Performance appraisal is a key element in setting the organizational
work performance in the phase of continuously improvement within its employees,
it ensures that the operations are running efficiently as it takes place at the
management and the technical level. “Performance appraisal is defined as the
procedure that involves setting the work standards, assessing the employee’s
actual performance relative to these standard and providing feedback to the
employee with the aim of motivating him or her to eliminate performance
deficiencies “(Gary, 2012). Generally, appraisal assessments are designed on a
set of two basic frames: “What to measure” and “How to measure”, but
nevertheless issues still arises and accrues due to over optimism and lack of monitoring
.In this report we’re going to address, identify and discuss several appraisal
problem such as Unclear standards, Halo effect, Central tendency, Leniency or Strictness
and appraisal bias.
In performance appraisal there is several ways of appraising
such as the graphic rating scale, Alternation ranking method, paired comparison
method, critical incident method and management by objective. As evaluators
carry on their duties the social context usually influences them and result in
critical issues which identifies the key problems in performance appraisal.
Setting standards for evaluating the performance
effectiveness is an important matter. However, having unclear standards is an
issue that would probably result in unfair appraisals, because the characteristics
and degrees of merit are vague. Within the context of the UAE, an example of unclear
standards is usually founded across organizations in customer’s satisfaction
survey and employees rating scales. An unclear standard makes the appraisal
system unable to deliver all of its required benefits. The
process have to ensure that each key term used is consistently understood. This
issue can be fixed by developing and including descriptive phrases that
defines each attribute.(Gary,2012)
The halo effect is an issue defined by, “The influence of
rater’s general impression on rating of specific rate qualities”(Gary, 2012).
It’s usually due to a bias impression towards unknown or ambiguous attributes. This
type of issue can create a negative atmosphere between the employees specially
the Human resource department, as having a bad impression about a certain
attribute on an employee would result in behavior conflict and misunderstanding
that leads to poor performance within the organization. Basically, the halo
effect could be found within any evaluating context, a very good example in the
UAE can be described as “nice people tend to have nice attributes and less
nice people have less nice attributes.” Thus as if you like the way a
person dress, talk and interact you would probably rate him as slightly better
than others or at least you won’t address the his bad working attributes as you
should be doing. The best way to alleviate this type of appraisal issue is to
be aware of the negative impact it can brings to the organization.
tendency refers to the process of rating all the employees as average workers
on the performance appraisal. Usually this issue tend to avoid the highs and
lows on the rating scale (Gary, 2012). it gives the employees a very general rating which is
quite unfair to their working performance. By having this issue of central
tendency it can affects the employees behavior and it also makes them less
useful for promotion, salary or counseling purposes. Within many organization
in the UAE, Usually students from different universities have this central
tendency issue that result from the unclear and ambiguous standards on the
rating scale or the students themselves are not really interested in doing so.
This type of issue is recommended to be solved by ranking employees instead of
using traditional evaluation methods.
mistakes are related to general ratings. In most cases, these errors are found after carrying out several appraisals
as opposed to an isolated occurrence such as ‘Halo/Horn’ Effect.
For example, if you are interviewing six
candidates and you rate them all with “Excellent”, someone will doubt
that you are being lenient in evaluating the candidates. However, it is likely
that all six candidates could be “Excellent” as you rated them. Leniency
in the United Arab Emirates is a big problem when it comes to evaluating
candidates because, the nature of the U.A.E people is to avoid arguments . Strictness is opposite of
leniency. If you are evaluating six candidates and rated all of them poor. According
to standard distribution, candidates must be marked as of what they truly
are. poor, below average, average, above average, and exceptional.
Anothers study shows that it’s often that student evaluations of teachers are
sustaintilly baised by low workload and grading leniency (march,2000) . Interviewers are advised to rate
individuals separately. Each candidate has to stand out in some unique aspect
even if all have relevant evaluation and even if you use a standardized
criteria to rate them.
There are a lot of
reasons that causes bias in performance appraisals. Some studies show that
personality of one person can highly influence the appraisal, for example if a
rater feels that the person he is rating has a great and confident personality,
the rater might rate him with ” low ” because the rater feels that
the person being rated might cause competition to him in the organization later
after being accepted. However, if the person being rated is not smart, quite
confident and nothing special about him, then the rater might give him a high
rating so later when accepted in the organization there will be no competition
conflict to the rater. A study shows that high cost on information gathering
usually result in the performance bias (Bol, 2011). This is a very serious matter in the UAE because almost all
of the national citizens of the UAE work in the government sector and when a
new individual is applying for a job in an organization, existing employees
might feel the threat of new entrants in the organization because new employees
with motivation and charisma might affect the existing employees position in
the organization. ?position in the
organization. tees position in the organization. a , existing employees might feel threat from
new entrants in In
order for organizations to avoid such bias there raters might have, the
organization has to teach and make sure that there raters understand the
potential problems of performance appraisals and how there are consequences to
bias rating. Another solution could be, instead of having one rater, the
organization can hire three rater to rate the same person, in this way the
organization can find out which of the three raters has a biased appraisal and
later be punished.
Through this report, we’ve highlighted the most common
problems in performance appraisal within organizations. Firstly unclear
standards, which are defined, by vague standards that makes the system unable
to deliver feedback. The halo affect and performance bias are slightly similar
but the difference is in the halo effect as the rater exclude out all the accepted
attributes in the rating process, and finally the central tendency that is
better explained by the
average rating of an employee, while at the other hand Leniency and Strictness
is defined by the issue with consistently high and low rating. In Order to
avoid most of these issues we recommend the evaluaters to have descriptive
phrases that defines each attribute in the rating scales and to avoid having an objective measure and rather
have a specific and subjective judgement.
Bol, J. (2011). The Determinants and Performance Effects of
Managers Performance Evaluation Biases.
Gary Dessler and Akram Al Ariss. (2012). Human Resource
Management Arab World Edition.
Russell Golman and Sudeep Bhatia. (2012). Performance
Evaluation Inflation and Compression.