How Do You Address Unconscious Bias in Performance Management?


    How Do You Address Unconscious Bias in Performance Management?

    In the quest to cultivate fairness and inclusivity within teams, we've gathered insights from five team leaders, including a Director of Sales and a Head of Inbound Growth. They share their experiences, from implementing blind performance analytics to conducting calibration sessions for fairness, and the profound effects these strategies have had on team dynamics.

    • Implement Blind Performance Analytics
    • Utilize 360-Degree Feedback System
    • Standardize Scoring for Team Contributions
    • Initiate Role Rotation for Empathy
    • Conduct Calibration Sessions for Fairness

    Implement Blind Performance Analytics

    Tackling unconscious bias in performance management has always been a priority for me. A tactic I found effective was the introduction of blind performance analytics at our company, Businessmap. This strategy was to evaluate performance based on objective metrics alone, not influenced by any preconceived ideas about the team members. Without names or identifiable attributes attached to the data, all judgments were based solely on work outcomes and contributions.

    The impact was transformative, leading to improvements in both team dynamics and overall performance. By taking subjective bias out of the equation, we fostered a culture focused on merit, which resulted in improved fairness, transparency, and ultimately, trust within the team.

    Moreover, we saw a leap in productivity as team members felt more appreciated for their actual contributions rather than subjective factors. This reiterates the importance of fair evaluation in performance management and the need to continually refine assessment strategies to minimize bias.

    Gabriel Lukov
    Gabriel LukovHead of Inbound Growth, Businessmap

    Utilize 360-Degree Feedback System

    The 360-degree feedback system is one of the most efficient methods we have used to deal with unconscious bias in performance management. Instead of being given by direct managers alone, this method collects performance appraisals from various people. They include juniors, seniors, peers, and even those below or above one's rank. Thus, we limit any person's inherent prejudices by diversifying the appraisal sources. What struck us about it, however, was its effect on team dynamics; it created an inclusive and open culture where all views matter in appraising performances. As a result, fairness within our teams has grown, while satisfaction levels among members have also gone up.

    Khurram Mir
    Khurram MirFounder and Chief Marketing Officer, Kualitatem Inc

    Standardize Scoring for Team Contributions

    One way I've addressed unconscious bias in our sales performance reviews is by implementing a standardized scoring system for deals. This system considers the contributions of all team members involved, from prospecting and qualifying leads to closing the deal. Previously, there was a tendency to focus solely on the salesperson who closed the deal, potentially overlooking the valuable work of others. The standardized scoring system ensures everyone receives recognition for their contributions, leading to increased collaboration and a more supportive team environment.

    Shawn Boehme
    Shawn BoehmeDirector of Sales, PanTerra Networks

    Initiate Role Rotation for Empathy

    As a male tech CEO, to combat unconscious bias in performance reviews, I initiated role rotation so staff could directly experience different positions. This helped everyone value others' work and avoid biases. It increased empathy, communication, and teamwork, fostering a harmonious environment where success relies on collective efforts rather than individual performance.

    Abid Salahi
    Abid SalahiCo-founder & CEO, FinlyWealth

    Conduct Calibration Sessions for Fairness

    As the founder of a legal process outsourcing company, addressing unconscious bias in performance management has been a priority to foster an inclusive and equitable work environment.

    One effective approach we've implemented is conducting regular calibration sessions among team leaders to review performance evaluations and ensure consistency and fairness in assessments.

    During one such session, it became evident that a particular team member, despite consistently delivering high-quality work, was consistently receiving lower performance ratings compared to their peers. Upon closer examination, we discovered that unconscious bias was influencing the evaluation process.

    By raising awareness of these biases and implementing measures to mitigate them, such as standardized evaluation criteria and blind performance reviews, we were able to ensure fair treatment for all team members.

    The impact on team dynamics was significant; team morale improved, trust in the performance management process strengthened, and productivity soared as individuals felt valued and recognized for their contributions.

    This experience underscored the importance of addressing unconscious bias in performance management to cultivate a supportive and high-performing team culture.

    Aseem Jha
    Aseem JhaFounder, Legal Consulting Pro