Poor Performance Reviews Are Probably More Common Than You Think

Depending on the type of bosses you’ve had over the years, you might assume that appraisal scores tend to have a more positive bias. The Harvard Business Review did a little research and found them to be more negative than you might think.

Looking through the attestation data over six years, researchers have found conflicting evidence for a number of myths that many of us may believe. The biggest one was how different the ratings were from different people:

In fact, we found that the estimates and in fact a little different for different people. Yes, there was an upward bias — the average employee was rated slightly above “average” on the rating scale, but the shape of the distribution looked surprisingly normal (as measured by kernel density, a statistical data plotting technique that smooths out irregularities). In fact, there were slightly more “bad” grades (the lowest) than “excellent” (the highest).

This all goes to show that if you even get a really bad performance score, it might be more common than you think. Damn it, these excellent grades are even rarer, so don’t be scared and pat yourself on the back. This is all based on data from a single company, so take this with a grain of salt, but it’s still interesting. Visit the Harvard Business Review for a few more myths and break down their findings.

Common Performance Review Myths Debunked | Harvard Business Review


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