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A Novel Approach to Conducting Performance Appraisals for Staff Employees in Higher Education Settings: Developing and Implementing More Meaningful Performance Assessment Using Supportive Mobile Technology


The annual performance review is a widely used performance management tool required by universities for administrative staff. Many supervisors and employees across all industries are dissatisfied with the conventional annual performance review, and it has been criticized for being resource-consuming and wasteful, potentially damaging to professional relationships, and even counter-productive to improving performance. This qualitative study examines the use of a novel, text-messaging-based technology to initiate light touch check-ins about performance among 28 employees and supervisors volunteers from three higher education institutions. This study assesses the impact of a new performance appraisal system and how to apply this new knowledge towards designing a more effective performance appraisal system. The results of this study indicate overall positive impressions using this alternative system, called TEAMMATES. However, study participants also make several important recommendations for enhancements to enable more flexibility and customization to produce a viable alternative or complement to the conventional annual performance review commonly in practice today.

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