It’s That Time of Year Again

Taxes, Colonoscopies, and Employee Reviews. Three dreaded annual events. I’d sooner do my taxes and have my colon “snaked” than write those blasted reviews. Every year I hate writing employee evaluations. And every year it only seems to get worse.

No matter how you color it; you can give them fancy names like Employee Improvement Process or Personal Development Plan; you can have the employee “take ownership” by doing a “self-assessment”; it still boils down to the same thing. These are ADULT REPORT CARDS. And they come with the same terror, surprise, delight or indifference as when the receiver was in fact a student.

I personally hate reviews for two reasons: First, you can only use the words paradigm, strategic, self-motivated, and mentor in so many sentences. Secondly, when the review is actually being given, I can’t help but think that the employee is only hearing “WAH, WAH; WAH, WAH, WAH” – like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons.

But again this year, like so many years in the past, I will give it my all and try (really try) to find positive things to say and to address “areas of improvement” so that the members of my staff can “grow in their roles as leaders in our organization”.  Which I suppose is better than saying, “You don’t suck; but you still do a lot of stupid stuff”.

For those of you that share the treaded task of giving employee evaluations, I just have one piece of advice: Keep it short and sweet (if possible). Everyone that’s done a crappy already knows it – why bore them with the details? And the ones that have done a good job would rather that you just show them the money.

So enough already with the “WAH, WAH; WAH, WAH, WAH”!



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