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Old 12-14-2011, 12:27 PM   #41
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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.
Yes. The best way to receive glowing recommendations is to give the same to those who are evaluating you.

Nothing constructive ever emerged from that process that I could tell.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:39 PM   #42
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Based on threads like this, I am GLAD I am self-employed.........
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:54 PM   #43
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Based on threads like this, I am GLAD I am self-employed.........

You and me both! BTW...I am the toughest boss I have EVER had!
As for a raise....I raise the price per hour by $10 after every 20 hrs of CEU's!
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #44
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Yes. The best way to receive glowing recommendations is to give the same to those who are evaluating you.

Nothing constructive ever emerged from that process that I could tell.
Exactly. My experience with performance reviews is they are designed to be part of a process of continuous assessment but end up as simple tools tools to justify an outcome or decision that was reached without regard to the review itself.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:22 PM   #45
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Just finished my annual performance review. I got GLOWING remarks throughout the review with one comment on room for improvement regarding learning more about the system I support.

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!

BTW, when I asked what I had to do to achieve an "Exceeds Expectations", which is required to get in the bonus pool, I was told "take on more important projects". Well, gee, you assign me my projects right

Rant over.
Before my reviews I keep telling myself "I don't care, I don't care I don't care...."
they still su#%
I think I have one more before I retire


s of 2012
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #46
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Before my reviews I keep telling myself "I don't care, I don't care I don't care...."
they still su#%
I think I have one more before I retire


s of 2012
What a wonderful way to count down to retirement! Instead of the ever-so-long 52 months, I only have 4 more annual reviews until retirement!!!

And while yesterday s*cked, today is glorious. I got a notice from HR that I have 8 vacation days left and if I don't use them I lose them.

I informed my manager that Friday is my last working day for the year. Since there is no benefit in 'above and beyond' I'm not about to lose vacation days!
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:49 PM   #47
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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...
I busted my gut when I read this post/reply. This is perfect by DW " MUCH ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT".
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:04 PM   #48
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I busted my gut when I read this post/reply. This is perfect by DW " MUCH ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT".
Has anyone ever responded to their own post? I just reread all the post and when I got to the end, I just had to laugh again at the post "MUCH ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT". LOL!!
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:41 PM   #49
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Has anyone ever responded to their own post? I just reread all the post and when I got to the end, I just had to laugh again at the post "MUCH ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT". LOL!!
You're retired. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want...as long as the DW approves of it of course
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:45 PM   #50
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Out of college I had a job with small business defense contractor, and stayed 4.5 years. Then went on my own for 25+ years. Then went to megacorp for past 5-6 years. Hopefully I can get another 2-3 years, and then retire to sub-contracting or part-time small business consulting as required.

I don't think you can extrapolate from one company to another. But I generally think that my megacorp review system is a joke on the workers. Comment above about the worker bees is correct. I came to this job with experience that the defense contractor needed. Seems they were adding many people who just couldn't work. For the first 4 years I got the 3 out of 5 rating. Each time I would ask my boss, "Why do you think I am mediocre?" For reference, the 3 gets you about a 2% raise.

Last year, with new boss, I got a 4 rating. That translated into 2.75%. He was real happy with my work, but I knew I wouldn't see that rating for another 5 years. As predicted, today I got a mediocre "3" for 2011. I actually did more this year, so it verifies what many are writing in there responses. Boss still appreciates the work, and there is nothing negative in the review. It's just the way things work. I know this stuff is pushed down on him each year, and he can only do so much. There is a pool of money, and they need to spread it in a way that reduces risk to the corporation.

If you have a tuition assistance program at your megacorp, take advantage of that, as it provides the biggest bang for your time investment. I will leave with an MSC or maybe an MBA and an MSC (lol), and we'll see if I have the chops to run at a higher rate when I leave megacorp.

I count myself as fortunate to have continuous employment, but always work towards other options, as we just don't know when the axe will fall.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:02 PM   #51
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Target, it's great that your company does tuition reimbursement, but for me school is just more w*rk!

