Possible Errors in Appraisal Process06/12/2022
Rating errors are factors that mislead or blind us in the appraisal process. Armstrong warned that “appraisers must be on guard against anything that distorts reality, either favorably or unfavorably.” These are the 10 rating errors seen most often. They’re where managers and other raters are most likely to go offtrack.
- Central tendency. Clustering everyone in the middle performance categories to avoid extremes of good or bad performance; it’s easy, but it’s wrong. This isn’t fair to employees who are really making an effort, and it can be demoralizing.
- Overlooking the flaws of favored or “nice” employees, especially those whom everyone likes.
- Excusing below standard performance because it is widespread; “Everyone does it.”
- Guilt by association. Rating someone on the basis of the company they keep, rather than on the work they do.
- The halo effect. Letting one positive work factor you like affect your overall assessment of performance.
- Holding a grudge. A dangerous luxury that may result in your ending up in court. Never try to make employees pay for past behavior.
- The horns effect. The opposite of the halo effect letting one negative work factor or behavior you dislike color your opinion of other factors.
- Allowing your bias to influence the rating. Bias can come from attitudes and opinions about race, national origin, sex, religion, age, veterans’ status, disability, hair color, weight, height, intelligence, etc.
- Rating only recent performance, good or bad. Data should be representative of the entire review period. If you’re not keeping good notes, you may not remember the whole period. Armstrong noted that “you want to make sure, again, that you’re keeping records so that you can adequately describe performance over an entire performance period.”
- The sunflower effect. Rating everyone high, regardless of performance, to make yourself look good or to be able to give more compensation.