Clearly I've been busy doing other things with my life than blogging. Like planning a trip to Aspen. It's amazing how much less rantier I feel now that I don't hate what I'm doing for 40+ hours a week!
I love that my friends send me articles of things they think are related to my life. Here's another example. While I am no longer at that job that I hated, I still think this article is true.
I've long thought that performance reviews are about as useful as the end-of-term evaluations of professors. I've had very few poor professors; even still, what's the likelihood that they care what I think? They've been doing this for years, and are tenured, so it's not as though a negative review has any weight now.
The position I am no longer in, I held for 2.5 years. I had three different managers, and went through 4 review periods. The first three, each with a different manager were good, and the last one was poor. I'm pretty sure I haven't changed. But what did change were some of the expectations. Except that wasn't communicated.
I'm a no-news-is-good-news sort of employee. It would never occur to me to change how I'm doing something unless my manager tells me there's a problem with it. But it makes no sense to wait until the end of the review period to speak up about something. It's confusing to me, the employee, and it just aggravates the manager.
My company did try to be forward-thinking and also included goal-setting as part of the performance review process. But I felt like that step was flawed, too. The goals were only reviewed twice a year, so it was possible to lose sight of them, especially in the wake of other emergencies that cropped up. Also, we were to set goals, but management didn't necessarily provide the time or support to carry them through. For example, a number of people in my department felt we needed more cross-training, but whenever my coworkers and I set up time to do this, our manager would tell us something else was a bigger priority. Why wouldn't training your employees be a priority?
If I ever get into a management position (which I think is unlikely, given that I think I might actually be qualified to do it), I would of course do employee reviews, but I would not only complete what my company thought was important, I would also work to make the reviews useful to both me and my employees. I mean, who really needs another meeting where NOTHING is accomplished?