When I finally retire I can't imagine why I would need any of my current certifications, so think I'll pass on the additional education...the only education I'm looking forward to after retirement is learning how to mix the perfect margarita and learning how to lie in my hammock drinking said margarita without falling out!
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:08 PM   #52
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I think I'm going to be an odd man out here who found the reviews done at my megacorp as fair as humanly possible. IMOP, they were like Churchill's comments on democracy. A horrible system but still better than anything else we could think of. We tried very hard to reward the best performers and withhold reward from the worst. For the most part, I think we succeeded.

As several other posters have mentioned, there was a top down mandated quota that didn't allow us to give everybody the best ratings. There was also significant difference in potential raises between the highest and the "meets expectations" ratings. This led to a lot of painful (for me) discussions with my employees on why "meets expectations" meant that you were doing a good job, but we thought you were being paid fairly and your raise might only be a cost of living increase. Generally I also tried to make the point that they needed to take on more risk in order to get a better rating.

Sitting on the manager side of the table opened my eyes to a lot of important parts of the process that I didn't understand until I got there. Some of the things were:
1) It is very difficult for any manager to justify an "exceeds expectations" rating unless some of his peers have also seen the good work. In my departments, we had a quota that was met for the division. The division manager would give the high ratings to the people that were supported by multiple supervisors. It helped a lot if he knew about the project and the individual's contribution. It was more difficult to justify it for a person that noone else knew. This was even more true for the highest rating (unofficially known as walks on water without breaking a sweat). For these, a VP had to know about the project and the individual's accomplishments.
2) Where you work is important. If you are working on a high visibility, fast tracked, favorite initiative of the CEO, you will tend to get rewarded better than if you are doing routine maintenance work that is needed but isn't sexy. Of course visibility also carries some risk. I know several people who's career hit a dead end because of one poorly thought out comment that was made in the presence of the brass.
3) How hard you worked isn't the most important factor (although it matters). Results are the determinator. Luck can be a factor although most of my highest rated employees were good at making preparation and good judgement look like luck.

At the end of the day, risk and reward are highly correlated in the workplace just like they are in investing or anything else. Hard working people who don't want to risk making waves or moving to a job that is outside their comfort zone are not going to get the rewards their talents may deserve.

Lorne
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:00 AM   #53
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Target, it's great that your company does tuition reimbursement, but for me school is just more w*rk!

When I finally retire I can't imagine why I would need any of my current certifications, so think I'll pass on the additional education...the only education I'm looking forward to after retirement is learning how to mix the perfect margarita and learning how to lie in my hammock drinking said margarita without falling out!
Yes, I realize I am quite lucky to find myself at a company with tuition reimbursement. But the curriculum does have to meet some semblance of relevance to your company's product or service.

I am pretty sure I could play each day for a few months when partially retired. The problem is the really nice temp wages that are paid in my industry. Perhaps that will go away, but I do see it would help emotionally once we move away. I've taught college too, and it seems the masters will get me back in the race for that pursuit.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:37 AM   #54
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..

I informed my manager that Friday is my last working day for the year. Since there is no benefit in 'above and beyond' I'm not about to lose vacation days!
Me to! Leave at noon, back in Jan. Then 26 weeks till I can get the Pension
Plan to take a little vacation along the way
Enjoy
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:12 AM   #55
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Target, it's great that your company does tuition reimbursement, but for me school is just more w*rk!

When I finally retire I can't imagine why I would need any of my current certifications, so think I'll pass on the additional education...the only education I'm looking forward to after retirement is learning how to mix the perfect margarita and learning how to lie in my hammock drinking said margarita without falling out!
Let us know the recipe when you've got it perfected! As for the hammock - YMMV and depends on the person....

OT: I have worked many places and am now self-employed. I was usually one of the more highly rated employees, and did work at a place that used the 360 system - I could see how that would be a game - however, I was more philosophical about it and realized it was difficult on all involved and tried not to take the ratings personally. I was usually focused on just making sure I did a good job and met the commitments I had made to my peers and customers - the rest was gravy. But then if you are living below your means and focusing on a goal outside of the work rating, the rating becomes less important in the overall scheme of things. And if emotionally/mentally you are really not happy, then odds are your employer isn't either and it's a signal that you should probably find something else to do.

