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Subject:Re: A question about evaluations From:"Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> To:<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:05:16 -0700
These are the things I consider "red flags" in employee evaluations:
1. As an employee, your evaluation at the end of the year cites
issues with your performance in areas that were never
documented as part of your objectives or brought to your
attention as issues that could affect your evaluation, either
at the beginning of the year or during it, or you are downrated
for unsatisfactory performance in something that was a small
part of your objectives or not part of them at all even while
being highly rated for the major objective/s.
2. As a manager, you rate your employees based on their
performance to objectives but upper management alters
their evaluations to lower ratings.
3. As a manager, you are required to rank your employees along
a curve that forces one or more of them "below average" even
if they outperformed all their objectives.
If #1 occurs, someone (most likely your own manager) wants you
gone for some reason and is setting the stage for it. If #2 or #3
occur, your organization is either dysfunctional, is looking at
imminent cost cuts that will result in you being required to RIF
some of your employees, or both. Any one of the above should
be a signal to you and/or your manager that it's time to tweak
that resume and start putting out feelers. More than one is a
signal that you should do it today.
One real drawback to performance evaluations is that they usually are
subjective, so they can be biased against you even if you're doing
everything asked of you. Evaluations can also be used to set you up if
the company wants to get rid of you but wants to lessen the risk you
winning if you sue them for discrimination. For example, "This woman was
let go after a bad evaluation for the past year, not because she's
I heard that some companies set dumb rules such as requiring that a
certain number of people in every department be ranked "below average,"
regardless of how they actually did at their jobs (kind of like a bell
curve for employees). Then in the next round of layoffs, guess who are
the first to go? That sounds to me like a quick way to lower morale
across the board and lose decent employees. You'd be working scared all
the time, never knowing where you rank in relation to your coworkers.