It’s that time of year

Once again, it is the time for performance reviews.

This year I do not have 12 people to review, but only 3.   On the down side, I had to review and provide comments back on several of the 20 reviews these three generated for their staff.

The company for which I work provides a standard review form, which contains very minor variations to suit each general position.  Programmers are reviewed on one form, managers on another, and those above still another; they are all very similar in look and feel, and offer the same benefits and suffer the same deficiencies:  they are brief (a benefit), and they are too brief (a drawback).

I have never before worked for a company which doesn’t provide some space on its review forms for narrative feedback. Here, we are expected to provide that feedback verbally.  A feeble five lines are available to list the development goals for the upcoming year, which encourages one to be vague while forcing a brevity bordering on impoliteness.

Still, given the current economic situation I am grateful to have a job, and a good one at that.  I like my job on most days, and many of my colleagues are interesting, intelligent and dedicated.  There are worse places to work.  The company is very young and lacks polish, but it has potential.  And perhaps as the company evolves, growing up into an organization which finally recognizes the sophistication of its customers, it will leave the sad one-page review form behind and let its managers loose to create something a little more encouraging.


5 responses

  1. we used an interesting format this year. a personal email from me to all our 225 people, followed by one-on-one coffee meets between each employee and his supervisor at a venue of his/her choice, followed by a report back by the appraised to his supervisor on what he understood to be his ratings and kra’s., copied to me again personally and then i wrote to each and everyone of them. a good personal touch to the whole process seems to have helped a lot!

  2. Interesting approach! I like the coffee meeting idea. I did that once with my managers, and intend to do so again as it was nice to be outside of the office in a place that smelled good (like, well, coffee!), where good music was playing, and filled with warm lighting instead of the cold overhead flourescent tubes.

    This approach is very telling of your personality as well. It is very trusting to meet outside of the office, where the rules of professional behavior don’t exactly apply in the same ways. In more relaxed surroundings, your staff can let go of some formalities and be more of themselves. To me there are elements of courage and faith in this approach.

  3. didn’t think of it that way, shall share your comments with our hr director who will be mighty pleased!

  4. Hmm…. I like the idea too, but remember there is also need for structure with poor performance appraisals. If you are reprimanding someone, and you are already challenged by your previous positions you held with the company and the informality of your personality, you might want to keep it to your office and the tightness of your position reaffirming your authority and post…

    Im not speaking of anyone specific or anything Ilegirl… just random thoughts….

    1. That’s a good point, Amber. But I suppose I am rather done with changing myself to suit someone else’s vision of what a Director should be, and making it my own.

      If someone is a problem, that’s another story. I was fortunate this time around that I had already worked on the problems before the reviews were handed out.

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