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rotating bonuses
Old 12-14-2011, 01:31 AM   #21
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rotating bonuses

At one time, my workplace allocated bonuses to the top third. Since some of the managers were complete wimps, they rotated the top third each year so that everyone eventually got a bonus, whether deserved or not.

What made it worse was that the employees were asked to provide input in the form of a self appraisal. It didn't matter what you had done, because you got a bonus if it was your turn and you didn't get one if it wasn't. So self appraisals were a huge waste of time.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:58 AM   #22
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Since retirement, my DW gives me an annual performance review ...

It always is the same - "Much room for improvement" ....

BTW, as one that gave them (as well as received them) during my "accumulation years", it is also difficult to give them - especially if you have a group of good performers who all deserve a raise, but upper management declares you can't just give an across the board increase, but must rate 1,2,3 etc. in performance.

I don't miss getting or receiving this annual "gift exchange". Add another one to the list...
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:34 AM   #23
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I too have just finished mine and my team's. The concept is important but the execution seems to be quite flawed in many companies out there. My prior employer also had adopted Jack Welch's forced bell curve pampering the top 10% and putting the botton 10% on notice. ER seems an attracive way out of all this.
My old company put into place one of those A-B-C rankings and had quotas for all 3 groups, particularly the C group, in which those dreaded Cs would get little or no raises and/or bonuses (with the implied desired result to get those Cs to quit the company at some point soon).

I asked a question in a large staff meeting about this system: "If those Cs leave, then some of those in the lower end of the B rating band will have to be given Cs even though their work performance has not actually worsened - only the departure of the Cs downgraded them. Does that seem right?" The bigwig replied that the Cs leaving "forced" those in the lower part of the B rating band to work better to avoid getting the dreaded C.

Somehow, I did not find that a satisfying answer, that someone else's departure can hurt your own job evaluation even if you don't work on the same projects. But that's the corporate culture, and I am glad I am not part of it any more. [Lake Wobegon, perhaps?]

BTW I worked part-time in the years this A-B-C system was put in place, so I was thankfully exempt from being rated this way.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #24
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At the end of the review was told that my performance was "Achieved Expectations" which on a scale of 1-5 is a 3. Here's the rub...last year I also was rated a 3 and I coasted all year. This year I was rated a 3 and busted my *ss...lesson learned, do what it takes to get by and count down those days to retirement!
Yeah -- the lesson these days is -- as long as unemployment is high and people fear for their jobs, there's no limit to our ability to increase expectations, even as we freeze your pay and slash your benefits for a steadily increasing number of hours worked.

I feel your pain. Literally -- I've been getting some w*rk-related aches and pains lately that flare up when they stress me out.

This may or may not be my last j*b, but if it's not, I will never, ever work for a publicly traded company again. The combination of a lousy economy and shareholder expectations are making life hell for a lot of workers.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:47 AM   #25
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I hated those annual performance evaluations! No matter how hard I worked or didn't....they would give a 2% across the board except to the ones who kissed enough ass!
Thank God I don't have that bs to deal with anymore!
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:02 AM   #26
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At the end of the review was told that my performance was "Achieved Expectations" which on a scale of 1-5 is a 3. Here's the rub...last year I also was rated a 3 and I coasted all year. This year I was rated a 3 and busted my *ss...lesson learned, do what it takes to get by and count down those days to retirement!
As a corollary to this, I recall in my early working years (late 1980s through mid-1990s) that there was a greater spread in raises between highly rated employees versus average rated employees. So if you busted your *ss you got a 7% raise versus a 4% raise, pretty good incentive. [In the late 1980s, the spread was often even larger.]

But starting in the late 1990s through the 2000s, this range shrunk to 3% for the average rated employees and maybe 4% for the highly rated ones. So why should I bust my *ss to get a measly extra 1%?

Switching to working part-time starting in 2001 greatly simplified this issue. I was already forgoing about 40% of my pay so did I really care if my raise was 3% instead of 4%? No friggin way! This was a big first step towards freeing myself from the pressures of needing the (extra) money from working.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:12 AM   #27
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But starting in the late 1990s through the 2000s, this range shrunk to 3% for the average rated employees and maybe 4% for the highly rated ones. So why should I bust my *ss to get a measly extra 1%?
Because it was worth an extra 25% raise (think of that, in investment terms ).

Sorry, that 4% withdrawl rate and the cost of fund management that we talk about often, got me thinking ...
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:40 AM   #28
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In my experience, annual reviews and performance appraisals often show strong recentcy bias, so that no matter how much effort and achievement was accomplished early in the year, most of the discussion and evaluation centered around current or most recent projects. For the nefarious, this means coasting early in the year followed by showy "working late" just before review time can yield top rewards.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:42 AM   #29
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I just got mine as well. Received excellent review. Can't wait to spend my performance reward/bonus of $414 (before taxes).
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:57 AM   #30
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I just went through it and like the rest of you I hate the process. Fortunately my immediate boss also views this as largely a waste of time, so we got through it with a minimum of muss and fuss. Same shtty raise in any case.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:00 AM   #31
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Had em and gave em for more years than I'd like to remember. Pretty much a joke and a fabrication perpetuated on worker bees by the non worker bees in HR, or as we liked to refer to them, the make work people, for people who actually have work to do. I would venture to guess most HR departments should actually stick to administrating employee benefits and keep their respective noses out of the business of those actually adding value and making money for the corporation. In my 32 years with mega corp. I only had one HR manager I trusted and knew his place was to support and advise the rest of the departments and not to make unnecessary work.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:06 AM   #32
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But starting in the late 1990s through the 2000s, this range shrunk to 3% for the average rated employees and maybe 4% for the highly rated ones. So why should I bust my *ss to get a measly extra 1%?
Or try these days, when all of us have had ZERO for 5 of the last 6 years -- and the one time we didn't, I was highly rated and got 2%.

