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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Raise & Better Work Evaluations

Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 21, 2014

I wonder some days if I just don’t have a problem accepting praise or perhaps I just lack the ability to give enough credit for my own work.  In either case I did better on my last year performance evaluation than I thought and got a nice 5% raise yesterday.

Yet perhaps what was most interesting part of the discussion on my work was the fact the company is starting to move past just evaluating results of people’s work (ie: what they did), but also the context on how they do their work.

I think everyone has run into someone who on the surface does great work, but is a pain in the ass to work with. Some people tend to put up with the attitude because of the great work.  Well apparently the new direction in our performance reviews going forward is going to assess both the what and how.  So in the future the ass to work with will get less of raise.

On the surface I like the idea, but I have to admit to being concerned on who evaluates this but I found out our performance rank last year was vetted on all the department managers and the director prior to approval.  So a person can’t just kiss up to one person and get a higher result, you actually need to be a generally good person to work with (or somehow kiss up to a hell of a lot of people).  Of course the group evaluation helps keep things in balance, but things can still go sideways for a person who doesn’t do much work with other groups.  Yet I suppose there is no perfect tool to judge performance of an individual.

In the end, part of the reason I did better than I thought on my performance evaluation was the fact I’m apparently a nice guy to work with.  The group was partly evaluating the ‘how people work’  prior to it becoming the official direction going forward.  Which to me is funny, since it isn’t like I try to be that nice, but rather respect people and be honest about things.  Last time I looked I looked I work with adults so the respect is fairly easy to give and perhaps it is my failing in life that avoid lying to people.  I tend to tell people what they need to hear not what they want to hear.   So while I expect my honesty to get me into trouble at times…and it does…overall it seems to balance out.

Oh for the record I’m not a saint to work with….I have my bad days just like everyone else and my problem areas.  I hate repetitive data entry and will avoid doing it, my first draft of anything is horrible, and my work after 3pm usually sucks.  Also when I have a really bad day I can be almost mean to people.

So what do you think about evaluating people for what they get done and how they do it?  Does it work or just cause even more problems?

Comments

6 Responses to “The Raise & Better Work Evaluations”
  1. While in theory I like this idea of being a nice person to work with, sometimes it drives me mad because I LIKE working with people but they can’t ##%&@#*% do their job, and then what do you do?

    Are you then allowed to be “mean” to them to get them to deliver on stuff that they promised? Or do you stay being “nice” so you can get that raise while gritting your teeth and missing the deadline?

    I prefer results over niceness, but both would be ideal.

  2. Devin says:

    If the what is done and done to what was expected then you can get to the evaluating of the how. If the work isn’t done it doesn’t matter if you are a saint or sinner, you didn’t do the job you are paid for. I have little patience for people who can’t or won’t do the job they are paid for. Especially if it is because they are incompetent. Incompetency should never get rewarded, but somehow incompetent people keep their jobs. I know I am supposed to forgive them possibly due to unforeseen circumstances or that everyone makes mistakes, but what I have a problem with is my ability to never forget. The old adage. Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on you. Then if it happens a third time either your a$$ is mine or I refuse to work with you. A successful project takes teamwork. If that team has F-list players (performance or attitude) on it, it means someone else has to pull their weight or the team struggles and possibly fails to deliver. I give the benefit of the doubt for the first couple times but after that people need to know what is happening and how it affects others inside and out.
    Loved the book The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert Sutton. I often wonder if I can come across as an a$$hole sometimes because of my blunt honesty and tone. It may come out when I have had enough bs from someone, or they can’t deliver what they promised twice.
    I like to tell people the truth and stick to the facts. People sometimes see that as curt or rude. I see it for what it is. The truth plain and simple. Facts, no opinions, not dismissive or exaggerated, just the truth.
    Sorry for venting but formal evaluations are not my favorite. Management and those evaluating us tend to have sort term and selective memories. Key performance indicators are rarely a directly correlation to someones performance. As such it can be very subjective, even though multiple people are reviewing your performance.

  3. deegee says:

    I did not have to write up staff evaluations after I switched from working FT to PT back in 2001 (big YAY!). But I did have to provide feedback on staff to other supervisors for the projects the staff worked on with me. I included number grades for each rated category (quality, timeliness, etc.) on a 1-4 point scale. If the supervisor writing the review wished to discuss anything with me further, that was fine. The supervisor writing the review collected all the feedback and wrote the entire review.

    I did not recommend actual raises, either after 2001 or before 2001 when I was writing the review. Those above me were the ones who handled that and gave me the amount to tell the staff member when I administered the review (pre-2001).

  4. Andrew says:

    Personal opinion, work evaluations should only be based on results and not on whether you are a nice person to work with or not.

    Otherwise it just becomes a popularity contest and drives the wrong incentives.

  5. Michelle says:

    Congrats on the 5% raise, I haven’t seen one of those in almost ten years! Not working for large, public companies may solve that problem….

    Too many people have no idea how to do their job in addtion to being complete asses at work, and these are the people that are promoted. I’ve seen it happen too many times. They have excessive customer complaints that they don’t do their job yet they get promoted.
    I do like this new philosophy but it fails in one area: we are all different and personalities are bound to clash. As long as they take a large enough co-worker sampling, I suppose it would work.

  6. Tim Stobbs says:

    Interesting feedback back everyone…I actually didn’t think of the popularity contest angle before. I know why they are going this way has to do with a minority of people that really do have poor attitudes and are a pain to work with (ie: the poor ones, not so much just the nice guys/gals).

    @Devin – I understand your point of view, but very few people can stick to the facts. The majority use their emotions anyway to make decisions to some degree, so ignore that at your own risk. I understand the KPI issue…I’m helping design a few myself and it is hard to get people to understand they are an indicator only.

    @Michelle – Oh, I think personality issues does come into it…I clash with some people and I do try to be civil if nothing else.

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