I received my performance review today.  It was an "average" rating, which was lower than I expected.  My director has been on this job for six months, but I believe he wasn't willing to fight to get me the rating I deserved.

Fair or not, this is rating a done deal.  Nothing I can say or do at this point would change it.  I accepted it in a professional manner, but I was open (but tactful) about the fact that I was disappointed.  

I can't imagine that any good could come of further discussion on this topic with my manager, so I need to just get over it.  I feel petty to even be this bothered about it since there really is nothing at stake this year.

Here is the problem --- I'm high D, high C. 

My high C side says:  Since bonuses and salary increases have been eliminated for last year and this year (company wide), this average rating has no short term impact on me at all, nor will it limit my chance of long term promotion.  So... no harm, no foul.  The only way this could hurt me is if I can't accept it gracefully.

My high D side says:  This is an outrage!  I went WAY above and beyond last year and he knows it.  My manager either didn't have the influence or wasn't willing to fight to get me the rating that I earned. 

Whether or not I'm right is completely irrelevant at this stage.  I want to do what is effective so I don't get submarined again next year.

How the heck do I just get over it?

tlhausmann's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Hmmm. In my view, accept the review like any other. "Great! Thank you for the guidance. What can I do to continually improve in x, y, & z?"

I had one executive tell me after an outstanding review - "Now Hausmann, this doesn't mean you get an excellent rating next expectations of you have increased. You'll have to do even better to warrant an excellent rating next year."

This notion does *not* work in reverse. In my view, an employee recieving a low rating needs to improve to avoid getting an even lower rating in the next cycle. For once measurable, time specific goals are determined...that is already a performance improvement plan...and failure to meet the specifics of a performance improvement plan means other action may be necessary.

jhack's picture

Annual reviews are like Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.  

The problem has nothing to do with you being a high D, high C.  It has everything to do with how results are measured.  Channel you high C to create measurable objectives for next year (Sales of $2 million, zero defects, 95% customer retention.... ). 

Then let your high D nail those goals.  A key reason so many annual reviews are poorly done is that the reviewer has to rely on impressions, opinions, and a general sense of how you did.  Clear objectives allow the conversation to focus on your performance (not your effort, or your hours, or your attitude, or any number of less relevant factors). 

John Hack

12string's picture
Training Badge

 To answer your question, 'How do I get over it?' 

I would recommend keep an eye on the national and local unemployment numbers and be glad that statistic doesn't include you.



ken_wills's picture

How to get over it?

In the long run, annual reviews mean SO little...

Is your annual review meaningful to anyone important in your life?  Does it influence the way your family thinks of you? Would your friends re-evaluate their friendship with you if they know you got an "average" rating?

When you're promoted, or you move on to another company, will this annual review make any difference at all?

And on your deathbed...(you know the rest of this question!)...?

12string's picture
Training Badge

 Well put, Ken...  Much better than my remarks.


nicicle's picture

Much of the thought about performance revolves around the things that have be done, but you need to make sure you understand if you manager is ranking you in terms of things acheived or are there some behaviours they are taking into account.

If you nail everything down to what by whenfor the coming year but again it is a behavioural measure which is more esoteric you will be in the same position.

I am in a simialr position and intend to work with my manager to understand what I have to do to improve this year and that includes how I go about my job and not just the black and white results, which I have hit before but still ended with an average rating.




TheBuzz's picture

Thanks for the insight. Thinking it over for a couple of days helped me regain some needed perspective. 

I was rated at this level a few years ago and had no problem accepting it considering the results for that year.  My disappointment this time around was that I believe that I did not get appropriate credit on some accomplishments.  There were some critical, unexpected projects that came up during the year.  I took a big role on the team, a tremendous workload in addition to my current responsibilities, and solved a major problem.  I expected that to play a larger part in my review.

I initiated a follow up discussion with my manager.  It went well.  I think he is a high S.  I really have to work to drag the improvement feedback out of him.

Fortunately this year I have several initiatives launching, so there is a better opportunity.