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The Unintended Outcomes of Unconscious Bias in Performance Management

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Find out the unintended outcomes of unconscious bias in performance management.

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The Unintended Outcomes of Unconscious Bias in Performance Management

  1. 1. THE UNINTENDED OUTCOMES OF UNCONSCIOUS BIASin Performance Management
  2. 2. HR leaders have a problem.
  3. 3. Team managers can’t reliably rate their employees. Only one third of employees who score high in their performance reviews are actually the organization’s top contributors.
  4. 4. We end up with useless data on employee performance primarily because of bias.
  5. 5. The amalgamation of the various biases that impact performance reviews is called the idiosyncratic rater effect.
  6. 6. 61%of a rating is a reflection of the manager, not the employee.
  7. 7. Here are 6 biases to watch for in your performance management system.
  8. 8. The halo effect occurs when our impression of someone is skewed by one positive trait, leading us to make generalizations about them as a whole.
  9. 9. If an employee is outgoing and easy to get along with, their manager may unintentionally ignore that the employee has consistently failed to meet deadlines. HOW IT SHOWS UP
  10. 10. Develop an evaluation matrix that encourages managers to look at a broad range of traits and skills AND that weights them evenly. Provide tools to track common (or commonly overlooked) concerns, like attendance or missed deadlines. Embrace the Bias: Help managers develop soft skills so they can help their employees use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses. HOW TO OVERCOME 1 2 3
  11. 11. The horns effect occurs when you focus on a negative trait and you allow that to overshadow the many positive traits a person may have. The Horns Effect
  12. 12. A manager values a clean work area and a peaceful environment while working, but their employee is messy and loud. This may produce an unfair evaluation (especially without specific workplace guidelines). HOW IT SHOWS UP The Horns Effect
  13. 13. Encourage managers to begin any evaluation looking at the positive traits. This will help put negative traits into proper perspective. Develop an evaluation matrix that encourages managers to look at a broad range of traits and skills AND that weights them evenly. Embrace the Bias: Hold managers accountable to their employee reviews. Embed into culture that employee failure is a manager problem. And give managers the soft skills to develop employee weaknesses into strengths. HOW TO OVERCOME 1 2 3 The Horns Effect
  14. 14. Recency bias occurs when people tend to emphasize very recent events or observations instead of looking at events over time. Recency Bias
  15. 15. Recency bias can limit your ability to measure overall productivity. Recent mistakes (or successes) could end up being the primary focus of the review rather than aggregating performance throughout the year. HOW IT SHOWS UP Recency Bias
  16. 16. Hold weekly one-on-ones with a clear goal. Document one-on-ones well so that they can replace or augment your annual performance review process. Embrace the Bias: Frequent check-ins encourage managers to focus on improving present and recent realities. 1 2 3 Recency Bias HOW TO OVERCOME
  17. 17. Similarity bias occurs because people are more likely to imitate cultural models that are seen as similar to that person, based on specific traits. Similarity Bias
  18. 18. Hiring someone because they could be your new best buddy won’t necessarily yield a productive work environment or even a good employee. A company that lacks diversity may be limiting their innovation and growth. HOW IT SHOWS UP Similarity Bias
  19. 19. Recognize that no one is perfect. Include a pros and cons list as an element of your performance reviews. Replicate your diversity and inclusion policies. Develop a culture that encourages managers diversify their team’s personalities. Embrace the Bias: Similarity bias can help build manager/employee relationships. Keep this bias in relationships but out of reviews by following a framework. Keep all your conversations, including performance reviews, on track by implementing a standardized structure for big conversations. HOW TO OVERCOME 1 2 3 Similarity Bias
  20. 20. Contrast bias is the tendency to mentally upgrade or downgrade an object when comparing it to a contrasting object. Contrast Bias
  21. 21. Contrast bias occurs when a manager compares an employee’s performance to other employees rather than an established company standard: a manager gives a poor evaluation to an employee meeting their goals because another employee went beyond the standard. HOW IT SHOWS UP Contrast Bias
  22. 22. Create customized evaluations based on each job description. Adjust the wording in written evaluation questions to compare the employee directly to the job description. Embrace the Bias: Redirect contrast bias to help managers compare an employee’s current performance to their previous performance. Are they improving? Making progress toward their goals? HOW TO OVERCOME 1 2 3 Contrast Bias
  23. 23. Conformity bias happens when we model our behavior to fit the behavior of others, rather than using our own judgment. Conformity Bias
  24. 24. Teams talk. If team members (or even other managers) share a low opinion of an employee, it can influence how the manager holds the evaluation and the lens through which they begin a conversation. HOW IT SHOWS UP Conformity Bias
  25. 25. Structure performance reviews around a specific goal (outside of assigning an evaluation). Structure performance reviews as a conversation where both sides share their realities and options. In fact, the employee should talk more than their manager. Embrace the Bias: In performance reviews and in everyday conversations, encourage managers to stay engaged and optimistic. If managers are consistent, employees will conform to their manager’s mentality. HOW TO OVERCOME 1 2 3 Conformity Bias
  26. 26. You probably won’t be able to completely eliminate Idiosyncratic Rater Effect from your performance management system.
  27. 27. But you can design your system to accommodate those biases and work to minimize its effect.
  28. 28. Coaching best practices can be great first step in eliminating biases in your performance management.
  29. 29. Learn about 7 key practices to redesign your performance management in this article. Read Now
  30. 30. Or chat with us about your performance management needs. 1.888.262.2448 insideoutdev.com

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