How to Prevent Rating Errors in Performance Appraisal

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    • 1). Prepare for the performance appraisal in advance. The appraisal needs to cover all attributes that you feel need a rating. Both management and employees need to be aware that you're scheduling rating appointments. Give managers enough time to thoroughly complete each appraisal.

    • 2). Pick a rater that works closely with the employee. A rating manager who consistently works with or supervises the employee has experience with the employee attributes listed on the appraisal.

    • 3). Be consistent. Standardize the meaning and level of each attribute with all rating managers. For example, you can standardize by describing fundamental goals of each attribute level.

    • 4). Minimize bias. Keep the language objective whenever possible. Don't let a manger who really dislikes, or really likes, the employee give the rating. Train rating managers with techniques that minimize personal bias.

    • 5). De-emphasize uncharacteristic behaviors. One bad day shouldn't cause an employee's attribute rating to slip too far. Conversely, a few positive activities from a normally uncooperative employee shouldn't significantly raise ratings either.

    • 6). Train raters to give bad news. Sometime a manager will inflate attribute ratings because he doesn't want to tell the employee that she performs poorly. The manager can minimize the impact of the criticism by following up with a positive aspect of the employee.

    • 7). Follow up with constructive coaching. It will be easier for the rating mangers to give low ratings if they know they'll be able to help the employees improve.

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