Definition Definition

Unclear Standards

Definition (1):

Unclear standards are appraisals that are too open to interpretation. The graphic rating scale seems objective. However, it would probably result in unfair appraisals, because the traits and degrees for merit are ambiguous. For instance, various supervisors may define “fair” performance, “good” performance, and “poor” performance, and so on in various ways. The same thing can happen in the case of traits like “creativity” or “quality of work”.

Definition (2):

Unclear standards refer to ambiguous or obscure degrees of merit or traits that can cause an unfair appraisal.

Unclear standards undermine performance and outcomes within a team and also negatively affects relationships, teamwork, and engagement. These standards may also result in severe employee relations problems such as destructive conflict, unjust dismissal claims, and grievances that can be pretty costly for the organization. Leaders should have clear expectations and set clear standards. There can be various occasions when they will need to agree, set, and be led by expectations. Some of these situations are mentioned below:

  • Developing a team
  • Developing or rebuilding, relationships with colleagues or co-workers
  • Performance appraisals/dialogues with employees
  • When handling underperformance
  • During times of re-organization and changes
  • When deciding how decisions are to be made.
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