Why We Eliminated Performance Ratings

Ratings. Nine-box scores. Potential evaluations. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we fix numbers to people. But not at Cisco. If you look at the science, you discover that ratings aren't an accurate reflection of the person being rated. Instead, they’re a reflection of ourselves as raters. We think we’re using a microscope, but we’re actually using a mirror. Hear more about how Cisco eliminated performance ratings in this video and stay tuned for a future video where we explore in detail what we've replaced them with. Be sure to post your questions and comments below, and I will address them in an upcoming Q&A video.

Data Details:  

Each person, whether he or she realizes it or not, has an idiosyncratic pattern of ratings, called the Idiosyncratic Rater Effect. And the more complex the rating scale, the more powerful the influence of our idiosyncratic rating patterns.

When we rate other people on a list of questions about their abilities, the Idiosyncratic Rater Effect explains more than half of why we choose the ratings we do. The three largest studies of people rating other people in the way that we do at work have reached strikingly similar conclusions: about 60 percent of the variability in ratings can be chalked up to the raters’ differing responses to a rating scale.

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Episode Two


Episode Four:


Episode Sixteen

Which Skills Matter Most

Episode Seventeen

Where We're Going Next