Manager Rating Biases or Errors

Manager Rating Biases or Errors 

Manager Rating Biases or Errors:

Personal built-in biases and perceptions may influence how a manager evaluates an employee’s performance.  The manager is usually not aware that he or she is falling into the trap of making a rater error.  Rater errors occur when the manager rates an employee with preconceived thoughts and ideas.  When these errors are used, the evaluation becomes inaccurate because the rating becomes either inflated or deflated.

Here are a few errors that managers must avoid in order to provide a fair assessment of each employee: 

1.) Halo Effect :

Occurs when a rating is based on one positive aspect of performance or impression; even if the employee does not deserve a positive rating for a specific goal/competency.  This usually occurs when a manager likes or has higher confidence in an employee.  The manager will in turn rate the employee high on every ratable item.

2.) Horn Effect :

Occurs when a rating is based on one negative aspect of performance or impression; even if the employee does not deserve a negative rating for something in which they may excel.  This usually occurs when a manager dislikes or has low confidence in an employee.  The manager will in turn rate the employee low on every ratable item.

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3.) Recency :

Occurs when a rating of an employee on recently performance, whether good or bad.  This type of error tends to weigh the employee on work completed in the past month or so, instead of considering the entire performance cycle (usually a year).

4.) Leniency :

Occurs when rating evaluations high, which is not a true assessment of each employee’s performance.  The manager may have a tendency to be overly positive about performance, instead of realistic about each employee’s true performance.

5.) Central Tendency :

Occurs when rating evaluations at an average rating, which is not a true assessment of each member’s performance.

6.) Strictness :

Occurs when rating evaluations at a low rating, which is not a true assessment of each employee’s performance

7.) Contrast Effect :

Occurs when rating each employee by comparing them to other members of the team, rather than rating them accurately on their own performance.

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8.) False Attribution :

Occurs when rating an employee on items that are out of their control.  Multiple factors can affect if/when an employee meets or does not meet their goals.  When a manager rates an employee for something that is out of their control (positive or negative), the results will not be accurate.  The manager must put such goals into context when rating.

9.) First Impression Error :

Occurs when a rating is based on a manager’s first impression of an employee, whether positive or negative. This error allows the manager to ignore the performance contributions since the initial impression was made.

10.) Similarity Error :

Occurs when rating an employee more favorably because the employee is similar to the manager.  The manager may see qualities in that employee that remind them of themselves at that time in their career.

Managers should be aware of the biases that they hold, and they must work to eliminate them.   Manager Rating Biases or Errors


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