Rating Errors

Rating ErrorsThere are many possible sources of errors in the performance appraisal process. Various types of rater errors are mentioned next:

  • Recency error.
  • Central tendency error.
  • Leniency error.
  • Halo effect.
  • Contrast error.
  • Similarity error.
  • Personal bias.
  • Personal prejudice.
  • Paperwork.
  • Fear of spoiling relations.
  • Evaluate performance, not person.
  • Horn-effect.

Recency error

The recency effect occurs when a rater gives greater weight to recent events when appraising an individual’s performance. A recent action- either good or bad- is more likely to be remembered by the rater.

Using some method of documenting both positive and negative performance can minimize this problem.

Central tendency error

Appraisers, who rate all employees within a narrow range, usually the middle or average, commit a central tendency error. It is the reluctance to make extreme ratings in either direction, the inability to distinguish between and among ratees; a form of range restriction.

Leniency error

Every evaluator has his own value system, which acts as the standard against which appraisals are made. Some evaluators mark high and others low. The former is referred to as positive leniency error and the latter as negative leniency error or strictness.

Halo effect

The halo effect occurs when a manager rates an employee high or low on all items because of one characteristic. For example, she is tall, so she is intelligent. This may not be true.

Contrast error

This error is the tendency to rate people relative to other people rather than to performance standards. Two people may not be the same. People are heterogeneous.

So it is essential to compare a person with the standard, not with another person.

Similarity error

When evaluators rate other people in the same way that the evaluators perceive themselves, they are making a similarity error.

Based on the perception that evaluators have themselves, they project those perceptions onto others. You are an honest person; you expect others to be honest.

Personal bias

Appraisal is affected by personal bias of the rater. If the rater has good relations with the ratee (an employee who is getting rated), he may give higher scores to the ratee, even though the ratee does not deserve such high scores.

So personal bias may lead to favored treatment for some employees, and bad treatment to others. Students often complain against a few teachers against their personal biases. distort the ratings those people receive.

Discrimination may occur in terms of age, gender, religion, and country of origin, etc.

For example, some HR departments have noticed that male supervisors give undeserved low ratings to women who hold traditionally male jobs.

Personal prejudice

A rater’s dislike for a group or class of people may distort the ratings those people receive. Discrimination may occur in terms of age, gender, religion, and country of origin, etc.

For example, some HR departments have noticed that male supervisors give undeserved low ratings to women who hold traditionally male jobs.

Sometimes, raters are unaware of their prejudice, and this makes such biases more difficult to overcome.

Paperwork

Some supervisors complain that performance appraisal is pointless paperwork. They complain because many times, performance appraisal reports are found only in the files. It does not serve any practical purpose.

In other words; the performance appraisal reports are not used by some organizations. They are conducted just as a formality or for the namesake.

For example, in public universities, no extra reward or recognition is given for extraordinary performance.

Fear of Spoiling Relations

Performance appraisal may also affect superior-subordinate relations.

An appraisal makes the superior more of a judge than a coach. So, the subordinate may have a feeling of suspicion and mistrust, about the superior.

Evaluate performance, not person

The rater should evaluate the performance, i.e. output, new ideas, extraordinary efforts, etc. and not the person. In reality, the person is evaluated and not his performance. It should be noted that failure is an event and not a person.

For example, the family background and political affiliation of a candidate are given more priority than merit while making personnel decisions.

Horn-effect

Sometimes the raters may evaluate on the basis of one negative quality. This results in the overall lower rating of the particular employee. For example, Karim does not shave regularly, therefore, he must be lazy at work.

Spillover effect, in this case, the present performance is highly influenced by past performance. A person who has not done a good job in the past is considered to be bad for doing present work.