Thursday, February 5, 2009

Performance Appraisal

Where I work, its that time of the year. Yes, February. Also, Appraisals. Having been here for a while now, I am familiar with how these things play out. About a month or two before the review happens, employees are encouraged to submit proof of having done more than just survived through the year. That would be like saying ' HAVE YOU DONE ANY WORK DURING THE YEAR? ... ', just in case you think like me and don't get subtle hints. ' ... IN THE OFFICE ...' in case you still think like me. ' ... NO, EATING CAFETERIA FOOD DOESN'T COUNT' - if you are still thinking like me.

So, a dedicated HR team (dedicated HR, thats an oxymoron!) continuously mentions submission deadlines which everyone (including HR) ignores. After these deadlines have been extended about a hundred times and submissions have been received at gunpoint , the managers sit together to discuss the rating through dedicated brainstorming and multiple rounds of intense discussions among diverse panels of senior executives. I just have a sample conversation for you all.

Senior Mgr1: I think Gabbar did a great job. Heres the proof. He deserves a great rating
Senior Mgr2: Oops, I just spilt coffee over my trousers .. gimme that paper so that I can rub the stains
Senior Mgr1: Take this paper printout of Gabbar's submissions
.. A minute of cleaning later ..
Senior Mgr1: Gabbar's submissions are coffee stained .. he is irresponsible
Senior Mgr2: Yes, he deserves a poor rating

Well, not really. But, these conversations can happen. I do see a lot of coffee getting consumed in these meetings. And many of the appraised employees do feel that their achievements have been treated similar to paper used in other .. ahem .. delicate situations. So, finally with the appraisals done and the coffee producing economies of Brazil and Colombia having received a nice boost, the delicate matter of communicating the appraisals to the employees begins. The HR team communicates a deadline to the managers by when the employee needs to know the rating. The employee unaware of this deadline, like all SriRamaSene-fearing 'true' Indians, is fast asleep while non-Indians born and brought up in India party in a secret pub somewhere in Mangalore. Many managers I know believe in having an open, frank and honest discussion with their reportees. A minority tend to call up the employee about a minute from the deadline. The former category being about 5 and the latter being about 5 million. I have a sample conversation for you all.

Time - Feb 4, 23:59:00 hours
Mgr: Hello Samba, how are you?
Employee: Huh .. *yawn* huh?
Mgr: You have been identified as mediocre, middling performer
Employee: Huh .. *yawn* huh?
Mgr: Well, thats it then .. Am looking forward to you doing a great job this year
Employee: Huh .. *yawn* huh?
Mgr: Bye!
Time - Feb 4, 23:59:45 hours
Mgr to self: Job well done!

Well, not really. But these conversations can happen.


Suri said...

The last few lines pretty much reflect my story bob.. ! ;)
The only difference being - I don't say "huh". I prefer the more enterprising and communicative "hmmm..".

honey said...

truly said :)
its d same in everybody's case!!

Smita said...


Our management has been trying introducing a new appraisal system from last 3 years our success rate is such that we go back to the old method everytime...this time things are different...we had shifted to quarterly appraisals and we are yet to finish Q1...but the way things are going we will be back to the old appraisal system :D

And tell you what, nobody is bothered. As is there will be no increment and rating? Woh to bad hi honi hai :D

Oxy said...

Ah, now I know why it is the way it when it is like this..."and this is how it is"..

Btw, u say lots of huh in sleep or is the other way ;);)??

Mama - Mia said...

hehe1 basically the boss has decided whose paper to use for delicate purpose depending on how much ass has been kissed! :p

appraisals are the biggest sham around!



Avionic Spanker said...

Suri - same old same old maga

honey - It is, honey .. my kinda cheap joke :)

Smita - Lets not talk about increments :( a very sensitive issue right now

Oxy - Well, there were quite a few yawns too there, eh? :)

Mama-Mia - I know people who have perfected that a**-kissing into a fine art form

avdi said...

Our appraisals are faster.. everything is pre-decided. The meetings, the ratings, the gradings are a post-decision formality to throw a veil of openness over the proceedings .. whew..

I hope I get enough to cover the increase in my cost of surviving..

Anonymous said...

Ah, you're back!!
Kitne aadmi the, kalia?? :D

Avionic Spanker said...

Maybe I should have said right at the beginning that this account is not the experience of the author. Anyways ..

avdi - With inflation predicted to fall further, one should be able to manage just fine with a minimal hike .. and no, I don't actually want it to happen either

mirrorcracked - Couldn't comprehend your comment :( sign of the times I guess

PiRatE said...

haha ! superb writing.
Hey remember me .. johny_bravvo from MS.

I loved the blog ... superb ..

Loved the conversation in the end ..kinda reminded me of Moose from Archies ... and the Mgr .. Mr Weatherbee is it .. the principal ...



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Pesto Sauce said...

So true

Liked your perception of HR

jayant said...

Hello there!
My elder brother is an HR so I could relate your post to a lot of stories he tells me about his office.I'll be joining an industry soon enough and I'm sure I'm in for some fun if appraisals really happen like this :)

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Smita said...

Mr. Disk...where have u been missing??? 3 months that u updated ur blog??

Anonymous said...

hey awesome one yaar....just bumped into ur blog and read all the post...ur amazing...

seems long time no post..ppl are missing you here and rightly so... :)


Anonymous said...

u write ups are pretty cool... why dont u visit this site and write someting on it?!!?

Anonymous said...

Posted in Feb? Wow... You are hibernating! :D

Anonymous said...

I don't work so I have NO clue whether this happens.

Did I laugh a lot? Yes. Loudly? Oh yes :D

Anonymous said... very true! especially the bit about last-minute performance feedbacks..nice to stumble into your blog!

Nishit said...

Excellent articulation of ideas...Appraisals are like grapes!! if you achieve them they taste sweet or else sour.

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }
[Editor- Children’s Poem & Adult’s Poem]

globalskyearning said...

Ya u r right... u have done good for others.. thats why u wrote this... Great...

Haddock said...

The present appraisal system does nothing but demoralize the ones who actually work

kaleen said...


I read this post 2 times. It is very useful.

Pls try to keep posting.

Let me show other source that may be good for community.

Source: Free performance appraisal ebooks

Best regards

rahul aggarwal said...

what you said is so very true ..

ive faced this brunt many a times in my professional career ...