Performance Reviews: Overcoming 5 Common Biases

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One of the most challenging aspects in the performance review process is overcoming biases. A bias is defined as “a prejudice in favor of or against someone or something”. While all biases are not negative, biases can have a negative impact on employee performance. Employees expect their performance reviews to be fair and free of biases.

Many different kinds of bias can show up during the performance appraisal process. Here are five common ones:

  1. Contrast – This occurs when the manager compares an employee’s performance to other employees instead of the company performance standard. When employees are ranked in comparison, the result is that someone must end up at the bottom, even if they are exceeding the standard. In this situation, the problem isn’t the employee – it’s the goal or standard that has been set.
  2. Halo – An employee is rated highly in all areas because of one thing they do really well. I’ve seen this happen with sales people. The employee achieves their sales goals and senior management loves it. But behind the scenes, they create havoc and don’t have the respect of their co-workers.
  3. Horn – On the flip side, an employee is rated as a poor performer because of one thing they don’t do well. An example would be the accounting clerk who is great at everything but filing. It piles up because they procrastinate – resulting in the company eventually hiring a temp to get the filing caught up. In all other areas, the employee is a high performer.
  4. Leniency – A manager gives everyone on their team a “satisfactory” rating. Unfortunately, I’ve often seen this happen when a manager has a large span of control coupled with a common review date. The manager has dozens of reviews to work on and a heart full of good intentions. But somewhere in the process, the manager gets tired and starts giving everyone a satisfactory rating because it’s easy and doesn’t require any written supporting statements…

Source: hr bartender

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