I am also in the military Reserves and those year end appraisals are some of the biggest goat-ropes. The verbage is usually inflated and the most important thing is your ranking amongst your peers, i.e. a 'rack and stack.' It's brutal at times, but a reality of the military world....again, focusing on what is important to you and not necessarily someone else's opinion of you helps in that game as well.

Being self-employed is very different - it all comes down to what your customers think and what you charge and are paid. I've found that if they don't balk too much at your rates, then it's time to raise them :-) Also, you can always say no to a job.....and there are ways to do it nicely: "...that's really not my area of expertise, however, I can get you in touch with someone who could help you with that project/task..." Heck, I've even done that when I was an employee.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:46 AM   #56
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Oh yes it's that time of year again. The last two years I unexpectedly exceeded expectations. However, since I was at the top of my pay range it got me NOTHING. However I fgure I could skate into retirement with our HR policies. Underperformers are placed on probation for 6 months and then given another 6 months of final warning. If another year goes by with no improvement then they get a severence package. What's the downside? It's a joke.
Meanwhile I'll continue to pretty much do what I want. My boss calls me a couple times a year and we have one two day meeting per year. Other than that I'm free to travel and work with customers on my own schedule. Have fun, stay focused on the positive and ignore the corporate crap.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #57
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Being self-employed is very different - it all comes down to what your customers think and what you charge and are paid. I've found that if they don't balk too much at your rates, then it's time to raise them :-) Also, you can always say no to a job.....and there are ways to do it nicely: "...that's really not my area of expertise, however, I can get you in touch with someone who could help you with that project/task..." Heck, I've even done that when I was an employee.
I interjected tuition reimbursement as one idea to move beyond the PRS system and get additional satisfaction. Even better is deserat's self-employment concept. On my day off from megacorp, I supported a client for 3 hours. That is the equivalent of my daily rate at megacorp, and I was home in time for a pre-dinner nap!
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:32 AM   #58
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My review went quite well this year. They usually do. I know the secret.

I find out what people with the money reward, and I give it to them. Whatever my notions of good performance are, they don't matter. The perceptions of the people that control the money are all that matter.

People will whine about "politics are BS" and "management just doesn't get". My response is - so what? They have what I want, I am going to understand what they value, and make sure we trade fairly. The work they won't value, even if I think they need it, I am not gonna do! I would rather put in some overtime making spreadsheets than go to a holiday party, but partying pays a heck of a lot better.

Then there's my ultimate backup plan... If my employer cannot provide compensation that benefits both of us, I am moving on. Done properly that means at least an immediate 10% bump in salary, likely more.

Having done this twice so far, I understand the day I walk out the door, everything I worked on is gone - *poof*. I never really owned it. It makes the mercanary approach much easier to stomach.

This all sounds cynical and self serving, but the behavior that results seems to make everyone I work with happy. Go figure.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:54 AM   #59
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I retired just as the mid-year performance reviews were due. In our staff meeting, my boss talked about when the self appraisal portions were due. I asked if he needed one from me since I was going to retire and he said "no, unless you need it for your next job". They never believed that I was really retiring and not just moving to another job. It was beyond their comprehension.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:39 AM   #60
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Today my politics based approach to career management was reinforced futher. My wife had a 33% raise and 2 level promotion in July. She survived a re-org induced round of lay offs in December. Unprompted, as part of the reorg, she was just promoted 2 more levels and recieved another 10% raise.

She is at the bottom end of the level and payscale for her new position. This means lots of opportunity for more $$$$$ and promotions. She did not apply for or request the new position, just gets her work done and actively manages her reputation. She is now "peering" with people having substantially more experience than her, who do "whatever it takes" to get the job done.

@#$% hard work to get ahead. Just @#$% it.
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