Cognitive Bias in Management of Performance
Cognitive Bias refers to a particular mistake that people make in reasoning, remembering or even other types of cognitive processes which often occur due to holding onto their beliefs and preferences regardless of the information that is contrary. Psychologists have been studying cognitive biases as they may relate to reasoning, decision-making, and memory. On the other hand, performance management can be termed as a process which provides accountability, documentation, and feedback on the outcomes of performances. It can help workers in channeling their skills towards the goals of the organization. The process of performance management is essential for any particular company which aligns the objectives of the firm to the individual performance of the workers. However, there are different ways that cognitive biases may present itself in the performance management of an organization.
One of the most common cognitive bias is known as the halo effect where employees strive to always please their bosses by highlighting their daily contributions and activities especially those which have been assigned by the leaders (Conference Board, 2014). They always aim at keeping the leaders happy even though that might entail neglecting their regular expectations and duties. In other words, they adhere towards the notion of pleasing the boss while performing averagely in their duties.
The horn effect is also another bias where the workers who may be extremely diligent in the work they are regularly provided and some even might be performing highly; they are usually not bothered about the impressions they give to the superiors (Conference Board, 2014). However, it is unfortunate that they do not often get recognized or acknowledged for their performance hence the minds of the leaders could be selectively biased and they recall instances which the worker made a mistake.
Primary or First impression effect can be the pre-conceived notions which may impact the evaluation process which could be either positive or negative. To avoid this, the managers should evaluate the performance of a worker in every task both at the start and end of a project and workers can be keeping a journal of every work they have been performing throughout that year (Conference Board, 2014). Other forms of cognitive biases that may impact performance management include the spill-over effect, stereotyping, central tendency, stiffness, and leniency.
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Conference Board. (2014). Mitigating Unconscious Bias in Performance Management.
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