What do you recall as being the most disheartening experience for you as an individual in the corporate sector? It is likely to be a biased performance appraisal which could have de-motivated you. A Strategic performance management course will share details of how different kinds of biases exist within our performance appraisal systems.


Before we think through ways of removing biases let us take a closer look at the main 4 biases that actually exist during performance appraisals –

  1. Halos and Horns Bias, which means that the manager assumes that a person is naturally good or job at his or her job.
  2. Manager Bias, which means that the manager usually gives better ratings to those who are similar to him or her in their style of working or attributes.
  3. Self Bias, which means that the employee starts performing based on what he or she believes about themselves, and hence becomes biased.
  4. Recency bias, which means that the most recent performance overpowers the previous or past performance.


Now that we know the biases, let us take a quick look at how to overcome them. Some of the major ways to remove them from our appraisals are –


Regular feedback process – A regular feedback process which tracks the performance throughout the year is what is helpful in the removal of the above biases. Timely inputs also allow the employees to work and improve during the course of the year. It is also more relevant and correct since it removes the recency bias. Managers are able to focus on the overall year and not just immediate or short-term performance.


Consistent collation of data –Collating the performance data for all the employees along with qualitative inputs is important to store in a consolidated system to ensure that there is no or lower levels of appraisal-related bias. Such records ensure that manager bias does not creep into the system. The templates should be designed to capture the right kind of data in the required format, and with least options for bias to enter.


360 Degree Reviews – Data for performance should always be collected from multiple sources. Every person who interacts with an individual has insights into his or her experience. The performance management approach has to be such that it captures all these insights in a comprehensive manner. This should also involve educating managers about the biases, the importance of being objective and unbiased, and the manner in which performance appraisals should actually be carried out.


These are some simple yet impactful ways of removing the top 4 biases.


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