Avoiding biased reviews

When preparing for your meeting with your staff members you need to ensure that bias has not crept into your thinking. Below are some examples of bias that you need to be aware of. Paying attention to these biases will help you prepare and deliver a fair and balanced performance review.

Halo effect

This bias occurs when an employee performs well or conversely poorly and all their other work is then rated high or low based on this one event or opinion.

Lack of differentiation

Occurs when a manager tends to score all employee very closely by giving everyone high ratings, low ratings or average ratings. The impact on the team is that high performing staff member are not recognized for their performance and the low performing staff members are not helped to improve.

Personality bias

The more characteristics a manager shares with an employee, such as from the same town, common friends, age, race, values, gender, experience and personality, the more favourable the manager will rate that employee’s performance.

Recency effect

This occurs when recent work performed becomes the basis for evaluating the whole performance opposed to assessing the staff member’s performance over the whole performance period.

Note: In order to avoid the recency effect bias we recommend that you adopt a performance log (DOCX) which is available on this website.