We all are humans and so we have prejudices and biases which become a part of our working and we don’t even know how. That’s the reason managers sometimes make mistakes while analyzing and evaluating the performance of their employees because they let their biases and judgment errors interfere with their decision. As a result of which, the process of performance appraisal gets spoiled. These biases are inaccurate distortion of performance measurement.
This article talks about different types of performance appraisals biases which are generally observed. Let us study each one of them one by one to find out how they affect the decision of the managers.
This effect comes into picture when a manager measures the performance of an employee based on some of his perceived positive trait, characteristic, quality or feature. As a result, he ends up rating the employee either too high or too low in other features depending upon his ranking in any one trait which influences other traits. In case, the worker has been absent from work at few times then while evaluating the performance, manager ends up rating him high in other areas which affect his overall ranking.
PRIMARY OR FIRST IMPRESSION EFFECT
As the name suggests, this affect arises when the manager forms an overall impression about the individual he is evaluating for performance based on one particular feature of the individual defined by him. As a result, the performance evaluation gets affected because it doesn’t provide a proper base for evaluating the performance.
TOO MUCH OF LENIENCE OR STIFFNESS
It is quite natural to rate people on your own standards or values or our own mental makeup when we are evaluating. When managers are evaluating the performance of employees at the time of appraisal, they either rank them too strictly or too casually. It is natural for some supervisors to rank people high and some rank people with stiffness. This is so because the former kinds of people prefer taking the line of least resistance and the latter are very particular with rating and hence take assessment too seriously because of which they end up being extra strict. When supervisors rank individuals casually then the system becomes ineffective because there is no differentiation between those who perform well and those who perform average as everyone is enjoying high ranks.
In this kind of performance bias, managers evaluate employee’s performance based on any one negative quality or the feature that they have perceived in their minds. Due to this, they end up giving a lower rank to the individual without taking into consideration other points which are actually related to the performance.
This is yet another very common bias which is quite natural to happen. The way the supervisor feels about every person who works under him will always influence the appraisal. If he dislikes someone then obviously he is going to rank him negatively and vice versa. There can be various reasons for personal biases to occur. It can happen as a result of feedback from other employees, social background or family culture of that particular person.
In this bias, the individual is evaluated on the basis of his recent behavior or performance. The manager ends up forgetting his overall performance during a particular period and just keeping his recent behavior in picture while evaluating him which often leads to wrong ratings.
In such a bias, supervisors tend to evaluate the present performance of an employee based on his past performance. For instance, if the person has not been a good performer then it is presumed to be a bad performer in the present times and vice versa.
In this kind of bias, while evaluating and analyzing the performance, appraisers end up rating all the individuals as average performers. They neither rate anyone too positive nor too negative; rather they maintain a central tendency. This again hampers the evaluation process as there is not much difference between an average performer and an excellent performer.
All these performance appraisal biases interfere with the process and distort the results.
360 degree PAS used by many corporate companies in a successful manner.
The system is not clicked in few industrial setups.
The appraisees must be matured enough to accept the ratings from their subordinates and peer group. If there is a healthy and harmony in interpersonal relationships then this system will yield very good results.
Now the 720 degree systems are in place.
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I have attached a good template of Performance Appraisal.
Purpose of performance appraisal include elements as follows:
1. Career Development
• This provides an opportunity for discussion of career objectives, and creation of a strategy designed to maximize career potential.
• To provide an opportunity for career counseling
• To help in succession planning.
• To assess training needs
• To plan for career development
• To assess and develop individual abilities
• To provide an objective basis on which to base decisions about training and promotion
• As well, feedback is encouraged in both directions: as such, employees are encouraged to prepare ratings of their supervisors.
• To provide constructive feedback to the individual regarding how their performance is seen.
• This provides a structured format for the discussion of performance issues
• on a regular basis.
• Feedback either reinforces performance strengths, or provides the opportunity to discuss resolution of performance deficiencies.
3. Administrative Uses of Performance appraisal
• Recognition of performance
• Identification of poor performers
4. Performance History
• This provides a performance history which is not dependent upon human memory, and which may be useful in the full range of personnel decisions, including compensation decision-making.
• To review past and present performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses.
5. Organizational Goals
• To clarify, for the individual, organizational expectations
• This provides an opportunity to view one’s performance in the context of broader organizational goals.
• To assess future promotion prospects and potential
• To set objectives for the next period
6. Job Standards
This provides an opportunity for clearer articulation and definition of performance expectations.
7. Documentation use of of Performance appraisal
• Documentation for HR decisions
• Helping to meet legal requirements.
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What is performance appraisal?
1. Definition of Performance appraisal of Wikipedia
Performance appraisal, also known as employee appraisal, is a method by which the job performance of an employee is evaluated (generally in terms of quality, quantity, cost and time). Performance appraisal is a part of career development.
2. Definition of Performance appraisal of Washington University:
Any system of determining how well an individual employee has performed during a period of time, frequently used as a basis for determining merit increases.
3. Definition of personalpsychologie.com
In personnel psychology, this term is used for the evaluation of the performance of an employee or a group measuring their contributions to the goals of the organization by reference to traits, behavior and results.
