One of the potential problems that performance appraisal should avoid is bias. Bias is caused by those responsible for carrying out the appraisals when they rate employees based on certain traits such as gender, race, and religion. The person evaluating the employees may choose to favor a group based on a specific attribute. This favoritism involves giving a certain group higher rates of appraisal solely based on the given trait. A good example which is most common in organizations is bias based on gender. This gender-based bias is especially frequent in careers which are deemed to be careers suited for men. Therefore, an evaluator may give a female employee a poor rating without considering her performance, but merely from the fact that she is not male.
Bias leads to low motivation levels among the discriminated group as they know their efforts will not be recognized because they belong to a minority group. The lack of motivation leads to a reduction in output. Also, for those who are favored, they become aware that regardless of the effort they put they will still be highly rated. The result is a disregard for the performance appraisal, which fails to meet its objectives.
Negative Experience with the Performance Management Process
I was working for an organization that introduced a reward for the employee of the month. During that month, I was highly motivated to work hard to win the award. At the end of the month, I believed I was the clear candidate for the award. However, during the monthly meeting, our supervisor said that he felt that all the employees had put in equal effort and if the award was to go to the department, it would have to be shared equally. Other supervisors gave their appraisals, and the award was won by an employee from another department.
The appraisal left me frustrated. The following month I got back to my comfort zone as I felt the appraisal method used was unfair, and since I had no chance of winning the award I felt no need to put in an extra shift. The supervisor made a mistake to rate us all equally. Instead, he should have rated each employee based on their performance to give the rightful employee a chance to claim the award.
Learning Point from an Article
Amy Gallo, in her article 'How to control your emotions during a difficult conversation,' gave tips on ways to control emotions in the workplace. Gallo (2017) talked about how human beings lose their ability to reason when their emotions overwhelm them. The key things that Gallo (2017) suggested were to breathe, to take a break and to say a mantra. It is very easy to be angry at a coworker who is rated better than you or a boss who rates you poorly. During such times, we are unable to think critically. People end up saying stupid things that get them into trouble, possibly even fired. To avoid this, one should breathe while counting the number of times one has exhaled. Breathing helps ease the tension and takes the focus away from the argument. Another vital way to control emotion is to walk away from the situation and allow for time to think. Most of the time, when I am angry, I make bad decisions which, when I think about them later, I feel I would have acted differently. I may think that the employee who won employee of the month award was not deserving, but after thinking about it, I feel they were worthwhile. The techniques discussed by Gallo will thus be vital in helping me control my emotions and keep out of trouble.
Gallo, A. (2017). How to control your emotions during a difficult conversation. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2017/12/how-to-control-your-emotions-during-a-difficult-conversation
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