Performance Reviews  

Friday, October 19, 2007


We're not allowed to talk about our job online according to our employee manual, but I think that mostly applies more to specific projects and company information. I think this is general enough that it won't violate any rules.

Performance self-evaluations are due. I hate these. I never know how to handle them. Should I rate myself the way I think I should be rated? What if I rate myself too high or too low? I feel like I'm walking into a car dealership and haggling over a price every time I look at one of these. I always feel like I'm giving the company I work for ammunition to use when explaining why raises weren't good or my performance wasn't above par (thought I seem to always do well on reviews). Or I'm underselling myself.

I worked for one company that rated employees on a scale from 1-5 except they never gave anyone more than a 3 because they didn't think every employee should be rated exceptional. OK, that's fine. Not every employee is exceptional. Managers were given the directive to not give greater than 3's unless the employee had done something beyond exceptional. Which is BS, of course. It is possible to have a group of exceptional employees and making a manager select whether 1 or 2 can get a few 4's is silly politics. Of course not all managers listened so the ratings were lopsided across departments.

So, what do you think? If, say, I had a scale of 1-10 should I rate myself a 10? A 9? If I think I did really well. What would you consider average? What are the benefits and detriments to rating myself too high or too low?

P.S. I already turned in my review, but I wanted to get feedback to know if I did the right thing. Don't think you're influencing my actual review.

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8 comments: to “ Performance Reviews

  • C
    Friday, October 19, 2007 at 10:52:00 AM CDT  

    It all depends on the points you are rating yourself on.

    Teamwork? Leadership? Communication? Initiative? Quality & Quantity of work? If you've always completed your work on time with minimal mistakes, I'd rate 8 on both. No mistakes, I'd rate 10!

  • The Exterminator
    Friday, October 19, 2007 at 11:36:00 AM CDT  

    Here's how I think you should approach a performance review:

    Think long and hard about each criterion and then rate yourself one higher than you think you deserve. If you tend to be self-deprecatory in certain areas (which, having read you, I think you are), rate yourself two higher.

    Look, the whole point of the weasel-y performance-review exercise is to create justification for the bosses when they give you a lower raise than you deserve. So start by slightly overevaluating your worth.

    Don't go nuts, but don't allow them to undervalue your services either. Think of this as the office equivalent of a Middle Eastern bazaar, with you as the salesperson. Start your bargaining high.

  • encephalophone
    Friday, October 19, 2007 at 3:19:00 PM CDT  

    So, what, do you just fill in a blank? I think I would rate myself a perfect score on the basis that the mean score would be about 8 and that I'm "ahead of the curve", or "a real asset to the company". I would assume that self-evaluations are intended to gauge an employee's bullshit potential, so I'd go for broke.

  • Keith Sader
    Friday, October 19, 2007 at 8:56:00 PM CDT  

    Rate yourself 7 x sqrt(2)
    or
    3.18 x pi
    ;-)

  • mamacita chilena
    Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 8:44:00 PM CDT  

    Hmm, complicated. But, if I were you, I'd definitely rate myself a bit higher than what you actually think you are. We are our own worst critics.

  • Venjanz
    Sunday, October 21, 2007 at 12:26:00 AM CDT  

    Related- The thing I hate most in an interview is this question: "What are your five best qualities?" Five worst?"

    GRRRRRRRRRRR!

  • Nita
    Monday, October 22, 2007 at 7:34:00 AM CDT  

    I think that while rating oneself it is important to see the qualities of the people around. Average would be the average in the organisation and for excellent the benchmark would be the top performers. At least that is how I see it and I feel companies see it that way too. Some companies have a higher quality of personnel, maybe because they pay well. So someone average would stand out as below average. And in a company where the overall quality is say average then an average person might actually be seen as above average.

  • Vistaluna
    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 3:57:00 PM CST  

    I had to do the same thing recently...what a coincidence. :)

    It's especially hard to rate yourself if you take other people on your team into consideration.

    Like, one category is "Quality of Work, on a scale of 1 to 5". Nobody wants to be a 2 or 1. But being 5 is awfully boastful. So, you have the entire team squeezing itself into the "3 and 4" range....which isn't assurate, because there is a huge range of quality difference between members on the team.

    There's more than a 1 point difference between the best and the worst...but not on the evals.

    And then you have some people where you think: "I know so and so is going to rate himself a 4 in category XYZ, but I'm much better than him in that category...and yet I'm sure not a 5."

    THEN what do you do? And honestly, people even have different scales. What is a "5" to one person is a "3" to another.

    Bah.

    Just put down 4's. And if you have something you think you are especially good at, tack on a 5, and maybe balance it with a "3+" somewhere else. :)

 

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