In many organisations, performance reviews are usually feared and dreaded by managers, as they feel it causes anger and resentment amongst their employees and direct report. Often employees feel performance reviews are not beneficial because managers tend to focus more on the negative, are too vague and lack recognition. It's vital managers prepare well in advance by documenting the performances of their direct reports to make performance reviews as advantageous and as constructive as possible.
As a manager, remember to avoid the appraisal biases. organisations often rely on performance reviews for future business decisions, succession planning, compensation decisions, recruiting and retention strategies, development initiatives, and engagements plans are just a couple of decisions and processes depend on accurate and fair performance appraisals.
What type of biases should leader be aware of?
Horns & Halos effect
This is the habit that managers have of assuming that a particular employee is naturally good or bad at his job, this perspective is usually based on personality clashes and other factors that do not actually indicate a job performance. once the manager has decided on a certain viewpoint of an employee, they will naturally look for information to back up that view point, rather than letting data on the employee to form their perspective.
This bias occurs when a manager is feeling threatened by an employee who shows talent, defies business orders or has ambition to reach a higher level in the business. To protect their own positions or keep negative opinions from reaching higher levels of the hierarchy, these managers give employees poor appraisals scores.
Often, an appraisal is biased toward a particular type of position. Many companies use only one type of appraisal, but one form rarely applies well to every type of employee. for example, a form that emphasizes creativity and communication allows an employee in marketing to score very well but an employee in accounting to score poorly, based simply on the requirements of the different positions.
Employees can also suffer from a type of self-fulfilling prophecy. In general, if performance appraisals show that an employee is performing well, that employee will continue to perform well.
Managers must aim to avoid these biases by making feedback timely and accurate. If managers sit down at the end of the year and attempt to recollect the caliber of an employee's performance of a year time frame, they will inadvertently refer to past performances based memory.