• Yusuf Raza

Uncovering Biases in Performance Evaluations with People Analytics

This is an excerpt from Panalyt's detailed guide "Accelerating Advancement of Diverse Talent With People Analytics & Organizational Network Analysis" written with ex-Mckinsey Asia Head of Diversity & Inclusion Grace Ho


While most companies don’t segment performance data by a demographic basis due to the complexity of the analysis, looking at the distribution of evaluation grades across groups, for example, men vs women might help you uncover if a certain population might have a performance distribution curve disadvantageous to the average baseline or more privileged demographic groups.

For example, in our experience working with a geographically distributed ride-sharing organization, we uncovered that a general disparity in performance distributions didn’t exist at the org level, but for one specific country, there was a huge disparity where out of 500 people there were no women in the first quartile performance in the whole history of the organization.

This then opened the door for looking into why the women were not being hired and if there are any systemic issues with the performance evaluation process keeping women from progressing in that country.


Segmenting the results of your Performance Appraisals in such a manner brings systemic issues hindering the advancement of diverse talent front of mind, allowing managers to make decisions with more consciousness and pause to see if there are any biases in how they're awarding performance grades.


Another issue is to think about who’s in succession plans and talent programs - someone who doesn’t show leadership in the way we expect but might still have a high impact on the organization. Identifying "hidden enablers" or "hidden stars" who might not be evaluated as high performers under traditional performance evaluations, but play an important role in enabling high performers and connecting them with the right people and resources internally at the right time, allows you to recognize and reward individuals who are having an invisible positive impact on your business.



“Connector managers elicit performance by connecting employees to the right people and resources at the right time. In doing so, Connectors boost employee performance by up to 26% and more than triple the likelihood that a coached employee will be a high performer; their performance impact is head and shoulders above any other manager approach. Connectors also boost employees’ discretionary effort, engagement and intent to stay — all critical outcomes for enterprise performance." - Gartner, The Connector Manager Performer Advantage


Interested in learning more about how you can improve Diversity & Inclusion with People Analytics and Organizational Network Analysis? Read our detailed guide "Accelerating Advancement of Diverse Talent With People Analytics & Organizational Network Analysis" to learn more!