How to Ensure Rater Reliability

September 19, 2023

Ongoing evaluations are critical to driving performance and engaging employees. While data and observation are key to an effective evaluation, evaluations can also be influenced by a person’s mood and recent experience, which could negatively impact what otherwise may have been a decent review.

Reviews matter – employees crave feedback and reassurance that they are performing to standards. Reviews also inform raises, bonuses and advancement opportunities. So, while they may be a burden at times, managers should never underestimate the value of a strong evaluation.

Maintaining an objective point of view, refraining from comparing employees, and keeping emotions out of the evaluation process can be difficult.

Everyone is guilty of practicing bias at one point or another. However, there are ways to mitigate the presence of bias in evaluations, and ensure rater reliability.

Rater reliability is the concept that when something is being assessed, it would get the same accurate score, no matter who is doing the rating. Ideally, high rater reliability means that the evaluator has accurate data and a clear picture of employee performance.

When objectivity is removed, rater bias takes place. This means that the rater gives a score that would not be completely accurate because they allowed emotions, fatigue, or low focus to influence their evaluation process. If there is unchecked rater bias occurring during the evaluation process, then the data is skewed and does not present an accurate picture of employee performance.

The Truvelop app offers a seamless way for managers to evaluate employees anytime, anywhere. But, before beginning an evaluation, managers should take a moment to evaluate their state of mind and current situation.

  • What is my current mood? If you are in a more emotional state, try taking a couple of deep breaths until you feel yourself calmed down.
  • What is my current energy level? If you notice you are tired or are overly energized, this may not be the time to fill out the observation.
  • Am I able to give this evaluation my full attention right now? Inattentiveness can drastically affect the accuracy of an evaluation.
  • Am I able to fill out this evaluation objectively? Sometimes we need to separate the actions from the person so that we can give an accurate and objective assessment.
  • Can I think of an example that would exemplify this rating? If we are able to think of concrete documented behaviors, actions and situations where the employee earned this rating, then we will likely have more accurate data which can mitigate rater bias.

In the Truvelop app, the more data managers collect, the more accurate the app will be. Truvelop provides managers with a clear snapshot of where their team stands and improves the manager’s understanding of its teams challenges and opportunities but, first, the ratings must be reliable.

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