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I’ve worked for my current employer for almost 19 years. In that time, I’ve been through a vast swamp of performance review systems. You name it, we’ve probably tried it, from picking three co-workers to review you, to reviewing yourself and having your manager go over the review with you, to reaching into a bag of randomly selected biting crustaceans and … well, no, we haven’t tried that one.


This year’s system is a bit less onerous than most. Rather than pointlessly setting goals for 2017 that are dead on arrival due to the unpredictable and ever-changing nature of my specific job, mostly I was asked to look back on 2016 and say that I worked hard, made a difference, reflected corporate values, and so forth.

Since I work really, really hard all year and take my job very seriously, there’s never really been much difficulty coming up with a list of all the stuff I did all year to make customers count, embrace change, promote innovation, and so forth… and generally each year my manager ends whatever subsequent discussion takes place with some form of “there’s not much for me to say, really, except ‘attaboy’.”

I just submitted the final version of this year’s review and got asked to complete a quick little survey from Corporate asking how much I liked the current process, did it make a difference, etcetera, etcetera. It ended with “Describe your opinion of the process in three words.”

Naturally, I put down:

  • “Zesty”

  • “Empowering”

  • “Pellucid”

I’m sure they’ll take my opinion under advisement as they begin to put together what system we’ll use next year.

I’m hoping for something that involves cheese.

Date: 2017-01-25 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-mediocre.livejournal.com
Some folks with a real focus on labor issues have suggested that self-review and peer review function as ways for management to avoid their own responsibility of evaluating and justifying their decisions. Peer review is especially noxious in that regard. They recommend that anyone under such a system work to subvert it. If you're given a 1-5 scale, always rate yourself and your peers as 5s. Let management know you won't do their work for them.

Date: 2017-01-25 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jayfurr.livejournal.com
Pretty much spot on.

I firmly believe that I *am* a 5, so I'd give myself that anyway. But in those years where peer review was used, I only picked people I liked and trusted anyway, and vice versa, so I wasn't in the position of having to give less than a 5.

It's good that the managers didn't pick who reviewed whom, because there were *some* people I'd have firmly rated a low 3, and I know they'd have flipped (the people whose answer to 'can you do this thing that just came up that's really urgent' with 'not unless you give me two weeks to prep for it, and maybe not even then'). It shouldn't be my job to explain to a co-worker that their attitude isn't professional.


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