Errors of Performance Appraisal

The performance appraisal process and techniques are expected to be employed objectively in which the evaluator is free from personal biases, prejudices, and idiosyncrasies. Objectivity here minimizes the potential capricious and dysfunctional behavior of the evaluator, which may be detrimental to the achievement of the organizational goals.

Management Attitude Error : Management should be committed to performance appraisal, otherwise it will not work. If management see performance appraisal as something imposed on them by the human resource department, it will lack the genuine support of senior management and will simply become a cosmetic process to be treated with indifference.

Leniency / Strictness Error : A leniency or strictness error occurs when the raters tend to be easy or strict in evaluating the performance of employees and give highest or lowest ratings indiscriminately. Such appraisers give employees higher ratings than they deserve or lower ratings than they actually supposed to get on their level of performance. When they see everything of employee performance as good and constantly rate favourably, they are lenient raters.

Halo Effect Error : Halo effect is the tendency of the raters to rate high or low on all factors due to the impression of high or low rating on some specific factor (Bernardin and Beatty, 1984: 140). If a manager gives an employee the same rating on all factors by generalizing from one specific factor, this causes a halo effect error. It occurs when the rater’s personal opinion influences the measurement of performance. Such as good attendance record of an employee are viewed as intelligent and responsible.

Personal Prejudice Error : Prejudice is a preconceived opinion, notion, idea, and belief that made distrust or dislikeness into a person or group against other person or group on fear or false information rather than on reason or experience and that influence one’s attitude and behavoiur towards a person, group or custom.

Central Tendency Error : Central tendency error is incorrectly giving all ratings near the middle of the scale despite large differences in individual performance of the employees. Raters do not give much attention to rate employees as effective or ineffective and thus, they distort the ratings to make each employee appear average.

Low Appraiser Motivation : Low appraiser motivation constitutes an error of performance appraisal when the evaluator is reluctant to give a realistic appraisal. Here, the appraisers do not have any interest or motivation to rate correctly by giving critical judgement to the evaluation simply because there are so few benefits inherent in giving accurate ratings and so few penalties for assigning inaccurate ratings.

Irrelevant Standards Error : Irrelevant standard or subjective errors are the errors of the content of the appraisal form where such standards are set which do not have any relevance with either performer characteristics, or behaviour or his/her job performance. So, the raters do not feel any interest into evaluation, rather they feel embarrassed and awkward while engage in rating employee performance. This also affects the effectiveness of the performance appraisal and it could not be used in any decision making.

Unclear Standard Error : The error occurs when given traits and degrees of merit in the appraisal form are not clear to the raters. That means the given criteria and their degrees are open to interpretation, that is may have more than one meaning or interpretation. So, the ratings will vary between raters and may distort the evaluation. Therefore, ratings could not be used to achieve the purpose of the appraisal.

Recency Error : Recency error occurs when raters overemphasize the employee’s most recent behavior or action instead of employee’s longer and more comprehensive actions. Recent actions –good or bad – influence raters strongly and make the appraisal bias and incorrect.

Unrealistic Standards Error : Unrealistic standard error occurs in the performance form design stage. In this situation, such standards are set for the appraisal that could not be achieved within the given organizational context. These unrealistic standards make raters confused and indecisive in giving appropriate rate to the employees. This results in faulty evaluation.

Cross –cultural Bias Error : Raters own culture affects rating of individual employee’s performance. The expectations and evaluation style will vary on the difference of culture from which the raters have come. They will impose their own perception of human traits, performance levels, qualities and standards upon the performance of the employee. This will affect the ratings and fair evaluation will not be done.

Lack of Training : Lack of training is a rater error which refers to individual rater’s drawback to understand correctly the factors/criteria used for rating due to lack of training about the factor characteristics. So, the appraisal would be based on whims and false expectations that will not give any correct result and will be of no use in decisions about the evaluated person.

Poor Feedback : Feedback of the appraisal results to the respective employee is a fundamental purpose of performance appraisal. Poor feedback to the employee will affect the employees’ moral to participate into appraisal activity and motivation for self improvement.

Fear of confrontation error : It is a rater error. It occurs when appraiser restrains himself or herself from accurate ratings just to avoid any un-call for situation with the ratees that he/she apprehend to occur if he/she rates correctly. This situation occurs when human relations are very poor and hostile. Therefore, the ratings would be faulty and will be of no use.

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