A comparison of a self evaluation and an evaluation by an employer of the inmate as an employee



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Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the significant difference in responses to an employee evaluation by inmate and their respective employers. The inmates completed a self evaluation on employee performance, and the employers completed a similar evaluation on the inmate’s work performance. It was the aim of this study to achieve a clearer understanding of the attitude held by inmates and their past employers toward the inmate’s work performance. The difference between the two evaluations would suggest a need for vocational counseling in addition to the vocational training in the various prison systems. Methods: The methods used to obtain data for this study were as follows: (1) a forty item questionnaire on job performance was develop; (2) the questionnaire was submitted to the inmate and employer sample groups; and (3) the significant difference between inmate and employer were computed by using the t test method. Findings: The findings of this investigation indicate a significant difference between the inmate and employer ratings. The data revealed that inmates tend to view themselves as better employees than do their employers. The inmates rated themselves more positive on nine out of ten variables than the employers. The employers were more positive than the inmates on ten percent of the variables. The inmates rated themselves a high positive on twenty percent of the variables. The largest single item difference between the two groups concerned doing a job not asked while at work. The inmates felt very positive about their willingness to do the job not asked, while the employer felt more negative. The other item in this high disagreement concerned the employee’s performance on the job. For example, doing one’s best on the job, doing one’s share of work, accepting responsibility, helping others on the job and calling if late for work. The largest differences between the two groups on these variables suggest this area needs to be examined by vocational counselors. The inmates were more positive than the employers on sixty-five percent of the variables. These items dealt with attitudes towards work, work suggestions and the company. For example, the inmate group felt their general physical appearance on the job was good to excellent but the employer felt it was good. Vocational counseling would make the inmate employee aware of these job attitude differences. This type of counseling could help the problem of employing ex-inmates. The two study groups were in close agreement on 7.5 percent of the variables. These three variables ere taking criticism, correcting a fellow worker, and having an open relationship with the supervisor. If both groups can agree in a positive manner on the ability to take criticism and open relationship then there is room for discussion of the problem. They agreed they had the open relationship between employer and employee and the employee felt he could take the criticism. The next step in this logical sequence would be that some employment problems between employers and ex-inmates would be a lack of communication. The study indicated both groups felt to a degree they could communicate, but apparently had not had good communications. The employers, in reversal of the study trend, rated four items more positive than the inmates. The items were: participation in group activities, gossip at work, ability to take criticism and relation to supervisor other then work. Perhaps the inmate rated himself too negative on these items. These items would be of interest in vocational counseling because they represent a reversal of the study trend. These large significant differences between inmate and employer rating on more of the variables, strongly suggest that the inmate needs vocational counseling as well as vocational training. There would be no point in sending a trained welder out to work if he could not hold a job because of his job attitude. The overall findings of the data revealed that the inmate tends to think of himself as a good, if not excellent employee. The employers indicated a more negative viewpoint of inmates as employees. This unrealistic self image of the inmate as an employee is probably a significant factor in his job failure rate. The data suggest that any vocational training without vocational counseling will be of little effect in rehabilitation. The significant difference between inmate and employer ratings indicated a constant discrepancy in the self image ratings. If there was an effective vocational counseling program in conjunction with present vocational training programs, there would be a lower recidivism rate and a higher job success rate for ex-inmates.



Self-evaluation., Industrial relations.