3 Ways to Fix Your Company's Performance Reviews

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 17, 2019 2:57 PM

Performance reviews are love-hate relationships.

Your employer gives the review, and you either love them or you hate them. It depends, of course, on whether you get a good review or a bad one.

According to new research, however, all reviews are basically bad because they start with implicit bias. Like we said, it's a love-hate thing.

1. Create a Rubric

Implicit bias is a virtual fact-of-life. It means that everybody subconsciously judges others based on societal and environmentally programmed assumptions.

It's especially true when it comes to gender bias, say writers for the Harvard Business Review. One way to fight it, they suggest, is for managers to create a rubric before evaluating employees.

"Research shows that when you first agree to the criteria used in the assessment and then you make the evaluation, you are less likely to rely on stereotypes and your assessments are less biased," they write.

2. Create Better Prompts

Part of the problem is open-ended evaluations. Instead, managers need to fill in the box with pre-determined prompts.

It's like the spelling prompt in your word-processing program. It fills in correct terms when you start to make a mistake.

"Better prompts can help you approach each review in a similar manner, ensuring everyone is evaluated and considered in a consistent and equal way," writes Lori MacKenzie, executive director of the Clayman Institute at Stanford University.

3. Run a Consistency Check

MacKenzie, along with Stanford's JoAnne Wehner and Shelley Correll, say fairness is about consistency.

"Get in the habit of re-reading all reviews for consistency," they write. "By looking for uniformity -- or patterns of variation -- you may find additional ways to remove bias."

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