17 January, 2008

That Time Of Year

It is that time of year that everyone in my world relishes; that time of year that we each anticipate with a certain amount of eagerness and dread. it is... once again... time to do our annual review!

Yes, it is performance review time.

In my world this process is a bit odd and can cause great amounts of consternation.

Why? In most arenas, the performance review is a time to toot your horn and document, for the record, just how wonderfully you have performed throughout the year. it is important because it is what raises and salary adjustments and bonuses are based upon. In my arenas, it is an important time of the year.

And that is what we would all like to believe about my work place.

Today we were told - salary adjustments and bonus discussions are happening now. Your initial performance review (employee comments) are due next week.

What? You mean they determine salary adjustments etc without the reviews in hand?

So... I might ask, what is the point of the review?

In fact, that is the question that we all ask each year. If management already knows what they are going to do and who is going to get what, why do we spend the time and money to document our wonderful performances throughout the past year?

There is no answer; there is never an answer.

"Keep it short and sweet." the team tells us "We don't want to read novels."

Ten minutes later the Executive Assistant arrives and says that we need to take this opportunity to toot our horns and make ourselves look really good on paper.

I am sure that I rolled my eyes. That might be how it is supposed to work - she, like the rest of us, would really like for it to work that way. But it doesn't. She knows that what we write on the reviews is rarely read and doesn't matter much at all.

The best came when the team declared their interest in finding out what people set for their future objectives.

Really? Since when? I am not sure just who we were trying to impress or convince, but the history of this group would indicate otherwise. Not only are our future objectives ignored, but most of the team has not reviewed the different résumés and skill sets of their employees. It just doesn't matter.

Is there anywhere out there where performance reviews make a difference? Where success is not based upon favoritism and is based upon ability and skill set? Do employers actually look at skill sets and future objectives... and take them into consideration during the upcoming year?


AaroN said...

I thought our performance review process was backwards...

But quite honestly, do you believe your superiors need to see what you've done in writing to consider your bonus/raises? I'd dare say they have a good idea who is going to get what long before reviews ever roll around. Same thing applies where I work. I can write whatever I want in my review, but it has little to do with what I'm going to receive.

My performance should speak for itself before review time.

Scotty said...

Do employers actually look at skill sets and future objectives

Yes. BUT, not at review time. Its a constant thing [where I work].

Bre said...

When I review my staff I use it to set goals for them and to decide whether or not I will rehire them the next year. When I get reviewed it gets chucked into my file and nothing gets done with it.

To each his own, I suppose.

The Exception said...

Aaron - One would think that the work performed throughout the year should speak for itself. However, we don't always work for the people who sign our reviews or adjust our salaries. I work for the head guy but am reviewed by a completely different management team. Things don't always work as they could.

Scotty - That is great that your skill sets are considered at all.

Bre - I carefully review those who work for me as well... and those who review me have no idea what I do. But I suppose the system works! (And I am looking for a new job... so this might be my last review for this team!)

Michael C said...

I was just told that our company is actually EMAILING THEM to us. Wow, that sure makes me feel important!

Jeni said...

I never worked for any company where I had ANY input at all into my annual review and raise potential.
What I really loved -not -about one place where I worked, was how the manager would tell me that I'd done this and this and this good thing, etc., and then, no matter how many good things I'd done or improved or whatever, there would always be one thing that wasn't good and it would ALWAYS totally overpower the good things and if I even GOT a raise, it would be so paltry that it made one wonder what was the point of trying anyway. Some of the things I ended up getting penalized for at that place during the work year were such that when the general manager gave me a week off without pay because I was unable to correct a huge mistake HE had made, that's when I made up my mind I was getting out of there, come hell or high water and as soon as I found a job elsewhere I took it. Not that it was any better overall, it wasn't. But it did force me to leave that ridiculous previous environment.

Kat Wilder said...

I was a bit of a bitch about it last year when I got the title and the extra work .. and no extra pay.

So I pointed out everything I contributed (I kept notes), and how that helped blah, blah, blah and I got some extra $.

Then they raised our health premiums. In one hand, out the other!

If ever a woman was born to be independently wealthy....

The Exception said...

MC - Ah, the wonderful things that can be done via e-mail!

Jeni - It is easier to focus on the negative...but all the hard work is worth it. You know you did a great job!

Kat - Yes, everything in writing. A hard lesson to learn but one that pays off!