Why Most Performance Evaluations Are Biased, and How to Fix Them

For many companies, performance review season is kicking off with the new year. Although every organization relies on a different evaluation process, most follow a predictable pattern: First, they invite employees to write about their accomplishments and what they need to improve. Then managers write assessments of their work, offer feedback, and rate their performance on a scale of how well they met expectations.

Underlying this process is the belief that by reflecting on people’s performance and codifying it in an evaluation form, we will be able to assess their merits objectively, give out rewards fairly, and offer useful feedback to help them develop in the next year.  But while we may strive to be as meritocratic as possible, our assessments are imperfect and all too often biased.

 

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