Even when systems are in place to assist managers to rate on a consistent basis managers may not keep to the straight and narrow:
Halo and horns effect. Managers may rate employees based on their personal relationships rather than by an objective measure of their competencies and abilities which will give biased results. Friendships may be regarded as too important to be spoilt by the harsh realities of a poor rating professionally. On the other hand, a good performance can be ignored if an employee does not meet with the manager’s overall approval, which will again be biased.
Difficulty in damming people. Even without personal prejudice, a good majority of managers, at times, do find it difficult to give their employees a bad rating. Having to face employees at an appraisal interview and justify their criticisms can be an experience that managers do not want to go face, which leads to unrealistic outcomes. It is much easier to simply give an average rating on the scale and hope the employee will improve anyway.
Recency error. When coming to a decision on a rating on an annual appraisal, a manager may be too influenced by an event that happened a few days or weeks ago that are fresh in their minds, which will again lead to biasness.
Clone error. A manager may regard the way they act and their methods of working to be the best practice, overall. It is all too easy for employees who take a different approach to be rated lower, despite evidence that the differing methods work just as well sometimes and for some people.
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