What Are the Most Common Bias in Performance Management?

Performance management and appraisal are usually performed by supervisors who perform well in their area and, perhaps, demonstrate decent leadership quality in the company. However, they may not be expert in performance management.

To improve the result of performance management, we can take note and try to avoid the bias introduced as follow.

1.Recency Bias

Especially for those managing a large number of sub-ordinates, supervisor may be able to recall recent events to appraise an employee or provide feedback or comment, while forgeting key events that happened several months or a year ago.

To overcome this bias, we can either arrange more frequent performance review meeting, or enhance our record-keeping practice.

2.Contrast Bias

Supervisor may try to rate appraisee or offer feedback by comparing among themselves rather than company's standard. This is of course not the original objective of performance management.

After all, your "benchmark" appraisees may leave, but company's best practice and standard remain.

3.Halo Effect

This is the bias when appraiser gives unnecessarily high (or low) rating to sub-orindate, only because the sub-ordinate demonstrates exceptionally well (poor) performance in one specific area, but not in an all-rounded manner.

Keep an eye on sub-ordinate who try to catch your attention only trying to take advantage of "Halo Effect".

4.Similar-to-Me Bias

As we climb up the career ladder, it is natural to think that our experience or our development path is the best and should be followed by everyone else younger than us, if they want to be as successful as we are.

Swallow the pride and accept that there can be alternative ways one can contribute to the company and alternative ways one can develop their career.