Sunday, July 24, 2011

What is "PE Season" ?

Twice a year at work (it would be quarterly but I'll explain later why it isn't), I spend around 1-2 weeks in what I refer to as "PE Season."  This is not a glamorous time, nor is it like football season or the four seasons (the group or the actual "seasons").

PE Season is the time of year when I write PEs (Performance Evaluations) for my entire team at work.  This is required at both the mid-year (June/July timeframe) and the end-of-year (Dec/Jan timeframe).  It is optional at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters (which is one main reason why I don't complete these 4 times a year -- the other reason is less selfish ... but is too complicated to explain without grossly expanding the length of this blog).

I generally enjoy these times of year.  It is a chance to formally confirm that my direct reports and I are on the same page in assessing their performance.  I take this responsibility very seriously, as what I write is one of the main sources of information if any of my team members apply for another internal position.  If I have done my job correctly, we will be on the same page and the review process goes rather swiftly.  If I have failed to communicate clearly, then we will have conflicting assessments and the conversations can be very difficult.  The only other option is that the employee has simply chosen not to listen or retain what has been conveyed to them multiple times throughout the previous six months.  Fortunately, that has only happened a handful of times in my over 5 years of writing these PEs.

The one thing I DO NOT like about this season is that it is a LOT of writing!  Hence the absence of Blog Posts from me around these times ... I'm just too exhausted from writing unique assessments for 15-20 people to have any leftover creativity for my blog.  Next year I'll plan ahead and either pre-write several posts (like my big brother Jeremy has done before) or I'll save my picture or video link blogs for that week!

I'm not a big fan of "copied and pasted" assessments.  Those are the ones most people receive, where you can tell that the author simply changed a few words and numbers instead of actually writing an assessment about YOU.  While I am certain I am not the only one to do this among my peer group, it always amazes me when people who are new to my team ask me how I make my reviews so thorough.  It takes a LOT of work, but I think it is worth it because it IS a more thorough process.  This is another reason I don't do quarterly reviews ... there isn't usually enough data or experiences to draw solid conclusions on someone's performance in just 3 months.

The whole point of this blog is for me to be able to celebrate the END of PE Season (at least this first half of that season) for 2011!  As of Saturday, 7/23 @ 4:58pm ... I was finished writing all 19 mid-year PEs for my team members!  It feels soooooo good to be done!  Please don't remind me that it all starts over again in just 5 more months.



  1. Thanks for that! I, apparently am on the same page as you! I tell my team that there are main objectives in PEs; 1) that there are no surprises, we should have already discussed everything on their evaluation 2) that it's not a "plug and play" situation, I spend a lot of time writing free-form and agonizing about writer's block 3) that it's balance, they should know what they're doing well and what they need to work on :) Mine are done by the way. Tee hee

  2. Wow! I really feel for you and having to work on your PEs - At least you won't have to deal with them again until the end of the year...that's sorta good news, right?!