Rating Errors & How to Avoid Them

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Performance reviews must be valid in order for companies to achieve the maximum benefits such as increased productivity and reduced turnover. Validity comes from tying the review to the job and rating the employee honestly on their performance.

Rating errors reduce validity. This guide outlines common rating errors, including steps you can take to prevent them.

Errors Directed Toward An Individual

1. Halo/Horns

This occurs when the rater allows an overall general impression of the employee to influence his/her judgment. For example, the manager and employee are friends so the manager gives the employee high marks across the board (Halo). Alternatively, the manager may dislike the employee and give all low ratings (Horns).

The fix? Rate each dimension of employee performance separately.

At JuvodHR, performance reviews are tied to the employee’s job description. Raters evaluate employees on individual tasks and work styles (characteristics necessary for success) thereby reducing the chance of Halo/Horns errors.

2. Recency

This occurs when an employee’s outstanding contribution or untimely mistake just prior to a performance review colors the perception of the entire performance period.

The fix? Base ratings on performance throughout the entire review period. Maintaining regular, ongoing documentation can help to avoid this error.

JuvodHR allows you to capture notes throughout the year, providing relevant information at your fingertips when it comes time to evaluate performance.

3. Similar to Me

This is the tendency to rate employees who are similar to you more highly than employees who are different, thereby incorporating irrelevant information into the review.

The fix? Focus on the rating dimensions and stick only to those measurements. Tying the review directly to the job description, like JuvodHR, can minimize this error.

Errors Directed Toward A Group

4. Central Tendency

Central Tendency is evident when a manager rates all employees in the middle range of the scale, completely excluding high and low ratings.

The fix? Rate all employees using the full range of the scale.

Rating individual behaviors, along with having a clear idea what behaviors deserve high ratings and what behaviors deserve lower ratings, can help you to avoid this error. How To Guide For Rating Employees

5. Leniency/Severity

Leniency is the tendency to rate all employees at the high end of the scale, a leaning toward positive bias. The opposite is known as the Severity Effect where every employee is rated low.

Rating employees high may avoid difficult conversations but can lead to problems later on.

Severity errors indicate performance standards may be too high. Rating too hard can be a de-motivator. Employees need to feel that positive outcomes can be obtained through positive performance.

The fix? Again, use the full range of the scale.

JuvodHR is designed to help prevent rating errors because it’s tied directly to the job description and the evaluator rates the employee on specific, objective job factors.

Terrific results will be easy to achieve if the rater is consistent and fair. Reduce the possibility of errors by raising awareness and utilizing a job related performance review.

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