Performance Appraisals at Work

2006 Dec 13

Tis the season of year for performance appraisals (PAs). This means I get to think of what I did during the year.

  • What were my key areas of responsibility?
  • What were my objectives? Did I meet them?
  • How did I do on my leadership competencies?
  • What are my development goals?

As you can see from this blog, I enjoy some introspection. However this PA process is something I find somewhat difficult. It requires me to grade myself on a scale, but for some reason I have always had difficulty classifying things.

  • I once had a guy in my dorm that as a hobby would make a personal top-10 song list. And then at the end of the year he would make a top-100 list. If I were to have done that, it would have been a difficult and agonizing task.
  • At the end of every class at the UW there is an instructor and class evaluation. We fill out a sheet answering questions to grade different aspects of the class using a 7 point scale. Usually I mark most of them toward the middle ("good").
    • I expect instructor competence in all the classes I take! This is what I would call "good". By what metric would I say it was excellent? -because it was funny, exciting, new, profound or something else? What if I learned a lot, but was extremely frustrated by the whole process?
    • If I think about the class evaluation too much, I am conflicted, so I sort of toss it off, but that bothers me too.

For my contribution to my work PA, I feel like I need to do a good job because performance leads into setting pay levels. Naturally I would like good pay opportunities, so saying the right thing should be important.

I learned a new saying that is used by writers. "Waxing the cat" is when you do something to keep from doing what you should be doing. Writing this blog entry is probably applying cat wax right now. So why do I like writing the blog, but have a hard time getting into my PA? Ahh, more introspection!

Back to work.