b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Performance Mis-Management



Performance Mis-Management

Since I’ve had Performance Management on the brain recently, I decided to address it. The following is the “Performance Management Process Checklist” that I found in an article written by Susan M. Heathfield at Human_Resources_About.com

It’s a good article if you get the chance to check it out. It clearly defines how performance reviews *should* proceed. Unfortunately, life seldom works out that way… or at least at my job it doesn’t.

I address each Checklist point with a response as it applies to my job and those that mis-manage me.

1) Define the purpose of the job, job duties, and responsibilities.

What They Mean:
We’re going to make your life miserable.

2) Define performance goals with measurable outcomes.

What They Mean:
This is not a hard job to do. To make it more challenging, we will throw up roadblocks at every opportunity so that you do not achieve any of your goals. We have made fulfilling your responsibilities an Olympic event; very few (if any) have ever survived and those that have now live in padded cells.

3) Define the priority of each job responsibility and goal.

What They Mean:
Every last function of the job that you perform is a priority. How you choose to define your priorities is up to you; however, regardless of what you do, it will be wrong. If you submit Report A, we will have wanted Report B, even though we didn’t ask for it. Thanks for playing, please try your luck again next time.

4) Define performance standards for key components of the job.

What They Mean:
Although the tasks as we state them sound easy enough to accomplish, we will set you up for failure. We tell you to come to us with any questions and when you do, we reserve the right to 1) Not answer you at all or, 2) Give you a wrong answer. It is up to our discretion, as our mood sees fit. You are here for our amusement.

5) Hold interim discussions and provide feedback about employee performance, preferably daily, summarized and discussed, at least, quarterly. (Provide positive and constructive feedback.)

What They Mean:
We will hold daily floggings. It’s positive and constructive for us. You do not matter.

6) Maintain a record of performance through critical incident reports. (Jot notes about contributions or problems throughout the quarter, in an employee file.)

What They Mean:
This is where we get to make up stuff about you and be as general as possible. It doesn’t matter that you have documentation to prove otherwise. If you try to go against us, we will get our Inhuman Resources department to back us up, since we keep them in our back pockets anyway.

7) Provide the opportunity for broader feedback. Use a 360 degree performance feedback system that incorporates feedback from the employee's peers, customers, and people who may report to him.

What They Mean:
We don’t care what anyone else thinks or says that’s positive about you. What we say goes. It could be inaccurate or an outright lie. That’s how we roll.

8) Develop and administer a coaching and improvement plan if the employee is not meeting expectations.

What They Mean:
We will place you on written warning if you attempt to have independent thoughts. If you do not cease and desist, we will place you on probation. If, at that time we just don’t want you around anymore, we will terminate your employment. We don’t need anyone around with better ideas who will - or already has - made us look bad.

More to come on Performance Mis-Management and Inhuman Resources. Stay tuned.

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