It’s about that time of the year when performance appraisals for the full year 2013 are about to be done. You probably have reams of spreadsheets full of excel data running macros showing your actual performance versus what you think your boss’s data will reveal. Well here’s something you need to know, there’s three sides to every performance appraisal: Your side, your boss’s side and the truth. So here are some few hints on what you should put in your self-appraisal and the most likely response from your boss:
Employee self appraisal: I exceed expectations as I rarely have to use formal disciplinary action on my subordinates.
Boss’s response: You are below expectations as your subordinate turnover is higher than the organization’s average. Actually, they don’t wait to be disciplined, they simply leave.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I delegate effectively to my staff.
Boss’s response: You are below expectations as you micromanage many of your staff’s activities. As a result, they get frustrated and they leave.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I have an open door policy for my staff.
Boss’s response: You are below expectations. An open door is what I always find when your team walks out of the office.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I have excellent written and verbal communication skills
Boss’s response: Are you kidding? I’m still trying to rewrite your last three status reports and we all fell asleep at your last presentation.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I use resources when unsure of proper spelling, punctuation or grammar.
Boss’s response: I suggest you stop using a Chinese dictionary as a resource for your English emails.
Planning and analytical capability:
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I have demonstrated first class planning and analytical skills that exemplify my detail-oriented nature.
Boss’s response: I can’t say this enough, you frequently draw wrong conclusions from hastily gathered data and send everyone down the garden path to nowhere as a result.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I was directly responsible for analyzing the root cause of four production failures this quarter and designing a process to ensure that those failures do not recur.
Boss’s response: You were directly responsible for the four production failures as you “forgot” to order for the production materials in good time despite being aware of the customer’s order. You designed a process to prevent recurrence after I yelled at you for two hours straight. That process was simply a cut and paste job of what the production manual states and what you should have applied at the first instance.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I am graceful and tactful under pressure from customers at all times.
Boss’s response: Incredible! Your last customer interaction ended up with someone lying flat on their back on the ground. It took every ounce of goodwill and networking to ensure the story didn’t end up on social and print media. I swore I would never……forget it. You are way below expectations on this one.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I solve customer problems with speed and accuracy.
Boss’s response: You are consistently below expectations on this. A snail’s pace is not the definition of speed.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I do not shy away from taking risks.
Boss’s response: I agree. Entirely. You do not shy away from risks; in fact you embrace them wholeheartedly. Risk and trouble seem to follow you everywhere you go.
Employee self-appraisal: I exceed expectations as I quickly make decisions to solve customer complaints.
Boss’s response: Again, I agree entirely. You made a decision to solve a customer problem very quickly. Someone ended up flat on their back on the ground. I swore I would never….forget it. There is no doubt that you do not fear making decisions.
Employee self-appraisal: I am a self-motivated, well rounded individual who motivates his team to perform to their best and who consistently delivers on targets. I therefore rate myself a 1 which is equivalent to an Outstanding rating in the company’s performance ranking system. I realize that we may have had our differences of opinion every now and then but we have constantly engaged in two-way communication, which has generated a net positive working relationship between us. You have been a great inspiration and mentor to me and I dedicate this rating to you.
Boss’s response: You are a back-stabbing, uninspiring turncoat who drives his team members to near suicidal temperaments. You have consistently missed your targets for no other reason than failing to ensure the supply chain for production is followed meticulously. You are a stain on this organization and have only been allowed to survive because of your ties to an influential director. I am quite likely to get fired for putting this in writing but I’ve honestly reached a point in my career where it is much easier to write the truth than to swallow its unpalatable contents anymore. You should not be allowed to breed neither should you be allowed to lead anything more than a picket line at a kindergarten strike. You are indeed outstanding. You are an outstanding liar. I wish you nothing but the best wishes for your future endeavours if they are outside this organization.