How tech systems can make the workplace fairer

Stephen Norris

Photo by Leon @ unsplash.com

As a manager, giving a performance review is a daunting task.
When it comes to performance reviews, a lot of managers might simply say “they were good” or “they were bad.”

Do you want to know what’s really going on? In most cases, a value judgement. A subjective analysis of an employee's contributions.

What I enjoy about Daisee is that our system is to a large extent, a fair way of judging people's performance. A lot of manual QA involves someone listening to a call and then giving a value judgment - and there's really no answer to the equitability of that approach.

You can't account for individual biases, whether conscious or subconscious. You can't define the boundaries of your evaluators' prejudices or assumptions, whether they're positive or negative. By having a concrete and impartial scorecard, you can point at specific things. There’s a way of generating actionable insights for a manager while also letting the person who's working understand where they're falling short, or where they're doing well.

The problem with subjective evaluations

When people evaluate people, they are looking for something tangible in order to make decisions. However, there are three problems with it.

First, people fall into judging people who are very good at their work and people who are not, supposedly by the same standards and metrics, but applied through the flawed lens of their personal paradigms, that shape the way we perceive even hard facts such as performance statistics and numbers. Being a great employee, being a high performer, means nothing unless you're able to present well to your evaluator, in a way that sets you apart from your peers.

Second; It's human nature to want to feel good about ourselves. That's why people tend to evaluate others through a kind of proxy. In other words, we tend to attribute our own successes and attributes to people who resemble us, at least in some way. This phenomenon is called the "halo effect."

Third; when companies ask for evaluations from their employees, they may not be giving the feedback their employees need. What does this mean?

Companies use performance evaluations to measure the success of their employees, and to make decisions about who gets promoted, who gets fired, or who gets a raise.

But if employees are being evaluated subjectively, they might not be getting the feedback they need to improve their own work and become the people they need to be. Without constructive insights, they're left to freefall.

Why we need objective evaluations

Have you ever had a job where you know that you’re doing well, but your boss never seems to notice? Do you ever feel like they’re always nit-picking about things you don’t even care about? Or maybe you’ve been passed over for a promotion that you know you deserved?

Sounds frustrating, right?

I’ve been in your shoes.

I know how it feels to be under-appreciated, or to be taken for granted.

It’s a terrible feeling.

Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem. Through AI, we can design and implement completely objective performance evaluations that don't discriminate between people based on anything except quantitative performance data. Without AI, there's no good way of assessing people on a day to day basis when we're assessing them with the risk of flawed human analysis. It's very hard for us to have a truly objective way of appraising people, because it relies on them being frank with us, and on us being frank with ourselves. If we aren't able to reach that level of insight and honesty, it becomes very hard to assess people.

Why does fairness matter?

When you're dealing with a team of seven people or so, there are bound to be high levels of stress on the team, or conflict, or in some cases, personal issues - and not everyone is the best at dealing with that. When I was working in software development, I was quite lucky to be in a role that allowed me to go home at the end of the day, do some yoga, go out for a run, do some exercise. Those were simple fixes. But a lot of people feel like they have no other choice but to reach a state of burnout in order to chase visibility as a way of demonstrating performance value. There's a culture of taking work home and being late, and putting things off because they're tired. Technology can help the future of the workplace to be more conducive to helping workers through a range of different work challenges they face by allowing them to evaluate their work output equitably.

I think there's a lot of fear in the workforce that says, “When I voice a complaint, people will see I'm not really working hard.” We have our data set, and you can actually drill down to the individual level. We believe that if we ask people openly, "How are you feeling?" they will tell you their actual answers if they believe that their evaluation will be fair and objective, regardless of any emotional weighting. Instead of relying on flawed analysis - we have created a tool that can allow managers to understand who their best performers are, and who needs help, guidance and attention. That’s how you build fairness from day one.


Discover how Daisee's Programmable Scorecard™ can help evaluate and analyse agent performance fairly

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