Saturday, March 3, 2012

Performance appraisal time!!! Does my manager doing justice with the rating???

Evaluation problems emerge because of perceptual differences in definitions. When words such as poor, fair, adequate, satisfactory, and excellent are used, the evaluation can be distorted. Exactly what does each mean? In comparison with whom? Is every employee being rated by the same standard?

Common Rating Errors: How He/She as a My Manager Can be biased ...
I need to know all below trap to handle the situation effectively

Halo effect:
An error can occur when an outstanding quality that the employee possesses unjustifiably affects the entire rating. Favorable first impressions that stay intact despite evolving problems are sometimes attributed to the halo effect.

Horns effect:
A negative dimension becomes the basis of the whole evaluation, and a poor rating emerges because the negative performance in one area casts a shadow on all the others.

Sunflower effect.
Managers may worry those giving employees a rating of “average” will reflect poorly on themselves, and so give all their employees top ratings.

Leniency or harshness error:

The tendency to rate everyone high/excellent or low/poor on all criteria. Two employees performing similarly may receive quite different ratings from their respective supervisors simply because of these supervisors’ tendencies to rate high or low. This error is also called positive or negative leniency.

Central tendency error.

Some supervisors are reluctant to give high or low ratings. They rate all employees as average and fail to distinguish between the star performers and those who need specific support. It’s sometimes used by raters who feel they don’t know an employee well enough to come up with an actual rating. Sticking to the middle makes these evaluations less useful for making personnel decisions such as promotions, salary increases, training, counseling, and even feedback.

Sugar-coating error: 

Discussing concerns verbally isn’t enough to evaluate performance well. Problems develop when supervisors talk at length about needs for improvement and other concerns, but just jot down a few general lines on the appraisal form itself. Everything communicated verbally should also appear in writing, and vice-versa. If that is not done, and further action needs to be taken, the available documentation falls short.

Recency of events error: 

 This error occurs when the rating is based on a recent events—good or bad— rather than the entire period that is to be reviewed. Alleviating this error is one excellent reason for ensuring ongoing documentation and discussion. Without these activities, raters can forget the last five months of behavior and evaluate just the past five weeks. Employees sometimes exploit this reality, becoming especially active and visible just before review time.

Critical incidents effect:

Similar to the halo and horns effects, this error distorts the overall review by giving undue emphasis to a single episode, positive or negative. No one incident should dominate the entire review cycle. An especially excellent or poor performance at any point in the cycle should not subsume performance during the rest of the cycle.

Contrast effect:

When the evaluation of one employee Affects that of another, it’s known as a contrast error. Because every employee merits an appraisal based on individual performance, the contrast error skews the process.

Personal Bias Error:

Bias has many faces—and none belongs in the appraisal. Some types of bias are readily apparent. But others are subtler, such as what’s called a similarity error. This distortion occurs when a supervisor gives a higher rating to an employee simply because the two of them share similar characteristics, such as getting to work on time or being willing to work late. A supervisor may be totally unaware that he or she is even doing this.

Past anchoring errors:
Employees get caught in this error when managers rate performances based on prior valuations instead of taking a fresh look.

Sampling error:
 This error occurs when the evaluator rates an entire review cycle on the basis of just a small sample of an employee’s work.

Varying standards error:
 When two or more employees perform similar work yet are held to different standards, the discrepancy distorts a fair and just evaluation process. One employee, for example, might be rated “good” for closing 65 percent of his or her sales while another employee documenting the same number of closings is rated only “fair.”

Holding employees accountable when it’s not their fault:
Widespread negative evaluations probably mean that fault is with management, which is not holding all employees accountable. If, for example, documents from large numbers of staff tend to show up late at certain times, there may be problems with technology, not the employees. It’s important to check that before appraisal time.
Employees should also not be held accountable for work requirements they were never told about, a problem that can surface when work standards are set without referring to the job description and actual requirements.

Attribution bias:
 Distorted ratings occur when outstanding performance is attributed to factors external to the employee being rated, such as “great team support,” but poor performance is perceived as the result of an employee’s own behavior. Poor technological acumen, for example, might be attributed to lack of employee understanding, while excellent technological skills might be due to organizational training. In one instance, the employee is held accountable;
in the second, an external factor gains the praise. A supervisor may want to grab credit for good performance. In other words, when work goes well, good management is credited. When it doesn’t, poor employee performance is blamed.

I need to understand my Manager and his/her style to discuss the process efficiently.

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