Evaluating your employees’ productivity through performance reviews is important to the progress of your company and individual employees. However, there are times when unconscious biases can get in the way of accurately measuring an employee’s productivity. Here are ways to keep biases far away from performance reviews: 

Set Clear Criteria 

Performance reviews can become biased when there aren’t clear expectations for performance. This can be avoided by specifying clear criteria for good performance. These criteria will likely vary from position to position and will take some effort to make, but will ultimately help keep your performance reviews focused on factual markers instead of biases.  

Stay Focused  

When you’re distracted it’s easier for performance biases to influence your perception. If you want to have a more accurate understanding of an employee’s performance, you need to be entirely focused on the performance review meeting. Turn off your cell phone and ignore your email for the duration of the meeting. Keep focused on notes and goals you’ve made in previous performance reviews and how the employee has improved in those areas. Staying focused on the facts will make it difficult for performance biases to get in the way. 

Ask for Others’ Feedback  

A good way to keep unconscious biases from becoming too controlling in performance reviews is to get feedback from others first. Ask the employee how they feel they’ve performed since the last performance review. Also ask the employee’s colleagues and co-workers how the employee has been doing. This will give you alternate perspectives and possibly a more accurate evaluation of an employee’s performance. 

Call Out Bias  

Unconscious biases will always be present in your company if you don’t make the effort to remove them. If you hear a co-worker or fellow leader say something biased, question them respectfully. You can do this by asking questions like “what do you mean by that” when a co-worker says something biased. This will help members of your company think critically about their own opinions and biases. 

Being able to call out biases in your co-workers also means allowing your co-workers to call you out for your own biases. This is a difficult thing to do especially since your first reaction when criticized is likely to defend yourself. Instead, take a deep breath and consider what your co-worker is saying. This will allow you to remove biases from your own mind before entering a performance review with an employee. 

Effective performance reviews are a great help to your company’s success. Use this advice to remove bias and have better performance reviews.