All the "top performers" are likely to get is a lower chance of pink slips when the next round of layoffs hits.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 12-14-2011, 10:09 AM   #33
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I hated those annual performance evaluations! No matter how hard I worked or didn't....they would give a 2% across the board except to the ones who kissed enough ass!
Thank God I don't have that bs to deal with anymore!
I know this happens but what's the point of perf reviews if everyone gets the same increase anyway? It's not necessary. I had to hit a percent target for my plant, say 3%, but I was free to assign increases based on performance. Top performers might get 4 or 5%, though I knew I'd have to give or 1% or lots of 2% increases to below average performers. Not easy, but only fair IMO. Some of my peers gave everyone the same increase despite the freedom we had, just because they couldn't stomach giving anyone less, not sure how they became managers.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:11 AM   #34
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I know this happens but what's the point of perf reviews if everyone gets the same increase anyway?
These days it's not about who gets raises -- no one does -- it's about who gets laid off and who doesn't. The rest of us just get pushed harder to pick up the slack and told we should be thankful to just have a job.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 12-14-2011, 10:12 AM   #35
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I still think you should 'write your own review' in the reply area and if it is too small say 'see attachment'. It is hard to toot your own horn but you need to advocate for yourself. Executives do that all the time.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:20 AM   #36
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Writing, giving and getting performance appraisals are way up there on my list of things I'm really glad I no longer have to do.

Anyone ever work where 360 degree performance appraisals were required? You can tie up an entire organization for weeks tiptoeing through that political minefield process. You had to review your subordinates, your peers, your boss and yourself. Multiply that by every supervisor in the organization and writing appraisals overwhelms all other tasks and becomes a huge demotivator.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:34 AM   #37
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Writing, giving and getting performance appraisals are way up there on my list of things I'm really glad I no longer have to do.

Anyone ever work where 360 degree performance appraisals were required? You can tie up an entire organization for weeks tiptoeing through that political minefield process. You had to review your subordinates, your peers, your boss and yourself. Multiply that by every supervisor in the organization and writing appraisals overwhelms all other tasks and becomes a huge demotivator.
For a few years in the mid-1990s, we had those 360 reviews on an optional, limited, and anonymous basis. We were allowed to review anyone above us in the heirarchy. They did not figure into anyone's raises or ratings but were included as attachments only to the target and not given to HR as part of our personnel file. I did them for a few people and a few others did them for me. But they quickly died out due to lack of interest.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #38
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Anyone ever work where 360 degree performance appraisals were required? You can tie up an entire organization for weeks tiptoeing through that political minefield process. You had to review your subordinates, your peers, your boss and yourself. Multiply that by every supervisor in the organization and writing appraisals overwhelms all other tasks and becomes a huge demotivator.
The mid-mega I used to work for instituted 360's. After 2-3 years, we (thankfully) dropped it. It was beyond cumbersome as you mentioned, and more often than not it didn't change the feedback employees got anyway. Subs were often afraid to be honest (why risk it) and some peers were conflicted because they might be vying for the same promotion and/or they really didn't know the employee like the boss or subs. Sometimes it was useful, usually not, and definitely unwieldy IME.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #39
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I was a computer consultant or contract programmer most of my career, however, there was one year that I took a FT position with a company that I had done contract programming for.

Annual review time came and I could not believe all of the fuss that went on. We even had to attend an hour training class on how to go through an annual review.
I've received several conversion attempts lately and this is one of the major reasons that I don't bite. Annual reviews, Christmas parties, and the "generous" vacation granted...no thanks, I'll stick with contracting.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:08 PM   #40
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Wow, you would be tough to work for! Work your butt off and consider yourself lucky to get paid. But, screw off just once and you're out of here.

To be honest, I hated doing annual reviews on my emloyees. I'll tell you how that all got started years ago. If you were a good supervisor you would review the performance of employees from time to time. Trouble is, most supervisors never gave their employees any feedback and then when something went wrong and you had to fire somebody, the employee and upper management wanted to know why they were never told about their shortcomings.
Tough but fair (at least I like to think so). I believe in communication. I give lots of feedback and small rewards throughout the year. Early on I learned that people seem to appreciate a surprise day off now and then even more than money. Of course, in our system, everyone gets a cost of living increase annually plus there are step increases as your career progresses - bonuses are not common.

Negative feedback is immediate and follows the usual step program: 1) verbal 2) written 3) final notice 4) security escort. Sometimes all of these occur in a short span of time :-)
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