Essay evaluation method in performance appraisal
1. Definition of essay evaluation
• This method asked managers / supervisors to describe strengths and weaknesses of an employee’s behavior. Essay evaluation is a non-quantitative technique
• This method usually use with the graphic rating scale method.
2. Input of information sources
• Job knowledge and potential of the employee;
• Employee’s understanding of the company’s programs, policies, objectives, etc.;
• The employee’s relations with co-workers and superiors;
• The employee’s general planning, organizing and controlling ability;
• The attitudes and perceptions of the employee, in general.
3. Disadvantages of essay evaluation
• Manager / supervisor may write a biased essay.
• A busy rater may write the essay hurriedly without properly assessing the actual performance of the worker.
• Apart from that, rater takes a long time, this becomes uneconomical from the view point of the firm, because the time of rater is costly.
• Some evaluators may be poor in writing essays on employee performance. Others may be superficial in explanation and use flowery language which may not reflect the actual performance of the employee.
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1. Definition of Critical incident method
• Critical incident is a method used for many sectors.
• Critical incident method- Recording of events by appraiser. An incident is critical when it illustrates what the employers has done or failed to do
• The critical incidents for performance appraisal is a method in which the manager writes down positive and negative performance behavior of employees throughout the performance period.
• Each employee will be evaluated as such and one’s performance appraisal will be based on the logs that are put in the evaluation form.
• The manager maintains logs on each employee, whereby he periodically records critical incidents of the workers behavior.
• At the end of the rating period, these recorded critical incidents are used in the evaluation of the workers’ performance.
• The critical incidents file of performance appraisal is a form of documentation that reflect all data about employee performances.
2. Disadvantages of critical Incident
This method suffers however from the following limitations:
• Critical incidents technique of evaluation is applied to evaluate the performance of superiors rather than of peers of subordinates.
• Negative incidents may be more noticeable than positive incidents.
• It results in very close supervision which may not be liked by the employee.
• The recording of incidents may be a chore for the manager concerned, who may be too busy or forget to do it.
• The supervisors have a tendency to unload a series of complaints about incidents during an annual performance review session.
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1. Definition of 360 degree performance appraisal
360 Degree Feedback is a system or process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them.
2. Who should conduct 360 degree performance appraisal?
• Managers (i.e. superior).
• Team members.
• Suppliers/ vendors.
• Anyone who comes into contact with the employee and can provide valuable insights and information.
3. What’s 360 degree measures?
• 360 degree measures behaviors and competencies.
• 360 degree addresses skills such as listening, planning, and goal-setting.
• 360 degree focuses on subjective areas such as teamwork, character, and leadership effectiveness.
• 360 degree provide feedback on how others perceive an employee.
4. 360 degree appraisal has four components:
• Self appraisal
• Subordinate’s appraisal
• Peer appraisal.
• Superior’s appraisal
Employees Hates Performance Appraisal
I/ Why almost employees hates performance appraisal?
1. Lack of information about the purpose of appraisal
Many employees are not even aware that a good or bad appraisal can impact their career prospects.
2. Time consuming process:
The highly complex questions which they have no answers to or highly complex competencies which they have never heard of confuse them.
3. Difficulty in writing appraisals:
Many employees have poor language skills and they are unable to communicate their performance in right language and support with data.
4. Lack of faith in the appraisal process:
Employee think that his/her manager doesn’t write appraisals based on employee’s performance but bias his/her decisions based on their personal relations with employees.
5. Lack of feedback after appraisal:
Many companies do not provide feedbacks to employees on their performance.
II/ How to decrease hating of employee?
1. HR manager should clearly define the purpose of appraisals to employees and to managers.
2. Train employees on writing appraisals: Another key to make employee appraisals effective is to provide training to employees on appraisal writing skills.
3. Provide effective feedback: After an appraisal is done, let employees have a copy of the appraisal, then you let them know how it impacted their salary, compensation and career.
4. Employees should be involved in appraisal process.
Benefits of performance appraisal
I/ For the appraisee:
1. Increased motivation and job satisfaction.
2. Clear understanding of what is expected and what needs to be done to meet expectations.
3. Opportunity to discuss aspirations and any guidance, support or training needed to fulfill these aspirations.
4. Improved working relationships with the superior.
5. Opportunity to overcome the weaknesses by way of counseling and guidance from the superior.
6. Increased sense of personal value as he too is involved in the appraisal process
II/ For the appraiser:
1. Opportunity to develop an overview of individual jobs.
2. Opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses of appraisees.
3. Increased job satisfaction.
4. Opportunity to link team and individual objectives with department & organizational objectives.
5. Opportunity to clarify expectations that the manager has from teams and individuals.
6. Opportunity to re-prioritize targets.
7. Means of forming a more productive relationship with staff based on mutual trust and understanding.
8. Due to all above Increased sense of personal value
III/ For the company:
1. Improved performance throughout the organization due to:
• Increased sense of cohesiveness and loyalty.
• Managers are better equipped to use their leadership skills and to develop their staff.
• Effective communication of organization’s objectives and values.
2. Improved overview of tasks performed by each member of a group.
3. Identification of ideas for improvement.
4. Creation and maintenance of a culture of continuous improvement.
5. Communication to people that they are valued.