Leniency Error

Posted in Human Resource Terms, Total Reads: 2273

Definition: Leniency Error

Leniency error is a rater’s bias that occurs because of the rater rating an individual too positively. This type of error generally occurs during a performance appraisal or an interview.


A Performance appraisal and an interview are highly subjective in nature. Due to this subjectivity, a manager or an interviewer may rate an employee or an interviewee on the basis of his/her perception and this perception may tend to become over-positive. In such cases the leniency error sets it. This error causes the employee or the interviewee to believe that he/she has no need to improve his/her performance. The feeling of complacency sets in.

To eliminate such errors from the appraisal or the interview process, the rater needs to focus on each goal and objective, responsibility, and skill sets and competencies to separate strong areas from areas which need further improvement.

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