Possible difficulties with performance

  1. Subjectivity/Assessment errors

Potential errors include: – Leniency, Central Tendency, Recency and Halo effect.

 Leniency

This occurs when a manger’s ratings are grouped at the positive edge instead of being spread throughout the performance scale. All employees get a positive performance appraisal.

Central Tendency

This is the tendency of a manager to rate most employees performance near the middle of the performance scale.

Recency Error

This occurs when evaluations are based on work performed most recently and thereignoring work that was done earlier- generally work that was performed earlier that two months leniency, central tendency and recently errors make it very difficult to separate the good performers from the poor performers. In addition, they make it difficult to compare ratings from different raters.

Halo Effect

This effect occurs when a rater allows a single prominent characteristic of an employee to influence his/her judgment on each separate item in the performance appraisal. This often results in the employee receiving approximately the same rating on every item.

Personal preferences, prejudices and biases can also cause errors in performance appraisals. Managers with biases or prejudices tend to look for employee behaviours that conform to their biases.

Appearance, social status, dress, race and sex have influenced many performance appraisals.

The problems of subjectivity are particularly evident when non-quantifiable criteria are used for assessment purposes.

  1. Role of Line Managers

Line managers/ supervisors may lack the required technical skills and people management skills to be able to conduct an effective appraisal. A lack of time and resources may hinder line managers in providing comprehensive and effective performance appraisal.

Managers are also likely to perceive the appraisal process as a bureaucratic nuisance and form filling exercise (especially in small corps.)

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