Handling a Confidential Report:
A confidential report (of CR) regarding an employee is violative of the Principle of natural justice in that it does not give the party being reported of a fair chance to produce his side of the story.
Principles of natural Justice require that both the parties involved in a dispute be given equal chance to represent themselves before a justice is reached.
However , the CR becomes inevitable when the person being reported of is not likely to yield a sporting, a healthy hearing to his report. It is important to note that the central point is just about hearing itself, not whether the person who is being reported of is agreeing, accepting, or admitting to the veracity of the report or not.
It is generally expected of the good people, or a good personality trait that a person confront his own shortcomings and work towards correcting those deficiencies in his behaviour.
Hence, it becomes all the more important that the appraisal of the person should be conducted in his own presence and he be told whatever the people, of the evaluator , has observed about the person being evaluated. This way, the Natural Justice is also conformed to since both the parties get to face each other, and if there be any discrepancy about their views, an impromptu Justice may happen with the help of the evidences available.
In case, it is feared that the person being evaluated is not likely to healthily respond to any adverse evaluation, or observations, the CR maybe resorted to. But then,as it should be obvious by now, the CR seriously goes on the personality of the person, because the very existence of the CR about a person means that the person is not capable of hearing anything adverse about himself.
It is important to note that existence of an adverse CR does not guarantee that the person being reported of actually has some personality issue regarding him. Indeed, the chances as that it is the other way round- that the person who is making a CR about someone is wanting to spoil or ruin the prospects of someone without himself facing the truth of his reports. The CR reflects as much, of rather more, about the personality of the person who is making the CR of someone, than the one who is being reported of.
Personality is a regular behaviour pattern which a person will demonstrate when put in a similar condition time and again. It is possible to evaluate the personality with the help of trained psychologists, and also possible to detect serious flaws with the help of trained psychiatrist .
Although a regular pattern behaviour, personality traits are often not instantly visible to others. People need time to observe it, for the personality traits sometimes do not showup until the conditions have got to a specific level of someone’s mental abilities.
Therefore, to make a quick judgement in order to make a good decision, the personality trait someone is being accused of harbouring, is checked by means of commensuration with similar reports from other evaluators. This is an indirect method of managing a CR. In case the person who has to make a decision regarding someone by his CR, knows that person directly, the personality traits maybe well known to him and he can know how accurate the CR has been.
Then, the CR turns up the other way and may begin to reveal more about the person who has prepared that CR, than the person who is being reported of through the CR.
Adverse CR can also be managed by way of a direct confrontation with the person is a safe environment. The person who has been adversely reported in a CR, can be asked direct questions regarding his behaviour. But this would require a specific details and recording of the event which became the basis of the adverse CR of that person.
The management of the organisation is more responsible for their decisions to act or to spare the person whose CR they are scrutinizing for their purposes, than the person who has prepared someone's CR. It is a burden of the management to ensure that the natural justice is conformed to, before they proceed to act on the basis of a CR.