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Chapter 12. Measuring Performance > Individual vs. Team Appraisals - Pg. 135

Measuring Performance 135 FYI Formal structured performance appraisals were introduced in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century when the U.S. government instituted the civil service system. Before that all hiring, firing, and promotions for government jobs were made on the basis of favoritism, nepotism, or political party affiliation. Under the civil service system, performance appraisal (then called merit reviews) was designed to make these job decisions more equitable. However, the real reason for such reviews is to look at the performance of the employee and de- termine how that performance can be improved. Salary adjustment was only part of the program-- but it became the part that dominated the thinking of both parties. Today, companies are moving away from focusing on salary adjustment--often covering it in a separate procedure--and concentrate on the employee's productivity, goals, and personal growth. When teams replace work groups, although individual performance reviews are still important, they become part of team reviews, in which the members are assessed not only on their own perform- ance, but on the productivity of the entire team.