Background of the Study

The performance of employees is important in achieving organizational goals. The success of every business organization can therefore be attributed to the performance of its employees. The performance of employees can be determined through performance appraisal.  Performance appraisal is therefore an important function of business or any kind of organization. A critical look on this may bring about the need for motivation, allowances, development, training good communication and good human relationship in an organization.            The Appraisal systems usually applied are teacher-based evaluations and school evaluation criteria. While teacher-based evaluations is d ne through peer assessments and self evaluations, school evaluation criteria is the use of an evaluation  by the administrators such as the chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deputy chief executive officer, Head of schools coordinators and Heads of departments to evaluate the workers’ performance.            Appraisal was defined by Stephen (2010) as a formal method employed in the evaluation and analysis of given tasks with the major aim of rewarding, appreciating or revising employee performance. performance appraisal is defined by Villanova and Austin (2009) as the systematic evaluation of the quality of a worker’s performance. The authors stated that employees should not be viewed as an end in itself, but rather as an important process within a broader performance management system that links organizational objectives, professional development and rewards. Similarly, Robins (2010) defined performance appraisal as “a structural formal interview between subordinate and supervisor, that is undertaken periodically (annually or semi annually), to discuss and examine the work performance of the subordinate with the view of identifying the weakness and strengths as well as opportunities for improvement and development.

Performance refers to the degree of accomplishment of the tasks that make up an employee’s job. It reflects how well an employee is fulfilling the requirements of the job. Performance implies a combination of doing a job effectively and efficiently with a minimum degree of disruptions (Decezo and Robbins, 2009). Performance in this study is the teacher’s overall classroom management, effective teaching, motivation to teach and classroom  punctually as well as good team work.

Performance appraisal is one of the basic tools that make workers to be very effective and active at work. Performance appraisal is a means of evaluating an employee’s current and/or past performance relative to organizational performance standards (Desseler, 2011). The author further stated that performance appraisal involves: setting work standards, assessing the employee’s actual performance relative to those standards and providing feedback to the employees with the aim of motivating him or her to eliminate performance deficiencies or to continue to perform above par.

For the purpose of this of study, performance appraisal is a formal assessment of how well employees are doing their job. Employees’ performance should be conducted regularly for many reasons: to provide feedback to employees to help them improve their performance and plan for career; to assess the impact of training programs and; to help management  in making decisions about pay rise and promotions, among others.

An employee could be seen as individual who is on part time or full-time under a contract of employment whether oral or written, express or implied, and have recognized right and duties. Employees are put to task to deliver set challenges through the employment of their competencies. Employees in this study are the teachers who as a whole perform the organizational functions to meet its objectives, success and ensure continuity of schools. Ideally, this would result in increased innovation, high student relationship, efficiency, high moral standard and personal development. Performance appraisal systems provide a clear communication of worker and management decisions and expectations.

Communication is the process of conveying or transmitting message, information or ideas from one person to another in a manner that both parties (the sender and the receivers) understand the message succinctly. Okpara (2001) defined communication as exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons. It is the life wire of every organization, be it educational, business, military, religious e.t.c. Communication provides the necessary linkage between members of society. Human being, like machines requires continuous interactions with one another through communication to get things done. In a business environment, communications becomes even more vital as management and employees must know when they are in session and when to carryout operations, who to give order and who should receive orders and instructions. It serves as “fuel” for management, management falls back on it when it is necessary to reprimand a staff, issue a query, purchase equipment, pay staff, declare bonus, pay dividends etc. A manager without the skills of communication will find it increasingly difficult to manage his organization. Communication thus involves a systematic and continuing process of telling, listening and understanding.. Good communication is a panacea to problems as it straightens out activities, smoothens works, make for organizational goal achievement and employees’ satisfaction. Effective communication is one where a thing is understood in the sense in which it has been communicated.

Osuala (2006) affirmed that for communication to be effective there should be feedback from the receiver to the sender. Feedback proves that communication has taken place. Good communication is an essential for effective appraisal of employees’ performance in an organization. For performance appraisal to be effective, feedback from the appraisee to the appraisers required from the message communicated. Through what is expected, communications assist an employee to work, bearing in mind the expected outcome of his or her devotion to work. In essence, teacher performance would result from positive work his job knowledge, attitude team work, productivity and motivation to work. The introduction of appraisal schemes is an effort meant to motivate and stimulate job performance of teachers so as to have positive competition as indicated by the school’s records (2004). One of the major objectives of performance is to increase productivity in an organization.

