What is the Private Manager Assessment (PMA)?

What is the Private Manager Assessment?

The Private Manager Assessment is a section in manager reviews that includes five future-focused questions inspired by research from Deloitte and highlighted in the Harvard Business Review article, Reinventing Performance Management. These questions help reduce bias and can help managers more objectively assess performance and promotion readiness over time.

The questions are:

  1. [Name] is ready for a promotion today. (Strongly disagree - Strongly agree)
  2. [Name] is at risk for low performance. (Strongly disagree - Strongly agree)
  3. Given what I know of [Name]’s current performance, and if it were my money, I would award them the highest possible increase and bonus. (Strongly disagree - Strongly agree)
  4. Given how well I know [Name] works with others, I would always want them on my team. (Strongly disagree - Strongly agree)
  5. Given what I know of [Name]’s performance, if [Name] got a job offer somewhere else, I would feel: (Relieved, Accepting, Neutral, Anxious, Distressed)

Humans are naturally biased and poor at developing accurate and objective assessments of performance. Most assessments of performance, especially in the form of ratings, reveal more about the rater than the actual performance of the person being rated – this is known as idiosyncratic rater bias. Although managers rate other people’s skills inconsistently, they’re highly consistent when rating their own feelings and intentions. To reduce the idiosyncratic rater bias, the Deloitte-inspired questions ask managers what they would do with each team member rather than what they think of that individual. 

With The Private Manager Assessment, managers are able to ground their answers in as many objective measures of behaviors and results as possible to ensure a more objective and fair assessment of performance over time.


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