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2 min read

Inside the App: Rater Reliability

Apr 1, 2021 12:55:26 PM

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Performance evaluations can be a challenge for everyone involved especially when they only occur once per year. Keeping accurate, detailed notes. Recalling periods of high and low performance – successes and failures. Points of friction or poor communication.

Evaluations can also be influenced by a person’s mood and recent experience, which could negatively impact what otherwise may have been a decent review.

Maintaining an objective point of view, refraining from comparing employees, and keeping emotions out of the evaluation process can be difficult.

Everyone is guilty of practicing bias at one point or another. However, there are ways to mitigate the presence of bias in evaluations, and ensure rater reliability.

What is Rater Reliability?

Rater reliability is the concept that when something is being assessed, it would get the same accurate score, no matter who is doing the rating. Ideally, high rater reliability means that the evaluator has accurate data and a clear picture of employee performance.

What happens when rater reliability is absent?

When objectivity is removed, rater bias takes place. This means that the rater gives a score that would not be completely accurate because they allowed emotions, fatigue, low focus, etc. to influence their evaluation process. If there is unchecked rater bias occurring during the evaluation process, then the data is skewed and does not present an accurate picture of employee performance.

Types of rater bias include:

  • Halo bias- more favorable rating than accurate
  • Horns bias – more unfavorable rating than accurate
  • Primary bias – rating based on work at the beginning of the project
  • Recency bias – rating based on work at the end of the project
  • Normative bias – rating every team member the same without considering differences
  • Comparative bias – rating based on comparison to other team members instead of individual performance
  • Affinity bias – favorable rating because evaluator has a lot in common with the employee
  • Alienation bias – unfavorable rating because evaluator has little in common with the employee
  • Situational bias – rating based on event that was out of the employee’s control

Inside the App: How to Practice Rater Reliability in Truvelop

Before beginning an evaluation, take a moment to evaluate your own state of mind and current situation.

  • What is my current mood? If you are in a more emotional state, try taking a couple of deep breaths until you feel yourself calmed down.
  • What is my current energy level? f you notice you are tired or are overly energized, this may not be the time to fill out the observation!
  • Am I able to give this evaluation my full attention right now? Inattentiveness can drastically affect the accuracy of an evaluation.
  • Am I able to fill out this evaluation objectively? Sometimes we need to separate the actions from the person so that we can give an accurate and objective assessment.
  • Can I think of an example that would exemplify this rating? If we are able to think of concrete documented behaviors, actions, instances, etc., where the employee earned this rating, then we will likely have more accurate data. If we can provide evidence for a rating, then we are mitigating rater bias.

Truvelop provides employers and managers a detailed report based on aggregated data within the app. The more data we collect, the more accurate it will be. When managers frequently complete objective evaluations,  employers will have a clearer picture of each individual employee.

Contact a member of our sales team today to schedule a demo and learn more.