They have rated us based on our performance in past 12 months. They did a fair judgment. All the managers gathered together and decided our fate. We had a little role to play in the process which, perhaps, was limited to rating ourselves very high ( say 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-5). Let’s see what happened a few days back.
Place: Conference Room, Time: 4:00 p.m.
Characters: M: Manager, K: The Big K, SM: Senior Manager
(K has received an email early morning which told him to be present in Conference Room at 4:00 p.m. sharp. K, being punctual is waiting for M outside the Conference Room)
M: K, let us wait for the SM to come. He usually attends all the appraisal meetings.
K: Oh, okay. I’ll wait here.
[K waits for 10 more minutes. SM enters from one door and then disappears through other. After 3 minutes, M appears. Smiling.]
M: K, SM is caught up with some important work. He won’t attend the meeting. Let’s continue.
K: Ok, no problem.
[M takes the seat and offers the opposite seat to K, so that K doesn’t look into Laptop’s screen. Both M & K are well seated. A/C in the Conference Room is chilling. K suspects that someone has set it to sub-zero temperatures.]
M: Shall we start, K?
K: Sure. (Manages a smile)
M: K, this is your yearly appraisal. We considered your performance during last one year while rating you on various objectives that were set for you. We have also had inputs from your previous manager. So as we discuss, let me know your concerns.
K: Yes, sure.
M: Let us start with ‘Project Execution’. You have successfully completed all the tasks assigned to you, within allotted time. But we expect more from an experienced person. We expect a lot more from you. You could have learnt more about telecom domain. I have given you 3.
K: Ohh. But our project is just 2 months old. Before joining this project I was totally busy with my previous project and I was shifted to this project on a very short notice. I had to learn everything from scratch and you know I was busy with understanding the product & installations. Moreover, telecom domain is such a vast domain, what am I supposed to learn about it?
M: (isn’t paying much attention to K) K, expectations from a fresher and an experienced team members are different. We expect a lot more from you.
K: Please define ‘More’.
M: aaaaaaaa, well I can’t define it right now. But I will make sure that its clearly defined in your next objective setting session.
K: But, what about this appraisal.
M: Uh Oh, the laptop battery is down.
K: Okay (searches for the adapter switch; all switches are, by default, On).
M: (mouse click-click-click)
M: K, I have to tell you something about next objective that was set for you.
K: 😐 …
M: You were supposed to be the I-SMS coordinator.
K: Yes. It was an important role that I played in my previous project. My previous manager has rated me very high for the wonderful job that I did.
M: Yes, but K, you aren’t playing I-SMS coordinator in this project. So I have given you 3.
K: But, why? This is an yearly appraisal! I acted as I-SMS coordinator for such a long time in my previous project. My work was appreciated by everyone! My previous manager has rated me high and the current project is only 2 months old. What about the efforts that I took as a coordinator. No one was willing to take up the responsibility, I took it. You have considered only 2 months. What about the 6 months of hard-work? This is total injustice!
M: Oh! bla bla bla $&!##$()$ ( for 1 minute). Ok, I will consider this before committing the final ratings. I’m not like other managers, you see. I’m giving you a chance to speak bla bla bla $&!##$()$
K: oh, please do. I hope this is an yearly appraisal.
M: ehh, the battery is down. K, did you switch on the supply?
K: (looks down under the table, a bunch of yellow & green wires scare him – poor electrical engineer)
M: Okay, K. Let’s talk about ‘Team Coordination’. It was good. I’m giving you 4.
K: Ok, No Issues. 🙂
M: Hmm. but I still expect more. You should be more proactive.
K: Please define ‘more’. I do whatever best I can. But if something else is expected from me, no one told me about it.
M: Hmm. Whenever someone sends a mail for review, you don’t reply to it.
K: If I get a document on something that I have never worked on, I think I shouldn’t be the one reviewing it. Besides, most of the times, I’m busy with some task. About being proactive, I was the first one to propose the rewrite of existing documents. But client didn’t want them. I also wanted to start implementing security policies in our 2 month old project. What else was expected?
M: You should know various tools used in project.
M: Okay, now let’s talk about your “Organizational Orientation”.
K: Okay (looks @ the back of laptop with optimism & excitement).
M: You were supposed to take part in recruitment events. You did not. So I’m giving you 3.
K: 😯 Why 3?
M: K, I don’t know why are you after these ratings? Ratings are not that important. The feedback that you receive is.
K: If ratings are not important, give me final rating of 4 ( ) and then I’ll have no issues with anything.
M: uhh. You were supposed to contribute 25 questions to the question bank.
K: But there were no in-house recruitment events in past 12 months. If the HR guys go out of town to recruit candidates, employees belonging to that town are asked to go with them.
M: Ya, ya. I know.
K: I have been instrumental in organizing various events for company. It was a huge responsibility. No one actually knows what goes back stage. Those efforts go unnoticed. You also know that I have been planning a trip. Is it not important? Just because its not mentioned in my objectives, you are rating me 3? I’m shocked.
M: oh, ok. Now that you are saying you have done so much, I will talk about it with SM.
K: Please don’t do anything just because I’m saying I’ve done it. Ask anyone.
M: I trust you. The way you said that tells me that you are speaking the truth.
K: (looks at the notebook he borrowed from colleague)
M: I have rated you bla bla bla on 3 on bla , 4 on bla , 4 on bla ..
[K listens silently. K is wise enough to listen silently and K has learnt his lesson]
[M continues for a while and then stops]
M: Anything else?
-The Big K-