Why I am not a fan of some 360s and similar performance rating methods

Here is the list:

  1. Idiosyncratic Rater Effect – The idiosyncratic rater effect (also called rater effect) is a phenomenon in which the ratings given by different raters for the same performance or behavior do not align. In other words, raters rate an employee differently even when they are rating the same behaviors and performance.
  2. Halo Effect Bias – The halo effect bias is when a rater makes assumptions about an employee based on one dimension of the employee’s performance.
  3. Contrast Effect Bias – The contrast effect bias is when raters compare an employee’s performance against another person’s performance rather than against their own expectations or standards.
  4. The Leniency Bias – The leniency bias is when a rater tends to assign more favorable ratings than they otherwise would if they are being lenient on an employee.
  5. Here are some others – Confirmation bias, gender bias, primacy bias, recency bias, centrality bias, and the law of small numbers bias

As you can see, the odds are stacked against a truly helpful performance assessment for the recipient. There is much more detail in this article

Other ways to help someone improve their behavior and performance is to ask their peers, superiors, and other stakeholders to provide useful information through surveys such as The Best of Me, The Best of We from Marcus Buckingham highlighted in one of my previous articles or the Q12 Employee Engagement Survey.

The bottom line is that we suck at rating others objectively. There are dozens of unconscious biases getting in our way. Asking someone to provide their experience is a better route to go. From there, you can better determine where behavior or productivity changes need to be made.


Be Exceptional!

Bill – Certified Growth Coach, Foundations in NeuroLeadership certified, PI Certified Partner, 100COACHES member coach


For MA companies ONLY, as an approved Training and Development provider, Catalyst Growth Advisors can offer up to 50% off program fees. Click here to see if you qualify.

Please click here to download or purchase my book Further, Faster – The Vital Few Steps that Take the Guesswork out of Growth.

Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.