Are You Rating People Unfairly? The Role of Rater Bias in Evaluations

August 31, 2018 | Jahnina Moss and Tiffany Campbell, PhD

Measuring employee performance can be challenging, even when every effort has been made to develop the very best employee appraisal program for your particular organization. The truth is, we are all affected by a wide variety of rater biases that impact how we select our ratings during an evaluation. These biases might unfairly skew employee scores exceptionally high or remarkably low. Failing to take rater biases into account is a mistake many managers make, and this can result in not being able to obtain a true estimate of an employee’s performance.

It is worth spending some time learning about common biases and rating errors because they often happen unconsciously. Understanding these biases can prevent decision making errors, which strengthens your ability to use performance appraisals to their fullest potential. Read on to find out the most common types of rater biases and suggestions on how to reduce the likelihood of their occurrence.

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