the 360 Performance Review
employee performance review. There’s nothing a CEO enjoys more. OK,
having all the skin peeled off my head before it’s boiled in acid – I’ll
grant you that one. But otherwise, the employee review is tops.
things can happen. All of them are bad. If the review is positive, the
employee expects a raise, an assistant, a bigger office, more authority
or more vacation time. Wait. Did I say “or”? The employee wants all of
review is negative, but not bad enough for firing, I’ve got a nervous,
paranoid person walking around. What’s more, if I give the employee
improvement measures, I have to work with him or her to make sure he or
she is meeting them. Ick. More work for me. It would be easier if I just
did these people’s jobs for them.
And if you
fire the person, well, then you fire them. Crying. Last checks. COBRA.
Letters from lawyers. Oh yeah, and the person is destitute.
hard to imagine how employee performance reviews could be made any
worse. But one should never underestimate corporate America, because
someone has found a way. Say hello to the 360 Performance Review.
An idea of
brilliance rivaling the League of Nations, the XFL and the Gigli,
the 360 Performance Review manages to get everyone in trouble while
providing everyone with the opportunity to misuse power and create
problems for others. It is so perfect, it’s hard to believe they weren’t
using it at Enron.
it works. First, you have the regular old review. The supervisor reviews
the employee. This is standard fare. Crying. Bigger office demands.
Paranoia. Insert applicable annoyance. This drill, you know.
There’s more. Next, the employee reviews the supervisor. OK, a bit
novel, but with an open-minded supervisor, this might work out all
right. Oh, but we’re not finished yet. The employee reviews the
supervisor, not to the supervisor, but to the supervisor’s boss.
talking about a major supervision triangle!
Britches, I want you to be totally frank in assessing Frank.”
frank in assessing Frank?”
candid. Frank. About Frank, I mean.”
begin if you’re Miss Britches? You know, whenever Frank comes up to
my desk, I’ve noticed that he runs his fingers across my mousepad in a
very sensual manner. Is that anything?
boss takes copious notes.
interesting. Very interesting!”
the time when Frank made Miss Britches stay late and finish his report,
then he didn’t give her credit when he turned it in? Hmm. Wonder if the
boss knows about that. Let’s just find out.
the 360 Performance Review, we have a grab-bag of relationships so
twisted that even a “One Life to Live” fan would find it implausible.
All three of the people involved are passing judgment on someone. The
employee on her own supervisor. The supervisor on the employee. And the
supervisor’s boss on the supervisor, and in truth, on the employee as
the employee and the supervisor are on the hot seat. Improvement
measure, checkpoints and extra work for everyone! Times nine.
because someone reached a six-month anniversary date. The 360
Performance Review. I’ve heard some ideas in my time, and that’s one of
Corporate America is going to breed paranoia, time-wasting and
organizational insecurity, at least it has the decency to name its
method of destruction after a cool number from geometry. This column is
over. Go ahead and send comments to my editors, but be warned. I’ll be
ripping you too.
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