Friday, August 5, 2011

A Lot, Too Late

Leaders are born with ears.  Most of them, anyway.  And you would think that they would use them for good instead of evil.  Well, not necessarily evil - just to do nothing.

Here is the's performance appraisal time.  A self-appraisal is requested by all team leaders to be submitted before the actual performance appraisal is conducted.  This is standard operating procedure in many organizations.  This self-appraisal helps individuals see their accomplishments and their performance gaps making it much easier on the manager delivering the actual appraisal - let's face it - we are usually harder on ourselves than our bosses are in these terms.

So the self- appraisal is handed in.  On the day of the appraisal, this leader asks his team member to attend the meeting.  And the meeting this way...the leader takes out the self-appraisal and writes checkmarks where he agrees and 'x's' where he does not.  Little discussion, little dialogue, no inkling of what the employee can do to improve for next year.

But there's more...
The following year, the leader has moved on to a different position.  A new manager is in place and it is appraisal time.  She asks that the self-appraisal be brought to the appraisal meeting....not to be reviewed by her before.  She actually does not have an appraisal written for the meeting but states that there is no increase this year because targets have not been met.  It's discretionary, she says!

What do you do?  Ask the obvious question, what is this based on as you are a new manager and no objectives were in place to measure against anyway?  The answer is - take it up with the last manager, that is the answer they provided for me to give you.

Whoa!  All kinds of issues.  Where to begin.  This employee asked for clarification from senior leaders - none ever came.  Instead what came was a barrage of visitors to the area to see if things were up to snuff.  Needless to say, there are still no specific objectives except for 'reach the goals'.

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