Biased evaluation of staff performance can be useful
Bias opinions when evaluating staff performance may prove to be more useful in motivating an employee than an objective assessment, states a research paper by Sergey Stepanov, an economist from HSE University, a public research university in Russia.
The paper posits that workers who are very talented will lose motivation if they are evaluated fairly, because they will most likely clear the performance bar with low effort.
On the other hand, workers who are believed to be below average will be unmotivated because they are unlikely to perform well despite putting in more effort.
Therefore ideally, the evaluator – defined here as a third person intermediary whom the staff does not report to – should be stricter on staff with higher capabilities, but more lenient toward those with lower capabilities.
It also states that workers without a prior track record should be judged objectively, as their performance abilities are yet unknown, while a worker with more career concerns should be treated with less objectivity.
Thus having an – in this context – “unfair” opinion may prove to be more useful in motivating an employee than an objective assessment. This could be applied in internships, in which stronger interns should be parked under more demanding supervisors, says HSE University.