American Idle

It's kinda like American Idol, but only if you sing my posts out loud.

My Photo
Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Performance reviews are a crock of shit

Now that the holidays are over, I need to begin doing the most dreaded of work tasks: performance reviews. Reviews themselves aren't so bad, it's just the whole process that sours me. Most of you know where I work, but I won't divulge the company name here for fear someone will stumble across it in a search. Anyway, let me see if I can sum up what I have to go through...

An elaborate rating system has been put into place to specifically grade each person's characteristics and how they met their objectives for the year. It's based on a grading system from 1-5, with 5 being the best. Although 3 is in the middle, it actually means fully successful. Categories are things like job knowledge, quality of work, teamwork, initiative, etc, then you also also receive grades on whether or not you met your objectives. In the end, it's supposed to give you a good idea of how that person grades out overall. Pretty straightforward, right?

But then upper management tells you that you can only have x amount of 4's in your group and are also required to have at least x amount of 2's (5's and 1's are nearly unheard of). Next thing you know, you're grading your group on a curve and not on their personal objectives and abilities. Now you're going back and lowballing people's performances just so you can keep them from being a 4, or to drop them down to a 2. Management-wise, I understand *why* it's being done...every work group is going to have it's top performers and bottom performers and you can't have people inflating their staff's abilities.

But the whole thing makes me feel dirty. It doesn't allow for groups that have an exceptional amount of good people. In those cases, you're almost pitting the good ones against the bad ones for that one "4" grade. Ever try looking at one of your best people in the eyes during a review and telling them they had a "fully successful" year ("average" to them)? It's not pretty and it's demoralizing.

This sucks.


Anonymous Darren R. Sussman said...

Most things about corporate policy don't make sense. But that's beauracracy in general...there's often no good way to ensure that all the loopholes are closed, and so more and more stupid rules are created that are in direct conflict with eachother because there's too many layers for one hand to know what the other is doing. Think about budgets. With the way that every corporate budget structure is set up, there is never any incentive for a department to try to save the company money. In fact, they are encouraged to waste money, because they know they need to spend their budgets or they are going to lose them. And what happens if a manager tries to be good and save the company money by not spending his entire budget? It gets taken away from him and given to the wasteful manager who overspent his budget, because clearly his department must "need" more money. So these ridiculous evaluations are no different. Now, you could just not have them, but then what measure do you have of how everyone is doing? Okay, you could have individual, one on one evaluations. And in most cases that would work. But someone would abuse it or screw it up or there would be no system of standardization so that you knew what one person's criteria was versus another. And so on. It, unfortunately, seems to have no good answer, which is, I guess, why we have what we have.

I should stop writing comments late at night. They appear to make no sense.... (kinda like corporate policy....)

1/12/2007 12:52 AM  
Blogger jimbuff said...

Quit and find a job where you don't have to do this:)

1/13/2007 7:32 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares