Employee evaluation plays an important part in ensuring that franchise businesses succeed. Unconscious biases can not only make the evaluation process less accurate, it can alienate your team members and cultivate unnecessary tension. These strategies can help you become more aware of bias when evaluating employees.
One way to become more aware of unconscious biases is to request that your team members perform self-assessments that include evidence-based examples. See if the way they identify their strengths and weaknesses aligns with your perception of their strengths and weaknesses. If there are major discrepancies, reevaluate the employee’s performance. What evidence do you have to support your conclusions? Are their examples you have overlooked?
Initiative a Peer Review System
Coworkers have completely different interaction with one another than they with their managers. You can never have a complete understanding of an employee’s performance without receiving feedback from peers. This type of feedback should be anonymous and fair. Ask standard questions that will lead to evidence-based examples. You want the whole picture of performance, but you don’t want to create conflict between your team members.
Give Managers Unconscious Bias Training
Unconscious bias usually requires some training to counteract. Leaders need to know how to identify biases within themselves and how to eliminate them when evaluating employees. Bias training is most effective when you take a subtle approach. People tend to feel attacked when they are told they have prejudices, so leaders should discover for themselves what biases they have. Thus, training should incorporate self-awareness activities that encourage leaders to challenge assumptions they have.
Standardize Evaluation Forms
It is also important to design evaluation prompts that actively promote objectivity. Evaluation criteria should be written in a way that is well-defined, specific, and easy to understand. Also use neutral language that doesn’t favor one group over another. Once you have set the evaluation criteria, share the information with the team so they know what they will evaluated on before the performance review period begins.
Performance reviews are critical because they give employees the feedback and guidance they need to adjust behaviors and develop the skills they need to perform their jobs better. Unfortunately, performance evaluations are often unfair and ineffective. Identifying and eliminating unconscious bias in leaders can make the evaluation process more accurate and fair.
by Nancy Estep
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