Personal Judgment of the Head of Department.
2. Promotional Examination, and
3.. Service Ratings.
1. Personal Judgment of the Head of Department:
It is a time honored system. The determination of merit for promotion may be left to the judgment of the head of the department who has been in closest contact with the employees and thus is in the best position to appraise their qualities.
Moreover he, being responsible for the discipline and morale of employees working in his department, must be directly concerned with the conferring of awards, as pronouncing of punishments. This system has the advantage of being both simple and comprehensive. But there are two serious defects in this system.
First, it can work only in small organizations. In large-scale organizations, it is rather impossible for the Head of the Department to be in closest touch with all the employees and make a personal judgment of the capacities of each one of them.
Second, this system is highly subjective and is susceptible to favouritism and extraneous considerations. As such, it may cause suspicion and resentment among the employees. In order to remove these defects of the system, Mayers has suggested the placing of promotion of employees in the hands of a board organized in each service, on which the employees are duly represented.
“It is believed that the key to the problem lies, not in substituting mechanical methods for free discretion, but rather in so guarding the exercise of free discretion that it may be employed without fear of the injunction of political or personal favouritism. This can be accomplished by the development of machinery and organized procedure for exercising discretion in promotion as against entrusting that discretion wholly to a single administrative officer. In each service, bureau or other organization unit, there should be developed a committee of administrative officers charged with responsibility for making recommendations in respect to all selections for promotion. Provision should be made for developing and furnishing to this committee or body complete information regarding the character of work performed by, and qualifications for promotion of an employee. With all these various sources of information at its disposal, it is believed that a committee animated by a desire to act fairly could effect, in virtually every case, a recommendation consonant with the best interests of the service from the standpoint both of administrative efficiency and of the morale of the service; and that its judgment, in almost every case, would coincide with that of the administrative officer immediately concerned.”
Though Willoughby does not agree with the proposal of Mr. Mayers, yet the proposal has much to commend it. In many countries, the head of the department is assisted by a Promotional Board constituted by him from amongst officials of his own department.
Usually, this Board comprises the head of the section or branch to which the employee belongs, the head of the section or branch to which he is to be promoted, and an officer of the Establishment branch of the same department. This Board may review the progress report of any employee. Promotions are usually made on the basis of service records.
2. Promotional Examination:
Promotion may also be made on the basis of a written examination which may be an open competition, a limited competition, or merely a pass examination. In an open competition, anyone whether in the service or not, can compete for the said post. Thus outsiders also not working in the department can compete for promotional tests.
This system is justified on the ground that it widens the range of selection without prejudicing the interests of the present employees since they are apt to benefit due to their special knowledge of government work.
Moreover this system injects new blood and fresh ideas into the department which will have a rejuvenating effect upon it. It is criticized on the plea that it tends to destroy the morale of the employees as it brings in outsiders who grab the higher jobs from those who actually deserve them. Such a system is, however, rare.
Under this system, examination is a limited competition among those who are already in the service. This is also known as ‘closed system’. This system is preferred by employees in the lower grades.
The Central Government follows it in regard to the recruitment to the posts of Section Officers, Assistants, Stenographers, etc. Besides examination, an equal weight is given to the confidential reports of the employees in deciding their over-all merit.
The third type of promotional examination is the pass examination in which a candidate has just to pass the examination and give a proof of his minimum attainments. The employee will be promoted only if he has passed the pass examination.
This system is followed in India in junior clerical, typist, steno and other mechanical jobs. A list of qualified candidates is maintained and they are promoted on the basis of the list issued on the occurrence of a vacancy.
Criticism of the System:
It is argued that examination method eliminates favouritism, corruption and arbitrary promotions. The method is quite objective and relieves the promotion- making authorities of the troublesome responsibility of making selections. However, it is looked upon with disfavour by many scholars of personnel administration.
First, it is considered to be an interference with the ordinary official work of the candidates and is thus detrimental to public interest.
Second, examination is not a sure test of the personality of an employee. An intellectually superior person may not be a man of initiative, tact and judgment which cannot be judged by written examination.
Apart from it, memorizing or cramming things for taking an examination is extremely irksome to older employees. There is an age to learn things. After crossing that age it is difficult to memories new facts and figures.
The prevailing discontentment among the aged assistants and clerks of the Central Government who have been crossed over by the young persons, both in seniority and permanency, on account of these examinations bears testimony to this fact.
Due to these defects, examination method is not generally used for determining the merit of employees for promotion except in those cases where the number of candidates from among whom promotion is to be made is exceptionally large and where technical knowledge is an important requisite for the posts to which promotions are to be made.
The general trend is towards the adoption of a system of formalized reports which help in assessing the eligible officers on standard basis.
3. Efficiency Rating:
The other system of judging the qualifications of employees for promotion is on the basis of service records which are also sometimes called efficiency rating or service file. It may be carefully noted that maintenance of service records of employees is not by itself efficiency rating.
