From India, Mumbai
Ed Llarena, Jr.
Owner/ Managing Partner
Asst. Manager Hr
Hr Officer
Senior Hr Executive

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I think one error that we could actually locate in performance appraisals, is first when the performance appraisal system is not objective. Meaning you rate the person based on how you see them, unlike if you have a performanc appraisal that is based on performance targets it would be a lot more objective. What i mean is like the boss and the subordinate should sit together and discuss the subordinates performance target like for the next 6 months or 3 months then you should give deadlines, proceedures how to go about and at least every quarter you discuss whatever targets you have accomplished. And how do you still plan to achieve the other targets that were not achieved.


Performance appraisals are always sticky for everyone. While managers make an effort to be as objective as possible, there are always concerns about specific performance appraisals, and their accuracy. If you are going to evaluate your staff, then it is wise to be aware of factors that may affect your assessments. In this short article we outline a few factors you should be aware of, so that you can examine your own assessment processes to ensure that they are as free from bias as possible.

Halo Effect

The halo effect is the tendency to rate someone high or low in all categories because he or she is high or low in one or two areas. Results in appraisals that do not help develop employees, because they are two general or inaccurate as to specifics. Evaluating someone lower is sometimes also called the "devil effect".

Standards of Evaluation

If you are using categories such as fair, good, excellent, etc, be aware that the meanings of these words will differ from person to person. In any event, the use of these categories is not recommended because they do not provide sufficient information to help employees develop.

Central Tendency

The habit of assessing almost everyone as average. A person applying this bias will tend not to rate anyone very high or very low.

Recency Bias

Tendency to assess people based on most recent behaviour and ignoring behaviour that is "older".

Leniency Bias

Tendency to rate higher than is warranted, usually accompanied by some rationalization as to why this is appropriate.

Opportunity Bias

Ignoring the notion that opportunity (factors beyond the control of the employee) may either restrict or facilitate performance, and assigning credit or blame to the employee when the true cause of the performance was opportunity.

False Attribution Errors

We have a tendency to attribute success or failure to individual effort and ability (at least in North America). So when someone does well, we give them credit, and when someone does less well, we suggest it's somehow their fault. While there is some truth in this, the reality is that performance is a function of both the individual and the system he or she works in. Often we misattribute success and failure and assume they are both under the complete control of the employee. If we do, we will never improve performance.

From United States, Somers
Ed Llarena, Jr.

Subjectivity and bias are almost always present in any human activity.
In philosophy, they say that whenever something is "expressed" by a subject, such expression is "subjective".
Bias can be a preferential (positive) or negative (dislike) treatment of one over the other (whether person or a thing), for whatever reason.
A subjective judgment (e.g. performance rating) can transform into a positive or negative feedback on the person being evaluated, dependig on what was given as a "rating" by the rater/ superior.
Tha'ts why in our system, we are trying to move closer to quantifiable performance indicators and targets. We believe that when parameters are easily understood, measured and/ or quantified, it can greatly reduce subjectivity, and possibly, bias in the evaluation process.
Best wishes.
Ed Llarena, Jr.
Managing Partner
Emilla Consulting

From Philippines, Parañaque
More than subjective biases, there is an inherent SYSTEMIC bias in favour of the appraiser (the boss). For more, read this paper "why your boss is programmed to be a dictator" at
The article shows how until we correct this systemic bias, we will not be able to correct the subjective bias.

Personal biases affects the performance appraisal because when a person appraised to his subordinate he is aware of all the aspect of his profile like his job knowledge, behavior and atitude etc., but biases cames when a person having more than one subordinate because when he appraise a person he is directly take into consider who directly follow the instructions of their superior or his superior has to make less efforts to take work from him. So many times superior biased from these things and appraised to those person who is not competent to the other one. This type of behavior or atitude plays a negative role and directly response in the less dedication towards the work of the competent employee and also responsible for less motivation.
From India, Bhopal

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