HR pros speak a language all their own. Here's how they describe some common mistakes you can make while reviewing the troops:
Contrast effect: Comparing one employee with another, rather than against performance benchmarks or other criteria
Halo (or horn) effect: Allowing performance in one or two areas to color the overall review unfairly
Similar-to-me effect: Being more generous to those with similar backgrounds or beliefs
Central tendency: Giving everyone an average score regardless of performance
Leniency/desire to please: Granting a better review than warranted in order to avoid confrontation
Recency effect: Giving excessive weight to the most recent part of the evaluation period
First-impression bias: Allowing your initial judgments to color all subsequent information
Rater bias: Allowing personal biases to infect the evaluation
The Society for Human Resource Management (shrm.org) offers members a tool kit (including sample policies and forms). Membership costs $160. Nonmembers can search for consultants at no charge.
Small Business Development Centers can refer you to local HR consultants. A directory of SBDCs is available at the U.S. Small Business Administration's website, at sba.gov.
WorldatWork (worldatwork.org) offers salary information across a range of industries.
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