Such records only furnish the data on the basis of which efficiency may be evaluated. Today, the size of government organizations is so large that no officer can possibly remember about the efficiency of individual employees working in his department.
Therefore a written record of the service of the employee and his performance is maintained which furnishes a valuable assistance in judging the merits of employees at the time of promotion.
In the United States, efficiency rating has been made a very elaborate affair. The Americans have attempted to make it mechanical, exact and very objective guide for measuring the average efficiency of their civil servants. The Federal Government established in 1916 a Bureau of Efficiency for looking after the work of efficiency rating in the different departments.
The American methods of efficiency rating may be classified under three categories, namely:
(i) Production record,
(ii) Graphing rating scale, and
(iii) Personality inventory.
(i) Production Record System:
This system is comparatively simple. It applies to the works which are repetitive in character and involve relatively little judgment, such as typing, stenography, card-punch operators, etc. In these works quantitative comparison of output is easily possible.
Such rating may be combined with other factors like punctuality, industry and attendance and thereby a sufficiently comprehensive estimate of the efficiency of an employee may be procured.
But this method of production record cannot be applied to services which are of a supervisory and administrative character wherein some indirect approach involving subjective judgments by officers becomes essential.
Dr. White rightly observes, “The mere fact that a rating system is objective is not necessarily a condemnation. If the subjective judgment of the supervisor is honest (as usually is) and conforms to generally accepted standards (which may be progressively realized), it may be quite good enough for the limited use to which a formal rating should be put.”
Moreover production record alone sometimes may not be always an adequate guide by itself. An employee with a high production index may possess an irritating personality while another one with an average production record may command that personality which makes for harmony, goodwill and esprit de corps. In such a case the latter would be worth much more than the former one.
(ii) Graphic Rating Scale System:
This system is one of the early forms of efficiency ratings. The federal government in America employed it for about a decade until it was revised substantially in 1935. In it certain service traits are enumerated and on their basis efficiency of the employees is rated.
As used by Washington Government, the Graphic Scale included 15 traits or qualities which were graded into five classes, namely, excellent, very good, good, fair and satisfactory.
The fifteen traits were:
(c) Neatness and orderliness,
(d) Speed and dispatch,
(e) Industry or diligence,
(f) Knowledge of work,
(h) Success in winning respect and confidence,
(l) Organizing ability,
(n) Ability to improve and teach the employees, and
(o) Quantity of work.
The rating officer marked the sign against each trait which in his judgment denoted the degree of the employee’s efficiency. Different types of work were judged by different combinations of four or five traits so that the same scale could be used for a wide variety of jobs.
The resulting score, expressed in a numerical figure, carried out to decimal places, was worked out by clerks and was subject to review by one or more supervisors. A specimen copy of graphing rating scale is given on the next page. Although it is no longer in use, it is a characteristic example of the type.
The graphic rating scale as said above was given up in 1935 by the federal government. The course of events there-since “has been one of steady retreat from the graphic rating scale and its complicated rules of administration towards adaptability, simplicity, and the constructive uses to which efficiency ratings may be put.”
The idea of a single uniform rating scale for all federal employees has been given up and each department and agency has been authorized to establish one or more rating scales for its own employees, subject to approval by the Civil Service Commissioner.
(iii) Personality Inventory System:
The third form of efficiency rating used in America is the personality Inventory System. This system seeks to get a record of service by different means. The best example of this system is the ‘Probst’ system devised by J.B. Probst, Chief Examiner for the city of St. Paul, in 1927.
“The essential feature of the Probst system is a comprehensive, descriptive list of traits or characteristics which, taken as a whole, are intended to include almost any possible combination of human qualities relevant to employment.”
Out of these various qualities the rating officer selects only those items which are descriptive of the characteristics of the employee. A number of special forms have been devised for different types of employees, in addition to the basic form which is adaptable to a wide variety of employment.
Essay # 7. Promotion System in Various Countries:
1. Promotion System in USA:
Americans have opted for recruitment from within which means promotion. Seniority is accorded undue weight in USA. Examinations do take place but they are assessed as not fit methods to judge the leadership qualities required by effective supervision.
In the Federal Government promotions are effected on the basis of recommendation of the supervisory staff but the system was considered faulty. The classification pattern of 1920 recommended that the efficiency rating of the employees be judged on regular basis.
There are three types of proforma in Government departments assessing efficiency rating:
(i) Production records,
(ii) Graphic rating scale, and
(iii) Personality inventory.
However, Hoover Commission found the system complicated. Hence the efficiency rating ability was substituted by ability and service record system. In 1938 civil services commission was established by an Executive Order. Now the departments were asked to see to the holding of promotional tests.
In USA, a blend of security and merit principle was followed for promotion. There is a written competitive promotional examination held in USA. Most of the civil services unions in USA, have adopted the method of promotion by seniority.
The civil services Act of 1978 provided for a gradual introduction of Merit principles system in Federal services and also at state and local levels. The act has provided for performance appraisal of public services employees by continuation of varied techniques – self appraisals, peer ratings and groups or external ratings.
