I hate performance evaluation.

LinkedIn / Eng billybiz
Jul 24 12 Comments

I have been a software engineer for over 10 years. I like my profession, but I deeply hate performance review periods. There is a list of abstract goals and targets and you try to BS your way out by giving yourself a seemingly fair yet impressive review. And of course, you have to convince your boss that you deserve a good grade. (Btw, I mostly got 'meets' and a few 'exceeds' so far. I write that small detail to mention that I am not writing this post as an angry employee who got bad grade and post a message to curse the system.) Honestly, looking at the job description and the expectations at my leve, I don't really know what I deserve every single time. All is so abstract and flexible. So, I just write down the stuff that I did and highlight them to my manager and so far it all worked out somehow. But the review period always bugs me a lot no matter what I get at the end. Lifetime of being have to prove yourself to a manager sucks. At some point, I will perform below average due to evolutionary laws of nature and got kicked out of the system. Is that a meaningful work life?

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TOP 12 Comments
  • Amazon protonn
    Humans try to quantify everything and make meaning. GPA, grades, ratings, standardized tests, tags, labels and what not. The truth is everyone knows you cannot measure everything that a person bring to the table, but there has to be a way to do it. And the easiest way is to transform a chosen subset of data points (and miss out on a tonne of others) to extrapolate a graph and tell a story around it. I for one have other ways to measure my happiness and am done with looking at these fake scales provided by society, corporate etc.
    Jul 25 0
  • Microsoft
    90sKid

    Microsoft

    BIO
    Vember
    90sKidmore
    Dude can you tell the name of the scotch you are having right now. I need to do some soul searching too!
    Jul 24 1
    • LinkedIn / Eng billybiz
      OP
      Bourbon bro😁
      Jul 25
  • IBM I🐝M
    At IBM I'd have the so called review and leaving the conversation more confused than when I started. Performed great the first 2 years, manager was unimpressed and no bump in pay.
    Jul 25 0
  • TJX / IT tcxs
    If you ever want to get a raise, adjustment, work on more important profects, or move into a new role, then these are a necessary evil. This is how your manager guages where you fit in the organization, and is able to make a case for raises, bonuses, et cetera.

    You can always talk to your manager about getting more tangible goals, or get some help understanding what their vision is for you. That's your time to connect with your manager and see how you are doing, and what direction you should be going in.
    Jul 25 2
    • IBM I🐝M
      I agree with this in theory, but in reality (and in my case only as idk about others) these review talks were useless. My boss would sit on the phone and talk for 58 minutes and with 2 minutes left I'd hear "hey I have to drop for another call but if you need anything let me know". Every time I asked for a raise came with a corporate excuse. After so long, I stopped trying and lowered expectations for these types of reviews. They're there for favorites to get ahead, not for the best performance.
      Jul 25
    • TJX / IT tcxs
      But that's on you to follow up with them... A big part of everyone's career isn't just their on the job performance, but how they fit into the organization, and how they take charge of their career... You don't wait for your manager to initiate those types of conversations. If they have to drop, let them know you are shceduling a follow-up to go over the things you wanted to address.

      The reason you probably think favorites are advancing, is because they are taking charge and setting expectations and goals. Not that favoritism doesn't ever happen, but you need to be more active on your career.
      Jul 25
  • Microsoft 8j6g5s
    Have you considered the alternative? There’s no formal review for freelance work, if you are good your customers will pay you. No shitty “review process”.
    Jul 25 1
    • LinkedIn / Eng billybiz
      OP
      That might be a good option!
      Jul 25
  • Newell Brands citykid
    I agree with everything said here. Unfortunately I've still never heard of a really great alternative. Very few goals can be boiled down to objective individual goals. Most goals are dependent on ten other parties. I have also worked for companies with no reviews, and while I enjoyed it, others always complain about career development on surveys

    They should tell the truth about the process at a minimum. That is, raises were determined by finance months ago and aren't technically dependent on the review. Most people are pre determined to get mostly middle of the road with a few exceeds and one needs improvement. COLA raises are a shared pool, so even though you may have done great, we have to take into account the other salaries in our pool. Also, all COLAs are meant to get you back to midpoint. Meaning your actual raise gets factored up or down depending on where you currently sit relative to midpoint
    Jul 25 0
  • Facebook / Eng e999
    Yes.
    Jul 25 0
  • Bank of America Private Bank / Design
    stmy50

    Bank of America Private Bank Design

    PRE
    Wells Fargo
    BIO
    UI development and experience design are my core skills.
    stmy50more
    The 3 tier ratings system is a legacy of GE’s CEO Jack Welch from the 1980s, very out of date and inappropriate for tech. It’s a corporate way to dampen compensation expectations and put workers in the factory system mode as an average cog in the wheel.
    Jul 25 0

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