Perception is the process of interpreting messages of our senses to provide order and meaning to the environment. Perceptions are often prone to biasness. This affect the managers performance especially when carrying out performance appraisal. This is evidence in one of the management consulting firm based in NYC. The managers are commiting a number of errors, which are discussed below.
Types of errors
Based on the case provided, it is clear that the first perception error is stereotypic error. This error is organized around person’s race, gender, age, ethnic origin,and socieconomic group. According to the case, managers seems to perceive older employees as slow learners and cannot catch up quickly. They are seen to be less interested in training and hankering for retirement. This denies them great training opportunities. They are perceived to be less motivated in doing the work perhaps because they have been working for a long time. They are also seen as less effective since they cannot handle a lot of work or work for many hours. Hence, they are less productive than younger employees are.
The other error is the projection error. It appears that managers projects older employees to have less adaptability especially to new technology hence less effective. Similarity effect error is also in place since all older employees are all rated lowly, meaning that the managers generalize them based on their age. There is also some forms of fundamental attribution error in the sense that the managers do not consider the huge sales and the good image that the older employees has brought to the organization. All these factors lead to biasness and discrimination of older employees in this firm.
Measures to address errors
The company should employ various measures to ensure accuracy in the management perception. The first measure is that the company should be ready to accommodate the diverse group of workers. This will enable them tolerate even older employees. This will address stereotyping errors and projection errors. The second measure is that the company should do reality testing. Reality testing will help the company address such errors as fundamental attribution error and similarity effect error because the managers will get to know that not all older employees are poor performance.
Another measure is carrying out 360 degrees evaluation. 360 degrees evaluation provides an employee with the opportunity to receive feedback form from the observer, superior or those interested in their performance (Phillips & Gully, 2012). This enables an employee to look at his strength or weaknesses, judge their own performance hence seek self improvement.The management can also employ other measures such as getting multiple perspectives from other staff in the organization.
- Phillips, J., & Gully, S. M. (2012). Organizational behavior: Tools for success. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.