July is always mid-year evaluation time at Progressive. This is a time when I, as a Supervisor (with about 22 employees who directly report to me) invest significant time assessing their individual performance thus far this year. I am under the obligation to write a Performance Evaluation for each employee, providing ratings in about 5 or 6 major areas of performance. I also provide an overall performance rating and then discuss these results with each person individually. This last step often includes goal setting and very rarely, some revision to the evaluation I have put together.
I take these "check ins" very seriously. My personal goal is for there to be absolutely NO surprises for these employees as they review what I have written. I expect them to remember conversations we have had earlier this year and when they read their PE (performance evaluation), they should come away with two things: knowledge of their strengths and opportunities ... and ... knowledge that I am aware of and care about what they are doing in their role.
Without intending to sound prideful about it, I must say that it is always rewarding when I achieve these goals, which I have done consistently for the past 3 or 4 years at least. There is something gratifying about being on the same page with an employee whose performance you are somewhat responsible for. I say "somewhat" because ultimately it is always every employee's individual responsibility for their own results. The Manager, Supervisor, Leader, or Boss merely influences and supports the employee achieving or exceeding their goals.
With that in mind, I have to say, I am often disappointed when I receive my own PE, especially around the mid-year time. I have yet to report to a Manager who seems to put as much energy into this process as I do. I have felt for the past several years (at least 3), that my PE was simply a box that needed to be checked off for my boss. Even if the words that are written are generally positive and the ratings are accurate, I always hope for a brief recap at the start of my Manager's goal in writing what they did. Am I supposed to be motivated? Should I feel bad for failures or missed opportunities? Is my performance headed in the right direction?
Sadly, the presentation of my mid-year PE today was NOT accompanied with clearly defined answers to these questions. I am grateful for the opportunity to ask them directly to my boss next week, but I fear it will be a stressful couple of days until I can clarify the intent of her writing and ratings.
Song Of The Day:
It's been way too long since I last shared an OMD song, so here is "Was It Something I Said" from their best CD: Sugar Tax. If you ever find yourself in a position where you are expected to judge performance and write about it on an individual level, may I suggest that you set expectations for your direct reports BEFORE delivering the evaluation? From my limited experience, it makes a BIG difference!
BONUS - While pulling this song of the day, I came across a Mash-Up of this song and Rihanna's Pon De Replay. Here it is, titled simply "Was It De Replay" ... what do you think?