Productivity is the quality or volume of product or services that an organization provides (Saari, 2006). Productivity is a function of leadership. The leadership of every organization is charged with the responsibility of motivating and stimulating the employees to achieve organizational goals by increasing productivity. Productivity is a measure of an organizational efficiency. Efficiency reflects the proper and judicious use of available facilities and resources to bring about an appreciable output. Fitch (1982 Found out that higher productivity  ensures the following: a higher standard of living for the citizenry, shorter working hours for employees, long vacations, bigger pay packages and more fringe benefits. It is important for organizations such as institutions of higher learning to motivate their employees to have highly satisfied and productive staff. Staff motivation and stimulation for high productivity is a function of effective leadership.

Leadership pulls together members actions, while wheeling same towards the realization of specific goals. Leadership is the act of organizing, planning, coordinating, innovating, initiating and appraising the actions of others with a view to achieving specific organizational goals. Uyanga (2002) agreed with Davis (1967) that leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goal attainment. Effective leadership is a key element in the success of a group or organizations which includes tertiary institutions

Tertiary institutions are the educational level after secondary schools. Tertiary Institutions include Universities, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Monotechnics including those institutions offering correspondence courses. The goals of tertiary institution are; to contribute to national development through high level relevant manpower training develop and inculcate proper values for the survival of the individual and society, promote national and international understanding and interaction among others. Tertiary education institutions pursue these goals through: teaching, research and virile staff development programmes, among others. Tertiary institutions in Nigeria are currently organized as federal State and private institutions in Nigeria.

Federal institutions are institutions set up or established and run by the federal government while state tertiary institutions are institutions established by the state government and run by the state government.         

Statement of the Problem

The basic aim of every business organization is to achieve its objectives, goals or targets successfully. Goals set by organization will only be in vain if much attention is not paid to employees’ effort or performance for successful accomplishment. In other to achieve set goals and objectives successfully, there is the need to focus on performance appraisal. Performance appraisal should be linked to attractive incentive to employees, enabling workers to demonstrate higher productivity.

            The appraisal systems in Nasarawa State tertiary institutions were in place but did little to exactly test and provide viable evaluations of employees’ performance. In reference to the school evaluation “rubric”, it may not detailed enough to solicit all the teacher elements which determined their performance, on the other hand, the evaluators or appraisers did not come in frequently as would required, hence this criteria even created “stage acting” tendencies where teachers perfected.

Even the teacher-based evaluations had numerous inconsistencies. Most teachers did not see their fellow teachers as critical evaluators but rather “soft” friends, yet on the other hand the individual’s teachers were most times unfair to their collogues who are often denied appraisal promotions or even discriminated against in favour of other collogues because of some fraudulent activities of the appraising officers. Such issue created numerous inconsistencies such as poor student performance, poor teacher performance, issues associated with poor classroom management, poor team work, and decreased teacher motivation which consequently affected the quality of teaching and learning in the institutions.

The situation is worrisome or because the existing appraisal system had been put in place to motivate teachers yet performance was increasingly decreasing. It was assumed that the problem at hand was due to the gap between actual appraisal and effective teacher performance. The appraisal process and its recalls did no seem to stimulate improved teacher performance. Consequently the appraisal process tended to promote low enthusiasm, demotivation and reduced teacher performance. Since the appraisal process do not seem to stimulate improved teacher performance or productivity, it is therefore necessary to determine the influence of performance appraisals on employed productivity in Nasarawa State tertiary institutions.

Significance of the Study

            The findings of this study will be of significant benefit to the Management of Tertiary institutions in Nasarawa State, and human resource managers and teachers. The findings would also be of immense benefit to students and future researchers.

Management of tertiary institutions in the state would benefit from this study by improving on their leadership styles. They would become more dedicated to duties to show more surveillance to the teacher’s performance. Management will supervise, identify and improve the training and development needs of staff. Teachers (lecturers) would also benefit through motivation (cars and housing loans) by provision of teaching facilities and conducive learning atmosphere. This would enable the teachers to put in their best (effective) in discharging their functions.

The findings of this study would be of tremendous importance to Human Resources Managers (HRM) in the various institutions in the state. The knowledge gained from the findings will help the specialists in the area of recruitment, training and proper placement of employees of different offices. HRM will know how staff appraisal system can influence employee performance and increased students’ academic achievement in schools as a result of effective evaluation.

Regular performance appraisal in the institutions would enhance academic performance of the students because teachers will be motivated and committed to duties. Finally, the findings of this work would serve as a source of literature to both academicians and future researchers can carry out similar study in other areas base on the recommendations of the study.

Purpose of the Study

            The major purpose of this study was to determine the influence of performance appraisal on employees’ productivity in tertiary institutions in Nasarawa State.

Specifically, the study;

  1. Determined the influence of performance appraisal on staff productivity in Nasarawa State tertiary institutions.
  2. Ascertained the influence of performance appraisal on staff and management communications in tertiary institutions in Nasarawa State.
  3. Determined the influence of performance appraisal process on staff training and development in Nasarawa State tertiary institutions.
  4. Ascertaind the influence performance appraisal on leadership roles of staff in Nasarawa State tertiary institutions.