2. Promotion System in Britain:
Prior to 1919, formal procedures for effecting promotion was lacking. In 1920, services were reclassified. It resulted in augmentation of promotional opportunities. Whitley Report of 1921 revolutionized the promotion system which found an abiding place in U.K.
It made a provision for:
(i) Departmental Promotion Board in every department,
(ii) Annual Reports.
The Departmental Promotion Boards are appointed by the Heads of the Departments. They have to play advisory role. Invariably, their recommendations for promotion are accepted. However, formal orders for promotion are issued by the Heads of the Departments.
The Promotion Boards look into the confidential reports and also the recommendation of the controlling officers of the concerned candidate. Seniority is the general criterion for the promotions but operations are not done solely on seniority. The candidate ignored can file an appeal.
The recommendation of the departmental promotion committee are subject to endorsement by the civil service commission. All these promotion are to be concurred by the civil service department since 1965. An annual appraisal interview is to be conducted of employees up to the rank of the Executive officer.
Since the Fulton Committee Report, promotion projects in civil services have been further improved. Since 1971 schemes for senior administrative posts have been increased for the selected few.
After the appearance of the Fulton Report, the number of young graduates entering the civil services has increased. The most prominent aspect of the Report is that now any one can reach the top position whether he was equipped with general or specialized education.
Presently, promotions, in UK are partly through centrally conducted competitions and partly by dependents. Since 1986, there are 8 grades in civil services. Automatic promotion on senior basis exists from Grade VII to Grade IV while Merit cum seniority is required for promotions Grades III and IV, for Grades I and II, merit and political consideration.
Essay # 8. Efficiency Ratings to Determine Promotion:
According to Mr. Mayers, “If any form of restriction upon the discretion of the administrative officer in making selection for promotion is to be imposed, the use of efficiency is obviously one that commends itself as most nearly approaching the result which would be obtained by honest, unrestricted exercise of such discretion. Indeed the determination of promotion by efficiency records currently maintained is an ideal theory, not a limitation on the discretion of the administrative officer in selection for promotion but is merely a guide to him. If the efficiency records are correctly designed and properly maintained, the individual whom they indicate as properly in line for promotion should be the same as the one who would be selected by the unshackled judgment of the administrative superior when the judgment is based, or as it should be, upon a full knowledge of all the facts of past performance of the several employees from among whom selection is made. The record thus serves at once as a guide to administrative officer, and as an impartial and irrefutable indication of the soundness of his choice. Needless to say, this beneficent theoretical function of the efficiency records cannot be realized fully in practice.”
Thus while efficiency rating system safeguards employees against snap judgments, prejudice, and ill-will of some supervisors; and points out to employees their weak and strong characteristics, it cannot provide an automatic basis for promotion. Human nature is too complex a phenomenon to be measured by the various rating methods.
“We may, according to the amount of cynicism in our character, “as said by Dr. Finer, “smile a little grimly at their belief that human nature is so to be analyzed, calibrated, and recorded, and that it is a practicable way of controlling it.”
The efficiency rating, howsoever detailed it may be, is subjective. The element of subjectivity enters their application at two stages.
First, the question arises as to what qualities out of the many mentioned by J.B. Probst are to be conceived specially relevant or important to the job for which promotion is to be made. No two rating officers will give the same answer to this question because of their varied idiosyncrasies.
Second, even if these qualities have been agreed upon, the judgment in respect of these traits cannot be unanimous. Thus in determining the qualities to be judged and as well as in determining the relative weight to be given to each quality, the subjective judgment of those who operate the system is bound to enter. It is a fact that human qualities or nature do not lead themselves to any kind of mechanical assessment.
Another feature that makes it difficult to rely solely upon efficiency ratings is that “of the desirability in many cases, of considering the claims to consideration of employees working in different subdivisions of an organization unit or even in different organization units or services.”
The employees of different organization units may not be under the same rating system and hence, it may become difficult to determine their relative merits.
Moreover good efficiency rating does not necessarily furnish convincing proof of qualification to perform the duties of another position calling for a different order of abilities, for example, a lecturer who is good in teaching may not necessarily prove good in administration as a Principal.
Other difficulties of operating the system arise from the incompetence and negligence of the rating officers. The early experience of U.S.A. was that the Heads vied with one another in giving favorable ratings to their employees for the fear of otherwise incurring unpopularity, the rating officers may not attach any great value to the system and just perform the task of rating in a formal mechanical manner.
Instead of forming their independent observation they may be influenced by the entries already made by their predecessors.
We can therefore come to the conclusion, that efficiency ratings cannot be made the controlling factor in determining promotion. They cannot be made to work as unerring hands of fate—”the moving finger writes on—and having written moves on.”—They are useful as aids to the judgment of the promoting authority.
The best provision for handling promotions under normal circumstances “consists in a procedure by which all eligible are considered on the basis of experience and capacity to perform new duties,” and these qualifications should be determined “in part by previous record, in part or another, especially for the lower grade.