Friday, September 28, 2007

The Performance Review Myth

I'm sure many of you have the pleasure of receiving a performance review at the end of the year. Your company touts the performance review as being incredibly important. Your witty HR person will comment "the performance review ties directly to your pay increase" and your boss will mention "we pay for high performance". In some companies all of the above may very well be true, but in the incredibly horrid companies most of us work for this is ...well...complete bullshit. Let me address this in several bullet points to demonstrate for you all the myths relating to performance reviews:

  1. Myth 1: Performance Reviews are Important. Hmm... it's so important that every year I'm asked by my boss to submit to him a self evaluation. This is because my boss is too damn lazy to take the time to write my review himself. Instead he will take what I have written and just cut and past it into the review. To make himself feel better he will add one measly sentence that degrades me (see destructive criticism post) and rate me 2 levels below what my self evaluation grade was. The sentence he adds also has zero ounce of fact or truth in it and he cannot give me any examples of what he means. Gee thanks!
  2. Myth 2: Performance Reviews Reward (monetarily) High Performers. As a manager I have the pleasure of seeing what salary increases my people get as part of their reviews. I can tell you that high performance does not equal high monetary rewards. My company flat out rewards employees with the following % increases: 1% (meets expectations), 2% (exceeds expectations), 3% (far exceeds expectations). So based on these reward system, an employee making $40k a year will only get $13 more a paycheck for far exceeding expectations vs. just meeting expectations. Whoopdy do! That's why everyone in my company is mediocre. People came in, realized they would get shitty increases, and figured why try harder than I have to.
  3. Myth 3: Your Review is Based on the Entire Year. We all know the suckasses who do nothing for the first 8 months of the year, then turn it on the last 4 months and get a dandy review. Reviews are very rarely based on the entire year because bosses are too damn lazy to keep records and meet with their employees throughout the year to discuss progress, accomplishments and improvement points. If you did something great at the end of the year your boss will think of that when reviewing you. If you slipped up at the end of the year, even though you performed well overall, expect a crappy review. It's sad, but true.
  4. Myth 4: Your Review Can Be Changed. During your review your boss gives you a bum rating in a category or overall. You provide documentation and proof that clearly shows that the rating is not consistent to your performance. SOL my friend. Your boss took zero time on your review to begin with because they just want to get it over with. They certainly aren't going to allow more time to listen to a dispute of their rating. Furthermore, most bosses are egomaniacs and will flip out that you are even questioning the rating.

Most companies out there talk the talk about performance reviews, but don't walk the walk. Does your company conduct training on performance reviews to make sure management knows how to properly write and conduct a review? Probably Not! Does anyone at your company look at the reviews for consistency and accuracy? Probably Not! There are many myths about the performance review, but there is one truth; the performance review at most companies are a formality and have zero value or reward for employees! If you are a Turtle at Work, you are one because of this fact!


OMG this is a GREAT one. You hit every mark too. Self-evaluations are obnoxious. And another sign of a horrible boss is the "surprise" evaluation -- where they use the eval to address something that you're doing that they don't like, only they have NEVER MENTIONED IT TO YOU BEFORE THE EVALUATION. (Uh aren't these supposed to be evaluating your entire YEAR? Well like you said, no.) So low. It's also low when they write things that you've only done once, or occasionally (like come in late), but it's filed with HR and then it becomes company law that you are chronically late etc. So while reviews don't mean squat as far as getting raises, getting another job, they WILL pull them out to use against you when they need to.

Thank you for the comments. Basically I get reviewed on the last couple months of the year because the idiots that I have reported to can be bothered to actually keep notes. It's sad. I really need the money this year too. Our healthcare increase will take care of eating up any raise I get. I'll probably be making less this year than last after the healthcare goes up, which is another problem.

Turtle King

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