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Bias in Performance Management Review Process

Cook Ross
This resource explains the four domains of bias in performance management: rater bias, self-rater bias, structural bias, and calibration bias. It also includes several examples of how to mitigate each type of bias.

Rater bias: Difference between in-person performance reviews between men, compared to between men and women.

Examples of how to mitigate rater bias:

  • Give performance reviews the importance they deserve – avoid haste and distractions.
  • Use a performance management assessment aid to guide the process.

Self-rater bias: Misrepresentation of an individual’s performance self-evaluation between accomplishments and self-image.
Examples of how to mitigate self-rater bias:

  • Raters should be conscious of the potential cultural or gender differences in self-rating.
  • Reduce self-rater bias on performance reviews by exercising practices of objectivity.

Structural bias: Bias found in and reinforced by organizational structure.
Examples of how to mitigate structural bias:

  • Have clear and transparent rating areas and weighting processes.
  • Expose structural biases prior to performance reviews and continually address them.

Calibration bias: Bias originated from relative rating of performance reviews.


Examples of how to mitigate calibration bias:

  • Having a clearly defined process for identifying and discussing bias throughout the calibration process will yield a more objective comparison between people.
  • Introducing bias management strategies prior to performance reviews allows the normalization of bias awareness and can assist in objective discussions during the calibration meeting.

To read more about biases and how to mitigate them, click here.