Standard Bank Group Case Study

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Case Summary

The Standard Bank is a company with a global presence, operating in 21 countries across the globe. The company has strived to implement an employee appraisal system, and it intends to make it a replica of its previous system so that it can be easily adopted and accepted by the employees. The company has been able to reduce paperwork courtesy of the new system that has been implemented, hence reducing the number of forms from8 to 2. The level of acceptability for the new appraisal system has also been good. The company has also been able to realize some benefits courtesy of the new system. These include; Comprehensive reporting and transformation of the process into one that is easier to use and more reliable,  cut down on the amount of time that would be needed to complete the appraisal and raise the percentage of appraisal that is completed on time. Both the quality and the speed of employee appraisals improved tremendously. People became more comfortable because they could no long longer right by hand, and were able to utilize the authoring system. Even the managers have been enabled to provide more constructive feedback courtesy of the comment helper that is availed by the new system. They can easily check specific competency areas without havening to struggle. Initially, the managers were obliged to refer to different documents before they could offer any constructive feedback. At the moment, all the information is just a click away from them.

Lessons Learnt from the Case

Numerous lessons can be learnt from this scenario. There is some bench strength and new leadership when the new system is in place. The competencies which are also called the job skills describes how the employees should do the work as opposed to what work should be done. In order to be effective, leaders are supposed to be the heart of every talent management process. As such, automated systems are very helpful. It makes it easier to evaluate the employee performance, create the learning and development materials, and use the same set of competencies and work together to cultivate them among the employees. Standard Bank Group has quality employee feedback because of the automated employee appraisal system (Dowling, 2008). In order to improve, employees need some ongoing feedback about their performance. Employees are supposed to know what they are doing well, and some of the areas in which they can improve. The automated performance management tools made it easier for the supervisors to be able to give the employees feedback in several ways. It was evident that the evaluations were made easier and faster for the managers, and the participation rates on the part of the employees rose dramatically. This implied that more and more employees were now getting the feedback that they needed most, and were finding it easier to enter the information into the system. Automated systems on employee appraisal can also offer the managers comment suggestions that can be used when writing feedback to the employees. They may include development and coaching tips. Receiving of feedback on performance is said to be a contributor to employee engagement. If an organization intends to optimize efficiency, productivity, and quality of the processes, the same should be optimized on the part of the people (Dowling, 2008). Optimizing the performance appraisal system and process by automating them is one sure way of ensuring that this is achieved.

Application of one HR point

HR managers are the change agents in any organization. They manage change, use coalition skills and also influence others (Battaglio, 2015). They get out of their way to consult and make an in-depth analysis. In the standard Bank Group case, the HR managers are spearheading the change process by trying to do away with the status quo, by changing what has been happening in the organization for some time now. The initial employee appraisal system has been very tedious for the organization, and the organization did not realize much value from it. The company realized the need for a better talent management platform, and therefore it was high time that the system was to be implemented. In the course of implementation, there was some level of resistance, as some of the employees were not comfortable with the new system. Again, it was very necessary that much of the information from the previous system had to be retained. Despite the resistance, the managers were able to influence others, hence achieving a higher level of buy-in, hence increasing the chances of successful implementation of the new system. Times are dynamic, and therefore organizations may not always be in a position to do things the same way. The level of employee motivation also depends on the extent to which organizations are willing and able to implement change. Talent management and training are crucial aspects of change management, and can only be achieved if there is the best appraisal system that will assist the managers to identify the appropriate areas of employee development.

Two questions from the case

  1. How would you evaluate the five criteria for effective performance appraisal with regard to Standard Bank Group?

Starting with strategic congruence, this is the extent to which the performance management system is likely to elicit the job performance which is consistent with the strategy of an organization. Standard Bank Group intends to have a proper talent management system given that it is expanding rapidly. This is exactly what the organization has been able to achieve after the implementation of the automated performance appraisal system. There is more quality, efficiency and speed in the generation of the required information. As such, it meets the criterion. Validity is the extent to which performance measures all the relevant and only the relevant aspects of job performance. It is evident from the case that the organization has been enabled to evaluate and appraise employee competencies better. As such, the appraisal system meets the criterion. Reliability is the consistency of a performance measure and the extent to which it remains free from any random error. This has been well achieved in the sense that speed, efficiency, easiness and accuracy have all been worked on. As for acceptability, it is clear from the case that the employees were reluctant to adopt the new appraisal system, but eventually accepted, liked and were satisfied by the outcomes (Dowling, 2008). This implies that the system was acceptable among the users, most of who were the employees. As for the specificity, the system also met the required threshold. Specificity is the extent to which a measure gives detailed guidance to the employees about what is expected and how they can be able to meet the expectations. This was achieved because the Standard Group Managers were able to give more quality and valuable feedbacks which were very helpful to the employees.

  1. What are strength and weaknesses of a web-based appraisal system and recommendations for Standard Bank Group?

Web-based appraisal system gives the organization the much-desired flexibility in the appraisal. It provides efficiency, quality accuracy and speed as evidenced in the Standard Bank Group case. It enhances more satisfaction among the users and is helpful especially for global companies with many subsidiaries. As for weaknesses, an organization may be required to incur a lot of money in training the employees and seeking their buy-in in the use of such a system. The system may also run obsolete as time goes by, and the organization may not always be in the upgrade as the organizational needs changes (Syed & Kramar, 2017). Standard Bank Group is still handling some aspects of performance appraisal through paper-work, something which needs to be eliminated. It is important that all the functions are automated.


Two questions prepared about the case

  1. What are some of the factors which might have been considered by Standard Bank Group before the implementation of the new performance appraisal system?

First of all, an appraisal system must be tailored towards the needs of an organization. It is clear that Standard Bank Group has been expanding exponentially. This made it necessary for the company to upscale its talent management and performance management mechanisms. With a new system, the company would have the efficiency required to manage the global workforce and get the best out of it. There was also the need to retain most aspects of the previous system that was being used as opposed to completely phasing it out. The system was also supposed to be easy to operate, an aspect which was properly achieved.

  1. What makes Standard Bank Group a contemporary example of an effective performance appraisal system?

From the case, there is an emphasis on the ease of communication between the employees and the managers, something which has the appraisal system very effective. It has also been possible to provide effective feedback to the employees from the time the new system was instituted. The usability of the new system has also been credible, given that many employees can utilize it with very minimal difficulties. The speed has also been enhanced as the appraisal process is now completed in good time.


Standard Bank Group has taken a bold step to implement an automated employee appraisal system. Despite the many factors that had to be considered before the implementation, the system provided a lot of benefits to the organization. There is more efficiency, speed, quality and accuracy, and the management can easily get access to all the information they want.

Reference list

Battaglio, R. P. (2015). Public human resource management: Strategies and practices in the 21st century.

Dowling, P. (2008). International human resource management: Managing people in a multinational context. Cengage Learning.

Syed, J., &Kramar, R. (2017).Human Resource Management: A Global and Critical Perspective.

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