My Annual Performance Review is coming up this week, and I thought I would jump online and see how other companies, or what options there are for corporations and other businesses when it comes to general/mass assessment of their employees. As far as my place of works’ assessment, it involves my manager of my department grading me on a 4-point likert scale on three areas of procedure competency, relations with co-workers, and overall service. Last year, I receive rather good marks, but my manager stated to me that she does not give out “4’s” on anything. Umm…ok, why? Well, as she explained it, if someone were to get a 4, they would not see any reason to improve themselves at work. Hmm. I suppose this could be true, but what about the flip side, as an employee, knowing you will “never” be able to earn a 4. Well, shit, that is just as un-motivating to me as being told I received a 4.
So in essence, this manager has good intentions behind what she is aiming to get out of her employees, but not going about it in the best manner. It is important to think about how you are assessing someone or something, not to look it as what the evaluator is getting out of it or perceiving it, but also how the other end, the evaluated, is perceiving it.
Back to my search with Google to investigate other employee, workplace assessments: Some involved a “traditional” scale grading system with areas specific to the responsibilities of the job, analysis of productivity, as well as gains or losses that may have occurred in this person’s performance directly related to the company’s figures. There are also options of more open-ended discussion and analysis through an “interviewing” type process. Ideally, at least for myself, I would prefer an open-ended discussion of my performance instead of it being a review of my “grades” in X number of areas to be followed up with a one-sentence explanation, or a “great job”. Assessment often times becomes a one-way process, from top down, but should much more be an integrative process from both sides, manager and employee, teacher and student, therapist and client. Just as we are trained to work with a client or people in general, communication sustains and develops the best and most productive relationships. Especially when an hourly wage job is unsatisfying to most people, an attempt to make an assessment of performance something of a collaborative effort as opposed to judgment day, may increase the performance of an individual purely due to a motivation created from being heard or listened to.