Large Company Frustrations

June 26, 2008 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

Working for a large company gives you at least a little feeling of stability and a regular paycheck. But, working for a large company comes with its share of headaches.

For me, it is usually Human Resources.

A few weeks ago, I received my Performance Evaluation Self-Assessment form.  This is where they want you to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5, then your manager gets to rate you.  In the end, the manager adds up his totals, and they use this total to determine what sort of raise to give you.  This form shows various broad categories and has buzzword filled descriptions for what a “3” rating is for each category.  Reading these descriptions though, a “3” employee is “On Target”, basically doing everything they are supposed to be doing.  With all these great descriptions of what makes someone “On Target”, giving yourself a rating above “3” seems difficult.  Why?  Because you have to write examples to back up your self-rating.  I am pretty sure they do this because they want everyone to rate themselves as low as possible.  Only people who rate themselves high and have details to back it up will end up with high ratings from their managers.  It’s pretty cheap to operate this way, if you ask me, but I think most large companies are moving to the sort of system to try to save money on salary.

I’m adaptable though, so Ive actually gotten used to doing these over the last few years.  I use the RoR’s application Tracks to keep track of my tasks while at work.  Most of the time I put tasks in Tracks to remind me to do something, but often I put tasks in after I’ve completed them, just to have the record.  I suggest that everyone keep an easily searchable electronic log of your tasks.  I surprise myself with how frequently I find that I have invested a major amount of time on a project just a few months ago but had forgotten about it when it comes time to do my performance review.  Even if you work for a smaller company, doing this is a great way to be able to document your value to your manager.

Of course, HR can’t leave anything alone for long.  In the past 5 years, I think I’ve gotten 7 or 8 different Performance Eval forms.  Yes, that means I get one form, and before it is due to be turned in, I get a different one!  This year, they have stuck with the 2nd version from last year, so perhaps they are happy with it finally.

But, they have added two new things to the process this year:

First up, it’s a chart where you read nine descriptions of types of workers and circle the box that you feel is the closest representation of you.  Hint:  Select only from the four boxes in the upper right section of the chart, not the three boxes to the far left or the ones across the bottom.  From a webpage that a co-worker found on this type of chart, rating yourself in one of the left or bottom boxes is like putting yourself on a “possible elimination” list of your employer.

Lastly, the Individual Development Plan was also added.  Here, you list your professional aspirations, your strengths, weaknesses, and your plan to reach your aspirations.  I’m not really sure what the point of this one is.  Chances are good, though, that whatever you write here can and will be used against you at Eval time, so tread lightly.

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Entry filed under: General.

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