Performing Unbiased Performance Reviews for Employees

December 16, 20163:52 pm624 views

Imagine a situation wherein you need to choose one of the two employees to be promoted as the next project leader; a man and a woman. Both of them have been working long enough for you and equally have good track record. With equivalent quality and performance, this could be a tough decision call to make. Towards the end, as you might assume and think that a woman stereotypically does not suit to be leader, you choose a man over the woman. This does happen, even today – hard to believe but true.


The scene above is just one of those thousands example of bias. It is a fact that everyone does perform certain degree of biases toward everyone else. Whether these biases are because of gender, race, religion, or merely personal preferences, bias can be ubiquitously found in all workplaces.


Consciously or not, we harbor it at home, school, and eventually at the workplace. While subtle bias might not hurt anyone personally, perpetuating bias towards certain employees could bring an uncomfortable atmosphere among peers.


According to a study by UNC Kenan-Flager Business School, bias at the workplace can skew talent and performance reviews. It has its affects on the one who will be hired, developed, and promoted. To minimise any further issues that may arise out of bias performance reviews for employees, HR and talent management, it is important that they cope with these strategies.


See: Women Migrant Workers in Construction and Domestic Work in Thailand Regularly Discriminated


  1.   Point out areas prone to bias

When it comes to employee bias, HR management needs to pay extra attention because some of them are under the radar. If you think that there are business areas which have high possibility of performing biased performance reviews, do a thorough investigation about the relationship between employees and supervisors in the department.


For example, if a supervisor recently promotes his friend’s son as the new supervisor especially when others in the organisation know that the son demonstrates no proven leadership skills, then there is something fishy here.


  1.   Promote equal opportunity


With workplaces becoming more gender-diverse, companies are required to ace up the promotion considerations while providing equal opportunity to all employees – both old and new joinees. This further means that everyone involved in the making of the business should get balanced reviews based on their professional attitudes, regardless of their gender, skin colour, religion, ethnicity or race.


  1.   Conduct open assessment

Closed recruitment and employee performance reviews are a good place for bias to preserve. Hence, organisations need to shift from closed to an open one. Not only should they support unbiased behaviours, open assessment will provide a new chance to find excellent talents within community, you might more often ignored. For example, as long as they are given a chance, a Black man living in suburban can turn out to be a good IT analyst.  


  1.   Stay professional


Biased performance reviews are highly linked with personal bias. For example, if an employee is actually good enough to be chosen as a manager, but is not well-liked due to his blunt personality behaviour. Herein, the other top performer ranking second is chosen despite the fact that the former talent had more potential. This kind of situation arises at every workplace and it should be prevented by staying truly professional. Bias often happens when one cannot separate the space between personal and professional issues.


  1.   Arrange company policy


When you have done everything and biased reviews keep popping up, the last resort here is to start issuing a company right policy regarding bias behaviours and favouritism at work. This policy will provide access for everyone to report incidences during workings wherein they have personally experienced, or evidenced certain kind of biased performance reviews for an employee.


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