Performance appraisal myths…

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 your boss will mention “the performance review ties directly to your pay increase” and “we pay for high performance”. In some companies all of the above may very well be true, but in other companies it’s other way round… Let me address this in several bullet points to demonstrate for you all the myths relating to performance reviews:

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 of what he/she calls “constructive criticism” (read: degrading enunciation of failures) 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!

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.

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