Guidelines for Conducting Performance Analysis

Most managers think that they are good judges of people. Different managers will assess the same people very differently unless, with difficulty, a successful attempt to moderate their views is made.

This is because managers assessing the same people will tend to assess them against different standards.

Managers may jump to conclusions or make snap judgments if they are just required to appraise and rate people rather than to conduct a proper analysis of performance.

Other problems include poor perception (not noticing things or events for what they are), selectivity (relying on partial data and noticing only things one wants to see), and poor interpretation (putting one’s own, possibly biased, slant on information).

This can lead to what O’Malley refers to as Type and Type errors. A type error occurs when the conclusion is that there are no differences in employees’ performance when in fact there are.

Conversely, a type n error in concluding that there are differences when there is none. To overcome these problems it is necessary to consider the following guidelines:

  1. Ensure that the concept of performance is understood by all concerned, managers and employees alike, which means appreciating what constitutes good and not so good performance and how it should be measured and analyzed;
  2. Encourage managers to define and agree on standards and measures of effectiveness beforehand with those concerned as a basis for analysis;
  3. Encourage and train people to avoid jumping to conclusions too quickly by consciously suspending judgment until all the relevant data available has been analyzed;
  4. Provide managers with practice in exercising judgments that enable them to find out for themselves where they need to improve their performance analysis techniques;
  5. Adopt an evidence-based management approach.

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