Many branches of the public safety sector employ professionals whose primary job is to ensure the safety of the public. Because of this, it is incredibly important that they perform their duties efficiently, carefully, responsibly, and without error. In order to be ensure that your employees are fit to take on the important roles they are assigned, a performance evaluation system must be in place.
One problem faced in performance evaluations is bias. Bias is a prejudice or inclination in favor of or against someone. It is fair to both the employee and the organization they work for, that performance evaluations be free from bias. But how do we avoid this? Let’s first take a look at some common evaluation biases and trends that occur in the workplace:
- Men and women are sometimes evaluated more critically or more lenient because of their gender.
- Evaluators tend to be more forgiving around the holidays and New Year.
- Trends have been found that show discrepancies on evaluations based on the day of the week (i.e. Monday versus Friday).
- The time of day can have an effect on quality of evaluations, i.e. more strict at the beginning of a shift and more lenient at the end of the day.
- A ‘similar-to-me’ bias occurs when a manager gives favorable reviews and higher performance ratings to those employees who are similar to themselves.
- Evaluators may sometimes compare one person’s performance to the performance of another employee, rather than to the established company standard.
- Recency bias occurs when a manager bases an evaluation of a trainee or employee on his/her performance in the last few days or weeks, rather than the total evaluation period.
So what can be done to eliminate these biases?
MdE, Inc. is a software developer that specializes in field training and performance evaluation software for the public safety sector. One of the primary benefits of our software is that it analyzes the data that is collected and provides managers with a simple way to see how their new hires are being examined and evaluated.
This significantly lowers the frequency of performance evaluation bias and allows for more accurate results. Our software is designed to recognize trends in many areas, so that supervisors ensure their employees are being evaluated fairly and to agency standards.
For more information on how our performance evaluation software can help your department, contact us today.