Rater Errors in Performance Management

Article summary

Most companies are adopting new programs for measuring performance and abandoning the traditional ones. However, numerous companies still retain certain forms of evaluating performance for several reasons. Some of these reasons include the desire of employees to know their performance and the need for organizations to measure and maintain a record of employee discipline or dismissal (Zenger, 2017). The traditional performance appraisal method is gradually vanishing because it is more disadvantageous than advantageous to the employees.

Arguably, most performance evaluation results are not trustworthy because they are based more on the perception of individuals carrying out the rating than the one being rated. The evaluator is likely to experience bias and give inaccurate ratings. Recent research found that errors in performance rating can emanate from three primary sources (Zenger, 2017). These include the evaluator’s leniency, the “hallo effect” often caused by the evaluator’s feelings and attitude towards the person being evaluated, and the position of the person being assessed.

Further research shows that although two performance evaluators may have different ratings, they display similar order of rankings. The individual behavior significantly influences the rating scores evaluator awards them during the appraisal, even if one evaluator uses a different approach.

Several behaviors affect the evaluation of performance, and that managers relate to high performance. These behaviors include an individual’s ability to deliver the desired results, individual trustworthiness, professional expertise, and an individual’s ability to turn strategies into realistic goals (Zenger, 2017). In addition, the ability to produce quality products and market them, the power of a manager to adopt change with speed, and the ability to motivate and inspire others are other behaviors that managers possess to achieve high rating scores.

My Understanding of the Article

This article portrays performance management as a vital and indispensable activity in every organization. As a result, performance management is gradually evolving to provide organizations better outcomes. For this reason, most companies are adopting new programs of performance management and abandoning the traditional methods of performance evaluation and rating.

However, some organizations still use some aspects of the conventional performance appraisal for several reasons, such as enabling employees their performance status, maintaining employee discipline and dismissal records, and determining the rewards for the highest performing employees. However, research shows that the traditional appraisal methods are subject to bias and inaccuracy, which may cause harm to the person being evaluated, thus prompting the significant migration by most companies to the new performance management programs.

Since the accuracy and credibility of evaluation results in the traditional appraisal depends on the person doing the assessment, the evaluator may give biased and inaccurate information. Sometimes people conducting the evaluation can give erroneous information because they are naturally lenient and do not want to grade employees harshly. Other times, evaluators can have emotional attachments with people they are evaluating, a factor that can sway their judgment and neutrality.

Moreover, a person conducting the evaluation may feel intimidated to assess and provide trustworthy information when determining a person who holds a senior position in the organization. For this reason, it isn’t easy to believe that evaluation results provided by an evaluator are always credible. This article also puts the behavior of managers as a common denominator that influences performance evaluation and rating. Evaluators consider managers possessing certain behaviors to be high performers.

Agreement with the Author

The author of this article provides several facts all of which I agree with because they are from credible research findings. Most companies using the traditional employee appraisal system are likely to reward the wrong employees because the evaluator might provide an organization with erroneous ratings for various reasons. For instance, it is impossible for people performing evaluations to remain neutral during the entire evaluation exercise. In addition, the personal feelings of the evaluators towards people under evaluation contribute to inaccurate observations and errors in the final results.

Moreover, junior employees always experience intimidation in the presence of their seniors. Likewise, senior employees can have personal grudges with junior employees. Therefore, it is hard to expect credible performance rating results from both the former and the latter. It is a fact that employees’ behavior takes a central position during performance evaluation because an employee’s behavior provides evaluators with observation metrics to rate their performance.

Relevance of the Article to my Future HR Career

This article provides me with valuable insights about performance management, expanding my knowledge as a future Human resource manager. I can use the knowledge gained from this article to encourage my future organization to adopt the new performance management program because the old one is vulnerable to several human errors. Also, this article contains information about the primary sources of errors that can affect the outcomes of performance evaluation. With this knowledge, I can educate employees of my future organizations or people assigned to conduct an assessment on ways to maintain neutrality in their judgment and avoid those errors.

Moreover, this article also helps me to know the behaviors of a high-performing manager. As a result, reading through this article has helped me understand the best behaviors I should engage in to achieve high performance in my organization.


Zenger, J. (2017) What Drove Your Last Performance Evaluation?. Forbes. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022, December 3). Rater Errors in Performance Management. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/rater-errors-in-performance-management/


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"Rater Errors in Performance Management." BusinessEssay, 3 Dec. 2022, business-essay.com/rater-errors-in-performance-management/.


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Rater Errors in Performance Management'. 3 December.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Rater Errors in Performance Management." December 3, 2022. https://business-essay.com/rater-errors-in-performance-management/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Rater Errors in Performance Management." December 3, 2022. https://business-essay.com/rater-errors-in-performance-management/.


BusinessEssay. "Rater Errors in Performance Management." December 3, 2022. https://business-essay.com/rater-errors-in-performance-management/.