One of the things that most employees dread about the annual performance review is the feeling of unfairness in the employee ratings. Performance review calibration takes away the impression of having a biased or unjust review system by establishing a fair and equitable standard by which all employees are measured. Since promotions and other career decisions are based in part on the performance reviews of employees, it’s important that managers throughout an organization are viewed as being consistent and fair in how they evaluate employees. Performance review calibration does this. It eliminates the issue of one supervisor's “easy” rating system versus another supervisor's “difficult” rating system. Another issue that comes up is that employees feel they receive the same pay for the same job but have different performance expectations from different managers. All of this leads to distrust in the performance review process. Performance review calibration improves the consistency and provides a platform for overall “honesty and fairness” in the ratings system across an organization.
Calibration drives truth into performance reviews, creating a more honest appraisal of an employee’s work. It is a process in which multiple managers come together to discuss employees’ performance ratings thus ensuring an objective assessment is made based on past performance and in relation to other employees with similar job descriptions. The calibration process provides an opportunity for managers to learn to use the same language and share an understanding of the core competencies and expectations of employee behavior. So, not only does this process answer the employee’s question "How am I doing?" but it provides context by telling the employee how good a job he or she did compared with his or her peers.