Six Factors That Distort Performance Appraisals
Multiple psychological factors can sway evaluators to rate employees a certain way.
Most companies use performance appraisals, also known as job evaluations, to determine whether employees are meeting expectations, and to get some clues about how the employee could improve for the benefit of the business. Even so, performance appraisals have a major flaw in that they are not completely objective. Six major factors cause distortions in performance appraisals.
* People usually can fall into at least one general category based on physical or behavioral traits, and performance evaluators sometimes let stereotypes ...view middle of the document...
Halo and Devil Effects
* The halo and devil effects refer to the first impression an evaluator has of an employee. If the first impression is good, the evaluator looks at the employee through a "halo" lens, viewing the employee's work as good overall, even if it is not. If the first impression is poor, the evaluator may score the employee lower than is deserved.
* Attributional bias occurs when two or more employees have achieved the same level or goal. It assumes that even though the levels or goals are the same, the employees aren't necessarily deserving of the same rating based on various factors, or attributions. These attributions can be things like medical issues, stress, IQ or social skills.
Affective reaction is bias that happens in evaluations because of the relationship the evaluator has with the employee. Usually, affective reactions are based on what the evaluator has observed and done with the employee over time. An example of this would be if an employee was consistently late because she couldn't afford to fix her unreliable car, and the evaluator marked her as "satisfactory" in the "on time" on category because he felt sorry for her situation.
6 Important Factors that can Distort Performance Appraisal
Important factors that can distort performance appraisal are given below:
1. Leniency error
Each evaluator has his own value system which acts as a standard against which appraisals are made. Relative to the true performance an individual exhibits, some evaluators mark high and others low.
The former is referred to as positive leniency error and the latter as negative leniency error. When evaluators are positively lenient in their appraisal an individual’s performance is overstated while in the opposite case leniency error understates performance.
If all individuals in an organisation were appraised by the same person, there would be no problem. The difficulty arises when we have different raters with different leniency errors making judgments.
2. Halo error
Halo error or halo effect is a tendency to rate high or low on all factors due to the impression of a high or low rating on some specific factor. As an example, if an employee tends to be dependable, we might become biased towards him to the extent that we will rate him high on many desirable attributes.
3. Similarity error
When evaluators rate other people in the same way that the evaluators perceive themselves, they are making a similarity error. Due to this perception that evaluators have of themselves, they project those perceptions onto others.
For example, the evaluator who perceives himself as aggressive may evaluate others by looking for aggressiveness. Those who demonstrate this characteristic tend to benefit, while others are penalised.