Performance Reviews

There was a time I enjoyed doing performance reviews. It was a time to reflect on past and future goals, to measure progress, to give and receive feedback.

Not so anymore.

Our performance reviews are coming up and I have little motivation to do them. I specifically chose to work at a place with little office politics; everything is very systematic. Performance reviews seem to be for the specific scenarios of very exceptional cases when there are serious problems, which should be dealt with in other ways anyway.

Self-assessment is always a fun problem. It’s unlikely that your manager is going to mark you higher than what you have marked you. And marking yourself higher than what your manager would, well, that’s an interesting game. Self-assessment is more “assessing myself as if I was the manager.” Which is not a bad idea, however, the fact that you have to share your answers can lead to some awkward moments. Sharing the manager’s feedback is important, however, sharing a self-assessment seems so personal.

I once had a co-worker who went ahead and marked himself as “Exceptional” in every category (versus ‘On Target’ or ‘Above Average’). I was made privy to that performance review; my boss ultimately rated the guy ‘Needs Improvement’ in nearly every category. Imagine how that review must have gone in person.