Aimee's Annual Performance Review Thread

Subject: Aimee's Annual Performance Review Thread
From: George Mena <George -dot- Mena -at- esstech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 13:56:37 -0800

Hi Aimee,

A couple of things:

* Have you told this guy to standardize the type on his documentation yet?

* Have you yourself set a standard for type size for all the company
documentation, preferably as part of a larger effort towards developing a
style guide?

* Are both of you in fact working on developing a style guide for all
company documentation?

* How well does he currently accept your guidance as the new manager? Do you
think he resents having to answer to you, given the fact that he's been
there longer than you have?

* How do you think he perceives you at work, professionally speaking? How
long has *he* been a technical writer overall?

* Have you engaged in team building with him by going out to lunch together
offsite, so you two can talk shop away from the office? Have you discussed
his -- or your own -- effort at professional development with him? A good
performance review includes this sort of dialogue at review time.

* By all means, proceed cautiously for the moment in evaluating his
performance. Your performance as a manager is also being evaluated. If he
has a lot more experience as a writer than you do, he could use that against
you behind your back by badmouthing you to higher-ups if he doesn't like

* Finally, whatever else you do, keep quiet about the salary differences
between the two of you. If you were given the option of firing him in favor
of hiring an admin to handle the data entry duties, that tells me the
higher-ups probably didn't think much of his writing, and have had to endure
his inadequacy and incompetence longer than you have. It's entirely possible
that higher-ups were looking to you to fire him for them, so that the issue
of plausible deniability (I didn't fire you, she did!) is their "out", once
you had decided to bounce him.

Welcome to the heart of the minefield you're in, Aimee. Look out for the
trip wires.

Hope this helps,

George Mena
Sr. Technical Writer
ESS Technology, Inc.
48401 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA USA 94538
e-mail: George -dot- Mena -at- esstech -dot- com



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