Supervisor Ratings Based on the assumption that supervisors stay informed about the performance of their subordinates, they are often called on to make evaluations. Such evaluations are important. But are the ratings accurate? And is the process fair? The process has both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, research shows that supervisors are influenced more by a worker’s on-the-job knowledge, ability, and dependability than by less relevant factors, such as friendliness.
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Over the years, a number of appraisal-related problems have been identified. A good deal of research has identified various types of rating errors. One prominent example is the halo effect—a failure to discriminate among different and distinct aspects of a single worker’s performance. People’s impressions of one another are guided by implicit personality theories, the preconceptions they have about the relationships among different traits. Believing that someone is warm, we assume that he or she is also generous and good- nurtured. In a similar manner, supervisors who believe that a worker is unproductive may also rate that worker negatively on teamwork, independence, creativity, and other distinct dimensions. Halo effects are most pronounced when evaluators rate someone they do not know well or when a time delay has caused their memory of performance to fade.