Friday, March 27, 2009

My Review

This is going to sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. I'm simply making an observation. It could be slightly bias, but for the most part I think I'm being very objective.

In the past week I've gotten both my review and raise. The past six years I've gotten Exceeded Expectations, Fully Met Expectations, Exceeded Expectations, Greatly Exceeded Expectations (or whatever they call the highest), Exceeded Expectations and Exceeded Expectations. This year I got Fully Met Expectations and a raise below the company mean.

What's odd is that since joining my new group, I've never been busier and never felt more like a significant contributor to the project and company. I honestly think my output and contributions have increased by 25-30% this year due to working more hours and working harder while here. And yet, this year I get the lowest rating in five years.

The problem with reviews is they are subjective. While you and your peers get to add in input, it's your manager's perception of you that counts. In fairness, I gave myself a Fully Met Expectations this year as well. So he was matching what I put and I don't blame him. However, I've never put myself above Fully Met Expectations and I probably never will. It feels vain to promote oneself.

Again, I'm not complaining. I just think it's interesting that the year I felt my contributions have mattered the most, I get an average rating and a below average raise. Further proof (in my mind) that reviews don't matter.


Chris said...

Was it a new manager this year or the same one who gave you higher marks in the past? I've always believed that there should be no surprises in an annual review. It should just be a recap of thoughts that have already been shared with you over the course of the year. I always tried to be very good about then when I had some poor saps reporting to me. I would have a problem if I got a lower mark than the prior year from the same manager if that manager hadn't provided feedback during the year to let me know that I was performing below previous levels. Are your reviews helpful? I haven't had a review in any of the past three years. This year I got a ten minute conversation that basically consisted of my boss saying "nice job, here's your rating, raise and bonus" (that's right, I got a bonus even though I work for a company that has received TARP funds - Congress better not try taking it back with any absurd taxes on the financial services industry.)

Mac Noland said...

Different manager. I'm not blaming him for anything. It's just an observation and some small proof that I think reviews are meaningless. There is no good way to objectively gauge value. So we're left with HR protocols which are bad, but nothing else is better. Kind of like democracy.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the never rate yourself higher than "meeting expectation" argument. In my opinion, if you think you have exceeded your expectations, you should give yourself that rating. And if your manager disagrees, it is his job to gather the facts to convince you otherwise.